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Refaced Cabinet Finish Coming Off

I was trying to clean refaced cabinets (I think done in the 70's or 80's) that have a substantial amount of grease/dirt on them.  While cleaning with water and mild soap, the finish is coming off.  Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?  Is there anything I can do to fix the areas where the finish has come off?  Thanks!
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Posted 2015-01-22T13:26:29+0000  by HollyR HollyR
Keep the finish from coming off - don't scrub so hard. <smile>

I think whatever finish was used as reached the end of it's useful life.  As for repairs, which kind of finish is it?  Posting a couple of pictures might be helpful in making suggestions.
Posted 2015-01-23T13:19:55+0000  by Adam444

Here is a picture of the cabinets.  Any suggestions are welcome :)



Posted 2015-01-23T15:18:43+0000  by HollyR
sorry, I'm not sure what kind of finish it is but here is the picture.
Posted 2015-01-23T15:32:22+0000  by HollyR
It looks like the finish is sufficiently worn that you're not going to clean it without further damage.  That leaves you a few options:

  1. Replace the cabinets.  That's obviously the most expensive option but you get new cabinets in a style you like.  You'd probably want to replace the counter top at the same time.  Fortunately high pressure laminate (e.g., Formica) is pretty cheap.
  2. Refinish the cabinets, assuming they are in good shape otherwise.  Staining requires stripping the finish back to bare wood and quite a bit of sanding.  Then stain and top coat.  Frankly it's a lot of work and you would still have the same style of cabinet.
  3. Refacing where the doors and drawer fronts are replaced and face frame and other exposed surfaces are covered with a veneer of some sort.  Generally an advanced DIY project.
  4. Paint the cabinets.  Rust-Oleum makes a "transformation" kit for just this purpose.  Or you can use a suitable "regular" paint.  Both are going to require some prep work but it's still a very doable project for a DIYer.

Posted 2015-01-25T15:12:29+0000  by Adam444
Hello HollyR!

Thanks for joining The Community!

And, thanks for the photo.

A picture really is worth a thousand words!

It appears that the wear is occurring in all the high-touch areas ... areas next to door handles and top edges of the lower cabinets.

Based upon these wear patterns, it appears that there may not be any clear coat on your cabinets (or it has worn off).

How to repair fading stain:

I would expect you can sand those areas with 220-grit sandpaper to remove the darker, worn stain.

Once the damage is removed, take one cabinet door to your local Paint Associate for identify a matching stain color.

Carefully, use a natural bristle brush or rag to "touch up" the exposed wood.

The key to this repair is wiping off the stain before the color becomes too dark.

It is actually easier to apply several three-minute coats to build color ... rather than try to apply one heavier coat.

Once you've established a timeline that works follow the same timeline with each door to ensure uniform color across each cabinet.

Finally, after the color dries overnight, add a fresh clear coat over all of the cabinets.

This will create a durable, cleanable surface that will protect your cabinets for years to come.

These "How To" instructions assume that you want to restore the existing color on your cabinets.

Should you want to take another approach, write back and we can detail "How To" reach an alternative result.

Once the stain dries, I would recommend clear coating the entire set of cabinets.
Posted 2015-01-29T16:05:05+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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