Re-doing Kitchen Cabinets: Sanding to Staining
LESLIE: Wanda in Texas needs some help redoing some cabinets. What kind of project are you working on?WANDA: I’m considering redoing my cabinets in the kitchen and in the bathroom. And I heard of this project while I was listening to one of the do-it-yourself shows. It’s called liquid sandpaper and I was just wondering if you’ve ever heard of the product and, if so, do you recommend it?LESLIE: Well, what type of cabinets are they? Are they solid wood, are they laminate and what are you trying to do to them? Do you want to restain them or do you want to paint them?WANDA: I want to paint them and they’re solid wood.LESLIE: Hmm.TOM: Well, you use liquid sandpaper a lot. We’ve talked about that before.LESLIE: Yeah. I’m just trying to think, you know, if they’re solid wood and you want to paint them, pretty much what you need to do is really give them a good cleaning because you want to make sure you get off any grit and dirt and yuck that’s been on them over the years of usage; especially in a kitchen environment.WANDA: Yeah, I know there’s a cleaner for that; the TPS or TSP. Is that what it’s called?LESLIE: TSP. That’s perfect. Then the liquid sander, what that is you put it on with a sponge applicator or you can brush it on and it just sort of grits up the surface just enough; you know, rather than sanding it down to get to raw wood. But it does sort of open up the finish on the wood itself so that it’s a lot more tolerant to whatever you’re going to put on it; in this case, it would be a primer. And you want to make sure you use a very good primer and then you want to go ahead and use a high-quality paint as well.WANDA: I see. And you take off the doors. And do you need to do the inside of the doors?TOM: Not necessarily. It’s up to you. But you know, it may look nicer that way because when the doors open it’ll all be the same color.WANDA: Exactly.LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Or what you can do – first of all, when you take off the doors, you want to either leave the hinges on the door themselves or on the cabinet base and then label every cabinet to every door exactly where it came from; like A-A, B-B. This way you know exactly where things go and you’re not trying to be like “Oh, which hinge matches up to what?” and you know exactly how things go.Now, for the backside, you can either take some fabric on some cardstock – just so it’s nice and thick – or even some pretty wallpaper and you have like a nice surface to adhere to and then use upholstery tacks just to – so when you open the door you’ve something pretty on the inside.WANDA: Oh, that’s a great idea.LESLIE: Or you can use rolled-up cork so you have someplace to put little notes or even chalkboard paint.WANDA: That’s a wonderful idea. Thank you for that.LESLIE: You’re so welcome.TOM: You’re welcome, Wanda.WANDA: OK. I appreciate that.TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.