How to refresh your kitchen cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets don't have an easy life, so it's no surprise that they experience more then the usual wear and tear. That said, it may be possible to renew and refresh them, here's how.

How to refresh your kitchen cabinets

Give cabinets a facelift

  • Most kitchen cabinets start to look worn, dingy and dated long before the doors and drawers wear out.
  • There's no need to replace the cabinets to give your kitchen a new look.
  • For about 30 per cent of the cost of new cabinets, you can buy a do-it-yourself kit that contains everything you need to resurface the cabinets with veneers and replace the doors, drawer fronts and hardware.
  • The kits are surprisingly easy to install — you don't need special tools, and you certainly don't need to be a carpenter.
  • But it's still plenty of work, so you might want to consider having the work done professionally.
  • Home centres can order a kit to fit your kitchen or arrange for professional installation.

Get rid of the grime

  • You have a handle on regular cleanings, but your kitchen cabinets are in a sad state.
  • They're covered in grime and grease, and your efforts with soaps and the usual are just not cutting it.
  • Before you throw in the towel, try using straight mineral spirits to remove the buildup; you may be surprised by how well it works.
  • If you find the wax finish on your cabinets has dulled in the process, use a paste wax to refresh it and have them looking like new again.

New life for old drawers

  • In many old kitchen cabinets, as well as other types of furniture, the drawers simply ride on wooden glides at the bottom or sides.
  • After many years of use, these glides wear due to friction, and the drawers may no longer operate smoothly or seat properly.
  • You can make them work like new by placing one or two smooth-headed thumbtacks or upholstery tacks on the glide.
  • It's also a good idea to rub candle wax on all wood-to-wood contact points as a lubricant.
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