Kitchen cabinets are the showplace of your kitchen.

The working parts of kitchen cabinets and modern custom kitchen cabinets consist of:

• cases or cabinet boxes,
• doors,
• drawers,
• hardware (slides, hinges, knobs and pulls).

These boxes or cases are attached to the wall with screws and the doors, drawers and hardware are basically decorative accessories that determine the style of your kitchen.

Whether you're planning for new units or just refacing, refinishing or painting existing cabinets, you have several options.

Option #1- Refinishing existing cabinets - this simply means that your old ones are still in good condition, but you have become tired of the same look or perhaps you want to now have a different finish for them.

You are considering painting or staining them to give a more attractive look.

Painting your kitchen cabinets - if you decide to paint, use a good quality oil-based primer to cover the old finish.

The primer is important because it will give you the sealed surface for the next new finish-coat.

Your paint choice should be tough enough to handle dirt, grease, and the daily wear-and-tear. Use a latex (water based) semigloss paint. It will be easier to apply and to clean up when you finish.

When you paint, have good ventilation to get rid of the paint fumes. Avoid painting during days where the humidity levels are very high. High humidity causes paint to take longer to dry.

Painting may take place over a few days. Allow plenty of drying time between coats. You don't want to apply a second or third coat on a surface that has not fully dried.

You will first need to strip off the old stain and varnish. Stripping cabinets at anytime and season is now possible because most strippers today are less smelly and easier to use.

Follow all the container instructions carefully. After stripping, select a stain. You can either match what you had before, or you can change the color of the stain.

When you begin staining or varnishing the cabinets and doors, allow plenty of drying time between coats. The doors will need two coats of varnish for better protection.

Sand the first coat of varnish lightly to remove any small blemishes and to help the second coat to adhere better.

Option #2- Re-facing existing kitchen cabinets - This term means that you will be replacing the old doors, drawer fronts and perhaps the hardware because the cabinets or cases are in good condition.

You can buy stained or unstained doors and drawer fronts at various prices depending on what type of wood you select.

Refacing is a good idea if you want to remodel your kitchen while maintaining the existing layout.

Cabinet boxes come in two types:

1 - Framed boxes - a frame is applied to the face of the box. The door covers either the entire frame or just the opening, leaving some space around the door for some wood framing that is often made of hardwood.

This is also true for the drawer boxes. This style tends to be more traditional and it is very commonly used in North America - this style will give you building cabinet kitchen traditional.

2 - Frame-less boxes - there is no frame on the box. The doors and drawers always cover the case or the opening completely.

These type of modern custom kitchen cabinets are also called Euro-style cabinets, they use less wood and they have a more contemporary look.

Kitchen cabinet and semi custom kitchen cabinets quality.

Depending on your budget and preferences, you will need to decide between custom-made kitchen cabinets or buying stock cabinets for your new room or remodeling job.

- A durable unit will have the boxes made of particleboard which is strong, stable and tough (European-style cabinets).

Some units are made with plywood which is stronger, and others are made with medium-density fiberboard which consists of wood particles even smaller than the ones used in particleboard.

Medium-density fiberboard is glued together under pressure and has a smooth, clean surface that can be painted with edges that can be shaped.

- The interior of most cabinet boxes tends to be white or natural maple color unless you are using glass doors for the wall cabinets. Because you will be able to see the interior, it should match the material used for the exterior.

- Drawer boxes can also be made with particleboard, which is a problem since it is difficult to make a strong corner between two pieces of particleboard. For the drawer boxes, solid wood joints are much stronger.

- Make sure you check the finishes of the cabinets. Using too coarse a sandpaper on the first varnish coat can show up as scratches that show through the finish.

- Most suppliers tend to use European-style hardware which is of good quality and strong. Full extension slides for your drawer are great, because they allow you to expose the contents of the entire drawer when opened.

You can also find self closing drawer slides - this means that the drawer will close automatically if it is 4 inches from the closed position.

Option #3- Buying new units - The most important factor in successful installation is accurate measurements. Being even a part of an inch off is sufficient to give you all kinds of problems during the installation.

Custom made kitchen cabinets look much more integral and built-in than factory ones and they can also build taller or lower wall cabinets depending on your needs.

There is no need for fillers, since the cabinets are custom-made to exact sizes.

You can also find very good quality stock cabinets. Price-wise, stock units are not necessarily cheaper than custom-made kitchen cabinets.

It all depends on the style and materials you select. You should find a large selection of wooden, aluminum, stainless steel and laminated units.

Hinges are an important investment - you should find adjustable concealed hinges for any type of cabinet.

Adjustable concealed hinges are defined as a complicated mechanism that allows your cabinet door to be adjusted even years later after installation. If you have glass doors for wall cabinets butt hinges are an option because they are less visible and obtrusive.

Enjoy a great book that explains creating interesting kitchen decor and kitchen cabinet design and planning.

Cabin Kitchens and Baths by Esther Schmidt, Franklin Schmidt.

Cabin kitchens and baths gives tips from professionals in the log home building industry on cabinetry and floor plans that will help make a dream kitchen or bathroom a reality.

This book is a must-have for anyone remodeling or redecorating a cabin or log home.

Learn about kitchen cabinets, semi custom kitchen cabinets and cabinet custom kitchen wood.

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