5 Tips for Refreshing Cabinets Without Replacing Them

Does it ever feel like the wooden cabinets in your kitchen need a facelift? Replacing kitchen cabinets all together can be surprisingly expensive, so it’s in every homeowner’s best interest to extend their cabinets' lifespan as long as possible with regular care and maintenance.

Below, we’ll look at 5 tips to get the most—and longest—use out of your cabinets and what you can do to brighten them up when it’s time for a refresh.

1. Regular Care & Maintenance is a Must

Here's where proactivity makes a huge difference. At least twice a week, wipe down all exterior kitchen cabinet doors, knobs, and fixtures like exposed hinges. (Even once a week is better than nothing!) Doing this regularly saves you from more strenuous effort later on. By keeping grease and dirt from building up, you avoid bigger cleaning jobs and stop damage or stains from becoming permanent.

2. Skip the Harsh Cleaners to Protect Your Cabinets and Your Health

When it's time to clean more thoroughly, you should always avoid using harsh chemical cleaners. These products often contain abrasive materials or solvents that can strip or wear down the finish of your kitchen cabinets. This exposes the wood—and can even damage it directly. Gentle, all-natural cleaning products are your best choice.


5 Tips for Refreshing Cabinets Without Replacing Them 2

Not only can harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia damage and age your cabinets, but they can also negatively impact the health of your family members or pets. Many commercial cleaners rely on substances that are or contain volatile organic compounds. VOCs are bad news, leading to airway irritation and, sometimes, even more serious health concerns.

Rather than relying on cleaners that release high levels of VOCs, opt for cleaning products that are designed for healthy indoor use, such as WOCA Natural Soap or WOCA Oil Refreshing Soap

3. Handle with Care to Prevent Damage

It may sound obvious, but it's more important than you might think. The way you treat your furniture makes the difference between a short and long lifespan, and your cabinets should be treated with care, both while cleaning and in daily use.

Cabinet doors should never be forcibly closed or slammed, which wears the cabinet and its hardware down prematurely. It can also cause damage to the cabinet’s surfaces, and any resulting dings or nicks may expose the wood beneath any protective finish. This will not only look unsightly but also expose untreated wood to potential hazards and further damage.


4. Check Hinges and Screws

Give your cabinet doors a thorough inspection. If any of them are not closing properly, this can be an indication that they need more careful handling or that there is a build-up of dust or debris in mounting hardware like hinges.

If you’re finding that a door doesn’t seem to fit precisely true, start by cleaning the cabinet thoroughly with the steps above. If it’s still sagging or failing to close, you may need to replace or reseat hinges or screws that have become loose over time.

5. Use Oil Stain to Achieve a Beautiful Finish

Even the best-maintained cabinetry will someday need to be refreshed or brought up to date. We get it. Perhaps what was chic during the last kitchen remodel seems a little more old-fashioned now.

The good news is: it doesn't have to be difficult. And there’s no better way to brighten an interior space than by refinishing cabinets in bold, beautiful new colors with an oil stain.

Before applying a new stain, you’ll want to ensure you have inspected your cabinets, cleaned them thoroughly, and taken the proper steps to prepare the wood. 

And, voila!

The result? An updated look for your wooden cabinetry without the hefty price tag of a complete replacement job. Your kitchenand your walletwill thank you!

Whether you're opting for a clean and classic look, pre-treating cabinets for a distressed or rustic appearance, or experimenting with trends like mixing painted and stained wood looks in the same cabinetry, WOCA offers an array of interior finishing products and non-toxic, plant-based stains stains in a variety of beautiful designer colors that will suit your interior spaces.


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