Thread: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing
December 23rd, 2004, 08:41 PM #1
Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing
Our kitchen cabinets are losing their protective coating due to wear and tear. So now its time to refinish them before it gets worse. I'm just unsure of what to use to protect them: polyurethane, some kind of lacquer or a wood sealer, etc.?
Any other information would be greatly appreciated as well.
Thanks in advance.
December 23rd, 2004, 09:10 PM #2
Well, how old are they? If they are relatively new, polyurethane should stick to them just fine, and it's relatively easy to work with.
Best bet is to lightly sand the surfaces with some 200 grit or better sandpaper and put some on, let it dry overnight and see if you can take it off with your fingernail. If it flakes or peels off easily, then you have bigger problems to deal with first.
December 23rd, 2004, 09:21 PM #3
They're fairly new. European hinges and such.
We bought the house exactly two years ago, and I'd say they might have been there another 1 to 2 years before we moved in.
So you say poly would be best?
December 23rd, 2004, 10:47 PM #4
Well, I can't say as an absolute, but you can't go wrong with polyurethane. We use it on hardwood floors and it holds up really well.
I've used waterbased polyurethane on raw cabinets and they turned out pretty nice, but I also had a lot of experience with waterbased poly. NOT something I would recommend for a beginner.
Most of the oil based polyurethanes I use have a pretty long drying time, but then that's a pretty thick coat most floors get, and the coats are usually much thinner on cabinetry. You'd probably get about a 5 hour dry time this time of year if you did it, which would be great considering you are going to coat these in place ( fewer runs due to faster drying )
Knothead would really be one of the guys to listen to as far as cabinetry goes. My step dad does cabinetry, but he sprays everything in a booth, and it's not Polyurethane.
December 23rd, 2004, 11:15 PM #5Originally Posted by RedFury
It sounds like your cabinets got sprayed with catalized lacquer....looks good for a while, and it's easy for the subcontractor to pass off as a "finish"...
Okay, the lacquer is an acceptable undercoat for the Polyurethane. You'll need to give the surfaces a light sanding (heaven knows, the lacquer may have a 'tint' to it, and you don't wanna lose that!) with #220 grit sandpaper.
Remove the doors, and drawers. You can "un-click" the Eurostyle hinges, no need to remove the screws, etc.
It's not a big deal. Just abrade the surface, smooth it out, and try not to go right though to the raw wood.
Use a "tack cloth" (available at your local hardware store) to remove any sanding dust. Wait a few hours to let the dust settle.
Get a decent ($20) natural hair bristle brush, and then do exactly what Redfury advised.
I recommend Minwax Semi-gloss (oil based) Polyurethane. Follow the directions, and...Two coats, and watch them DRIPS, on the the other side of what you're brushing, buddy!
You'll end up with a beautifully refinished set of cabinets!
December 23rd, 2004, 11:45 PM #6
Best piece of advice I can give you for coating the edges of the doors and what-knot is to have a rag handy. Get everything coated, and then just wrap a small amount of rag on the end of your finger and brush the sharp edge of the lower part of the side where the drips would form and run your finger along that edge with the rag. This way, you'll avoid drippys and end up with a nice clean edge. Don't worry about the way it looks, it will settle out. You aren't trying to wipe off the side of the doors and cabinets, just run the finger along the sharp edge, not the flat edge. That will take care of the inevitable extra polyurethane that builds up there.
This technique works beautifully when coating staircases, where you have the same type of short side to work with, or even a curved surface. Nothing says "unprofessional" like a row of drips and sags on woodwork.
December 24th, 2004, 12:36 AM #7
Hopefully, if you didn't catch on to what I was talking about, maybe this will help.
December 24th, 2004, 05:23 AM #8
Cool! Thanks for the information guys. I really appreciate it. I get exactly what your talking about RedFury. I'll be sure to take care of those drips.
I just have a couple more questions, if you don't mind:
--How thick should I apply the polyurethane?
--And just in case I don't find the polyurethane you mentioned above Knothead, are there different types of polyurethane's for different types of wood or is there just one that is used for everything? (Thought I'll be sure to look for the one you mentioned).
Thanks again fellas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Last edited by rrcn; December 24th, 2004 at 05:29 AM.
December 24th, 2004, 10:50 AM #9
Well, Polyurethanes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, but you should be able to find the minwax line just about anywhere, but just ask whomever works at the place you buy it from what they'd recommend for what you are doing. IF they've had experience using it, you'll get a good recommendation. As far as poly goes, the ones I've worked with are Pro Coat ( we use this exclusively ), Polo Plaz ( loved the stuff ) and Dura Seal ( minwax product we use on occasion..good stuff ).
Like Knot said, dont' get cheap on the brush. Spend good money on a nice brush and you cabinets will thank you...think thin to win.
Other products that you can use are Valspar, water based ( crosslinking ) polyurethanes, and of course laquer ( which is best sprayed on ). You probably would want to stay away from any kind of enamel as the last time I had enamel and laquer on the same project, it looked like the mojave desert when it dried
December 27th, 2004, 12:36 AM #10
Alrighty! Thanks again. I'll probably be heading to the Home Depot tomorrow morning and picking up the supplies to get started. I'll let you know how it goes.
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