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What is Cabinet Refinishing?

Cabinet Refinishing refers to the process of repairing and re-applying a coat of finish to the existing finish. It is a much more durable process than painting, and does not require any sanding or harsh chemical stripping. The base chemical of the product used in refinishing is called a polyurethane acrylic. It is a tintable, water-based, non-toxic solution which can be mixed to look like any paint color or stain. It is higher quality than any paint that can be purchased at a store, and the products Resurrect Wood Refinishing use, are the best from vendors selected through years of experience. 

The goal of cabinet refinishing is to restore the wood to appear as close to a factory finish condition as possible. This process restarts the shelf life of the cabinets, proving to be a valuable investment when compared to ripping out and purchasing new cabinets, and has made painting cabinets a often outdated practice.

What is the difference between painting and refinishing cabinets?

The difference between painting and refinishing is the product. Both processes require heavy masking and preparation, which involve covering every visible surface that is not being addressed. Resurrect Wood Refinishing sprays their product in order to create an even, balanced, clean look. Unlike paint, the water-based solution that is used in refinishing is odorless and non-toxic. The polyurethane acrylic is water soluble while maintaining high pigmentation, giving control of it’s thickness to Resurrect technician’s. Thus allowing plenty of control in application, and preventing the occurrence of paint clumps or drips due to overspraying or thickened paint. 

In general most painted cabinet applications only last 2-3 years until chipping, cracking, and peeling begins, whereas refinished cabinets can last as long as the life of the cabinets themselves under normal wear and tear. The poly acrylic however, is designed to bond with the organic nature of wood. 

How do you make old wood cabinets look modern?

Real wood cabinets are becoming obsolete to the average buyer as prices of materials continue to increase since the pandemic. Lumber has increased 288% since 2019. When we think of Modern and updated, we sometimes pigeon hole our minds into thinking new, but the reality of the quality of new is just nowhere near what you likely already have. Chances are your cabinets just look “old”, due to years of grime, oil build up, and fading finish or outdated profiles and color. The truth of the matter is that solid wooden cabinetry can last many decades, and even though the finish may have dulled out, the structural integrity is still strong. It is a craftsmanship that is unfortunately being replaced by laminate or cheap MDF alternatives, that can be bought at Big Box Home Improvement Stores. 

Right now in the Florida Market, builders are making significant savings by selling these poorer products to customers than investing in wood. That is why refinishing is a more valuable service than ever before. Many of the customers that reach out to Resurrect Wood Refinishing still have oak or maple cabinets. A thorough cleaning and refinishing can modernize any old looking cabinet. A change of color to the finish can suddenly make those 30 year-old cabinets look incredibly sleek and stylish, with added durability to last. And if you really just hate the style, consider ordering new doors in our redooring service. That is one fast way to make those cabinets look like what’s new and in style without the price tag and lower quality of new cabinets. Plus, if one decides to sell the home, having genuine wood cabinets is going to raise the overall value, returning your investment with profit.

Is it cheaper to buy new cabinets or refinish?

While the product price for new cabinets have gone down by using cheaper material, the labor to install them has remained the same: expensive and prone to many upcharges. A person may find affordable new MDF cabinets online, but whether or not plumbing or electrical issues arise can only be discovered in the middle of a project after the contract is signed. These new charges will be added to the final bill and the cheap DIY project has now turned into a major investment with no profitable return due to the cheap quality product.

Whether the prospective new cabinets are of excellent or poor quality, refinishing will always be the cheaper alternative to installing new cabinets. It is a process not only designed to rejuvenate what is already there for ⅓ of the cost, but refreshes the space and creates a lasting impression that our work is original to the home. 

Can I just change cabinet doors?

Changing cabinet doors is certainly an option and a service we provide. Resurrect Wood Refinishing is able to provide clients with any style they desire in addition to coloring and glazing, all without ripping apart a single cabinet box. While replacing the cabinet doors bumps up the budget a couple thousand dollars from a standard color change refinish, customers can look forward to significant savings by pursuing new, solid wood doors over risking the disaster that can come from installing new cabinets. If the structure is sound and the original layout is pleasing, refinishing and purchasing new doors is definitely the way to go. 

Is it expensive to refinish my cabinets?

Before refinishing, homeowners really only had two options for cabinet renovations: re-painting or remodeling. Painting was a cheap bandage and remodeling burned wallets.

