Repair challenge – refurbishing kitchen cabinets

Fired up to complete the first element of the Circular Challenge, I tackled a long postponed job of refurbishing our 15 year old kitchen cabinets

Worn handles
Challenge repair  - kitchen handles

The first problem was the handles: several of the handles that we most used were becoming very worn looking, but I didn’t want to have to replace them all.

This was easy to fix. I just swopped the handles around, choosing unworn handles from little used cupboards to put in the most visible positions. The worn handles went back somewhere else, turned around   so the wear wouldn’t show and everything got a good wash.  It was a strangely satisfying juggling act, and really made a difference: suddenly all the handles looked like new!



Flaking varnish

The other problem was that the varnish was flaking off the bottom of the cupboard door that was over the sink. Presumably this was because of the steam from washing up. It wasn’t very noticeable at the moment, but it soon would be, and then we might be faced with feeling we needed to replace all the doors.  Aghh.Challenge repair - touching up paintwork & varnish

For this one, I switched the whole door with the door from another cupboard, so there was now an undamaged door over the sink. This was very easy to do, because the fixing holes for the hinges had been drilled in the factory, so they were in exactly the same place in each door. While the damaged door was off the cupboard I used some watercolour paint to tint the bare wood to the right colour.

Then when it was dry, on the areas I’d touched up, I put on a couple of coats of clear quick drying varnish (this is ordinary, low VOC acrylic varnish). I used a satin finish to match the existing doors, and the repair was virtually invisible.

Hopefully it’ll now last another 15 years!


Anne Miller 9 March 2016 ref 15638