How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

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The finish of your kitchen cabinets may look permanent, but even the most stubborn of paints fade away with time. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about ending up with ugly-looking cabinets, since it's possible to change the cabinet hardware finish that you have with a new one if you feel like it. With a few simple alterations and changes to your kitchen hardware, your cabinets and cabinet drawers will look like new again.

But how exactly do you refinish kitchen cabinet hardware? There are three steps to this process: taking your cabinet apart, putting in new hardware and paint, then putting the cabinet back together. Breaking down these steps can help you easily change your entire cabinet face frame, hardware, and finish, giving yourself an easy DIY cabinet hardware upgrade without too much time and effort.

What You Need to Know About Cabinet Refacing

Refinishing your kitchen cabinet hardware (also known as cabinet refacing) is a common cabinet upgrade project that many homeowners take on their own at least once. While it's possible - and in some cases, preferable - to contact a cabinet refinishing professional to do the job for you, there are some benefits to DIY'ing your new cabinet finish by yourself.

For hardware, you can either buy new handles or knobs, or polish and reuse your old ones. What matters more is that you should always be aware of how your hardware fits in with the rest of your kitchen cabinet – forgetting this step will make you end up with a lopsided cabinet you can’t even use.

Steps To Refinishing Your Kitchen Cabinet

Refinishing kitchen cabinets should never be rushed. If you stumble through taking your cabinet apart and putting it back together, you can end up with issues like a squeaky cabinet hinge or a cabinet door that doesn't close properly. Always take your time, and don't be afraid to split the work over two to three days when needed.

1) Taking It Apart

The first thing you'll need to do is to carefully remove the different parts of your cabinet. These include:

  • Hinges
  • Doors or cabinet fronts
  • Handles like cabinet pulls or cabinet knobs
  • Cabinet frame (if applicable)

In this step, it's crucial to make sure everything that you remove from your cabinets is clearly marked and organized since this will help you put the entire piece back together properly once you're done. Pay particular attention to the smaller things like screws and screw holes, since those are key to helping you put the entire cabinet back together.

If you're encountering some resistance with removing some moving parts (especially the hinges), use a lubricant like WD-40 to loosen any joints. Refinishing cabinets that are rusted over means that you'll need quite a lot of lubricant to loosen any screws then remove them - just remember to wipe over areas with a clean cloth to soak up any excess product. If you're also refinishing the cabinet boxes themselves, you can skip this step.

2) Installing New Hardware Or Paint

The first thing you need to do is to strip away the finish or paint from your cabinet doors. You can do this by using sandpaper, chipping away at the top layer, or removing the board. Then, you can start priming the door for a new coat of paint. Ideally, you should put too many coats of paint on the door since it may affect how it swings - just try to keep the paint in one or two even layers. Some good paint options include chalk paint, charcoal paint, or faux wooden paint.

On the other hand, if you're attaching a veneer to the front of your cabinets, you must make sure that the surface is smooth and level so the veneer can stick properly. Sandpaper can also help with this step. After the paint and the veneer are done, you can move on to the cabinet hardware.

Cabinet hardware refers to all the fittings that you put on and inside your cabinet - things like handles, doorknobs, slides, or hinges. If you're installing new hardware, simply line them with the cabinet doors then drill or screw them in place. If you're still using the old hardware, either lubricate or sandpaper them to make sure they have a smooth surface when you place them back. This is particularly important for metal hardware, as it'll prevent them from rusting down the line.

3) Putting It Back Together

Once you're satisfied with all the changes you've made, it's time to put your cabinet together. Ideally, you should work backward, starting from the parts that you've removed last and finishing with the parts you removed first. This makes it less likely that you'll misplace a screw or slide a hinge into the wrong slot.

Be very careful not to damage the finish of your cabinets during this step. It's easy to scratch the coat of paint with a screwdriver if you're not paying attention, which means you'll need to redo what would already have been a top-quality paint job. The same goes for any hardware that you've installed that has metallic finishes: avoid scratching the smooth surface when you place it back.

You can also use this opportunity to lubricate moving parts of your kitchen cabinet, like the hinges or slides. This ensures that they'll work smoothly for a long time, and will decrease the likelihood that you'll need to take the cabinet apart again to get it fixed.

Is Hiring A Professional A Better Option?

Installing a kitchen in a new house.

Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a DIY activity, but there are also some benefits to having a professional do it for you. Admittedly, this may cost more upfront, but the average cost will balance out with the quality and workmanship that you'll be getting. But when exactly is the best time to hire a professional to do it?

Ideally, you'd want a professional for refinishing cabinets if your cabinets are extremely old, damaged, or you're planning extensive changes. This is usually when you're remodeling your entire kitchen and your cabinets are just one of the many projects that you'll need to do, but you can also hire a professional for smaller renovations.

Professionals can help you find the best parts for your kitchen cabinets, get yourself set up long-term with a cabinet that works, and provide recommendations on the best ways that you can keep your cabinet finishes looking good. They can also put you in touch with other experts like a cabinet door maker for even more options to refinish your cabinet hardware. 

High-Quality Kitchen Cabinet And Cabinet Installation With Zothex

Refacing cabinets can be a rewarding task that homeowners can do if they want to overhaul their cabinet doors in their kitchen. However, it's important to not go into doing a cabinet makeover lightly. You'll need a lot of patience for kitchen cabinet refinishing - and sometimes, it's better to simply hire a professional to do the refinishing project for you.

As a long-time provider of kitchen cabinets, cabinet door fronts, and other types of hardware and furnishing for kitchens, Zothex has a wide array of different kitchen cabinet doors, modern cabinet hardware, and other options for your brand-new custom cabinets. We have all the options that you may want to make your kitchen a better place, just the way you like it.

Call us now at (916) 925 - 1958 to learn more about our products and services.

Learn More: How To Fix Squeaky Kitchen Cabinet Hinges

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