How to Reface your Kitchen or Bathroom Using Products From Rawdoors.net
Cabinet refacing (the process of replacing your existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with brand new ones) is the fastest, easiest, and most economical means available to dramatically change the look of any kitchen, bathroom, or other area with built in cabinets.
A properly executed reface job will make any old cabinetry look brand new in a matter of days. Most kitchens - even large ones - can be completely refaced in less than 3 days time. Refacing can completely change the look of your existing kitchen by transforming your cabinets via the application of new wood species, door and drawer styles, and stain or paint finishes. You can even add popular finish techniques such as glazing or distressing. The only limits are your imagination and willingness to give the process a try. Fortunately, the skill level required to complete a successful reface job is well within reach of the average do it yourselfer.
Please review the step by step instructions below to determine whether refacing is a good option for your next home remodeling project.
If you want your new doors and drawers to fit like your old ones, then you can order your new doors and drawers in the same size as your old ones that you are replacing. If you do not have old or existing doors or drawer fronts then you will need to decide how much of the cabinet face frame you want your new drawer fronts to overlap. The portion of a drawer or door front that overlaps the cabinet face frame behind it is known as the "overlay". Add the overlay dimension to the opening size the door or drawer front will cover when it is installed. For example, if you decide to cover 1/2" of face frame all the way around the perimeter of a door or drawer, then you would add one inch to the height and width dimensions of the opening that the new door or drawer-front is going to cover. When you install the door or drawer front, if you center it over the opening it should overlay the face-frame 1/2" all the way around the perimeter of the opening it covers. Of course, if you would prefer to change the overlay, you may do so as long you leave enough room between adjoining doors and drawer fronts so that they can still function. An exception to the rule above on, calculating overlays, would be butt doors. A cabinet with butt doors is one that has both a left and right door with no center mullion between the two. In this case if you wish to use a 1/2" overlay on a cabinet with a 30 inch opening you would add 7/16" to each door. You arrive at this number by starting out with the idea that you want to maintain a 1/8" gap between the two doors when they are shut. Therefore, you add 1/2" minus 1/16" = 7/16" to each side. This results in ordering two doors both sized 15-7/16" wide to cover a 30" wide cabinet opening and butt together leaving a 1/8" gap in the middle.
In most kitchens the ends of at least a few cabinet boxes may be seen from the side of the cabinet i.e. at the end of a line of cabinets. In all kitchens with face frame type cabinetry the face frames of the cabinets (the solid wood portion of the cabinet face that the doors and drawer close against) are visible to varying degrees. To complete the look of your newly refaced kitchen you will need to make all exposed face frames and finished ends match the finish that you plan to apply to your cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
When you plan to make the color of your new doors and drawer fronts match that of your existing cabinet: You do not need to worry about changing your finished ends or face frames. You only need to concern yourself with making the new doors and drawer fronts match the existing cabinets.
When you plan to finish your new doors and drawer fronts with a solid color (i.e. white paint or black paint): The simplest solution for matching ends and face frames is to paint these to match.
When you plan to stain your new doors and drawer fronts a different color than your existing cabinets: You must take a couple of additional steps to ensure a good match with your finished ends and face frames. First you will want to order 1/4" plywood veneered to match the same wood species as your doors and drawer fronts from the rawdoors.net website. You will use this material by finishing it to match your new doors and drawer fronts, then applying it to your exposed ends. Next, you will also need to order some PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) veneer sheets in the same wood species as your doors and drawer fronts. This material should be finished to match your doors and drawer fronts as well. It will then be used to cover the face frames on your existing cabinets.
Please take a moment to thoroughly inspect your shipment to ensure that you have received everything you ordered and that it is in good condition. Should you find and damage or discrepancies please contact our customer service immediately via email or live chat accessed through our website.
It is now time to finish all of the wood materials you have received prior to beginning the installation process. If you are not an experienced wood finisher and need help determining what products and techniques should be used to obtain your desired result please visit your local specialty finish retailer such as Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc. Due to the wide variety of finish types on today’s market we feel it is best for our customers to work directly with a local finish supplier to complete their product rather than for us to attempt to communicate this type of information remotely.
Step One: Begin the installation process by removing all of the existing doors and drawer fronts from the cabinets to be refaced. If you are replacing moldings or other items you should remove them as well at this time.
Step Two: Prepare your face frames. If you plan to paint your existing face frames and exposed ends with a solid paint color then now is the time to do so. If you plan to cover your existing face frames with veneered plywood and PSA veneer that you have stained to match your doors and drawer fronts then you will want to proceed as follows. Using 150 grit sandpaper scuff all cabinet surfaces that will be covered in new material. The point of this is to eliminate the “slick” finished surface of your cabinets without going entirely through the finish that is there. You want to rough up the existing surface in order to allow the adhesive (water soluble contact adhesive) a suitable surface to bind to, but you do not want to sand the existing surfaces to bare wood because contact adhesive will not bind to bare wood.
