Kitchen Cabinets: Refinish or Replace?
LESLIE: Victoria needs some help with a kitchen project. How can we help you?VICTORIA: Yes, I would like to know about my kitchen cabinets. They are wooden but they are painted and I was sort of debating whether to refinish them – you know, remove the paint and be refinished – or to either buy new cabinets.LESLIE: Well, are they solid wood? Are you certain …?VICTORIA: They are solid wood. That’s my problem; they’re solid wood. So …TOM: And you hate to part with them, huh?VICTORIA: Well, you know (chuckles) – I know they’re good wood but I certainly – you know, I’m tired of the painted surface.LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So you’re hoping to get to a stained finish?VICTORIA: That’s right.LESLIE: Well, it’s going to require a little bit of – or I should say a lot of elbow grease because you’re going to need to chemically strip that paint off of the wood surface itself. So you’re going to need to pull off all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts and make sure you label where everything came from. You know, leave the hinges either on the door or on the cabinet box itself so you know exactly where things go and how things fit back.And then you need to apply a stripping agent to the wood itself. There’s one that I’ve worked with several times and have had good success with. It’s called Rock Miracle; sort of goes on as a jelly and you can watch it dissolve. There’s a lot of …VICTORIA: Called Miracle?LESLIE: Rock Miracle.VICTORIA: Oh, Rock Miracle?LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And there’s a lot of good, eco-friendly ones out there that you can find if you’re concerned about fumes and what-not. You need to apply it, perhaps, a couple of times; you know, applying it, then removing it as instructed and making sure you’re getting as much of that paint off as you can. You might even need to use a wire brush or a sander to get as much …VICTORIA: Or a sander, mm-hmm.LESLIE: Yeah, to get as much of that paint off as you can. And once you get that surface as clean as possible, then you can go ahead and apply your stain.VICTORIA: Well, I was thinking of keeping the inside as it is – painted – because it’s in very good condition and just have all the outside refinished. Does that sound crazy or (inaudible at 0:28:12.6)?TOM: No, not in the least. You could do that. In fact, you could do something sort of halfway in between, too. If you are not terribly upset about having some of it be painted, you could leave the outside of the cabinet boxes painted and then perhaps just refinish the doors.LESLIE: The doors themselves.TOM: Maybe just strip the doors and the drawer fronts of the old paint and have them be natural and have everything else be painted a neutral to match.