San Jose Cabinet Refinishing involves changing the color of your cabinets using stain or paint without removing anything. This is ideal for addressing scratches, dents, and faded colors while using the existing cabinets.
Typically, a light sanding is required between all coats. Please note that this process is impractical for thermofoil or laminate doors and drawer fronts.
Painting is one of the easiest ways to spruce up cabinetry, and refinishing can save you money compared to the cost of new cabinets. However, many details go into a professional cabinet painting job. First, the cabinets must be thoroughly cleaned to remove grease and oils that prevent a smooth finish. A good cleaning starts with a quick spray with an ordinary degreaser solution, followed by a wipe-down with a damp cloth. If the kitchen is especially dirty, you may need to use a more robust cleaner such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), available at hardware and paint stores. TSP works by emulsifying grease, so it is easily rinsed away with water.
After cleaning, a professional cabinet painter will scuff sand the surface of the wood to create a smooth profile before applying a quality primer. This is an important step that should not be skipped to save time or money. An experienced cabinet painter will also fill holes and dents before priming to ensure that the primer sticks well.
Once the primer has dried, it is ready to be painted and a professional will apply two coats to provide a consistent color with no thin or light spots. This technique is called “tipping off” and it is done by brushing the wet paint over a dry section of the previous coat to eliminate any noticeable line where the two colors meet.
It is a good idea to have a professional painter do your cabinet refinishing because it can be very easy to make mistakes that could cause the finished product to look less than perfect. Some examples include not sanding between coats, using the wrong type of paint for the job, and missing steps in the prepping process.
If you choose to do the refinishing yourself, be sure to take your time and do it correctly. You will be rewarded with a beautiful new kitchen and the best return on your investment is when you do things right the first time.
Keep in mind that cabinet refinishing does not allow you to change the style of the doors, so be sure you are happy with their current profile. Otherwise you will need to reface them instead.
Stain brings out the character of natural wood by showcasing its unique grain patterns and warm colors. It soaks into the wood, rather than sitting on top of it, giving it a rich look that fits design styles from traditional to contemporary. With stain, it’s usually easier to find touch-up markers than paint.
Cabinet stain requires a bit more prep than painting. You’ll need to remove the doors and drawer fronts (and hardware), then thoroughly wash them and their hinges with trisodium phosphate, or TSP, diluted according to manufacturer specifications. You’ll also need to sand the cabinets, then wash again. TSP can corrode metal hardware and damage finished surfaces, so you’ll need to mask them if necessary.
You can stain your cabinets while they’re still in place, but it will take longer. To do so, you’ll need to remove any exposed sides of the cabinets, and use a screwdriver to unscrew the cabinet door hinges from the cabinet box and set them aside. You’ll also want to lightly sand the cabinets, then wipe them down with tack cloth to remove dust and grease.
Once the sanding and cleaning are complete, you can start the staining process. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions for application, as well as the specific type of stain you’re using. For example, some woods can absorb multiple coats of stain, while others require only a single coat. You’ll also need to decide how long you leave the stain on before wiping it. Leaving it on longer will result in a darker color, while wiping it off sooner will make the color lighter.
Unlike painted cabinets, stained ones don’t hide dirt and dust as well. They’ll need to be wiped down more frequently, but the stains will add character and charm to your kitchen that you just can’t get from painted cabinets.
If your cabinets are dark now, it will probably be harder to lighten them than it is to make them lighter, as the existing finish might need chemical stripping or lots of sanding to get rid of it. In this case, it might be best to hire professionals to do the job.
Glaze is a finish that can be used to enhance the appearance of your cabinets. When applied properly, it can provide a subtle shading effect over the surface or highlight grooves and fluting on cabinet doors and drawer fronts. It’s also an excellent choice for creating the impression of age and a weathered look. The color of glaze can be adjusted to create warm or cool tones, adding depth and enhancing the architectural details of your cabinets.
Unlike stain, glaze is thicker in consistency, allowing you to control the application. You can use a glaze over both painted and stained surfaces. It can be applied with a brush, rag or foam roller. If you choose to use a glaze on your cabinets, it’s best to seal them first so that the glaze doesn’t absorb into the wood and ruin the look of the cabinetry.
You can find pre-mixed glazes that are ready to apply or you can mix a glaze with paint, japan colors or universal tinting products to get a more customized tint. Whatever you choose, be sure to run a test sample before applying to the rest of your project. Oil-based glazes dry faster than water-based so they can be more forgiving to work with.
When choosing a glaze, be sure to ask your kitchen design specialist for advice and examples. They can help you select a color that will be the right match for your style and cabinetry materials.
You can add a clear topcoat over the glaze when it’s dry to protect the surface and keep it looking fresh. It’s best to wait until the glaze is dry before adding a sealer, however, as using a topcoat on a wet glaze can lift it off the surface and leave your cabinets with a dull, scratched finish. Some people choose to use a matte clear coat on their cabinets, which has a lower gloss level and is less susceptible to dirt build-up or scratching. Some people find that this type of finish feels more classic and timeless than glossy paint.
The last step in the cabinet refinishing process is to apply one or more coats of paint. This gives the cabinets a fresh, new look and helps protect them from water and other stains. Cabinet painting requires precision to achieve a clean, even finish. Using a brush makes this more difficult, so the painter must be extra careful to create straight lines and cover large areas evenly.
Unlike spray paint, which must be thinned down to create a fine mist, brushes are great for any viscosity of paint. This means that painters can use thicker paint for better durability and coverage on the surface of the cabinets. However, this can also lead to sloppy applications that can leave behind visible brush marks or drips on the surface of the cabinets.
After applying the final coat of paint, it’s important to let it dry for a few hours. This gives the cabinet a chance to fully cure and makes it safe for normal usage. Then, the cabinet doors can be reattached and the hardware installed.
Before starting the application of the new coating, it’s a good idea to wipe down all surfaces to remove any dust or debris. It’s also a good time to replace the old hinges and knobs. If the cabinets have a shiny, glossy finish, they should be washed with a deglosser.
Then, the cabinet boxes should be sanded down to ensure that they’re smooth and ready for the new coating. Any holes or cracks should be filled with wood filler and sanded down again. After sanding, the cabinet boxes should be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt before proceeding to paint.
If you’re planning on staining your cabinets, it’s a good idea to lightly sand the cabinet doors with 80-grit sandpaper before applying the stain. This will help the stain to absorb better and give a more even color throughout the surface of the cabinet.
A clear coat can be applied after staining to protect the wood from moisture and other stains. Most clear coats can be applied with a paintbrush or soft rag, and they should be lightly rubbed over the surface of the cabinets to create a smooth, even texture.