Kitchen cabinets take a lot of abuse. From frequent opening and closing of doors and drawers to cleaning and scrubbing, the edging in particular can get worn down. If the cabinets are stained or painted, the colour can get rubbed away. If the wood on the edges of laminated cabinets is exposed, it not only looks unattractive, but water can soften and ruin the underlying wood. Restoring the colour to kitchen cabinet edging both improves the appearance of the cabinets and makes them last longer.
Wood cabinet edging
Scrub the cabinet edging with mild detergent and warm water to remove grime or grease, and allow it to dry.
Sand the edging with a medium-grit sanding sponge or 220-grit sandpaper until it's smooth and all loose or peeling paint, stain or varnish is removed.
Match the colour of the existing finish. Whether it's stain or paint, the easiest way to do this is by taking a sample to a paint store. They won't charge you for matching the colour. Take a cabinet drawer or smaller door in as a sample.
Apply the finish. If it's stain, apply it to the bare wood, let it penetrate for about 10 minutes, then wipe off the excess. Seal it with at least two coats of varnish or clear sealer to protect the colour. If the area needs to be painted, prime the bare wood with primer, then apply two coats of the paint.
Laminate cabinet edging
Look for wood edging tape to repair the edges of laminate cabinets. Edging tape is available in many wood-tone finishes, as well as common laminate or melamine colours such as white or beige. You may have to look for it at a cabinet supplier instead of a hardware or home improvement centre.
Clean the cabinet edging and let it dry. Most edgings are applied to clean surfaces with a hot iron.
Place the tape carefully along the edging until it's in position. Run the hot iron along it, pressing down firmly. The adhesive on the tape is heat activated and will stick securely once ironed.
Trim the excess tape with a sharp razor, and use 220-grit sandpaper to round off sharp edges.
For restoring colour to wood-stained edging, look for a stain touch-up pen that makes it easy to touch up smaller areas. You may need to repaint an entire door or drawer front for a uniform appearance.