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Resurface Kitchen Cabinets for a New Look

 Kitchen InteriorChanging the look of kitchen cabinets can have a dramatic impact on the look of your kitchen and can be accomplished without ripping out and installing new cabinets.
A popular way to update an outdated cabinet is to resurface or reface them.
Resurfacing can be done using a wood veneer over existing cabinet boxes.
Van Dyke’s offers many patterns and wood types of wood veneers including oak, walnut, birch, mahogany, maple, cherry, and teak. The veneer is applied using contact cement.
  1. Apply the cement to the veneer and substrate following the manufacturer’s instructions and allow to set.
  2. Align the two elements. This must be right the first time as you will not be able to slide the pieces once they have touched.
  3. Using maximum pressure, roll the veneer smooth by starting in the center and working out toward the edges using a veneer roller.
  4. Still using maximum pressure, smooth the surface with a smoothing blade/scraper.
  5. Now, turn your piece upside down and use a razor knife to trim the excess veneer using the edges of the substrate as your guide.
  6. Allow piece to cure.


Many cabinets can achieve a fresh look by stripping away old paint and varnish and reapplying.

Here is a quick prlacquering of surface of beech table top by paint brushimer on this process:

  1. Spread drop cloth around the cabinets.
  2. Protective equipment – Put on rubber gloves and mask or respirator.
  3. Make sure windows are open and there is plenty of ventilation.
  4. Apply the stripper with a paint brush to the surface and let it stand until it becomes gel-like.
  5. Scrape the gelled finish off the cabinetsusing a paint scraper working from the top down.
  6. Clean corners and accent lines using toothpicks or sticks that fit the profile.
  7. Sand with 100-grit sandpaper either by hand or using an electric hand sander.
  8. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  9. Apply stain to cabinets with a sponge and wipe with a dry cloth.
  10. Wait at least an hour to dry and finish with a spray lacquer, applying multiple coats.
Another popular way to cwire-grillewirwe grille_new (2)hange the look of cabinets is with decorative wire grilles. These panels are made from steel wires that are crimped and woven to create unique designs.
They come in many patterns and finishes and add a stylish look to cabinets.
By cutting out the center of some of the cabinet doors and installing wire grilles, you will create a change in texture and break up a continuous cabinet arrangement.
Van Dyke’s Restorers offers over 70 styles and patterns of decorative wire grills to complement any design style. For more on decorative wire grilles, check out our prvious blog on wire grilles.


A simple change in cabinet knobs and pulls will change the look of your cabinets. There are literally thousands of styles of knobs from rustic to modern. They come in many metal choices including solid brass, zinc, and more.
There are also glass and jewel options. Many cabinet pulls also have matching appliance pulls so you can coordinate the look.

About Larry Padgett

Larry is an award-winning journalist and photo journalist with over 35 years of experience. He has written for a number of industries including healthcare, die casting, construction, home restoration, sports, education, and religion. He is a copywriter and blogger for Van Dyke's Restorers.

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