Restoring Solution for Kitchen CabinetsFebruary 10, 2010
Q. Our realtor has said the appearance of our 25 year old kitchen cabinets will affect our asking price. His comment was that a buyer will judge the rest of the house by how the cabinets have been maintained. The cabinets do look well worn but are still very solid. It’s a big kitchen, well layed out, and it would be a shame to toss out such good oak doors. And we’re not sure we’ll get our investment back if we gut it all and put new cabinets into a 25 year old home. We’ve tried a few products on the worst areas, but they never seem to get completely clean or hold their looks. What can you suggest? We'd like to list fairly soon.
A: Kitchen cabinets are definitely a focal point of a kitchen that will age a home if they are worn or dated so overall making a small investment in cleaning them up could potentially impact the sale of a home. To refresh older oak cabinets, one product that I often recommend is BriWax, available through many building supply and hardware outlets, IRLY, Windsor Plywood, Home Hardware stores and Rona stores. BriWax is available in colours to match most wood cabinets.
To begin, remove the cabinets and wipe them down in a well ventilated space with a contact cement solvent to remove any grease and grime. Next, apply the Briwax with 0000 super fine steel wool and buff with a soft cloth. This is a project that requires time and patients so it would be well worth hiring a professional. Also, consider other inexpensive upgrades to update the kitchen such as adding crown molding and replacing worn or dated hardware, kitchen faucets and light fixtures.
In Greater Vancouver, Kitchen Magician specialized in reviving the existing oak to the original condition at reasonable cost. I have seen many of their finished jobs and have been very impressed at the outcome; in fact we had our own kitchen done 7-years ago and it still looks great. They can be reached through the Shell Busey HouseSmart Home Services office at 604-542-2236.
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