Asked on Jan 23, 2016

Kitchen cabinet refinishing question

Mary Lyons
by Mary Lyons
I hate the grooves on these cabinets. Any refinishing ideas?
  33 answers
  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jan 24, 2016
    Hi Mary Lyons. You have a couple options here. First, you can sand them out depending on the depth and your want to go this route. Second, you can sand the original finish, being sure to get inside the grooves and fill with with wood filler. I would use the heavy duty filler. As cabinet doors get closed hard, you wouldn't want the filler to pop out. Third, you could cut Luan and give them a new door face so to speak. Fourth, you could leave the grooves. Put paintable wall paper in the center and then put a decrotive moulding around the wallpaper. Prep is key with any of these steps and will yield best results. With some work you'll have a great kitchen in no time. I look forward to seeing other folks on Hometalk helping you and seeing what they come up with. You'll have a great choice to make!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 24, 2016
    I agree PREP is the key. Cabinets get closed hard sometimes so anything you use has to be sturdy. Painting them or re-staining them? I would put a band of thin molding (maybe a 1/4" thick maybe 1/2" wide and does not have to me mitered if using plain) around the outside edge of each door (style of your choice, plain of fancy) and keep the grooves. If re-staining you will have to sand down the original wood first so as to accept stain. If painting, a light sanding will not hurt either. If painting, you might want to check on getting some unfinished doors and changing them out instead of putting in so much work. And you can pick the style you like! If there is a cabinet shop in your area, you might be able to get them to make custom size doors. If you are handy with woodwork and can do it yourself...the sky is the limit!!!!
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 24, 2016
    To add to the above advice ,since sanding is a big project maybe just paint would change the look of the cabinets.
  • Dfm Dfm on Jan 24, 2016
    my thought....dry erase board. it's white, no painting required, use j channels on the edges. or...there are plastic back splash panels.some in modern looks, some vintage..they cut easy, and have matching channels to cover cut edges. the diy person at my lumberyard had a decent suggestion....use silicone caulk to hold them in place. easy to remove... and change out later if you grow tired of the look. i tried the wood filler route in the groves of a project....tedious. it also shrank when dried, had to apply a 2nd layer.
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Jan 24, 2016
    As a tired retired builder as everyone says prep is the key to a great finish. Fpr my taste I love them as they are. For you that another problem. You can sand them paint them any color you like then take a small brush and paint the grooves with a contrasting color, maybe red door with white, black any color you like in the grooves. , white doors black grooves.
  • Brenda Brenda on Jan 24, 2016
    Get some wood puddy, fill in sand smooth then paint
  • Renee Confere Renee Confere on Jan 24, 2016
    Paintable caulk & a caulking gun , fill the groves with the caulk wipe smooth , allow to dry, paint with a GOOD primer , then paint
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jan 24, 2016
    Fill and paint. Add a frame or an inset as you prefer.
  • Shelley Shelley on Jan 24, 2016
    I love the bead board look....I wouldn't fill them in, I would paint the cabinets instead....
  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 24, 2016
    I really like them as they are as well. I would consider a good paint job as a fix.
  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Jan 24, 2016
    I know you said you did not like the grooves, but paint them a different color, to add interest to your cabinets. I think that would change your feelings about them.
  • Mikkigirl Mikkigirl on Jan 24, 2016
    I love the cabinets as is, but if you want to change the look I'd just paint, maybe a whitewash, and add hardware. The grooves add a nice barn look so I'd leave them.
  • Suzyetty Suzyetty on Jan 24, 2016
    I've seen them flipped backwards before.
  • Barbara Barbara on Jan 24, 2016
    I love the bead board look and I too would just paint. In our previous home my daughters bedroom had one wall of paneling with grooves similar to this. We couldn't remove the wood without compromising the window so we used wood putty and puttied up the entire wall. Very labor intensive because then we had to sand the entire wall after it dried before we could paint. It did disguise the grooves. We wanted to 'cover up' any imperfections so we texturized the wall with a sponge technique after first applying the base coat.
  • Donna Marie Herzwurm Donna Marie Herzwurm on Jan 24, 2016
    I love the Cabinets too, very cute style. Not alot of people have this style. Wish I did!!!
  • Sonia Sonia on Jan 24, 2016
    You've been given some great suggestions on how to fill the grooves. In the photo the doors appear pretty good size. Be sure that you have some idea or elements to add or it could be to large doors with a handle !
  • Ely2512234 Ely2512234 on Jan 24, 2016
    I think the grooves are stylish. How about a coat of paint and slightly distressing them?
  • Melody McSweeney Melody McSweeney on Jan 24, 2016
    I'd paint them white to look just like beadboard and purchase some awesome designer hardware. . .
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jan 24, 2016
    I also have this style cabinets and you have also answered my questions, thank you.
  • Jhmarie Jhmarie on Jan 24, 2016
    Filling in the groves with wood putty might work, but chances are it will show, and since wood moves with changes in temp and humidity, cracks could develops over time. There are places that make replacement doors. You might want to get a door style you like and donate those to ReStore. If you think that would be too expensive, consider getting a few doors at a time and live with open shelves for a while. Open shelves, baskets and curtained cabinets are ways to reduce the need for cabinet doors, or options while you wait to afford new doors.
  • Janice Grizzle Janice Grizzle on Jan 24, 2016
    Paint them a color you would like.
  • LD LD on Jan 24, 2016
    If your goal is to remove the groves in the doors, then you you can fill them in, and then paint or stain the cabinets, just make sure use the type of filler that is recommended on the type of finishing you're going to use.
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Jan 24, 2016
    They would look good painted white, then add nautical décor like ship wheels and anchors in the room
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 24, 2016
    Hi Mary! I have to agree with the folks above who say that puttying the grooves may not work. No matter how smoothly you fill and sand them (and that would take a tremendous amount of work and time), chances are eventually they will begin to crack, especially with a lot of use. That will really drive you crazy! I am thinking that painting them a light color might help to diminish the visual impact of the grooves, as they are not that big or wide. Also, adding some nice hardware might help to take the focus away from the grooves. Good luck!
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Jan 24, 2016
    You could cover the doors with !/4 "plywood or I think it might be called louan.?? sp., add some molding around the edges. Not sure what style you are after. Good luck
  • Charles Prock Charles Prock on Jan 24, 2016
    Most people would kill for the beaded board look....leave them.
  • Cindi Cindi on Jan 24, 2016
    I really like the look of this bead board too, but if you want to change it, I think it would look best to cut a new facing for it, or buy new door fronts. You could also dress it up with some cool handles, or a touch of nice mosaic tile here and there, or other design.
  • Mary Lyons Mary Lyons on Jan 25, 2016
    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll probably go with paint and hardware.
  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 25, 2016
    find that real thick wall paper, put it on and paint everything.
  • Catherine Catherine on Jan 25, 2016
    Using an old credit card you could try filling in the lines with sandable wood filler if you are intending on painting them anyway.
  • CKimball CKimball on Jan 25, 2016
    Use Brushing Putty. It fills in the grooves and gives a smooth finish
  • I think once you paint it you will like the grooves. - especially if you use white.
    • DORLIS DORLIS on Mar 11, 2016
  • Ram6016350 Ram6016350 on Nov 01, 2016
    You can fill in the grooves with unsanded grout, clean with water and sponge until smooth, prime, then paint.