Refacing your cabinets is an excellent choice when giving a new and updated look to your kitchen, bathroom or any area where there are cabinets and drawers. Our Rigid Thermofoil (RTF) doors, drawers and mouldings come in beautiful wood grain and contemporary patterns and colors. We guarantee that we will have the right look for you!
From traditional to contemporary, our choices include dozens of options for panels. Our line of accessories including mouldings and hardware (knobs and handles) provide the perfect finish to your refacing project.
Our Cabinet Refacing Guide below takes you through a step-by-step approaching from start to finish. If we can be of assistance and answer any questions about the refacing installation process, please contact us at (800) 350-6403.
Step 1a: Do you have Framed or Frameless Doors?
This is one of the most critical parts to ensuring that you order, and that we make, the correct doors and drawer fronts for your cabinets. There are two basic types of cabinets: Framed and Frameless.
For Framed cabinets, the standard "overlay" (size of the frame that is covered by the door or drawer front) is 1/2". This means that the door size is 1" wider than the opening width (1/2" on each side), an is 1" taller than the opening height. However, framed cabinets can have various overlays - from 1/4" to 1-1/4". When determining the overlay that you will use, be sure to add the measurement to both sides of the width measurement.
For example: A 20" opening with a 1/2" overlay will be 20" + 1/2" (overlay on the left) + 1/2" (overlay on the right) = 21" total measurement for door width. Calculate the same way for the height of the door.
Frameless cabinets can be measured by using the overlay method or by measuring the existing doors.
Visual on Different Overlays
For a video guide on measuring your doors with overlay, click here.
Step 1b: Make A Visual Drawing While Measuring
To ensure that you've measured all of the doors and remember which sizes go where, it's always a great idea to draw out your cabinets as you note your measurements. It doesn't have to be fancy - just a visual representation of your layout works. We do recommend using a ruler for straight lines, although you do not have to draw to scale. Simply indicate the measurements and you should be just fine.
NOTE: You will order Thermofoil sheets for ends, bottoms, toe kicks and faces.
If you will be needing new drawer boxes, the diagram below shows how to get the proper measurements to ensure that the new drawer boxes will be a fit.
After measuring for the drawer boxes, you will also need to provide the Drawer Front measurements. If you have not already taken the Drawer Front measurements, refer to Steps 1a and 1b to get these measurements.
One of the last items to measure are the sides, faces and even back walls of your island or peninsulas. Our Thermofoil comes in 24' x 96' sheets to accommodate your cabinets. We advise you to allow for X amount of overage when making these measurements in order to ensure that you receive enough material.
Don't forget to also measure your toe kicks. For mouldings and corbels, they will also have a matching finish. See the examples below of End Panels, Mouldings, Toe Kicks and Corbels.
Check for frame condition and new hinge location
Look for defects and damage such as warpage, joint separation or water damage. Take a look at the shelves and make sure they are not warped. Lastly, examine the frame and make sure that it is solid.
At Lindsey Doors, we will always have a dedicated specialist ensure that your order is correct. There are two options to getting started on placing your order with us.
Option 1: Get a free quote by selecting your cabinet doors, drawer fronts and mouldings from our website. We have 20 colors and over 15 styles and routes available online.
Option 2: Fill out our Online Form and submit for a free quote.
Option 3: Download our Order Form (PDF) and email or fax in for a free quote.
Option 4: Call us directly at (800) 350-6403 to speak with a specialist. We have an extensive catalog of hundreds of colors and patterns as well as many more route styles when contacting us directly. For your convenience, our most popular door styles and colors are available online. However, our specialists are ready to assist you at any time on your order.
Step 6a: Cover up
To ensure that the rest of your kitchen, bathroom or room is best protected from debris and dust, cover your floor, walls, counter tops and appliances.
Step 6b: Ventilation
During refacing, there will be dust and vapors from glue. Please ensure that your work area has plenty of ventilation.
Step 6c: Remove existing doors and drawer fronts
Step 6d: Remove mouldings
To ensure that you don't peel off any paint from the walls, use a utility knife to score caulking or paint before removing the moulding.
Step 6e: Repair any damaged frames or cabinets
If the face frames were slotted for old hinges, the slotted area will need to be filled and repaired with auto-body filler.
Step 6f: Clean surfaces
After filling in any gaps, clean all surfaces with mild soap and water.
Step 6g: Sand surfaces
This step creates dust in the air. You may want to use precaution and wear a dust mask even if your sander is connected to a vaccum. Use an orbital sander with 100 to 150 grit sandpaper (which should be adequate for most scenarios) and sand all surfaces that will be receiving laminate. For surfaces that are ....(explain when another grit may be necessary).
