It is a rewarding feeling to restore an old house to a pristine condition. One of the most difficult tasks is refinishing your cabinets.
To do the job right its means you have to strip all the old product such as paint and finish off. Then you have to bleach the wood to remove either the stains that were left from the old finish or having something spilt or set on them. Then there is sanding and scraping to tend to. Finally, there is the new stain and them the finish to be done. After all, of this you can sit back and admire you long and enduring hard work.
Most jobs of this magnitude don?t usually go all that trouble free. You will run into at least a few minor snags, but the majority of them can be dealt with. It?s important that you know the wood that your cabinets are made from. If it?s an older house don?t be surprised to find out that there are several varieties that were used. In this case, you will never get one light stain to come out the same on all the pieces. You can however go to a deeper stain and get results that are more satisfactory.
You really may want to consider buying new doors and drawers and just keeping the original framework. When you are working with the many chemicals it would take to strip your cupboards most often, it can be too harsh on older wood. Another issue is getting the old finish totally stripped at hard to get at pieces can sometimes be impossible. Then once you even get to the point where the old cupboards are prepared for the new stain and finishes you have to take into account the several coatings you are going to have to apply and the drying time that is going to be involved. The kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms to work in because of the food preparation, grease and steam that is almost always present there.
Before you say no to the idea of buying new doors and drawers at least check out your home improvement store and see what they have to offer. At least this way you are covering all of the possible options and making an informed opinion.
If you have decided to go ahead with the original, you may want to consider at least buying new hardware. In the older cupboards quite often the door handles didn?t have a lot of character and the knobs were likely ceramic that has become cracked and chipped.
You are going to have to make decisions on what type of refinish you are going to do. This is best done after all the preparation work is done so you can see what condition the cabinets are in. This will determine if you are going to have to go with a darker stain.