Decorating Ideas

Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

There is a genetic condition in our family that causes medical expenses to run into the thousands of dollars every single year. Money for renovations is not always as plentiful as I’d like it to be. So I’ve learned how to adjust, how to find a simpler, less expensive way to get home projects done.

Last month, I decided to refinish the old cabinets in our kitchen. Keep in mind these cabinets were original with this house. They were plain, but sturdy wood-the kind without any knobs. I knew two things when I began the task. I would not spend over seventy-five dollars and I would not take longer than one weekend.

I went to Lowes and purchased sandpaper, red mahogany stain, polyurethane sealer and black knobs for all the cabinet doors. I learned a lot during this experience.

First, when you remove all the cabinet doors, label every single door. You will not remember where they go. Using a pencil, on the inside of the door, write what the door is/where it hangs. For example, “right pantry door’. Always write at the top so you’ll know it’s “this side up”.

Remove the dishes from the cabinets. Otherwise, they’ll get covered in dust from the sanding.

Next, use a fine sandpaper 180=220 grain to sand the outer edges and middle of the cabinet doors. Work in the direction of the grain. Also sand the areas surrounding the cabinet doors. Wipe down all the dust.

Once the cabinets are sanded, mark where you want the knobs to go and make sure you’re not too close to the edge of the cabinet or the wood could split. For a uniform look use a ruler. To make the holes for the knobs, use a quarter inch drill spade.

Next, apply the stain in the direction of the grain with a rag or paintbrush. Immediately wipe up any spills or excess. Once all the cabinets are stained, allow them to dry for at least twenty-four hours. Most stains say six to eight hours, but this depends on the humidity, so always allow extra time.

Once the cabinets are dry, going in the direction of the grain again, apply the polyurethane. While waiting for that dry, spray paint the old hinges and screw heads whatever color you’d like them to be. I went with black because I chose black knobs.

Once the cabinets and hardware are dry, hang and apply the knobs. The total cost for this renovation? Sixty dollars.

Cabinets Before
kitchen cabinets
Kitchen Cabinets After
kitchen cabnets redone

Happy Decorating!

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Sonya Weiss

About Our Interior Decorating Columnist Sonya Weiss:

From the time she was a child, Sonya spun stories to entertain herself and her siblings. Once she graduated from high school, she put her writing aside and attended college where she studied Secondary Education, majoring in English. She's represented by literary agent Nicole Resciniti. 

Sonya's website can be found at https://sonyaweiss.com/
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