Refresh or Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets

by Julie McGee 12/15/2019

Photo by Jafar Mansuri on Unsplash

To resurface or replace? That's the question. Consider replacing if:

  • They have significant water or humidity damage.
  • They're poorly constructed and/or falling apart.
  • The design frustrates. You could do better starting over.
  • The style can't be easily updated, for example, floral moldings.
  • The cost to refinish is more than new cabinets. It can be.
  • Otherwise, you may want to refinish what you have to make your cabinets.

    How to Replace Cabinets

    Replacing cabinets rarely involves building them yourself. Most kitchen remodeling professionals don't even do that. You can purchase pre-made cabinets. They'll fit in most kitchen. But don't forget to measure.

    Start by evaluating how the cabinets are attached. Most cabinets simply unscrew from the wall for clean removal. You can now hang new ones in their place. But remember, if you need to stain or finish, always do that and let them dry before hanging. It will just be easier when they're on the floor or a work table.

    If it's just the hardware you don't like, consider replacing it instead of the whole cabinet. That's generally a small job that just needs a screwdriver and new handles.

    How to Give Cabinets a New Look

    A coat of paint or stain can work wonders. But know that refinishing actually takes a lot longer than hanging new. Plan for three to eight weekends of work and a semi-functional kitchen during that time. The more cabinets, the longer it will take. Let's get started

  • Choose your resurfacing medium. Polyurethane, varnish, paint, lacquer, shellac, penetrating oil or vinyl are all excellent choices. Purchase this, a stripping agent, clothes and brushes and your local home supply.
  • Ventilate. Open some windows and turn on your stove vent to keep the smells from overpowering you. Safety first.
  • Clean the surfaces. They may have collected years of grease, dust and hand oil.
  • Protect your kitchen by laying down plastic 
  • Remove the hardware and soak it in soapy water. Scrub it, if needed. But a good soak should do most of the work.
  • Strip & refinish the cabinets according to the instructions on the finish you choose. If you're getting creative with alternating colors or finishes, you may want to remove the doors and lay painter tape to create crisp contrasts between shade. 
  • Once dry, replace your glistening hardware. And you're done. 
  • *Pro tip* Some woods soak up oils like a sponge, so you might need multiple coats to achieve the desired look. That's one reason the job takes multiple weekends since each layer must dry.

    About the Author
    Author

    Julie McGee

    My Client-First Philosophy

    There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional - integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of how I work.

    These skills take years to develop and require continual experience and education. I've been practicing real estate FULL TIME in the Tampa Bay area since 1996 and have established myself as one of the areas top 10%. Time in the business, full time experience working both sides of the Bay and dedication to continued education set me apart from other realtors. My customers receive the highest level of expertise and service with complete confidence that they have chosen the right person for the job!      

    As a Tampa real estate professional, I've also found that providing the very best service is essentially about putting my clients first. This means keeping myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to your needs. After 15 years in the business I left corporate first real estate to start my company, Tampa Home Sales, Inc. As a corporate company agent I struggled time and again with their changing policies and added customer fees that were mandated in the interest of the "company" that imposed unnessary financial burden on my customers and inhibited my ability to work with customers in a manner that meets their individual needs. Every buyer and seller has a different set of circumstances and deserves the attention and services that are as individual as they are.         

    This "client first" philosophy has always been my approach and it requires me to continually improve my skills and ways of doing business. In addition, I've found that the latest nonproprietary technologies are enabling me to do everything I've always done, only much more quickly and efficiently. They've also helped me to extend the range of services I provide to my clients.

    So when you decide that you'd like to buy or sell a home ANYWHERE in the Tampa Bay area; from South Tampa, Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Channel Side, Beach Park, So Ho, Bayshore, Bayshore Beautiful, Golfview Estates, Parkland Estates, MacDill, Carrollwood, Westchase, Seminole Heights, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Brandon, Valrico, Riverview, Lutz, Land O'Lakes to across the Bay cities of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Largo and the Pinellas County Beaches, please contact me. 

    I KNOW Tampa Bay!