One of the main problems with old cabinets is not that the structure is bad but more the grease buildup, the color, and small scratches. Instead of throwing your cabinets out, you can breathe new life into them by changing their current appearance.
To start with, you will need supplies to include:
Start by removing all the doors and hardware. Next, give all the surfaces of your cabinets a thorough cleaning with the cleanser and water. Once dry, gently sand the surface to smooth out any scratches. Using the tack cloth, wipe the excess sand residue. If you find that your cabinets have been painted several times before, you should use a high quality furniture stripper to get the layers off before starting the washing process. If the layers are exceptionally bad, a professional stripping business can dip the doors for a reasonable price, making the job easier and quicker.
- Fine sandpaper (electric sander if you have one, which is highly recommended)
- Cleaning solution (Murphy's Oil or Pine Sol are great for cutting grease and not damaging the wood)
- A bucket of warm water
- Tack cloth
- Latex paint in your choice of color
- New hardware (handles and brackets, which can often be purchased at surplus stores for pennies on the dollar)
Now you need to paint all the cabinets, doors, and drawers inside and out with a good primer. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving to the next step. Once dry, paint two to three coats of the latex paint. One recommendation is that regardless of what color you use on the exterior, use white on the inside of the cabinets and drawers, which makes finding things easier because of the brightness. This also gives your cabinets a sleek appearance. Once all the paint surfaces are dry, usually overnight, replace the hardware with the new pieces you purchased.
Keep in mind that while this type of project makes a huge difference, it also requires patience. This type of project is not one that will be completed in one or two days. Plan to spend time so you can do this right. Rather than try to tackle all of the project at once, start with the doors and take the time needed to give them a nice, smooth surface. The results will be well worth the effort and patience and your kitchen will be a room or pride instead of embarrassment.