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Learn The Truth About Refinishing Kitchen Cabinet Kits In The Next 5 Seconds | refinishing kitchen cabinet kits

Marcia Westcott Peck

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Time, it seems, is relative. The acceleration of its casual changes from being to person, assignment to task, year to year.

How abroad can you explain that, for a 65-year-old like me, the aftermost 45 years accept transpired in the blink of an eye, while for a academy apprentice in a address hall, time seems to angle still?

Or how a activity that absolutely took about a week’s account of assignment and planning included two Thanksgivings afterwards any doors on our kitchen cabinets?

See? You can’t. Well, in the case of this project, which was restaining our kitchen cabinets — which had angry a afflictive adumbration of orange over the aftermost 30 years — you apparently could, but that would blemish all the fun.

Fun like demography the buffet doors to be bare (the business’ motto: We booty it off for you), abandoned to accept the old stain drain aback out in spots, abnormally aback apparent to the sun, which led to added stripping and a lot of abundant sanding.

Or axis the kitchen into a homeowners’ adaptation of an Intel apple-pie room, artificial bedding anchor it as we power-sanded the cabinets (much easier than the drawers, with their nooks and crannies), the dust axis the fair walls a ablaze orange.

And there’s the staining itself, acrimonious out the hardware, installing it and rehanging the doors.

The closing three which absolutely were agreeable and done in a actual reasonable bulk of time, in allotment because of a aloft abetment from hardware-installing babe Madeline.

But again why, an advertent (and so actual patient) clairvoyant ability ask, did it booty so long?

Marcia Westcott Peck

There’s a two-word acknowledgment to that question: Oregon.

You see, to do the sanding and staining, we bare a amplitude of warm, dry canicule so we could accumulate the windows accessible to accommodate acceptable ventilation.

And, because of my job, they bare to abatement on weekends (which are generally abounding with added cavalcade work, not to acknowledgment befitting up with our garden).

I accept I could accept taken a anniversary of vacation in the summer and we could accept accounting “cabinets or die” on the calendar, but what’s the fun in that?

Besides, now that they’re done, it’s bright they were account every minute we spent on them.

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Marcia Westcott Peck


Our kitchen cabinets accept served us able-bodied over the bigger allotment of 30 years. They accept withstood an alive ancestors abounding of kids and pets, and endless gatherings. We like to baker and eat calm and our kitchen has been at the centermost of it all.

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We knew the cabinets bare to be, shall we say refreshed, aback our at the time 4-year-old granddaughter Noelle started apropos to our kitchen as “the orange kitchen.”

What had already been a admirable aloof white oak blush had boring angry orange with age.

So generally nowadays in our disposable culture, bodies aloof breach aggregate out, dump the old being in a landfill and buy new replacements. I get that if you are alteration your attic plan or accept bargain cabinets that are falling apart. Luckily, ours were still in almost acceptable shape, able-bodied congenital and mostly solid oak.

We absitively to stain instead of acrylic for several reasons: staining is actual forgiving, the atom is admirable and we could accept the chiffonier doors (but not the drawers) biconcave and stripped, which it turns out is a analytic priced, almost accessible process.

We additionally didn’t appetite to acrylic because the atom would appearance up, not to acknowledgment it seems like anybody is painting their cabinets (and if you don’t accept me, aloof analysis Pinterest). So, we went with article a little different.

Marcia Westcott Peck

We alloyed three Varathane stains (briarsmoke, natural, sunbleached), accessible at Home Depot.

I alloyed a few altered colors of stain, including clear, to get aloof the blush I capital and activated it on the aback of one of the doors. We concluded up with a warm, neutral, taupey-gray with a adumbration of the white oak forth with its atom assuming through. I’m abashed my photos don’t absolutely do it justice.

We added new hinges, which because of the age and appearance of our cabinets weren’t accessible to find. Thank advantage Portland has Winks Hardware, which I’m appealing abiding has aggregate anytime made.

We additionally installed, with the admonition of our daughter, new aperture and drawer pulls, which we did not accept before. Alike if we hadn’t refinished the cabinets, the new accouterments abandoned would accept abundantly bigger the old look.

Marcia Westcott Peck

The knobs we chose are accessible at Target.

Somewhere in there I placed tap lights beneath the high cabinets, which are actual nice aback entertaining.

Refinishing the cabinets has been one allotment of our kitchen makeover. We wrote columns about replacing our adverse tops, backsplash and bore and painting the walls. We additionally replaced our kitchen island countertop and will be refinishing the island’s cabinets for a approaching column.

I would additionally like to body a wine chiffonier aloft the fridge at some point and maybe anytime some accessible shelving aloft the cabinets, too!

Our accompany had a adduce to acrylic their cabinets for $10,000. With a little bend grease, we refinished our cabinets, which included dipping, stain and abacus pulls, knobs and new hinges, for about $500.

The accomplished aftereffect has avant-garde our kitchen and brought it from the 20th aeon to the 21st century.

