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Cabinet Refacing: An Affordable Option for Upgrading Your Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet Refacing: An Affordable Option for Upgrading Your Kitchen Cabinets


In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of cabinet refacing, an affordable and effective way to upgrade your kitchen cabinets. We’ll address the top 10 questions people often have about this renovation option, providing you with valuable insights and information to help you make informed decisions for your kitchen remodel.


Question 1: What Is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective kitchen remodeling method that involves updating the external appearance of your cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet structure intact. This process typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, as well as applying a new veneer to the cabinet frames. The result is a refreshed and aesthetically pleasing kitchen without the need for a full cabinet replacement.

How Cabinet Refacing Works

To give you a better understanding of the cabinet refacing process, here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Assessment: A professional will assess your existing cabinets to ensure they are suitable for refacing. This includes checking the cabinet structure and ensuring it is in good condition.
  2. Design Selection: You can choose from a variety of door styles, finishes, and hardware options to achieve the desired look for your kitchen.
  3. Preparation: The cabinet surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the application of the new veneer. Any necessary repairs are also addressed at this stage.
  4. Veneer Application: A thin layer of veneer is applied to the cabinet frames, giving them a fresh appearance. This veneer can be made from wood, laminate, or other materials.
  5. Door and Drawer Replacement: The old cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and replaced with your chosen style and finish. Hardware such as handles and knobs are also updated.
  6. Final Touches: The entire kitchen is thoroughly inspected, and any final adjustments or touch-ups are made to ensure a seamless look.

Cabinet refacing provides a budget-friendly alternative to a full cabinet replacement, while still achieving a transformative kitchen upgrade. It’s an excellent choice for homeowners looking to refresh their space without the cost and disruption of a complete remodel.

Question 2: What Are the Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers numerous advantages that make it an attractive option for upgrading your kitchen cabinets:


Cabinet refacing is typically significantly less expensive than a full cabinet replacement. You can achieve a brand-new look for your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Minimal Disruption:

Unlike a complete cabinet replacement, which can take weeks to complete, cabinet refacing is a quicker process. It minimizes the disruption to your daily life and allows you to use your kitchen sooner.

Environmentally Friendly:

By reusing your existing cabinet frames, cabinet refacing is an eco-friendly option. It reduces the amount of waste generated during a renovation and promotes sustainability.


You have a wide range of design options when refacing your cabinets. From different door styles and finishes to hardware choices, you can tailor your kitchen’s appearance to your preferences.

Quality Results:

When done by experienced professionals, cabinet refacing can achieve high-quality results. Your cabinets will look and function like new, and the final product can be durable and long-lasting.

Increased Home Value:

Upgrading your kitchen with cabinet refacing can increase your home’s value. It’s an attractive feature for potential buyers, should you decide to sell your property.

Preserves Layout:

Cabinet refacing allows you to maintain your kitchen’s existing layout. This is especially beneficial if you’re satisfied with the functionality and arrangement of your cabinets.

Faster Completion:

Compared to a complete cabinet replacement, which involves extensive demolition and construction, refacing is a faster process. It can typically be completed in a matter of days.

Less Mess:

Refacing generates less dust and debris compared to a full cabinet replacement. Your home stays cleaner throughout the renovation.


If you’re working within a budget, cabinet refacing is a cost-effective way to achieve a kitchen makeover. You can allocate your resources to other aspects of your remodel.

In summary, cabinet refacing offers a range of benefits, making it an attractive choice for those looking to upgrade their kitchen cabinets without the expense and hassle of a full replacement. Whether you’re interested in cost savings, customization options, or a quicker renovation process, cabinet refacing has much to offer.

Question 3: When Is Cabinet Refacing the Right Choice?

Cabinet refacing is a fantastic option for many kitchen renovation projects, but it may not be suitable in every circumstance. Let’s explore when cabinet refacing is the right choice:

1. Cabinet Condition:

  • Cabinet refacing works best when your existing cabinets are structurally sound. If the cabinet frames are in good condition, but the doors and drawer fronts are outdated or worn, refacing is a great choice.

2. Budget Constraints:

  • If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen on a limited budget, cabinet refacing is a cost-effective alternative to a full replacement.

3. Layout Satisfaction:

  • If you’re happy with the layout and functionality of your kitchen cabinets, there’s no need for a complete overhaul. Cabinet refacing allows you to preserve your current layout.

4. Time Constraints:

  • Cabinet refacing is a quicker process compared to a full cabinet replacement. If you need your kitchen renovation to be completed in a shorter timeframe, refacing is a suitable option.

5. Eco-Friendly Choice:

  • If you’re environmentally conscious and want to reduce waste during your renovation, cabinet refacing is a sustainable choice as it reuses existing cabinet frames.

6. Customization:

  • Cabinet refacing offers a wide range of design options, allowing you to customize your kitchen’s appearance to your liking.

7. Home Resale Plans:

  • If you plan to sell your home in the future, a refreshed kitchen through cabinet refacing can boost your home’s resale value and attract potential buyers.

8. Minimal Disruption:

  • If you want to minimize disruption to your daily life during the renovation process, cabinet refacing is less invasive and faster than a complete cabinet replacement.

9. Limited Dust and Mess:

  • Cabinet refacing generates less dust and mess compared to full cabinet replacement, making it a cleaner and more convenient option.

