Cabinet refinishing, also known as cabinet resurfacing or cabinet reglazing, is the most cost-effective alternative for homeowners when the kitchen looks outdated and/ or shows signs of deterioration.
With the right professional, you can achieve the best of both worlds: a factory-style finish that looks neat and polished, while you can save lots of money and avoid all the hassles associated with a conventional remodeling project such as demolition, dust, and debris.
However, once the cabinets are refinished, it’s important to take proper care of them to expand their lifespan and ensure they continue to look their best.
This article provides 8 critical refinished cabinet cleaning tips as well as some maintence tips, so you can enjoy them for a longer time and maximize their beauty.
Here are the most important things you must keep in mind for that purpose.
1. Clean Regularly
The first tip about maintaining your refinished cabinets properly is to clean them regularly. By following a periodic and methodic cleaning routine you guarantee that the cabinets don’t accumulate excessive amounts of grease or other build-ups that could require more aggressive solutions to keep them in good shape, clean, and looking nice.
The frequency of your cleaning schedule would actually depend on how heavily your kitchen is used and how often you cook in it. Kitchens that are rarely used would not obviously need such frequent cleaning or maintenance.
2. Vacuum out and wipe down drawers and cabinet boxes
Over time food particles & grease build-up can accumulate inside the drawers and the boxes causing undesired odors, the proliferation of bugs as well as damage to the surfaces in the long run like stains, erosion, etc.
Due to this, vacuuming out drawer boxes & cabinet boxes using appropriate attachments is a must and should suffice in removing most debris as long as it’s done periodically. Always wipe down those surfaces afterward ensuring no particles are left behind.
3. Avoid Water Damage
Water can pose a significant threat to kitchen cabinets whether refinished or not, as prolonged exposure to it could cause warping, swelling, discoloration, and even mold growth. It’s essential to take precautions to prevent it for the sake of the longevity of your cabinets.
One key step to prevent water damage is to avoid leaving standing water on the surface of the cabinets. Standing water can seep into the wood and cause damage over time, even if it is just a small puddle left by a spill or leak.
It’s important to be vigilant and promptly fix any pipe leaks as well as to wipe up any spills or puddles with a clean and dry cloth.
Additionally, we advise limiting the use of water when cleaning your refinished kitchen cabinets, instead, opt for a dry or slightly damp cloth for regular cleaning. If you feel that water is absolutely necessary, use it sparingly and immediately dry the cabinets afterward to prevent any moisture from lingering on the surface.
4. Protect the Finish
One of the benefits of cabinet refinishing is the new, protective finish. To maintain this finish, it’s important to protect it from damage.
Avoid placing hot pans or dishes directly on the surface of the cabinets, as this can cause discoloration and damage to the finish. Use coasters or trivets to protect the surface.
Similarly, be careful not to scratch the surface with sharp objects or abrasive materials. Use soft cloths or sponges when cleaning to avoid lacerating the finish.
5. Use the Right Products
When cleaning your newly refinished cabinets, it’s important to use the right products.
Always look for products that are labeled as safe for use on finished wood or a mild cleaner specifically designed for wood surfaces.
There are many over-the-counter cabinet cleaners available that can help remove dirt, oil, and grease. If you try one, it is recommended to use a brand that is ph-balanced and is suitable for various substrates/types, including wood and laminate cabinets.
Spray the cleaner on your clean, soft microfiber cloth and then wipe the surface, rather than spraying it directly onto the cupboards and then wiping.
If it’s your first time using this cleaner it would be a good idea to test it on an inconspicuous area (like on the inside of any of the cabinet doors, for example). Some household cleaners and chemicals can cause permanent damage to the cabinetry finish, which can sometimes be unrepairable or very expensive to restore.
Similarly, use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface. Stay away from paint thinners or solvents, solid or powdered cleaners as well as steel wool, scouring pads, sandpaper, or any other abrasive materials.
6. Clean and care for Hardware (Handles/Knobs)
High-quality decorative cabinet hardware is typically finished with a protective coating, but this doesn’t make them invincible. Decorative cabinet hardware should be cleaned/wiped with a slightly damp soft cloth and immediately dried with a dry soft cloth to remove any excess residual moisture. It is also important to dry the areas around the cleaned handle or knob immediately after.
Sometimes they form grease build-up due to frequent contact with dirty hands when opening the doors and drawers, so degreasing them may be necessary from time to time. It is important to use an appropriate degreaser product (depending upon the type of material they are made of) along with an old toothbrush dipped into the solution – scrub away any grime until clean and then rinse off with water afterward making sure not to leave behind any residue or humidity.
You would also want to protect the finish on your handles and knobs by making sure that you don’t hit them with solid objects like silverware, cooking utensils, or jewelry, as those objects could scratch or chip away their protective coating.
7. Avoid Direct Sunlight
If your cabinets are located in an area that receives direct sunlight, using curtains or blinds to protect your cupboards is another critical tip that should be kept in mind at all times.
Ultraviolet rays from direct sunlight can cause the finish on your cabinets to crack, fade or discolor over time. If you like daylight and to have a bright house, simply study from what time to what time the sun hits that area and keep the curtain or blind close or adjusted to reduce the entrance of light during those hours.
Similarly, avoid placing lamps or other sources of heat near the cabinets. Excessive heat can also cause damage to the finish over time.
8. Treat Kitchen Cabinets Gently
Kitchen cabinets are usually not treated too gently. It is very common to see its doors and drawers slammed, especially during rush hours while we cook.
Over time this practice of repetitive and forceful slamming can cause wood to warp, or break. Wood would also start to show signs of premature aging when it’s frequently knocked around.
It would not be a bad idea to install soft close dampers to diminish the blow to your kitchen cabinet doors or, in its defect, to be mindful of how you close the drawers and doors to avoid unnecessary slamming.
Proper cleaning and maintenance are key to kitchen cabinet longevity. By following the 8 cleaning and maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your refinished kitchen cabinets remain beautiful and functional for a long time while you get a cost-effective alternative to a full kitchen remodel.
Regular cleaning, vacuuming out and wiping down drawers and cabinet boxes, avoiding water damage, protecting the finish, using the right products, caring for hardware, and avoiding direct sunlight are some of the most important tips to keep in mind to protect your investment.
If you are located in South Florida and need guidance on how to take care of your kitchen cabinets or you are simply looking to give a nice facelift to your kitchen and don’t want to break the bank, call America Refinishing Pros.
America Refinishing Pros is one of the most reputable cabinet painters in the region. We have many years in the market and have a long list of satisfied customers. Our team can help you, regardless of the kitchen layout or the material your kitchen is made of thermofoil, wood, plywood, laminate, polyester, wood veneer, or any other.