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options for refinishing kitchen cabinets

What Are Your Options for Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets?

Sometimes, you need to switch things around in your home to make it a more pleasant space to dwell. A sizable portion of that focus tends to go to living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms because we spend so much time in them. However, in a world where homeowners are becoming more conscious of the waste we create, many homes are rightfully embracing sustainability and recycling.

One way to improve your home’s aesthetics includes updating kitchen cabinets with different finishes instead of replacing them. A kitchen remodel contractor in Danville, CA, often has several options for refinishing kitchen cabinets that brighten your space. Here, we’ll explore the various ways to refinish kitchen cabinets, which can help your kitchen look even better than when you first designed it.

Five Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Choices

New methods of restyling your cabinets give you many options to choose from. The resulting finishes differ from each other, so you don’t have to feel confined by any one style. Try reviewing photos of each refinishing style to confirm which suits your style best.

#1. Repainting Your Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets may need a new coat of paint to alter the style of your kitchen. With paint, you can protect the underlying surface from moisture and prevent minor damage, like scratches and degradation related to sun exposure. Depending on the type of paint you use, you may be able to scrub your cabinets with soap and water, making maintaining a safe kitchen easier.

Style-wise, paint gives you nearly infinite options, from the color to the finish. You can choose any color on the visible scale and one of five sheen options:

  • Gloss: A highly durable gloss finish tends to be easy to clean. However, it can make cabinet door flaws more noticeable due to the shine.
  • Semi-Gloss: Semi-gloss sheens also have high durability, though less than gloss, and they retain the easy cleaning. This type of finish works well in kitchens and bathrooms due to mildew resistance.
  • Satin: Satin finishes tend to be less durable than the previous types. It also doesn’t have the same amount of reflectivity as the others, which can work in your favor.
  • Eggshell: Eggshell finishes have lower durability, making them harder to clean. Even so, the lower gloss makes them resistant to fingerprints and able to hide paint imperfections.
  • Matte/Flat: Matte or flat sheens typically go on ceilings due to their low durability and how difficult it can be to clean them. Even so, they require fewer coats of paint, so you can replace them easily.

Consider what color you want your kitchen to be and choose the type of finish that suits you best. For wetter areas like the kitchen, a semi-gloss or gloss paint tends to work best because of the water resistance.

#2. Adding Cabinet Wood Stains

If you have natural wood cabinet doors you don’t want to paint over, you still have options for refinishing kitchen cabinets without changing too much. For example, a wood stain could accentuate the door’s natural beauty without adding too much color. They typically come in variations of brown and tan when they color the wood.

As one of the best finishes for cabinet refinishing, wood stains come in three opacity levels.

#1. Transparent

Transparent stains absorb into the wood doors. Because of their absorption, they don’t change the cabinet’s color. Instead, they show the cabinet’s natural wood grain to accentuate the already present appearance.

However, transparent stains offer the least when it comes to surface protection. The absorption means the stain leaves less on the surface to fend off scratches and radiation damage from the sun.

#2. Solid

On the other end of the spectrum, solid stains don’t absorb into the wood grain. Instead, like paint, it forms a filmy layer on top of the wood that protects the underlying surface. It still has a naturalistic appearance, but you do cover some of the wood’s features when using a solid stain.

Even so, it gives your wood surfaces the most protection out of the other staining options.

#3. Semi-Transparent

Like with paint, this transitional state offers the best of both transparent and solid wood stains. It lacks the same durability as a solid stain but improves its durability compared to transparent options. Some of the wood grain shows through, compared to none with solid stains, allowing some of the wood’s natural beauty to shine.

#3. Try a Stylish Laminate

Laminates increase your refinishing cabinet material options by covering the surface of the cabinet doors with a hard, decorative sheet made of blended plastic and paper materials. This works well for low-cost, mass-produced cabinets, which can gain extra protection by resisting corrosive chemicals, scratches, and dents.

Laminates come in various colors and textures, with some mimicking wood grains, similar to vinyl flooring. Laminates can also mimic stone, metal, and other materials while protecting the actual composition.

#4. Use a Glaze for Extra Emphasis

A glaze can be divisive among the options for refinishing kitchen cabinets. Glazes add shadow and dimension to cabinet doors, accentuating divots and corners in the door’s design. Many kitchen remodel contractors use a glaze in addition to paint or stains, but this option can also work alone as well.

The slight darkening and defining of these angles often give the cabinets a more vintage appearance without the wear and tear of age. Your cabinets can be in top condition without needing repairs while giving the area a well-lived-in look.

#5. Trying Lacquer on Kitchen Cabinets

Lacquer paint doesn’t work the same way traditional paint does. This bright, transparent coating thickens into a hardened layer over the surface of the cabinet. Lacquer doesn’t add color so much as it adds different levels of sheen depending on the type of finish:

  • Matte reduces reflectivity for a dimmer but neat appearance
  • Gloss increases reflectivity for a shiny, sharp appearance
  • Metallic increases reflectivity and shine with additional glints of reflected light

Its enhanced flexibility makes it a great option for rooms that change temperatures often, like a kitchen. However, this material can be less durable than other options, requiring you to replace or redo it within 12 years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Refinishing

Can I refinish a kitchen as a DIY project?

While you can do a DIY kitchen cabinet makeover, you may face difficulties due to inexperience working with the materials needed. Because Danville has a Mediterranean climate, high humidity levels alter how paints, lacquers, and other finishes behave and dry. Moreover, you may have to start over several times if you don’t remember certain steps during the process, like cleaning and sanding the cabinet doors.

How long does it take to refinish kitchen cabinets?

It can take several hours to several days to refinish kitchen cabinets depending on various factors, including:

  • How many cabinets that need refinishing
  • What type of finish you want on the cabinets
  • Your availability to allow the refinishers to work

Instead, you should ask for a quote from several reputable kitchen refinishing contractors to weigh your options for refinishing kitchen cabinets.

How do you find a reputable kitchen refinishing contractor?

You can find a reputable kitchen refinishing contractor by asking to see results from previous projects. Also, remember to question them about their insurance coverage, check the reviews of their service, and compare their prices to other local companies of similar size and quality.

So, before you start staining laminated cabinets, contact Kitchen Concepts to discuss your kitchen refinishing plans with Californian experts. See the best we can offer and how we can improve your kitchen and comfort.

Tyler Fraser

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