We completed this project recently and the kitchen cabinets refinished have a new light color that totally changes the whole look and feel of the space. Oak cabinets were very popular 15 years ago, however these days most consumers seem to want a cleaner fresher look. That’s were we come in. Below is the first before and after shot of this modest kitchen. The client chose a soft off white that tied in with the wall colors. As you may know oak is an open grain wood and in this instance we did not fill the grain pores. So once painted you still see some of the texture of the wood coming through. Other clients like for the wood grain to be filled which achieves a much smoother look, but that wasn’t the look we were aiming for in this case.
We also removed the old outdated face mounted hinges and installed hidden soft close hinges. This takes the old bras color hinges off the face of the cabinets which gave it an dated look. While it’s hard to see in the pictures we also added a soft oyster gray glaze pinstripe on the doors around the grooves.
Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets is an affordable way to dramatically improve the appearance of a kitchen. Additionally, it is significantly less expensive than replacing the cabinets. If done by competent professionals the finish, when redone, is often much better and more durable than the finish originally applied by the cabinet manufacturer. When choosing a refinishing company ensure they use high quality lacquers and paints such as the ones offered by Gemini. Most companies that refinish cabinets can also make modifications to existing cabinets, such as additional drawers, pull out shelves, etc. Add in a few modifications here and there and you end up with a much improved kitchen that you fall back in love with.
This is what floor to ceiling custom built pantry cabinets look like in their early stages. Yes, I know this isn’t the most attractive part of building cabinets but it is the most important. Quality cabinets all have good “bones” and these do. I thought I’d show you these cores and point out a few of the details that make them higher quality.
First off all pieces – tops, bottoms, sides and backs are “dadoed” into each other. If you don’t know what this means follow the previous link for an explanation. Once you’ve seen that you’ll understand why these are such high quality cabinets. Rarely will you see this done in cabinetry, but its something we make standard as part of the building process at our company. They aren’t just glued and nailed.
In this case we decided to break the cabinets into an upper and lower. We did this for several reasons. One – we had to get them in the house! But also, by breaking them into a top and bottom we can add on some nice molding in the middle that breaks things up and allows visual appeal. Notice on the taller cabinet (which is the bottom section) we also built a toe kick. This allows the owner to stand very close to the unit when reaching up on the higher shelves. Plus you don’t see all the kick marks from shoes.
Check back on later blog entries to see the finished, installed product.
This table top had been in use for a couple generations and was completely worn out. Furthermore, because of the heavy use and accumulation of oils, grease, furniture polish and who knows what else, the finish had become soft and gooey.
Sooooo… As a starting point we had to sand the top all the way back to bare wood. In this case we didn’t chemically strip it because we were saving the original hand painted skirt. Yes it was all heavy sanding and elbow grease. After we sanded it back we wiped it down many times with lacquer thinner to ensure we’d gotten any remaining chemical residue off the wood. This remaining residue can wreck havoc on a new finish.
Building the brown base color was fairly straightforward and we sealed this in with a couple coats of lacquer. However the slightly blueish/gray haze that was originally on the table proved the most challenging aspect to reproduce. After experimenting with various methods we finally were able to tint our lacquer such that we achieved the desired affect. After getting the haze just right, we we then covered the entire surface with a few more coats of lacquer.