What Is Restore Cabinet? (Learn The Process Of Restoring)




Do your cabinets look old?

If so, they might need a new look, and you can do it by restoring the cabinets. But exactly what is restore cabinet?

What Is Restore Cabinet

Restore Cabinet

Restoring cabinets or cabinet restoration is a popular and budget-friendly process that involves cleaning, repairing, and refinishing old furniture or cabinets. It involves replacing hardware and handles and can be done without the need for new cabinets. The end result is an amazing and updated look.

So, to learn the whole process of restoring cabinets, stay with me and continue on.

Summery of the article is-

  • Cabinet restoration involves cleaning, repairing, and refinishing.
  • It is a budget-friendly alternative to getting a new look without the need for entirely new cabinets.
  • Staining is considered the most important part of restoring cabinets.

What Is Restore Cabinet?

So, What is restore cabinet in kitchen? Restore cabinet also known as cabinet restoration, is a process where you can improve the look of old furniture or cabinets by cleaning, repairing, and refinishing them. You can even replace any hardware in this process. So, basically, anything to update a cabinet is considered as restoration even if you are measuring and installing cabinets.

What Is Restore Cabinet.

The Restoration Cabinet has gained so much popularity in recent days. Many people have been practicing this process as it improves the appearance of old or worn-out cabinets.

You may ask questions like  What is restore cabinet made of? Well, the make of it depends on your plan. It depends on how you want to restore your cabinets.

It is also a budget-friendly process because it doesn’t require new cabinets. It requires the simple repair or replacement of any tools, such as handles and hinges. But the end result will make you crazy. You will get an amazing and updated look for the cabinets.

Types Of Restore Cabinets

The meaning of restoration may be simple, but that doesn’t mean there is only one boring way. There are many options to give a new look to your boring old cabinet. For Intense:

Deep Clean: Gather supplies like cleaning solutions, scrubbers, and cloths. Choose appropriate cleaning solutions based on cabinet material. Spot scrub tough stains. Wash and rinse cabinets before and after cleaning for best results. This type of restoration is a perfect fit for wood cabinets.

Refinish: Hiring a professional to remove the old finish, rack, sand, and apply a new finish is a cost-effective way to refresh the cabinet’s appearance. Choose new finishes or colors to update the look. Consider replacing hardware for added impact.

Clean or Replace Hardware: Updating cabinet hardware can drastically improve appearance. Choose hardware that matches the kitchen theme and coordinates with fixtures and appliances. Cleaning existing hardware is an option to renew the appearance of your kitchen cabinets.

Replace Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts: Consider replacing outdated or damaged cabinet doors and drawer fronts for a completely new look. Styles include raised panels, flat panels, recessed panels, and mullion panels. Some companies offer solid hardwood replacements for longer-lasting results.

Painting Cabinets: Transform outdated cabinets by painting them a fresh, light color. This DIY project can brighten up the kitchen and is cost-effective compared to full replacements of wobbly cabinets. However, if you ask, Does restor a finish work on the kitchen cabinets? Then, you might need to do some more research.

Cabinet Toning: Apply tinted film or tinted polyurethane to cabinets for a subtle color change. Ensure even application for uniform results. Installing new kabobs is also considered to be a restoration. You can try it out if you are on a tight budget.

Cabinet Glazing for a Distressed Look: Apply glaze to create a distressed appearance on cabinet doors. Choose glaze colors that complement other kitchen elements.

Pinstripe Glazing: Similar to distressed glazing, but apply glaze only to cabinet grooves for contrast and emphasis on architectural details. Which makes it perfect for a lazy Susan cabinet.

Cabinet Resurfacing: Replace old cabinet doors and drawer fronts for a fresh look. Keep the existing layout but add modern touches like crown molding and glass doors. This option is less costly than full replacements but more expensive than refinishing or painting.

Common Reasons For Restoring Cabinets

Before knowing how to restore wood cabinets? Let’s find out the reasons to do all the hassle.

