In many ways, the kitchen is the hub of family life, not only serving three meals a day, but also serving as a social, study and snacking area. With all this activity going on, kitchens can take a beating–especially the cabinets. Many homeowners, seeking to update the look of the kitchen or remedy the wear and tear, wonder if there is a cheaper option than replacing kitchen cabinets. Fortunately, there is! There are now several great ways available to refinish or paint kitchen cabinets.
Painting: If cabinets have a glossy finish, most paints will not stick to them until the surface is sanded. One way around this is to use a pigmented shellac, which will adhere to an unprimed, glossy surface with no difficulty, creating a smooth, durable finish. Otherwise, after sanding, paint first with a good primer. Whichever product you use, finish the cabinets with a high-quality enamel topcoat.
Staining: Truly restaining a cabinet is quite difficult, since the previous coating and finish needs to be completely removed. This can be done with chemicals or by sanding, but either way it is difficult and messy. A new product that some painting contractors use is gel stains. This two-part products is applied directly to the surface of the cabinet, which does not have to be sanded or stripped, but must be clean. It mimics the look of a traditional stain, and cures in place. Once it is dry, a clear polyurethane coat protects the new finish, giving the cabinets a beautiful new lease on life!
Hardware: Hinges and handles are easy to replace, just requiring a screwdriver or an electric drill. Updating your cabinet hardware will complete the transformation with relatively little cost.
If your kitchen needs some updating, but you lack the time or experience to tackle the project, consider hiring a professional painting contractor. The transformation in the kitchen is amazing, and is only a fraction of the cost of buying new cabinets, even when you hire a painting company.