To Strip Or Not To Strip: That Is The Cabinet Refacing Question

When you just want to give your kitchen a facelift over a total remodel, cabinet refacing is exactly what you want. However, you need to keep in mind that the only things that are replaced with a cabinet refacing project are the front surfaces of all of your current cupboards. If you want the surfaces behind your current cabinets refinished, then you will have to consider one of the following options.

Paint Them

You can repaint the basic cabinet structures in your kitchen before contractors reface your cabinets. You should paint them at least a week in advance to the resurfacing so that they have enough time to dry. If you choose to paint your cabinet bases, make sure it is a color you like, one that looks good with the new cabinet faces you chose, and a color you can live with for the next few years.

Strip Them

If you bought an older home, the surfaces of your cabinet bases probably have several layers of lacquer, stain, varnish and/or paint on them. Stripping them down to their wooden base allows you to refinish them to compliment or match your new cabinet faces. You could do the job yourself, but your cabinet refacing contractor might be willing to do the job for you for a little extra in payment.

Bare Them and Oil Them

If you do not have children in the house and/or you are not a messy cook, consider stripping the cabinet bases down to the natural wood and then oiling them for a very fresh and natural wood look. Keep in mind that the drier the climate in your home, the more you will have to use a quality wood oil on these areas to keep them looking their best. If your new cabinet faces are not solid wood but particle board and wood laminate, avoid getting wood oil on them because it can cause the laminate to peel.

Asking Your Contractor for Advice

If you are not sure what to do or how to do it, you can always ask a refacing company like Rich's Kitchens Inc. In addition to giving you tips and pointers for how to make your refacing mesh with your kitchen overall and really make it beautiful, they might have some other ideas on how you can change the appearance of the base cabinets. Also, make sure you remove all of the cabinet and drawer fronts from your old cabinets and drawers. This helps the contractor examine what needs to be done and make better suggestions for you when you ask for advice.