Step 4: Refacing Cabinets

Trimming the veneer.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Veneer the stile on the other side and trim as above. Use a utility knife to trim the excess veneer overlapping the cabinet opening. Run the knife along the inner edge of the frame as a guide. Trim the top, bottom, and outer edges. When trimming at the joint between two cabinets, use a straightedge as a guide.

Tip: Change your knife blade often to keep your cuts clean.
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    Tools List

    • hammer with nailset
      Hammer and nailset
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • try square
      Try-square and razor
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • hand saw
      Handsaw,
      if necessary to cut old drawer fronts

    Shopping List

    1. DOORS

    Provide the manufacturer with dimensions for each door. Measure the cabinet openings. Then add 1 inch to both the width and the height so that you’ll end up with a 1/2-inch overlap all around. (For split-doors, where two doors meet to cover one opening, add 1 inch to the full width, divide by two, then subtract 1/16 inch. This will give you a measurement for each door that leaves a 1/8-inch gap between the two.) If you’re installing concealed European hinges (see below), order the doors 'bored.' Specify right or left bore. If you want glass-fronted cabinets, order 'mullion' doors (specify the number of lights) or 'frame only' (single pane), then have glass inserts custom cut.



    2. SELF-ADHESIVE VENEER

    aka “pressure sensitive” veneer. Comes in 2-foot-by-8-foot rolls; one roll will cover about 10 cabinets.



    3. DRAWER FRONTS

    Measure edge to edge for the exact size of replacements.



    4. PLYWOOD PANELS

    to cover the exposed sides of cabinets. Measure edge to edge.



    5. HINGES

    if old hinges are bent or broken, or if you want to switch to concealed European hinges with a spring that closes doors automatically.



    6. KNOBS AND PULLS

    7. TSP

    (trisodium phosphate), a strong degreaser. For cleaning cabinet faces and prepping them for veneer.



    8. 150-GRIT SANDPAPER and TACK CLOTH

    9. CARPENTER’S GLUE

    For affixing plywood panels.



    10. 2D FINISH NAILS

    11. WOOD FILLER