Step 6h: Measure and cut for laminate parts
You will now take measurements for the laminate parts. This includes: finished ends, bottom of upper cabinets, face frames and toe kicks. On a workable surface, use a utility knife or scissors with a straight edge and cut your laminate parts 2" to 3" bigger than the measurement of the actual size. You will be able to trim the laminate once applied.
Set these pieces aside for now as you complete the final preparation step.
Step 6i: Clean and vacuum
Your preparation work is now complete. Remove any plastics or sheeting that you used to cover up your floors, walls, counter tops and applicances. Vacuum cabinets, inside and out, counter tops and floors so that no debris or dust will be contaminating the areas of lamination.
Step 7a: Laminate toe kicks
While your floor is clean, this is the best time to laminate the toe kicks. Using a 3" chip brush, apply a 3M water-based contact glue onto the cabinet surface. Now, brush the glue onto the back of the laminate. Apply laminate to the toe kick. Ordering 1/4" pre-cut material or pre-cut laminate (depending on the size of the toe kick) is recommended. Trim any overhang.
Step 7b: Laminate bottom of the uppers
Take the piece of laminate off its backing. Apply glue to the cabinet surface. Apply glue to the back of the laminate. Apply laminate to cabinet surface. Press and lightly smoth to ensure the laminate makes full contact with the entire surface.
Since each piece should have been cut with 2" to 3" more than the actual measurement, you will now trim any overhang with scissors or a razor knife. Using a file, smooth out the trimmed laminate edge.
Step 7c: Laminate finished ends
Following the same application steps as Step 7b, apply laminate to finished ends.
Step 7d: Laminate vertically (top to bottom) all face frames
Following the same application steps as Step 7a and 7b, apply laminate to face frames from top to bottom.
Step 7e: Laminate horizontally (left to right) all face frames
Follow steps 7d and apply laminate to face frames horizontally from left to right. To ensure a straight cut on the horizontal laminate, use a triangle square and a utility knife to make the cut. To finish off laminating the face frames, trim and file all laminate overhang inside of the cabinets.
Step 7f: Clean all surfaces
Clean all surfaces with a mild soap and water mixture. You may also use a mild solvent; however, we advise to test the solvent on a test area on left over parts first. Then, vacuum all cabinets.
Step 8a: Install drawer boxes (if applicable)
- Remove the old drawers and drawer slides from inside the cabinet.
- Screw the slide guides to the inside and rear of the cabinet. Extra brackets may be necessary.
- Attach the drawer slides to the bottom of the drawer box. Make sure that you flush the front end of the slide to the drawer box (this is the end without the wheel).
- Measure in approximately 4" from each side of the drawer and drill a 3/16" diameter hole through the drawer box.
- Install drawer face holding screws into the drawer box. Check that the screws aren't too long or they will break through the drawer face. Screws should protrude 3/16" to 1/4" out the front of the box. (Screw length will differ depending on drawer box material thickness.)
- Push the drawers into the cabinet until the drawer is flush with the front frame of the cabinet.
- Line up a drawer face against a drawer box, then use your fist to pound on the face to leave screw-head impressions on the drawer front.
- Apply a dab of hot-melt glue to each screw head on the back of the drawer face, then immediately press the face against the drawer front.
- Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to harden, and then gently pull the drawer open.
- Fasten the drawer face to the drawer front with two screws and washers. Check that the screws are not too long or they'll break through the drawer face.
Step 8b: Install new moldings, corbels and any accessories
When looking at our crown molding, you will notice a measurement called "breadth". This is the size of the facing of the moulding and can be used to determine how large you want the molding to appear on your ceiling. Here are some general guidelines:
Difficulty to Install - One thing to consider when you install your crown molding is how easy or difficult it will be to install. A professional installer shouldn't have a problem with any moldings, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer then this is definitely a consideration. Most 12" miter saws will only cut through a molding that is about 6" breadth. You can normally cut moldings that are a few inches larger than that on your saw by hand finishing each cut with a small coping saw.
Selecting Your Crown Molding - To help in selecting the crown molding that you want to install, we highly recommend ordering samples. The styles that are shown on the website are clear, but if you are unsure of the size that will look best in your room, then getting a sample will help you pick the perfect size.
Measuring - When installing, you will notice that on an inside corner the bottom of the molding will go all the way into the corner while the top of the molding will be several inches out from the corner. Similarly, on an outside corner it is the bottom of the molding that comes even with the corner while the top of the molding extends out beyond the corner. For this reason, when you take a measurement along the wall to determine how long the piece needs to be, you should always mark the molding on the bottom edge and make your cut using that mark. If you mark the molding on the top, your piece will not be the correct length.
When you install crown molding you should use a finish nail gun with 1 1/4" brads and an adhesive. By using an adhesive with the polyurethane moldings it makes it easier to install and you don't need to use as many nails (so less finish work at the end).
