“A Simple Refinishing” of your Cabinets?

Original Quote from the Indy Post:

Because the kitchen work was such a large project, the Bontragers decided to work with what was already in the master bath to control cost. They kept the cherry cabinets and enhanced their original beauty via a simple refinishing.

What could this mean? Sanding and re-spraying the cabinets in place because the old finish was sorry and peeling? Did they actually change the stain of the cabinets? Staining is considered part of the finishing process.

At the end of the article, it says:

Limited by budget?

There are a lot of things that are lighter on the wallet and can be completed in a shorter amount of time.

Purvis suggests these quick and budget-friendly fixes:

• Paint the walls and ceiling.

• Replace the light fixtures.

• Replace hardware on cabinet doors.

• Paint the existing cabinets if they are structurally in good shape but the finish is worn.

Notice that last line. But why paint if we can just do a “simple refinishing?”

Generally there have been two basic alternatives for refreshing your old cabinets: painting or refacing. This refinishing option is, confusingly, presented as one of the following:

  1. A wipe-on formula that hides old scratches or bare spots and gives a new shiny gloss.
  2. Having the cabinets stripped, bleached and refinished (a messy and expensive process with sometimes disappointing results).
  3. Refinish the cabinets, either by painting or staining. (This seems to always come with a “use a pro” caveat)

A more realistic take on this is:

Seriously though, sanding just won't work. Get one of the newer types of chemical stripper and do the stuff outdoors as much as you can. Make sure to lay newspaper EVERYWHERE….that stuff is insidious! If you're using it indoors, make sure to leave windows open and put newspapers on the counters and floors for drips. Small drips won't soak thru the paper, generally. It's best to wipe up what does drip onto a surface you don't want stripped though. Even if it's on the paper, it could damage the surface below.

Good luck!!!! Get some before and after pics. You'll want to know all that effort was worth it!

The problem with option #3 is that staining, unlike painting, requires that the finish be removed first, which means all the stripping, etc.

So, that leaves us with only one real option for “a simple refinishing”, and that is option #1, the wipe-on finish.