Step Three: If you are painting your existing face frames a solid color or leaving them as is and matching the new doors and drawer fronts to them, then please skip to the next step. If you are going to be installing plywood and PSA veneers then now is the time to do so. You should begin by cutting the veneered plywood to size to cover all of your exposed ends. Once you have completed measuring and cutting for each end install the veneered plywood using contact adhesive and a brad nailer to hold the panel in place while the contact adhesive sets up. Take care to scribe the back edge of each panel as close as possible to the wall it butts up to. Remember that if you cannot make this panel fit to your satisfaction due to imperfections the wall surface you may choose to cover the resulting seam with scribe molding which you can order on www.rawdooors.net website. After you have installed all of your end panels you are ready to begin the installation of the PSA veneers to cover the face frames of your cabinets. The simplest way to perform this portion of the job is to cut strips of PSA slightly wider (1/4" or so) than the width of the stiles and rails on the cabinets you are going to install them on. To begin your install choose a cabinet at the end of a run and work systematically from one end to the other until you have finished every cabinet along a particular wall. If the cabinet you begin with has a newly installed end panel cut from your 1/4" veneered plywood you will want to cover the exposed edge of this veneer with your PSA skin. To do so cut a piece strip of PSA wide enough to overlap both the outside (exposed end panel side) and inside (inside the cabinet side) of the cabinet stile by approximately 1/4". If your cabinets have 1-1/2" stiles then this strip should be approximately 2-1/4" wide (1-1/2" w stile + 1/4" to overlap veneered plywood applied to exposed end of cabinet + 1/4" to provide room to trim outside of strip + 1/4" to provide room to trim inside of strip = 2-1/4"). After you have the first strip cut slightly oversized as detailed above in both width and length you are ready to apply water soluble contact adhesive to both the face frame the first strip will be glued to and the back of the PSA itself. Be sure to follow the directions on the water soluble contact adhesive container with regard to "open time" or the amount of time you must let the contact adhesive sit exposed to the air before applying the PSA over it. When the contact adhesive has properly applied and allowed adequate open time begin at the top of the face frame by placing the top of the PSA strip over the stile and end panel and centering it so that it overlaps both sides equally. Once you have the end of the PSA strip started simply apply as much pressure as you are able a slowly push the remaining portion of the strip onto the surface of the cabinet face frame working from top to bottom. Once you have the first strip in place, use a hard rubber roller to smooth it out and apply further pressure to the piece ensuring a good bond. After your first strip is glued firmly in place, trim the excess veneer from each side using a utility knife with a sharp razor blade. You can use a metal straight edge or the face frame of the cabinet itself as a guide for your blade to follow when doing this. Go slow and be careful to make a clean straight cut and avoid gouging the face frame or the surface of any exposed end. Be sure to begin your trim cut at the top of the glued on PSA strip and go right down the joint where the stile and rail of the existing face frame meet. After your first PSA strip is in place, you can proceed to glue strips over the remaining cabinets in the job using the same method as detailed above.
Step Four: At this point all of your face frames should be finished to match the color (and if you are staining and using veneers the wood species) of your new doors and drawers. To reface drawer heads with four sided drawer boxes behind them remove the existing drawer head from the drawer box, center the new drawer head in place observing you desired overlay dimensions and screw the new drawer head in place. To reface drawer heads with three sided drawer boxes behind them (meaning the drawer head itself makes up the fourth side with no side behind it) you will need to trim the edges off of the existing drawer head to make them flush with the edges of the drawer box behind it. After you have done this you can screw the new drawer head over the top of the existing one making sure to center it in place and observe your desired overlay dimensions.
Step Five: You are now ready to install your new doors. To do this you will want to determine what is the proper dimension from the inside top and bottom of you face frame to the center of pilot hole you will need to drill in the face frame to attach your hinge screws. Determine this dimension by taking into account your desired overlay and the location at which the hinges are installed from the top and bottom of your doors. After you have determined the proper location for each hinge pilot hole on your face frames make or buy a template to allow you to quickly drill each hole necessary to install door hinges on your face frames. After you have finished boring all necessary face frame hinge holes all you need to do is install the hinges on your doors, and then screw the door hinges onto the face frames and do any necessary final adjustments to align them with each other.
Step Six: It is now time template and drill for cabinet door and drawer knobs and pulls. After this is done you can install the knobs and pulls on each of your doors and drawer fronts.
Step Seven: Many basic reface jobs will be finished at this point. However, if your job involves the installation of crown molding or other accessory items now would be the time to complete these misc. install tasks.