There are some basic tools that you will want to make sure you have on hand before you actually begin your refacing project.
- Utility Knife: Make sure you have plenty of sharp blades for this as well. You will use it to trim the excess off the self adhesive veneer, and a sharp blade is crucial for a clean cut.
- Screwdriver: Used to install and remover drawer hardware. Keep a flat head and a Phillips handy.
- Cordless Drill/Driver: This tool will make the process of taking down and re-hanging doors much faster. You will also need the drill function in order to make the holes for the hardware on your new doors and drawers.
- Handsaw: If you have a three-sided drawer box (which we'll help you identify later), you will need a handsaw to cut away the excess material on the existing drawer front.
- Tape Measure: You're going to use this a lot. Keep it on your belt so you don't spend all day looking for it.
- Level: The level will be used to make sure that the tops of your new cabinet doors are even.
- Clamps: When you glue the new end panels into place, it is a good idea to apply some light pressure with a clamps. Make sure that the clamps have a rubber foot on them so they don't damage the end panel. If they don't have clamps, use a small piece of wood as a buffer.
- Brad Nailer: This pneumatic tool will be very helpful when installing the new drawer fronts and end panels. While the job can be completed without it by using a good old fashioned hammer and nails, it will make things go much faster.
- Hammer: Even if you do have a brad nailer, you will still want to have a hammer on your belt. You may need to tack things into place temporarily, especially when installing molding, and the hammer and some finish nails are great for this job.
- Nails: Keep some #4d finish nails in your apron. They can be used for applying end panels, hanging molding, and attaching drawer fronts.
- Screws: If you are using new hinges, screws should come with them. You will also need screws to secure your new hardware and pulls to the drawers.
- Small Pry Bar: Ideally, you should find a 6" pry bar. You are going to use this to pull the old drawer fronts away from the drawer box. It should just be tacked on with brads and won't require a tremendous amount of force.
- Wood Glue: You will need to use this when applying the plywood end panels, as they are not self-adhesive like the veneer.
- Straight Edge: You will use this as a guide when cutting the veneer.
- Pencil: Pretty self explanatory, but it can be maddening when you don't have one.
- Miter Saw: A power miter saw is ideal for cutting the angles that you need in order to install your molding. If you don't have access to one, you can certainly get by with a hand held saw and an inexpensive miter box that will allow you to cut 45 degree angles.
- Table/Circular Saw: A table saw is ideal for cutting end panels. It allows you to get the straightest and most accurate cut possible. If you don't have access to a table saw, then a circular saw will do. Make sure you cut the piece so that the cut end is up against the wall, just in case you don't get a perfectly straight cut.
Continue to Part 3: Cabinet Boxes and Hardware >
Brian Simkins is a freelance writer living in Chicago. He enjoys using his 14 years of home improvement experience to educate and equip new home owners.