Refinishing was revolutionary, because it sits perfectly in the middle between the two options. The goal of refinishing is to help rejuvenate and restore without leaving any drips, brush strokes, odors, or any other side effects that painting causes. Refinishing provides as close to a factory finish as is humanly possible. It creates a stellar impression, making the new color selection look original to the home. That is why it’s only a little more expensive than “Joe’s Paint shop,” and significantly cheaper than a complete cabinet demolition. Our business model is consistent in pricing at  ⅓ the cost of purchasing and installing new cabinets. It’s the perfect investment for your flip or your forever home.

How much does it cost to have kitchen cabinets refinished?

An average kitchen, with 10×10 layout and 32” tall cabinets is generally quoted at about $2,500-$4,500 for refinishing. That estimate is for the front and back of the cabinet doors, the face frame of the cabinet boxes, side panels, and anything else that is in the original finish. Refinishing is designed to fit perfectly at the ⅓ cost price range from a complete cabinet renovation. It preserves the existing wood and layout while updating the design, tone, color and atmosphere of a kitchen, which is what most customers typically desire when considering an update.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace cabinets?

It is significantly cheaper to refinish cabinets than it is to replace them. Wood cabinets rarely need to be replaced. Real wood cabinets are getting so rare. Our society is moving more and more to disposable furnishing. They simply aren’t making solid wood cabinets affordable anymore. Solid wood cabinets are the highest durability surface in a kitchen you can have. PLEASE DON’T THROW THEM IN A LANDFILL! It’s valuable and can last decades, which is why many builders are pushing for cheaper alternatives. If you have wood cabinets and just dislike the style or color, refinishing is definitely the way to go. With today’s lumber prices going up, it’s going to be best to hold on to what you’ve already got. There are exceptions in the case of deteriorating surfaces due to moisture that may cause swelling or damage. 

How much does it cost to sand and repaint kitchen cabinets?

Sanding and repainting cabinets are typically the same price as refinishing. Generally painting companies just paint. Many won’t do necessary sanding because of extra labor and material costs.  If your cabinets need to be sanded but you’ve received a quote to only paint them, be careful. The final result may look rough, uneven, or caked on the surfaces of your cabinets. If you are bid for sanding, you may want to consider our Re-Door service. Re-Dooring is the process of buying new cabinet doors. If you’re already going to invest so much into an in-between service, it may be worth it to invest the extra money for new doors and provide an opportunity for a whole new design. You can take a Standard Oak kitchen, re-door with full overlay Shaker in maple and the cabinets look completely new. New raw doors are guaranteed to look flawless. Add some of our tinted finish to it and it will appear as if your cabinets were brand new. 

Is Reviving Better Than Refinishing?

We are seeing this terminology used in the market of “Reviving” instead of “Refinishing.” Product franchises are rebranding by selling their old oil based products. While it may be affordable to purchase their oil based products at a general hardware store, it must be heavily cautioned that oil based clear coats are just as bad and messy as oil based paint. The added gloss may appear to make the wood look rejuvenated, but the result is temporary. Dirt and grease gets trapped in these products and it takes harsh chemicals to reverse the damage.  Gloss does not help with the durability of your cabinets. We will be writing a future blog about the differences in glosses, but it must be stressed that whether you select a Satin, Gloss, or any other type of finish in between, it is purely aesthetic. 

At Resurrect Wood Refinishing, we use a water-based solution called a polyurethane acrylic. It is thin, odorless, and incredibly durable. Our techniques provide us the flexibility of offering our clients their choice of finish, without needing to add several thick layers of gloss.

Does refinishing an antique reduce the value?

Absolutely not. Old antique items are the perfect candidate for refinishing, and will be treated like royalty in the care of Resurrect’s technicians. Refinishing Antique items helps clean away grime, soot, dirt, grease, and oils that have built up over the years from use and exposure to the elements. Our non sanding process helps protect the profile and woodwork while our color correction helps us restore the original color when the piece was first made. This makes the item incredibly valuable with an added layer of durability and protection for the years to come. See our portfolio on our main website for a beautiful example of a recent antique fridge we’ve restored. 

Can you put polyurethane over Old English or Minwax?

The reason we caution against “Reviving” with oil based products is that our polyurethane acrylic cannot adhere to those chemicals. Many voices on the internet seem to argue that it will apply right over perfectly, but the problem is that there will certainly be chipping in the following months to come. If your cabinets have been covered in Old English or Minwax, fret not. Resurrect Wood Refinishing does offer a sanding service if our technicians think your project is salvageable. Please contact us with photos and any information on the oil-based coats used on your woodwork and we will be happy to offer solutions to restore and refinish.

