Refinishing or Refacing Cabinets

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. Home owners 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!” Meaning, if your cabinet boxes are strongly constructed, you actually really like the layout of your kitchen, have adequate storage and counter space; but 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 are damaged, 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 replaced and new panels or molding are used to trim 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.

An Elegant Kitchen & Bath will help you design your new kitchen.

Refacing is more expensive than refinishing , but still less expensive than purchasing and installing all new cabinets.