How to Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets

Refurbishing Your Kitchen Cabinets

How to Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets A cheap and easy way to spruce up an old wood kitchen is to revarnish all the doors and drawer fronts. You can even change the appearance of the cabinets by applying a wood-coloured varnish.

Varnishing serves two main purposes: to protect wood from knocks, stains and other marks, and to give it a sheen that accentuates the beautiful grain pattern. As such, it is the ideal finish for fitted furniture that has to put up with a lot of wear and tear but which must also retain its good looks with the minimum of maintenance.

Essential tools:

  • Paintbrush

You should allow the whole weekend to complete this DIY project.

Choosing the Right Varnish

Modern varnishes are waterproof, scratchproof and heat-resistant, and are available in gloss, satin or matt finishes. Conventional varnishes are thinned with white spirit, but there are also fast-drying, water-thinned, acrylic varnishes that have an opaque, milky appearance when applied, but are clear and transparent when dry.

Some varnishes are designed to provide a clear finish with a hint of colour. They are available in the normal wood shades and some strong colours. Unlike a wood dye, a coloured varnish does not sink into the timber, so there may be loss of colour in areas of heavy wear or abrasion unless you apply an additional coat of clear varnish.

When dust sticks to the varnish

Sometimes it is difficult to prevent dust particles sticking to the varnish as it sets. Let the varnish set hard, then rub it down with very fine wire wool or abrasive paper. Apply a fresh coat of varnish to restore the finish — a second coat of coloured varnish may darken the wood. Use a similar procedure to correct any unsightly runs that show after the varnish has set.

Applying the Varnish

How to Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets Lightly sand the old finish with fine wet-and-dry paper, taking care not to wear through to bare wood on the corners and edges. Make sure all surfaces are clean and grease-free.

Load a clean paintbrush by dipping the first third of the bristles into the varnish, then touch off the excess on the side of the container. Don’t scrape the brush across the rim of the container as that causes bubbles in the varnish, which can spoil the finish if transferred to the woodwork.

Paint the varnish onto the work,  brushing it in different directions to spread it evenly, then finish off by brushing lightly in the direction of the grain. Blend one section into the other before the varnish begins to set.

08. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Restoration and repairs | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets


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