So your kitchen cabinets are the most dreadful sight in the entire neighborhood. Your even embarrassed to have the neighbor kids over, let alone their parents. It's big bucks to have them replaced with new, and that vile cleaning job you tried on them just didn't do the trick. While there's one other thing you can try before breaking the bank to buy new ones. A new coat of good quality paint or varnish may just do the trick. Even replacing the hardware with something more to your liking can make an amazing improvement. That's what we did a few years ago, and it extended the life of our cabinets another four or five years. While we eventually did end up replacing all the cabinets, we were able to put it off until our bank account was a little more up to the challenge. Now, here's a few things to keep in mind if you decide to tackle a kitchen cabinet paint job.
First thing, you will need to do is to remove all the cabinet doors and hardware. You'll obviously want to do this, if your replacing all the hardware, but even if your not it's a good idea to get a more professional paint job. Depending on the size of your kitchen you may need to use another room in the house to put all the doors. Preferably some place you can work in, so everything (cabinets and doors) can be painted in one go. Be sure to have plenty of drop cloths handy. Wipe down any surface to be painted with TSP. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions as this stuff can be somewhat caustic. Some people prefer to do a light sanding of all painted surfaces at this point. Depending on the condition of your cabinets this may or not be necessary. If they are a little beaten up, then this may even out the surfaces a bit before painting. In our case no sanding was required, and everything looked just fine in the end.
The paint we used was a white melamine paint. It's designed specifically for this type of job. Just talk to your local paint supplier, and they can point you in the right direction. If your actually varnishing the cabinets, then using a high quality, oil based polyurethane would be a good choice. Again, talk the people at your local paint store, tell them what your doing, and they can make some suggestions. Even bringing in one of the smaller cabinet doors may give the sales person a better idea of what your up to. Once everything not being painted is covered or taped, it's time to start painting. Always use the best quality brush or roller you can afford. It's still cheaper than hiring a professional painting contractor, and the finished job will look just as good.
Once everything is painted or varnished, and had time to dry, it's time to put everything back together. Now all that's left to do, is sit back and enjoy the view of your new kitchen cabinets. It'll give you something to do while your waiting for your bank account to build up for that big kitchen remodeling job a few years from now.
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