Most kitchen and bathroom cabinets are made of hardwoods. They can be solid hardwood or engineered hardwood. An engineered cabinet is one that is made of a thin veneer of hardwood and several layers of pressboard or plywood underneath it. A solid hardwood cabinet is made from single pieces of solid hardwood. Either type of cabinet should last for a very long time if you take care of it. However, However, the bathroom and the kitchen are two of the harshest rooms in your home. The temperature and the humidity in the bathroom or kitchen can change dramatically. That can cause wood to swell or contract and damage the wood ultimately. That’s one of the reasons wooden cabinets are painted. However, you might need to revitalize them after a while. You can paint it, refinish it, or strip it. Either one is a great choice.
Refinishing Your Cabinets
To refinish your cabinets, you’ll first need to remove the existing surface of the cabinets. If your cabinets are painted, they likely don’t have another top coat. You will use a paint stripper to remove the paint from the cabinets. Many people prefer a paint stripper gel because it does not splash the way a liquid might; it’s a very caustic chemical, and you should be very careful when you use it.
Once you’ve stripped off the old paint, you have the option to either stain it, paint it, or just put a finish on it. If you like the way the bare wood looks, you should consider just applying a polyurethane coating to the wood. You’ll need to use a few coats to get the right thickness to the clear coat.
Stripping Your Cabinets
One current trend in cabinetry is a rustic or distressed look. These are cabinets that are designed to look like antique cabinets that have been through rough treatment. The aging leaves a patina that many find very attractive. One way to mimic that is with paint stripper. The same paint stripping formula that you could use to remove all of the paint can be used to remove only some of the paint. Apply the stripper in a random manner and remove parts of the stripper at different intervals. This will create inconsistent paint removal and mimic the patina of aged wood.
Painting Your Cabinets
Finally, you can choose to simply repaint your cabinets. In most cases, you’ll be able to sand the original surface and then paint over the existing paint. You should use a medium-grit sandpaper to rough up the paint and give the new paint something to which it can adhere.
Any of these three options can turn old cabinets into exciting new additions to your home.