Common Reasons For Restoring Cabinets
  • Aesthetic Enhancement: Over time, cabinets can become worn, faded, or outdated. Restoring cabinets allows homeowners to refresh the appearance of their kitchen or bathroom, giving it a new and updated look without the expense of full replacement.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cabinet restoration is often more cost-effective than replacing entire cabinets. By refinishing, repainting, or refacing cabinets, homeowners can achieve significant savings while still achieving a desired aesthetic outcome.
  • Preservation of Quality: Many older cabinets are made of high-quality materials and construction techniques that may not be easily found in newer cabinets. Restoring cabinets allows homeowners to preserve the integrity and craftsmanship of their existing cabinets while updating their appearance.
  • Customization: Restoring cabinets provides homeowners with the opportunity to customize their cabinets to suit their preferences and lifestyle better. This can include changing the color, finish, hardware, or even the layout of the cabinets to meet their needs better.
  • Environmental Considerations: Cabinet restoration is a more sustainable option compared to replacing cabinets, as it reduces waste by reusing existing materials. Additionally, refinishing or repainting cabinets can eliminate the need for new materials, reducing the environmental impact of the project.
  • Increased Home Value: A well-executed cabinet restoration project can significantly enhance the overall value and appeal of a home. Updated cabinets can make a positive impression on potential buyers and contribute to a higher resale value.
  • Personalization: Restoring cabinets allows homeowners to express their personal style and preferences in their living space. Whether it’s through choosing a specific color, finish, or decorative hardware, cabinet restoration provides an opportunity for homeowners to make their space uniquely their own.

Even though it also saves you time, working on new cabinets takes more time. As a result, accessing your kitchen or bathroom for weeks is not possible during that time. Before starting the how to restore kitchen cabinets consider this too.

Types Of Cabinets That Can And Can’t Be Restored

Different types of cabinets have different recovery potentials. So note those different options and consider them before replacing the cabinets. So, how to measure and install cabinets?

Types of cabinets.

Cabinet TypeRestorable?Reasoning
Solid Wood Cabinets:Yes (often good candidates)Strong, durable, and often valuable. Can be sanded, re-stained, or painted for a dramatic change.
Veneered CabinetsDepend on condition and veneer type.Real wood veneer can sometimes be repaired or replaced. However, damaged or thin veneer might be better replaced entirely.
Laminate Cabinets.No.Laminate is bonded to the cabinet box and difficult to remove without damaging the underlying material. Replacement is usually recommended.
Thermofoil Cabinets.No.Similar to laminate, the foil is bonded and hard to restore effectively. Replacing them is generally advised.
MDF CabinetsCan be tricky.MDF itself can be sanded and repainted, but warping or water damage might necessitate replacement.

Additional factors:

The extent of damage, the choice that results, budget considerations, etc., are important factors when choosing between restoration and cabinet replacement. Also, remember that properly refinishing a cabinet can be a rewarding experience for you.

However, understanding the limitations and weight options is crucial to getting the results you want on your space and budget.

Tricks To Identify Needs For Restoration Of Cabinet

Those who are DIY detectives can identify if a cabinet needs modification or restoration. For this, they follow certain tips. Let’s see what kind of tips they follow.

Tricks To Identify Needs For Restoration Of Cabinet

The visual checkup:

If you notice problems with the surfaces of your cabinets, such as loose hinges, warped doors, and discoloration, restoration may be necessary. Repainting will bring change, but the above symptoms indicate a deeper problem.

The touch test:

Things you can touch to know if your cabinets need refinishing. For example, if you notice a squeaky door or drawer, this indicates that there is a need for lubrication or a worn truck. Again, if the structure of the cabinet is weak and porous,. Then, it indicates loose joints and underlying damage. This will require professionals.

The functionality factor:

If you notice clogged drawers, inadequate storage, or outdated style, these can all be repairable problems. Refacing or refinishing can update the look of cabinets and spruce them up.

Early detection is critical to identifying if your cabinets need restoration. This way, you can prevent further damage and make informed decisions about the future of your cabinets. Follow these tips and make sure your cabinets need restoration.

Tools Are Needed To Restore The Cabinet

Get ready to convert your old cabinets with the tools you need for a successful conversion. Let’s see how do you restore cabinets with different tools.

For Cleaning:

  • Warm, soapy water is required for general cleaning and grime removal.
  • Degreaser: For tough grease stains
  • Tach cloth: This removes dust and debris.
  • Soft clothes are for wiping and buffing.