How do you restore faded wood?

We restored faded wood by applying a new coat of polyurethane acrylic . If the goal of the project is to change the color to a solid color, then no other steps are required. The tint in our finish will be able to cover up any imperfections. 

However, if you are considering our Traditional or Staining services, the restoration is done by a process called Color Correction. After our technicians have cleaned and neutralized the surface, they use an assortment of natural wood colored pigments to help bring out the original color of the items. With enough balancing, Resurrect Wood Refinishing is able to add years back to faded sections in your woodwork.

How do you restore wood without sanding?

Resurrect Wood Refinishing uses its own proprietary solutions to help neutralize the surface rather than sanding it. We clean off grime, oils, grease, and other markings that may have gotten deep within the finish or grain. After scrubbing the surface of foreign elements, we neutralize it which prepares the wood to receive a new finish. That’s it! Our experts are happy to explain any questions you may have, but rest assured, there will be no heavy sawdust from extensive sanding in your home.

Is It Dangerous to Refinish Cabinets?

Depending on how you approach your cabinet refinishing project, most professionals offer a completely safe, dependable, and affordable process when refinishing your cabinets. Refinishing helps rejuvenate your wooden cabinets and preserves them for the years to come. When using the appropriate product, there are no dangerous risks to the quality of your cabinets, nor harmful exposures to you and your family if using the Resurrect product line. 

At Resurrect Wood Refinishing, we have triple checked our products and procedures to ensure that our process is not only safe, but preventative of any risks to you as the client. Our product is an eco-friendly, water based solution that’s easy to clean. There are no harsh fumes that linger for weeks nor heavy dust. The chemicals are designed to adhere to your existing finish, without needing to strip or sand. We plastic everything off and keep all of the work within the parameters, creating a safe environment for you to continue working in the next room if need be. And, most importantly, we are a small family business which does not hire any outside contractors to do the work. Our respect and consideration for your home is our top priority. Plus, we clean up after ourselves, so rest assured you won’t see any crushed soda cans anywhere.

Is it difficult to refinish cabinets?

The process to refinish cabinets definitely takes more skill, research, and experience to replicate the desired factory finished look our company accomplishes. The training alone takes almost six months for any one of our new recruits to fully understand the entire process. Every step requires attention, from cutting the perfect corner piece of masking tape to applying several even coats of product without the dreaded “Orange Peel” look. What we do within 4-5 business days could take many weeks for someone who is inexperienced.

Refinishing cabinets is our specific focus. We have many horror stories of painters who insist they can take the project on, only to hire us later to fix their mistakes. There are so many variables to consider when refinishing cabinets. That is why we at Resurrect Wood Refinishing have been able to make it our primary service. We have many years experience in trial and error, learning from every type of scenario imaginable. Our quick turnaround service is a credit to our knowledge gained over the years. 

Is it better to strip or sand kitchen cabinets?

We never recommend you sand or strip your cabinets. The only scenario we’ve experienced where this would be applicable would be trying to get rid of unfinished paint, and even then, we sand only as needed. Stripping is working with harsh chemicals that are not only dangerous to handle, but could ruin your wood if not applied correctly. It is an old method that is no longer required since there are now revolutionary techniques like those that our company utilizes. 

Sanding is only to be done if there is paint that is chipping or peeling, such as latex paint or an enamel paint. If the entire project needs to be sanded, then we would recommend considering new raw wood doors in place of the sanding cost, we offer a “Re-dooring” service. This would not only make up for the service charge, but increase the value of the kitchen. Consider researching Resurrect Wood Refinishing’s “Re-Door” service on the homepage for more information. A true transformation.

Why shouldn’t you paint your cabinets?

The reason you shouldn’t paint your cabinets is because painted cabinets look painted. It’s as simple as that. Painted cabinets look uneven, unpolished, and unnatural. They can be rough in texture if not sanded correctly and will always chip or peel within a couple years. The only way to correct chipped paint is to go over with another coat of paint or sand the entire kitchen and start from a raw surface.  Continuing to paint cabinets over the years begins to make your cabinets look “caked” in paint, further enforcing that unnatural and cheap appearance. 

Refinishing cabinets is the better alternative to painting because not only is it much more durable than paint, but it has the flexibility to be re-colored in the future without risking that factory finished look. While paint continues to thicken, our product easily adheres to new, tinted finish should your tastes in colors change in a couple years. 

