Can I refurbish my kitchen cabinets?

I live in a house that was built in the 1950's and it exists in Baytown, Texas which is just outside of Houston. It is a ranch style home. My wife and I have been thinking of either replacing or refurbishing our kitchen cabinets. I had an estimate from Sears for a refacing job. The refacing along with a new corian counter came up to 10k. The estimator indicated that because our kitchen cabinets are "built in", they are made of excellent wood. I have also had estimates from Lowe's for replacement of the cabinets. There costs, while cheaper, are not substantially less than Sears.
My question is.... Can I do something to refurbish my cabinets so that there is an effective upgrade? I am very handy (In the last year, I sheetrocked all of the ceiling on the first floor of my house, and I refinished all of my hardwood floors with polyurethane), but I have not done any cabinet work. Additionally, as I am semi-retired, I have a lot more time than most do. Please send along your opinions.
Al Kondo
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Al Kondo wrote:

You left out a couple of factors that would help.
Why do you want to refurbish the cabinets? Dirty, wrong color, too light or dark, just tired of them? Are they mechanically solid? Do they server your current needs other than looks?
What else do you want to do with your kitchen? Change arrangement? New countertops? Floor?
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Joseph E. Meehan

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They must be stripped to be done properly, bring a door to a furniture refinisher to get an idea of price and looks. Spraying a finish will give best results. You may or may not have good wood worth refinishing. Get pro advise.
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Do you really have to strip them? I understand if you want to re-stain them you would need to do that but what about priming them and giving them a nice paint job? - maybe some sort of faux finish.

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The grease imbedded in the finish is what could be a future problem. If you can really clean it good then prime and paint, Some old cabinets are well kept up, some the finish is junk. If the old finish is ok and doesnt come off with your nails then ok paint if its soft and removes easily especialy around handles and knobs it has to be stripped . Over many years grease and oil usualy penetrate finishes ruining them, every job is different.
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In answer to a question from a respondent, my wife and I just want to update the cabinets so that they look better. The wood of the "boxes" are in excellent shape. The cabinet doors, however, need some help. They have some sort of thin veneer which has been coming off for some time now. The veneer is of wood color and has been cracking. I am not sure what to do with them. Can I replace them if they are not worth saving? Can the veneer be removed and new veneer used to replace it? I am wondering if there is something I can place over the existing "boxes" to give it a different look. Presently, they are painted white and pretty simple. Any thoughts or suggestions will be welcomed.
Al Kondo
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"Al Kondo"

I have yet to see a refinish job I though looked good. Just me, though. It's a shortcut, and looks like it, IMO. Refacing? Seems you have to pay someone to do that - and if you were to do it yourself, you'd spend a similar amount of time as ripping out and re-installing fresh new cabinets. You'd also still be stuck with your old drawers and that funny smell in the back of the cabinets. A kitchen's worth of cabinets should come to a lot less than 10k, unless you have a really large and sophisticated kitchen. 4-5 k for nice ones seems about par. Hanging kitchen cabinets is a hell of lot easier than hanging and finishing drywall on a ceiling, IMO.
- Nate
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Al Kondo wrote:

Bad news. Likely you can't salvage them or re-finish them. The stuff coming off may have been veneer or a printed paper product. In either case, it is now in bad shape. You can't really fix what is missing or stop the rest from coming off. You could take it all off, but I doubt if you will find anything worthwhile finishing under it. They seldom use anything of value under a veneer or other covering. About your only hope is that the stuff peeling off was put there by someone who just wanted to change something that was there.

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Joseph E. Meehan

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Al:
AK> I live in a house that was built in the 1950's and it exists in AK> Baytown, Texas which is just outside of Houston. It is a ranch style AK> home. My wife and I have been thinking of either replacing or AK> refurbishing our kitchen cabinets. I had an estimate from Sears for AK> a refacing job. The refacing along with a new corian counter came up AK> to 10k. The estimator indicated that because our kitchen cabinets AK> are "built in", they are made of excellent wood. I have also had AK> estimates from Lowe's for replacement of the cabinets. There costs, AK> while cheaper, are not substantially less than Sears. AK> AK> My question is.... Can I do something to refurbish my cabinets so that AK> there is an effective upgrade? I am very handy (In the last year, I AK> sheetrocked all of the ceiling on the first floor of my house, and I AK> refinished all of my hardwood floors with polyurethane), but I have AK> not done any cabinet work. Additionally, as I am semi-retired, I have AK> a lot more time than most do. Please send along your opinions. You might be able to do something as simple as replacing the cabinet fronts and hardware. A veneer may work to revitalize the cabinet exteriors.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* Politically Corrections: Homeless = Optionally Residential
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RoseReader 2.52 P003186
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I agree. I had thought about replacing a built in vanity in one of our bathrooms. It would be a PITA to do so, but instead I'm going to put on a veneer, new drawer fronts and new doors. I'm getting to be a decent woodworker so I'm going to make my own.
You may want to consider having the doors made if they cannot be bought as a "standard" size. Perhaps you can find a local woodworker to make them. Even at 20 doors for $50 or $75 each, it would be far less than a commercial product. It is also far less intrusive than ripping out the entire kitchen. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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wrote in message here you have it folks 2 of the biggest losers in AHR (especially barry the martian) maybe these 2 idiots should write their own "How NOT to do it" book because their insane advice is USELESS!
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wrote in message

Oh my! I'm just so flattered that you noticed me and my advice. Sometimes when you post a reply you wonder if anyone ever sees it. Well, you gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling just knowing you read every word I write. I'm glad you were finally able to have an erection also.
Well, ta, ta for now. Your friend, Eddie.
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Hi Joe!
JB> << barry.martin AT thesafebbs.zeppole.com >> JB> JB> An orphan post, Barry. Can't you use "post to newsgroup" in your reader? At this point in time my access is via my BBS, on to a host system near Atlanta, on to the main site in Brooklyn. Some people are not having difficulties maintaining the threads, others are. Must be an additional factor. (Please note I am not saying you are wrong nor right, merely thinking there may be another factor.)
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* Disaster Movies: "Coffee Shortage!"
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The Safe BBS Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
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