The sides of my kitcen cabinets aren’t real wood but some kind of laminate or something. What are my options for refinishing them?
Thanks for all the great ideas!
Interestingly enough, most of the potential finishes you have can be painted. Formica type plastic laminate can be painted, as can the very thin melamine finish. Most likely, you have one or the other. Both are sheets of plastic with a pattern printed on them, the main difference being thickness.
The concerns with painting come in three main categories:
Is the surface clean? – the first step is making sure there isn’t some residue from a previous cleaning agent, or grease build-up near the stove, or anything that will get between the paint and the actual surface. A good scrubbing with TSP or some other good cleaner will do the job.
Is the surface glossy? – If your surface is shiny, like glass or glossy formica, you’ll need to rough it up with sandpaper. Otherwise the paint can’t gain a foothold on the surface and will peel off. Make sure to clean the sanding dust off after cleaning.
Is the surface secure? – You can clean all day, sand real well, and then paint on something that’s going to fall off! Not what you want. Just be sure that whatever you’re painting over is securely attached to the structure of your cabinets. If not, you’ll want to remove it.
Those things complete, you can paint those cabinets. You can totally remodel a ktichen by doing the above and including some new replacement cabinet doors. I’ll be demonstrating that soon at my house, so if you wait a bit I’ll show you exactly how to do it.