Refinishing old, damaged kitchen cabinets on a budget

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Old 04-02-14, 08:32 PM
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Question Refinishing old, damaged kitchen cabinets on a budget

Hi, I'm planning a project to give the kitchen a facelift. My parents have been living here for 20 years and never did anything to improve the kitchen. The house was built in the 50s and it's very likely that the kitchen cabinets are as old as the house. It would be ideal to just demo the whole thing and get brand new everything but unfortunately, I can't afford that. I'm just tired of seeing the kitchen the way that is but I want to improve it somehow so I'm just going to work with what I have.

The plan: Refinish the cabinets and replace all the hardware. Wall cabinets will be painted white and base cabinets will be painted a dark navy.

What I'm working with: These cabinets are old and have multiple layers of paint on them. I'm a beginning DIYer so I don't know what exactly is on them of what type of wood they are made of. Attached is a picture of a base cabinet drawer that was chewed on by one of our old dogs. You can see the different layers of paint and the exposed wood. Any idea what type? Other damage isn't as bad as the chewed corners. They consist of scratches and dings. The inside of the cabinets are unfinished. They're just lined with contact paper. I would love to paint the insides too but I'm guessing that would be too much work. I'll likely be doing all the work myself.
Also attached are pictures of the hinges (left image is with door closed). Pretty much all the hinges have been painted over. Some cabinets have latches as well. Those are also painted over. Different types of latches were used. Some use magnets and the others...I don't know what you call them. On the door is a metal piece that then goes in between something else attached to the inside of the cabinet. Jeez, I'm such a newbie. Every cabinet uses a 3 inch pull.

What I need help with: What I know that I have to do is sand, prime, and paint all the cabinets but I'm unsure about the details.
-How do I repair the chewed corners? Does wood filler go on before sanding?
-How do I know how much to sand? When will I know when to stop? What sandpaper grit should I use? Can I use an orbital sander? The edges of the doors are rounded(?); can I use the sander on them or do I use a sanding sponge?
-Should I use shellac to prime?
-I want durable cabinets but I don't want a glossy sheen. What sheen will provide me with the least sheen but with durability?
-After the paint is on, does something else go on? Like something to make them more durable?
-What do you call the type of cabinet doors that I have? They aren't flat on the backside. They kinda go into the cabinet. Does the door type even matter?
-What type of hinges do I have? Do I have to use the same type of hinges? I like the non-magnetic latches best. Can those only be used in certain cabinets (I ask because only some cabinets have them)?
-What is the best way to make sure that the correct door is returned to the correct cabinet? If I label them, I'll later have to take the labels off to sand/paint them.
-When working on a project like this what are some of the major don'ts—the mistakes most people make?

I went online and made a list of everything that I will need for this project and came up with $250. Affordable is the key word here.

Thank you for reading!
 
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Old 04-03-14, 05:13 AM
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The first thing you need to do is determine what type of paint is currently on the cabinets - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...latex-oil.html Knowing what type of paint you have will let us know what type of primer you'll need.

It's going to be difficult to repair the corner of the door. Those types of areas take more abuse so it's possible the filler might get knocked loose. I'd look at some of the epoxy fillers. Minor scratches/dings can be filled with spackling, even joint compound. Generally it's best to sand the area a little before applying the filler so it will adhere better. Whatever filler you use will have instructions on the label.

I'd probably start sanding with 80 grit and finish up with 120 or 150 grit. While it can be hand sanded, an electric sander is a lot easier/quicker.

You need to get the same style [how it bends] of hinge. I don't know the proper name for those type of doors but they are the same as my shop cabinets [came out of an old house] I like to take a magic marker and number the doors/frame behind the hinge.

Oil base enamels are the most durable but whites will yellow. Waterborne enamels dry almost as hard but don't yellow. There is a wide range when it comes to latex enamels, the cheap ones are prone to chip and peel, the quality latex enamels, not so much. I'd use a waterborne enamel although it is generally the most expensive of the 3 types of paint.
 
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Old 04-03-14, 11:53 AM
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marksr, thanks for the reply. I tested out the paint and I found that the top layer is water based but I believe that the second layer is oil based. I have no idea about the subsequent. I put some denatured alcohol on the hinges as well to see if the paint would come of but unfortunately, it didn't. How do I go about removing the paint so i could unscrew those suckers?

