Refinish Furniture

Do It Yourself Kitchen Cabinet Stripping For Refacing



Kitchen Cabinet Doors

You'll need to remove the doors to make them and the rest of the cabinets easier to work on. One of the most important parts of the whole job, to save yourself some hair tearing frustration, is to mark the doors so that they go back in the same exact location that they came from. Draw a diagram of the door layout on a piece of paper, then mark each door with a number and record that numbers location on your diagram.

If there is an area on the inside of the door that is concealed by the hinge scratch the number there or on the top edge of upper doors and the bottom edge of lower doors. Make the number deep enough that it won't be obliterated by stripping. The doors may be all the same size, but the hinge location makes each door unique to it's position on the kitchen cabinets.

The doors are the easiest part of the stripping job, because you can lay them down flat to work on them.

See Furniture Stripping Basic for the stripping procedure.


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Kitchen Cabinet Ends And Stiles

Stripping kitchen cabinet ends and stiles (the stiles are the upright parts of kitchen cabinets that the doors fasten to) used to be a very uncomfortable job because of the odor and fumes, but now we have some strippers that actually smell good.

Clean Thoroughly

The first order of business is to clean the doors and the whole outside surface of the part of the kitchen cabinets attached to the wall. It's very important to have all possible traces of cooking residue cleaned off. This Furniture Cleaner is a good cleaner for this type of job.

Strip Kitchen Cabinets

citristrip stripper

Citristrip is good on the environment and your health and has a pleasant orange scent that will make you hungry for oranges while you're stripping your kitchen cabinets for refacing.



Clean After Stripping

stripper wash

After stripping the old finish off give the surface another good cleaning using denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner or a commercial after strip wash, such as Citristrip Paint Remover Wash.

After cleaning, let the surface dry thoroughly, at least 24 hours before you go to the next step.



Fill Dents In Your Kitchen Cabinets

After the surface has dried completely see if there are any dents or chipped edges that need attention and repair.

Wunderfill fillerAny dents or protrusions will show under the new kitchen cabinet refacing veneer so real close care will need to be taken to have a smooth surface. Use a wood filler to fill any dents, dimples or chipped edges. Wunderfill wood filler is a good filler to use. Be sure to read the directions on the container for drying time and cautions.

Sand The Filled Area

Fill a little higher than the surrounding surface of the stripped kitchen cabinets, because there could be some shrinkage in the filler. Let the filler dry, then sand smooth with a 180 grit sandpaper.

Clean Again

Cleaning is one of the most important things to do after each step of do it yourself kitchen cabinet stripping. First, cleaning all cooking residue before stripping. Second, cleaning all stripping residue from the kitchen cabinets and final, clean all sanding dust from the surface.

Final Cleaning

A tack cloth is the best way to do the final cleaning, going over the surface several times with a clean area of the tack cloth.

Test to see if you're ready for the next step by taking a long piece of scotch tape and apply it to a kitchen cupboard surface, then pull it off and see how much dust it picked up. Try sticking the tape to the front of the refrigerator. If it won't stick, there's still too much dust on the kitchen cabinets, so back to cleaning.

Cleaning all the dust off is extremely important at this stage, because the final material needs to stick tight to the wood, not to dust on the wood. Dust will coat the glued surface the same as it did the tape and nothing will stick right. Clean, Clean, Clean!!!

Do It Yourself Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Applying The New Veneer

Now your do it yourself kitchen cabinet refacing comes to the part you've done all the work for, applying the new veneer and you begin to see how the new cupboards are going to look.

Go on to Applying The New Kitchen Cabinet Facing or go to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Contents to review another portion of the procedure.

If you ever get lost just go to the navigation links to the left and find Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Menu to get back on track.
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