Looking to update your kitchen or bathroom on a small budget? You might consider resurfacing.By refinishing the surface of your existing countertops, cabinets or bathtub and shower surrounds, you can create a new look or take those rooms back to a just installed look.Most people dont know about it, said Bill Stewart of Surface Savers, which is affiliated with and housed at CKS Kitchens & Design in Durham. Its been around 30 years, but it just hasnt been around here.Refinishing is a hot trend in homes now, with information popping up in magazines and materials showing up in the do-it-yourself aisles of home improvement stores.The makeover technique previously was used solely in commercial buildings as a fast solution to creating a new look without closing a business for long. The economy and an increasing awareness of the environment, though, have moved refinishing into homes. For half the cost of installing new materials or an even greater cost savings in some cases people can enjoy a new kitchen or bathroom without sending still-usable materials to the landfill.Were saving the landfill of all that material, which is a good thing, Stewart said. People seem to like that, but people like the cost savings first of all. People are looking for a variety of ways to peel the banana instead of just one or two ways.The refinishing option also reduces the amount of time a kitchen or bathroom cant be used, with companies like Surface Savers re-glazing countertops or bath and shower surrounds in half a day and completing cabinets in a few days.The acrylic urethane that Surface Savers uses in the process dries to a hard finish in 24 hours and has the same durability of new laminate, Stewart said. Any problems with bonding would show within the first hour, he said, noting that such problems could be the result of a possible chemical reaction or inadequate preparation of the existing material. Coats are applied directly to the existing surface, with do-it-yourselfers typically using paintbrushes and professionals using spray guns. Stewart suggests residents, including pets, stay out of the house during application. When applying the material, his company envelops the space with plastic sheeting and blows the fumes outside.Interested? Heres some additional information:Cabinets
Resurfacing cabinets involves repainting or re-staining existing cabinets or painting cabinets that have been stained. Restoring painted cabinets to a stained finish is a difficult process that Stewart does not advise undertaking. Some options are to re-stain cabinets the same color or darker or to paint or stain cabinetry in different colors, such as a different shade for the island.For a completely new look, combine resurfacing of cabinets with some minor modifications. These could include adding crown molding, installing decorative hardware or changing some of the cabinetry, such as adding pullout drawer systems in one section or changing cabinet doors. Homeowners looking to replace 60 percent of their kitchen cabinetry might as well remove the existing cabinetry and install new materials, Stewart advises.The cost for resurfacing cabinets varies depending on such factors as the number of doors involved. Stewart said his company can save homeowners at least half of what they would pay for new cabinetry as well as probably two-thirds of their time.Countertops
Countertops can be re-glazed in a variety of colors, including a simulated stone finish in addition to solid colors. The finished product looks like solid surface, with a laminate countertops seams erased and damages repaired.The finished product also is repairable with spot resurfacing, so a burn does not require replacing the entire surface.
Surface Savers charges about $350 to $400 to re-glaze countertops.