For Restoration:

  • Sandpaper (various grits): It is used to smooth the surface and remove imperfections.
  • Wood filler (optional): Small cracks and holes are filled with this.
  • Mineral spirits: for removing stubborn stains and old finishes.
  • Wood stain: changes the color of your cabinets.
  • Paintbrushes or rollers: for applying stains or paint.
  • Clear coat (optional): To protect your newly finished cabinets.

Note that this is only a basic list. Work with the ones that fit your project. Seek professional advice if needed.

How Do You Restore Cabinets?

Now we know all the details about What does refinished cabinets mean? but what are the practical steps? Don’t worry; you will find the steps in this section. Also, this method is going to save you money.

How Do You Restore Cabinets

Look for used kitchen cabinets for sale craigslist. This will help you get some good-quality cabinets at a relatively low price. If you want something solid, you can go for oak cabinets or solid wood cabinets. After all that, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Strip Stain

Use a paint stripper to strip the stain. Brush the wood cabinets and leave them for half an hour. After that, gunk off the cabinets with a scraper. Don’t scrape the wood too hard; it can damage the cabinet finishes. Give it some time to dry. Now sand the stripped cabinets in the grain direction to get a smooth surface.

Step 2: Stain

Clean the whole cabinet or wipe it off with a soft cloth. Make sure there is no dust left. Now, use a brush to apply the stain. Try to prevent air bubbles from forming by brushing along the path of the grain. It will stop the cabinet from being wobbly.  I left it overnight to dry it completely.

Step 3: Brush and rest

With some steel wool, lightly brush the stain. And now, it’s time for the final stain. It will be the final stage of cabinet refinishing. Stain it according to your own style that complements the existing decor.

Step 4: Reinstall Hardware

Replace outdated or damaged hardware with new drawer pulls and hinges. Trust me, this simple update really gives a new look to your wood cabinets even to your gloss kitchen cabinet.

Step 5: Finish

Now reassemble the drawer pulls, hinges, and doors properly. After everything is set up, arrange the cabinets however you like. Point to be remembered: if you find any deep gouges or cracks, consult cabinet experts for professional repair.

Common Damages That May Happen During Cabinet Restoration

Yes, damage can happen during habitat restore cabinets. However, you can minimize the damage as much as possible by following and taking preventative measures. However, there are always some risks. So here is a chart that will easily explain what damage can happen.

DamagesIssue Creating The Damage
The wood of the cabinets can get brokenToo much scraping right after the first layer of stain
Color mismatch is a common mistakeIncorrect color choice and not testing the color in an area first
Cracks in paintPainting on an unclean surface
Brush strokes or roller marksUsing the wrong roller type and applying product too quickly
Hardware damageNot taking enough precautions while removing or installing.

Tips To Get Successful Restoration Of Cabinet

Last but not least, always follow these tips to get the best outcome from restoring cabinets.

  • Tools make the work easier and smoother. So always invest in quality sandpaper, brushes, rollers, safety gear, and appropriate cleaning and finishing products.
  • When you use strippers or paint, make sure there is proper ventilation.
  • Don’t apply any product to the entire cabinet first. Test it on a small, hidden area of the cabinet to ensure compatibility and outcome.
  • Don’t rush. Rushing can lead the process to an uneven and imperfect finish.
  • Get help from the cabinet experts if there are complex repairs, extensive refinishing, or a lack of confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is The Difference Between Cabinet Refacing And Redooring?

Cabinet refacing means replacing everything that is visible, like drawer fronts, doors, and cabinet boxes, to get a new look. Redooring means replacing only the doors and drawer fronts of the existing cabinets.

What Does Refinished Cabinets Mean?

Refinished cabinets mean updating the existing cabinet doors, drawers, and sometimes cabinet boxes with a new finish.

What Is Restore Cabinet Called?

There is no specific name used to describe the restored cabinets. However, cabinet restoration is the closest name for restore cabinet.


I hope now you know what is restore cabinet? answers and got ideas about everything. Cabinet refinishing is an adventure in which you breathe new life into your home. Discover hidden gems in existing cabinets without spending money on new cabinets. And keep it uniquely your family heirloom.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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