Cabinet Refreshment

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Small change = big difference. Our rental home kitchen isn’t much, but does have solid oak cabinet doors (along with a big dose of a lot o’ oak everything, but that’s a different issue)…

lower corner before

As for the cabinets, they were generally fine and in good repair, but the finish was tired, a bit crackly looking- you can see the white flecking in the finish below. Also, I was not a fan of the cheap thin hardware that was also quite dirty (beyond the usual cleanable level  of grime) from years of grease, kitchen dirt, etc. If this were my own home I may consider painting the cabinetry, replacing the countertop, etc etc.

dbl cabinet close before

But since this isn’t our property and it’s temporary, nothing like a little Restore A Finish to polish things up a bit! This little miracle worker revived my Craiglist buffet as well, so I thought it was worth a shot at improving the overall look of the kitchen cabinetry with very low cost and little effort. A soft cloth will do the trick, and super fine steel wool can be used for tougher spots where the finish is more damaged. I mostly only needed the cloth for this job.


Step 1, of course, was removing the hardware. You could do this job without removing everything, but my plan was to replace these anyway. I also opened up all the windows (I’ve been waiting for spring to do this project!) for ventilation because this product is a bit fumey. Do not do in enclosed spaces!

removed hardware

Here you can see how the finish subtly changes before and after the Restore A Finish goes on. So much better and so so easy!! Really it is one of my fav products after mom introduced it to me for the buffet project. And at about $9 a can, how can you go wrong? Just choose the color tint that most closely matches the piece you are working with.

wipe before after

And now for a few before and afters…

left drawer combo

double cabinet combo

It’s hard to tell in a far away shot like this, but when I walk into the kitchen now, I don’t get that ‘oh look, cheapo rental cabinets’ feeling anymore. Instead, it’s like, ‘decent oak cabinets- i can deal with that.’ 🙂

whole corner afterNext step is hardware, which is always paralyzing to me because I’m uber cheap and also get one thing stuck in my head that I can’t seem to shake when shopping around. I’m thinking oil rubbed bronze because the nickel in this oakey yellow kitchen just looks chincey (sp?) to me and I’m liking the heavy rich feeling of the dark color more against wood like this. Plus it will set off nicely against the black dishwasher and mostly black stove… hmm… so many thing to consider! Will keep you posted!

7 thoughts on “Cabinet Refreshment

  1. Pingback: Cabinets Dunzo | Family Style Living

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