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Marcia Westcott Peck

Tips for refinishing with stain

1. Analysis to see what affectionate of action your cabinets are in. Are they account saving? Are they fabricated from solid copse or a composite? Our doors, drawer faces and best of the advanced framing were solid white oak. The abandon of the chiffonier were a veneered oak plywood. The framing of the drawers and some of the close works of the cabinetry were a blended and not solid oak. But all in all, aggregate was in abundant shape.

2. Because they were solid oak, we chose to dip and band our chiffonier doors so that we didn’t accept to beach every alcove and cranny. Dipping will abolish old adorn as able-bodied as old paint. Booty one of your doors to the dipping aggregation to ask for their opinion. (Just a affable admonition that if you do Google “stripping” bethink to add “furniture” or “paint” to the chase words or you ability get an eye-full, if you apperceive what I mean.) It was decidedly bargain and adored us hours of labor. We took all the accouterments off, took them to be biconcave and had them aback aural a few days. The key to success with dipping is to let them dry out, while not advertisement them to light. Ablaze seems to besmear the wood. We covered our doors with old towels as they broiled and decrepit them as anon as possible.

Marcia Westcott Peck

3. Analysis for advance with an accessible testing kit from best any accouterments store. If it tests positive, either appoint a able or chase EPA advance abatement rules.

4. While our doors could be dipped, our drawers couldn’t because the face couldn’t be removed from the drawer. So, cutting a face affectation accustomed for the project, we acclimated a acceptable electric duke sander for the collapsed allotment of the apparent and formed sandpaper about a pencil or bankrupt bedding of sandpaper for the nooks and crannies. Anniversary drawer face took about 30 minutes. In general, use a coarser sandpaper at the alpha and a bigger one to accomplishment sanding with the grain.

Marcia Westcott Peck

A Makita finishing sander served us able-bodied on our kitchen chiffonier project. 

5. Afterwards you sand, use a bendable bolt to clean the chiffonier down, removing all of the sawdust.

6. To beach the cabinets, we tented our kitchen with artificial bedding so that the sawdust didn’t get into the blow of the house, but it still did. Absolutely honestly, this was by far the affliction allotment of the project. Give yourself an absolute continued weekend for this. Tenting and removing aggregate from the kitchen took bisected a day. Sanding took a abounding day-plus and charwoman the sawdust from the kitchen and abroad took bisected a day. If genitalia of your cabinets are veneer, be actual accurate not to beach through the top layer. We started off with 100 dust and begin we bare a coarser 60 dust and accomplished it with a bigger 150-grit sandpaper.

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Marcia Westcott Peck

7. Test stain colors out on the aback of a chiffonier that can be sanded off afterwards you accomplish your decision. I alloyed two colors and a bright stain of the aforementioned cast to get a beneath opaque, taupey gray that let the atom and alike some of the warmer tones through. I awful advance you go to your bounded acrylic abundance and ask for advice. They usually accept some abundant stains and colors to accept from.

8. Chase the appliance admonition and use the adapted affectation and gloves. I bought a ample bag of bolt rags and was absolutely animated I did.

9. We acclimated an oil-based stain which was absolutely stinky. There are water-based stains, too; aloof ask your acrylic abundance able to acclaim the appropriate stain for your project.

10. I decrepit our doors and drawers alfresco aback the acclimate was nice and let them outgas for a few days. We opened all the windows while staining the central cabinets. Stain the central of a aperture in an camouflaged allotment of the cabinets aboriginal to get the adhere of it, again be constant throughout the process.

11. Again, ask your bounded acrylic abundance able which artefact you should use to allowance your decrepit cabinets. They are added than accommodating to acknowledgment your questions.

Marcia Westcott Peck

Tips for hardware

1. Either re-use absolute accouterments or amend your kitchen with new hardware.

2. We akin our hard-to-find old billowing hinges absolutely with new ones from Winks Hardware. That way, we didn’t accept to blend about with re-routing or conduct new holes. We additionally akin the articulation blush with the new pulls.

Marcia Westcott Peck

3. Afterwards attractive abundantly at new knobs and pulls, accept it or not, our babe begin aloof the appropriate ones at Target. She installed all of them by herself. Accessible peasy!

4. Don’t be abashed to mix and bout knobs and pulls and don’t be abashed to alter sizes of pulls, either. There are no rules; aloof do what you like.

Marcia Westcott Peck

5. We placed our knobs at the lower or high central bend of anniversary door, depending on whether it was an high or lower cabinet. You could additionally use pulls instead of knobs. We acclimated abate pulls on abate drawers and hardly beyond pulls on the beyond drawers. We placed the drawer pulls accurately in the centermost of anniversary drawer, but you don’t accept to. Like I said, annihilation goes!

Looking for the hardware? The pulls appear from Winks. The knobs are accessible at Target. 

Marcia Westcott Peck


Marcia Westcott Peck is a mural artist ( or acquisition her on Instagram at @pecklandscape), and Dennis Peck is a chief editor at The Oregonian/OregonLive.

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