Solid wood, wood veneer or laminate cabinets can be refaced by cleaning and sanding them down, applying primer, sanding everything again, applying another coat of primer, adding two or three layers of paint, and applying a clear topcoat. However, refacing depends largely on the type of cabinet.
In order to reface solid wood cabinets, it is important to remove all knobs, hinges and hardware. The cabinets should be lightly sanded down and all dust removed before applying a coat of water-based wood stain. The stain should be allowed to dry before adding the protective topcoat.
Refacing wood veneer cabinets means adding new veneer. After removing the old wood veneer, the wood should be sanded down so that the new veneer adheres more easily. It is necessary to measure the new wood veneer, then use a utility knife to cut it. Wood glue and a nail gun should be used to attach the veneer to the cabinets. Putty fills in the nail holes making sure that the putty matches the color of the veneer.
To refinish laminate cabinets, the original laminate must be removed. This might require flammable grade glue solvent and a putty knife to loosen it. Once the laminate is removed, the cabinets should be lightly sanded, and new self-sticking laminate should be cut and attached.