How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets
In this article I will give you general information on how to reface kitchen cabinets…just to get you motivated in case this is what your kitchen needs 😉
Do you think that to learn how to reface kitchen cabinets, equals to learn how to install cabinet doors and drawer fronts?
Not to be confused with refinishing (applying a fresh coat of paint or stain on your existing kitchen), cabinet refacing is putting an entirely new face on your kitchen. That means putting on new cabinet doors and drawer fronts after all of the exposed areas of the kitchen cabinet boxes have been covered with matching veneer (if you are going with a stained wood) or prefinished laminate (if you are going with a solid color or thermofoil option).
Installing the new door and drawer fronts (which is the fun part of the project) will be done last. The labor intensive part of refacing is veneering the side panels (gables) and the front edge (where the cabinet doors butt into).
Gables (side panels) could be refaced in three ways:
1. False door:
A cabinet door is fastened with screws from the inside of the cabinet box. It is a simple way to reface side panels, but keep in mind that if your kitchen has many exposed gables, this will be the most expensive option. Essentially you are paying for another door that does not have the same function as the rest.
The overall look of the kitchen could be easily compromised if the door style has many details. If you decide to go with false doors, I would recommend going with a shaker door or one with very few details.
2. 5/8″ or 3/4″ Plywood Veneer:
It is basically a thick matching board with a finished edge fastened with screws from the inside of the cabinet box. It is the simplest way to take care of the gables, but it will not give you the best finish. If you wonder of how to reface kitchen cabinets the easiest way……this is it.
3. 1/4″ Plywood Veneer:
The 1/4″ plywood veneer is fastened with construction adhesive and 23 gauge pin nails. It is the finest option for refacing because it allows you to cover the imperfections in the walls, where the cabinet box meets the wall. Since the veneer is only 1/4″ thick, it is hardly detectable especially after the rough edge gets covered with the PSA veneer. If you want to know how to reface kitchen cabinets the best way…this is it! It does require more work with managing the glue, routering excessive edges, etc., but this option will give you the best results by making your kitchen look new, not refaced.
Front Edges or Frame of the box could be refaced using:
1. 1/8″ Plywood Veneer:
The 1/8″ Plywood Veneer is fastened to the edge with construction adhesive or wood glue and pin nails. Although it is the fastest and easiest way to veneer the edges, I would not recommend it because the rough edge on the 1/8″ veneer will show when you open the doors. Unfortunately, a sloppy option 🙁
2. PSA Veneer:
1 millimeter thick, paper backed, real wood veneer with 3M adhesive on the back. You would start by pre-cutting the veneer for the horizontal and vertical pats of the frame. Apply the psa veneer using a small roller. The roller pressure will induce the glue on the back of the veneer to start working. It is my personal STRONG recommendation to pre-apply Water Based Contact Cement to the frame or front edges before applying the veneer. It will make the bond three times stronger and will prevent any ugly surprises in the future.
Several hours of labor invested in trimming the excess veneer and touching up the edges makes this a tedious job, but the end result will be well worth the effort! 🙂
Installing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and moldings will be your final and most exciting step![maxbutton id=”1″]