Refinishing or Refacing Cabinets

Refinishing or Refacing Cabinets

Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular home improvement projects. Upgrading your kitchen will give your home a fresh new look, increase personal enjoyment of the space, and increase your home’s value.

Homeowners who invest in renovating their kitchen will usually see a higher return on their investment when they sell compared to other home renovations. In fact, the condition of your kitchen will have a major influence on a buyer’s decision if your house is already on the market.

You can give your kitchen a whole new look without breaking the bank on brand-new cabinetry. If your old cabinets are built strong, are still in good shape, and provide the storage you require, you can choose to reface or refinish them instead of replacing them entirely.

As the old saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” This means that if your cabinet boxes are strongly constructed, you actually really like the layout of your kitchen and have adequate storage and counter space. However, you would still like a new look – you don’t have to start completely from scratch.

Refinishing Cabinets:

Refinishing is when you keep all components of your existing cabinetry and simply change the finish or color of the doors and exterior portions. You can do this by hand sanding or stripping the existing finish with chemicals and then painting or staining.

The cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed for refinishing. The frame and toe kick can be roughed up and stained as well before the refinished doors and drawer fronts are placed back on. The job is complete after new hardware is mounted. This method only works if you have real wood cabinets. You cannot sand down or paint metal or laminate surfaces, and paint does not stick well to it.

Refinishing is the most economical option between the two. Depending on the size of the job, door style, labor costs, and other factors, refinishing cabinets could cost about 60 percent of the cost of refacing.

Refacing Cabinets:

Refacing is when you keep your existing cabinet boxes but replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. This allows you to change the color, look, and even material. You can also replace side panels, moldings, and frames so everything matches.

This is a good option if your cabinet boxes are still in excellent shape but your doors need to be fixed or you’re just sick of their shape and style. It allows you to completely change the look of your kitchen while keeping the ‘base’ of your original cabinetry.

Beyond just replacing the new cabinet doors, the face frames and side panels get new coverings to match. The toe kick is returned, and new panels or molding is used to trim the exposed undersides of the upper cabinets to give them a matching finish. Once the doors and drawer fronts are placed back on the cabinet boxes, new hardware is mounted to complete the job.

Is Refacing kitchen cabinets worth it?

When considering kitchen renovations, many homeowners ask, “Is it worth it to reface kitchen cabinets?” The answer largely depends on several factors, including the condition of your existing cabinets, your budget, and your desired outcome. Refacing cabinets is often a more cost-effective solution than a full replacement. It’s especially ideal for those who are satisfied with the layout of their kitchen but crave an aesthetic change.

Best Refacing Cabinets Options:

When it comes to the best refacing cabinet options, homeowners have a plethora of choices. The selection ranges from high-end wood veneers to more economical laminate options. The best choice depends on your style, the overall design of your kitchen, and, of course, your budget.

Affordable Cabinet Refacing:

Affordable cabinet refacing is a priority for many. Fortunately, refacing offers a budget-friendly alternative to complete cabinet replacement. By focusing on the visible parts of your cabinets, you can achieve a brand-new look at a fraction of the cost. To maximize savings, consider material choices and whether some aspects of the job can be DIY.

Refacing Cabinets Cost:

Discussing refacing cabinet costs, it’s important to note that prices can vary widely. The cost is influenced by factors such as the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and labor costs in your area. Generally, refacing your kitchen cabinets can cost anywhere from 30% to 50% less than replacing them.

Problems with Refacing Kitchen Cabinets:

While there are many benefits, there are also problems to consider when refacing kitchen cabinets. One potential issue is that not all cabinets are good candidates for refacing. Cabinets that are poorly constructed, have water damage, or are excessively worn may not benefit from refacing. Furthermore, refacing won’t fix functional issues like poor layout or lack of storage.


In conclusion, refacing your kitchen cabinets can be a wise investment, offering a balance of cost-effectiveness, aesthetic appeal, and increased home value. Whether you choose to reface or refinish, it’s essential to weigh your options, consider the condition of your existing cabinets, and decide what works best for your budget and your home’s needs.

Remember, a well-planned kitchen renovation, no matter how small, can breathe new life into your home and bring joy to your everyday cooking and gathering experiences.

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