I see what you're saying about chewed corners. I'll discuss it with my parents. Maybe they will decide to get those refaced.

Is spackling the same stuff you can use to repair holes in walls?

How do I know when to stop sanding? Do I sand till I get to bare wood?

How do you know if it's a quality latex enamel before you buy it? I've got a home depot and OSH near me. Any recommendations on latex paint? I'll look into the waterborne enamel and see if I could extend my budget.

I'm also going to be painting the walls. Should I work on the cabinets before the walls?
 
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Old 04-03-14, 12:01 PM
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oh oh and is eggshell or satin an appropriate sheen?
 
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Old 04-03-14, 02:16 PM
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What sheen to use is mostly personal preference, I like semi-gloss or gloss. The shinier the finish the more it will show defects in the finish so satin or semi would probably be best.

Spackling is what you use for nail holes and minor wall repairs, it can also be used on small divets and grooves in woodwork.

Since you intend to repaint there is no need to sand it all down to bare wood. It would be nice if you can sand it all smooth. Spackling where needed can reduce the amount of sanding needed. Since it sounds like you have latex over oil enamel, I'd probably start with 60 grit and remove what I could of the latex, then use an oil base primer followed by your choice of top coat. it might be easier to paint the cabinets first, then the walls but it really doesn't make a big difference.

Paint is like most things, the good stuff costs more I don't often buy coatings at a big box, they tend to stock coatings based more on low price than quality I'm sure their best is better than their cheapest. Your local paint stores will have the best coatings although they also sell the cheap stuff too.

Usually you can chip the paint off of the screw heads. Sometimes all you need to do is set your screw driver in place and rap it with a hammer.
 
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Old 04-03-14, 02:45 PM
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Just checked and there's a Sherwin-Williams and a Kelly-Moore nearby. Which is better?
 
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Old 04-03-14, 02:48 PM
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I know more about SWP than I do KellyMoore but I suspect both have equally good coatings. The main thing is to get their mid line or better, most every store also sells cheap stuff not fit to be called paint
 
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Old 04-04-14, 06:34 PM
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Just a little update: Today I went to HD, OSH, and Kelly-Moore. I bought a pull to see what it would look like in the kitchen. I'm happy with it. I learned that I have inset hinges (3/8). I got a packet of those as well. None of the places I visited had waterborne paint. I'll have to check Sherwin-Williams for that so I can compare all my choices. I bought two paint samples from KM--one for the wall and the other for the base cabinets.

Once I make all my choices, I just have to wait for it to stop to rain and then I can start this project.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 09:06 PM
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I've started sanding the cabinet doors. The latex paint comes off well enough but boy is that oil based paint a pain. On some doors, I can sand some of it off but then on others doors i feel that nothing much happens.

I already bought the paint for the doors. I went with Sherwin Williams so I could take advantage of their 40% off sale. I still need to buy the primer, however. I keep reading about shellac primer. Is that better than oil based primer? What should I use to apply the primer?

Regarding the spackling, the cabinets have dings all over. I can see the deep ones but the shallow ones are hard to spot. Should I just put spackling all over the door and just swipe the putty knife over the whole thing? Is that a good strategy to ensure that I fill all the dings?

I still haven't bought any of the painting supplies. What do I use to apply the paint?
 
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Old 04-17-14, 06:03 AM
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You don't need to remove all the paint to get it ready for primer, as long as any loose paint is removed and the surface looks decent - that should be fine. You could skim spackling or most any filler over the doors but it's important to sand off any filler that isn't needed, the filler will be a weak point. Works ok in divots/grooves but is likely to fail on flat surfaces, especially larger areas.

Pigmented shellac [like Zinnser's BIN] is the ultimate adhesion and stain hiding primer and dries fast. It does have a stronger odor than oil base and can be a little hard to brush neatly. I'd probably use an oil base primer on your cabinets.

I generally use a brush when repainting cabinets but a small roller can also be used. If you are adverse to the stipple a roller leaves you can 'tip off' the rolled paint with a brush [lightly brush over the wet rolled paint] Solvent base coatings work best when using a natural bristle brush. We often use an old natural bristle brush in pigmented shellac and then throw it away as it's hard to clean up shellac [because it dries fast] and requires denatured alcohol for clean up. I like a polyester/nylon bristle blend for latex and waterborne coatings.
 
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