Additional Installation Tips
- Find a helper -- installing crown molding with 2 people is much quicker!
- Prior to installation, mark the wall around the entire room where the bottom of the molding will reach.
- Put adhesive on both edges of the molding (ceiling and wall) and on the seam between each piece.
- Cut 1/8" off the ends of the molding when doing a butt joint to create a clean seam.
- Use a knife to remove the back side of the bottom tip of the molding on an inside corner.
- When nailing, shoot the brad into a concave part of the molding if possible.
- Don't sweat the small mistakes -- caulking works wonders!
Step 8c: Install new cabinet doors
- Putting on Hinges
Use a combination square to mark a line on the back of the door parallel with the hinge-side edge and inset ⅞ inch. Then make marks across this line 3½ inches from the top and bottom edges. The point where the lines intersect marks the center of the hole for the hinge cup, the part that recesses into the door.
- To drill the flat-bottomed hole for the cup, you'll need a 35-millimeter Forstner bit. Mark a depth line ½ inch up the side of the bit, position it on the center point, and bore into the door until you hit the line. Blow out the shavings and test-fit the cup to make sure the hinge flanges touch the door surface. Drill the remaining cup holes.
- Press the hinge cups into the holes. Position a rafter square, as shown, to keep the hinge aligned. Using a 7/64-inch self-centering drill bit, drill pilot holes through the screw holes in the flanges on both sides of the cup, as shown. Drive ⅝-inch #6 wood screws into these holes to anchor each cup.
- Shim the door in place with an even gap all around, and measure the gap; 1/16 inch is standard. Remove the door, and use a combination square to mark a vertical line on the cabinet's side panel 2¼ inches from the front edge. Then make a horizontal line, as shown, 3½ inches—plus the gap—from the top and bottom of the opening.
- Remove the mounting plate from the hinge. Align its three screw holes with the intersecting layout lines on the side panel. Using the self-centering bit, drill pilot holes through the plate's holes, then attach the plate with the ⅝-inch #6 screws, as shown. Do the same for each hinge.
- Hold the door in the open position and hook the hinges onto their mounting plate. Press on the bars to snap them in place against the plates. Now close the door and check the reveal.
- Adjust Side-to-Side - With a Clip-top Blu-motion hinge, all you need to fine-tune the position of a cabinet door is a #2 Pozidriv screwdriver. (A #2 Phillips-head can strip the hinge's screws.)
- Adjust Up and Down
Problem:Top and bottom of door don't align horizontally with adjacent door or cabinet edge.
Solution: Turn middle screw clockwise to shift door up, counterclockwise to shift it down.
- Adjust In and Out
Problem:Door swings open, or doesn't close flush against cabinet opening.
Solution: Turn rear screw clockwise to pull hinge edge of door toward cabinet, counterclockwise to push hinge edge away from cabinet.
Procedures to Adjust Doors
- Projection - when the doors are closed the faces of the doors should be level with another. If this is not the case and a corner appears to be proud, adjust as follows - open the door 90degrees to the cabinet and check to see if the gap between the edge of the door and the edge of the cabinet is parallel. To adjust slacken the rear screw on the arm, move the door so the gap is parallel then re-tighten.
- Vertical alignment - to adjust the doors so the vertical gap between the doors are parallel - there is one adjusting screw on the arm of each hinge, this is generally the screw nearest the door, rotate this screw clockwise and the door will move away from the side of the carcass at that hinge. Anticlockwise is the reverse of course.
- Height - loosen the screws (2 per hinge) which hold the backplate to the cabinet, this will allow you to lift or lower the door to align with the drawer fronts or adjacent doors. Start with the wall units and work from the middle of any long runs. This will give you a better chance of alignment. Once you think they are somewhere close, look along the top/bottom edge of the doors to check, if you see a straight line you've cracked it. Then move on to the base units and start with the drawer fronts as these sometimes have less adjustment than the doors. Drawers are usually adjustable by cam operated screws on the outside of the drawer sides where the sides join the back of the drawer front. If you don't have these then you will need to remove and refit the drawer fronts.
Step 8d: Install Drawer Fronts
Step 8e: Adjust doors
The location of knobs and pulls isn't written in stone, but there are some standard practices.
One good rule of thumb is to line up a knob with the top of the bottom door rail. If you're installing door pulls, line up the bottom of the pull with the top of the door rail. Always center them on the door stile.
To remove old knobs or handles and replace them, loosen the screw on the back of the door that holds the old hardware in place, then remove the knob or handle.
To simplify placement of the holes for the new handle, check your home improvement store for a template that serves as a guideline for lining up standard holes at the side or bottom of the door.
Mark and pre-drill your holes carefully.
Before putting your new handle in place, fill any holes left by old hardware with wood putty, and paint that area.
Attach the new handles with screws.