Restore your cabinets without replacement costs


Can’t stand the look of your cabinets and don’t have the budget to replace them with brand new ones? Do not worry. You have options.

DIY options

There are three options you can do yourself to enhance the look of the cabinets – painting, finishing, and embellishing.

Painting: With high quality paint, you can choose any color you want.

It is best to remove the cabinet doors and drawers and paint them separately. You can ensure a higher quality finish by applying the paint with a cup gun, high volume, low pressure (HVLP) sprayer, or similar system. For an extra layer of protection and durability, apply three to four coats of a clear acrylic-based urethane to increase the resilience of your final product. There are several clear coat products available at your local paint and hardware stores.

Also, remember that if you have glass doors, paint the inside to match the outside. To antique or glaze the cabinets, use a small artist’s brush or glaze. Visit our e-shop for painting supplies.

Refinishing: This option is often the cheapest and fastest way to bring drab closets back to life. The cabinets must be in good condition as post-processing includes peeling off the existing surface, sanding, and staining or painting. Staining wooden cabinets can give the illusion of any type of wood you want. They can go from whitewashed to a deep cherry wood color. However, it is difficult to go from very dark to very light.

Redesign: When redesigning, new doors and drawer fronts are selected to replace the existing ones. The existing cabinet boxes are clad with a veneer to match your new doors / drawers. There are a variety of colors and finishes to choose from, even wood decors.

Someone has a screw loose

After years of pushing and pulling, the cabinets hardware can be a little worn out.

Loose screws in the frame: If the screws in the cabinet frame are still loose after tightening, try using longer screws of the same type. The longer screw passes the point where the wood has softened and grips tighter for a stronger hold.

If the screws in the doors are loose, do not install longer screws. This creates problems with protruding through the front of the cabinets and doesn’t leave much in the way of future maintenance or cabinet door repairs. Instead, get a can of Rock Hard Putty or Equal Putty at your local hardware store. Follow the instructions on the back of the spatula. When dry, pre-drill holes and reinsert the screw.

Tip: You may want to mark a point on your drill bit that is slightly shorter than the length of the screw as the anchor point so that you don’t drill too far into the door itself. Example: If the screw protrudes 1/4 in. Into the door, make a mark on the drill at 3/16.

The doors are not at right angles to the rest of the cabinet: hinges are now made with two screws that can be adjusted when loosened. If the seam between the two cabinet doors is not even or the two doors are not perfectly parallel to each other, adjust them.

Damaged hinge: If the hinge is bent, even slightly, it can cause problems. Make sure all panels are straight and there is no resistance when opening or closing the hinge. You may need to take the hinge off to test this. Take the defective hinge to a hardware store that is available for replacement. If it takes a little WD-40, either tape the area around for spraying or just remove the hinge for spraying.

Consider used cabinets

Used cabinets are hard to find in one set. The Habitat for Humanity HabiStore in Tucson tells us that they only pick up complete closets, “no bits and pieces”. Cabinets donated to Habitat must be a complete set, structurally sound, in good condition, no water stains, and the doors, drawers, and hardware must be in place. They prefer cabinets that are less than 10 years old. Lacquered cabinets are accepted if they are in good condition.

Another resource is Stardust Building Supplies, which sells recycled building materials, some of which are in excellent condition.

No free meals here

When we think of termites, we generally think of termites in the foundation or in the wood structure of our home. But termites can also prepare a meal from our interior cupboards.

Bargain-priced used cabinets are also at risk of infestation, especially if you are not buying from a reputable source. If the used cabinets you take home are infested, you will be creating trouble for your entire home.

HabiStore informs us that their reception team is using a device to look for termites, insects, other living things and damage.

If you notice mud pipes, swarms, termite droppings, discarded wings, or bent or warped wood in or around your “new” closets, you have or have had termites.

Call an exterminator to inspect and treat your home. Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to replace them.

Whichever option you choose to freshen up your cabinets, keep them clean and repair damage quickly so they will look flawless for many years to come.

Visit Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 am to 11 am on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you want to send us any questions or comments, send an email to mailto: [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, visit rosieonthehouse.com. Rosie Romero has been a home builder and remodel expert in Arizona since 1988 and hosts the Saturday morning radio show Rosie on the House. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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