Do painted cabinets look cheap?

Yes, yes, and yes. Many times painted cabinets are applied by the same methods that painters use on walls or other flat surfaces: a brush or roller, and a gallon of latex paint. While walls or ceilings may look beautiful in the right hands, brushed cabinets can leave thick lines and look terribly uneven. Even if the painter reassures he will only spray your cabinet, paint has the terrible habit of dripping and bubbling in small corners and cracks. Not to mention that latex paint is a rubberized compound. While it’s organic and non-odorous nature may seem appealing, it is very fragile to the slightest bump or bruise. Imagine if such coating was applied on kitchen cabinet surfaces that must endure high traffic and hot temperatures and lots of fingernails, it never makes for a good outcome, and it is why we are always called to remedy the situation a couple years later.

Should I Refinish my Stairs?

Most hardwood surfaces usually require a refinish at some point in its lifetime. We’ve noticed that this point is usually around the 20-30 year mark. For stairs, it is not only a general upkeep to help preserve the protective finish, but can also be a cosmetic transformation that will truly redesign the entire feel of the room. Whether you desire staining the stairs to a darker tone or just color correcting wear and tear areas as needed, you should consider refinishing your stairs if you are noticing a damage to the clear coat finish. This may look like a plastic-like peeling, or a raw appearance in the color from frequent wear on the commonly treaded paths. Like paint peeling on a car, an indication of this is a sure sign it’s only going to get worse, and should be addressed as soon as possible.

How much does it cost to refinish a staircase?

Depending on the nature of the project, a standard refinish which includes light color correction and adding a new protective coat is going to be about $75 per step. Resurrect Wood Refinishing can also refinish bannisters at about a similar price per linear foot. Staining will be a little more expensive as it requires additional quoting. We do offer free estimates and calculators to help assist with your specific needs. 

Prices for refinishing stairs are significantly less expensive than sanding and purchasing new floors. We are experienced enough to determine whether or not your stairs would be a good candidate or if it would only temporarily postpone an inevitable stair replacement. Rest assured, if you have taken care of your stairs and only have light scratches, you will be better off saving money by refinishing instead of sanding your stairs completely. 

Should I paint or stain my stairs?

You should never paint your stairs with latex or enamel paint. The product is not designed to be stepped on and will quickly wear, rip, peel, etc. when used. Refinishing adds a protective polyurethane acrylic over the wood which is not possible with regular paint. That protective coat will uphold and preserve the color for years to come, taking the hit before it wears into the color. Staining should only be done if it is properly mixed with finish. Resurrect Wood Refinishing offers a variety of stains that are designed for wooden surfaces including stairs.

Keep in mind, when you stain your stairs, they will always be a darker color than the original. This is because when you add stain to stain, it increases the density of the pigment.

How can I refinish my stairs without sanding?

We recommend you hire a professional (like us!) if you are seriously considering refinishing your stairs. Our process is completely sand-free and is only possible because of our methods as well as our proprietary product. With stairs, we use a variety of stains to help darken and color correct. The polyurethane acrylic works great with most pre-finished surfaces and adheres to your already finished stairs. Resurrect Wood Refinishing works in several steps. We first mask around the staircase to help protect adjacent walls and furniture from overspray. Then we clean and neutralize the wood, getting it free of any grease and oils that would bleed through. We seal the wood to help prepare the surface to absorb new finish and neutralize the ph levels. We then, by hand with a meticulous paint brush, go through and color correct wear, tear and scratches as needed. Our technicians are able to blend raw spots back to their original color. Once that’s all finished, we stain the entire surface to help bring balance and then finish it with a final coat of protective polyurethane acrylic clear coat top finish. 

All of this can be done without sanding if the wood doesn’t have excessive damage from scratching or moisture. In those cases sanding, traditional sanding refinish is going to be the only option.  Feel free to email or give us a call if you are uncertain. We will be happy to provide our opinion and suggestions. 

What happens if you stain over stain?

If you decide to stain over a stain it will increase the density of the pigment. So for example, if you have a stair that is a cherry maple color, adding a cherry stain to it will deepen the red and make it both richer and darker. Unfortunately, you can not lighten a stain without sanding, you can only go darker. Resurrect Wood Refinishing provides sample templates to help you understand what your existing stain would look if you decided to darken it into a new color. If you wish to keep the stain color the same and only require a traditional refinish, then keep in mind that there will still be a shade darker than the original.