A big question is "How did my cabinets get like this?"
If your cabinets are 10 years old or older, it is very possible that you have little spots on them by the sink and along the corners of doors and drawers. It is wear from hands and moisture that causes this, but the process is so gradual that you get used to it and then one day--you realize they look too bad to take anymore. Sometimes this is about the time you need to sell the property. We have a great solution. After nearly 20 years of dealing with this stuff--we ought to know what to do. But it wasn't till recently that we really got it so that you can tell at all hardly that we touched up the cabinets. We use a blend of dyes, waterbased stains, natural powders, and daps of matching paint to make the bad spots go away and then we use a powerful clear-coat to guarantee that they say gone!!! And it only costs about what you would expext to pay for a really decent coat of clear. If we strip anything, it is minimal. Generally it is only a door under the sink. In most cases we don't even have to take the doors off, but for convenience if there is a lot of wear, we will redo them off site and send you photos by txt or email of the progress being done. In some cases, we do use traditional lacquers but that will not be the method we prefer to use in your home because of the smell. We are currently able to darken lighter cabinets as well, which does cost more but is still very much under the price of buying new cabinets. This process is good even on the new high-tech finishes that may be in your newer home.
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In this case, the retired home owner wanted no sanding or spraying. You see here-the low impact tools used to blend out the worn areas!
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Here are some cabinets that were successfully restored. These had deep scratches and wear, we use a kind of graining technique when needed for this in severe cases.
This is a photo of a EconoRefinish in Walls, MS. Granted the color is not common, but two other companies failed. We didn't even have to take the doors off! Great customer! Work completed just in time for a big family gathering on the Fourth of July. Two other companies had been hired before us to do this job, one went out of business before they could do the touch up, the others kept the doors, etc. for a long time and had to be asked to return them because they couldn't do it. We earned a Angie's List, "Wall of Love," on our work.
One of the problems with these cabinets was that the raised panel in the middle of about 5 of the doors had shifted--they are supposed to be able to do this in case of temperature changes etc. , exposing a thin strip of unfinished wood, which we professionally blended out. In a few cases, we color corrected parts of the wood which had stained different shades and had perhaps faded. These cabinets only needed minimal resurfacing but we often are called on to save very worn kitchen cabinets.
We did take two "dummy drawer fronts" and two doors off under the kitchen sink and stripped off the varnish, made up a matching stain, stained them, and varnished them several times and put them back up. The old hardware soaked in a solution and were reused. It took about 4 days to clean these, touch them up, and clean up and this included the large vanities in the master bath as well. Warrantied for 5 years.
This technique can be used on exterior doors as well. We actually warmed up the colors on this one with minimal stripping and "heavy" sanding. The project was topped off with an Exterior Spar Varnish. The doors don't have to stay open much and do not have to be removed. We can successfully remove dog scratches etc. in most cases.
We are based in Memphis and not a franchise. Do not confuse us with newbies with no track record and "still learning." We warranty our touch up for longer than what you will get if you purchased new cabinets--5 years. We don't do floors. We have heard of how some big box stores seem to use the touch up offer as a way to get into your house and pressure you into buying new cabinets. We don't remodel or sell new cabinets. We basically charge you the price of a new clear coat which never yellows and fix the blems too. We also know of jobs started by one franchise which could not be completed--because the stuff they sell "won't stick and peels off."
Check out this recent Econo Refinsh for a set of worn cabinets: the video link is not showing cut and paste:
This house was a rental turned over to an agency to handle and many months had passed since the large rent had not been paid. Two attempts to sell it in the past has failed. I suggested an upgrade to the master with a new vanity, they also tiled. The rest of the rooms were painted largely by the homeowner, who had moved to another state and who had to travel a long distance, but they prevailed. The house sold the first day it was listed. No kidding.....
About 15% of the jobs we do are "rescues," where the homeowner or a painter started on the job, but it turned out in a way that was not going to fly.