10. Maintenance Benefits:

  • Refaced cabinets are often easier to maintain and clean, which can be advantageous for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance kitchen solution.

It’s important to assess your specific needs, budget, and goals when deciding whether cabinet refacing is the right choice for your kitchen renovation. In many cases, it offers a practical and attractive solution to breathe new life into your kitchen without the need for a full overhaul.

Question 4: Common Misconceptions About Cabinet Refacing

Before diving into the world of cabinet refacing, it’s essential to address some common misconceptions and myths associated with this kitchen renovation method. Understanding the truth behind these myths can help you make informed decisions about your kitchen upgrade.

Myth 1: Cabinet Refacing Is Just a “Cover-Up.”

  • Reality: While cabinet refacing updates the external appearance of your cabinets, it involves more than just a superficial makeover. It includes structural assessments, repairs, and the replacement of doors and drawer fronts, resulting in a substantial transformation.

Myth 2: It’s Cheaper to Replace Cabinets.

  • Reality: Cabinet refacing is generally more cost-effective than a full cabinet replacement. It allows you to achieve a refreshed look without the high costs associated with new cabinet installation.

Myth 3: Limited Design Options.

  • Reality: Cabinet refacing offers a wide range of design choices, including various door styles, finishes, and hardware options. You can customize your kitchen to match your preferences.

Myth 4: Poor Durability.

  • Reality: When done professionally, cabinet refacing can result in durable and long-lasting cabinets. High-quality materials and proper installation contribute to the longevity of refaced cabinets.

Myth 5: Limited Structural Improvements.

  • Reality: While cabinet refacing primarily focuses on the exterior, it also includes necessary structural repairs and improvements, ensuring the cabinets are in good condition.

Myth 6: It’s a Temporary Fix.

  • Reality: Cabinet refacing can provide a long-term solution for updating your kitchen. With proper maintenance, refaced cabinets can maintain their appearance and functionality for many years.

Myth 7: No Increase in Home Value.

  • Reality: Upgrading your kitchen through cabinet refacing can boost your home’s resale value. It’s an attractive feature for potential buyers and can make your property more appealing on the market.

Myth 8: Limited Material Options.

  • Reality: You can choose from various veneer materials, including wood, laminate, and more, allowing you to achieve the desired look and feel for your cabinets.

Myth 9: Complex and Lengthy Process.

  • Reality: Cabinet refacing is a relatively straightforward and faster process compared to full cabinet replacement. It minimizes disruption to your daily life.

Myth 10: Not Suitable for All Cabinets.

  • Reality: While cabinet refacing may not be suitable for severely damaged cabinets, it can be applied to a wide range of cabinet types and styles.

By dispelling these myths, you can approach cabinet refacing with a clearer understanding of its benefits and limitations. This knowledge will help you make an informed decision when considering this cost-effective and transformative kitchen renovation option.

Question 5: What Is the Expected Cost of Cabinet Refacing?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary depending on several factors. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of these factors to estimate the expected cost accurately:

1. Kitchen Size:

  • The size of your kitchen, including the number of cabinets to be refaced, will significantly impact the overall cost. Larger kitchens with more cabinets will naturally cost more to reface.

2. Material Choices:

  • Your choice of materials, such as the type of veneer and the quality of cabinet doors, will influence the cost. Higher-end materials will result in a higher cost.

3. Design Complexity:

  • If you opt for intricate door styles or customized features, it can increase the cost of cabinet refacing. Simpler designs are generally more cost-effective.

4. Location:

  • The cost of labor and materials can vary by location. Urban areas with a higher cost of living may have higher cabinet refacing prices.

5. Additional Upgrades:

  • If you choose to add extra features such as soft-close hinges, pull-out shelves, or new countertops during the refacing process, it will add to the total cost.

6. Professional Installation:

  • Hiring experienced professionals for the cabinet refacing job is crucial. Their expertise ensures a high-quality outcome, but their fees will be part of the cost.

To provide a rough estimate, cabinet refacing costs can range from $3,000 to $7,000 or more for an average-sized kitchen. Keep in mind that this estimate can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above.

It’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple cabinet refacing contractors to get a more accurate understanding of the cost for your specific project. They can provide a detailed breakdown of expenses and help you choose the best materials and design options to fit your budget.

Question 6: How Long Does a Cabinet Refacing Project Take?

One of the appealing aspects of cabinet refacing is the relatively short timeline for completion. Unlike extensive kitchen renovations, which can take weeks to finish, cabinet refacing offers a faster turnaround. Here’s a general timeline for a typical cabinet refacing project:

1. Consultation and Planning (1-2 Weeks):

  • The project begins with an initial consultation with a cabinet refacing professional. During this phase, you’ll discuss your design preferences, choose materials, and plan the project scope.

2. Material Selection and Ordering (1-2 Weeks):

  • Once you’ve decided on the design and materials, the cabinet refacing company will order the necessary components, including cabinet doors, drawer fronts, veneer, and hardware. This process can take a week or two, depending on availability.

3. Preparation (1-2 Days):

  • On the day of installation, the cabinets are prepared for refacing. This includes cleaning, removing old hardware, and making any necessary repairs to the cabinet frames.

4. Veneer Application (1-2 Days):

  • The new veneer is applied to the cabinet frames. This step may take one to two days to ensure proper adhesion and drying time.

5. Door and Drawer Replacement (1-2 Days):

  • Cabinet doors and drawer fronts are replaced with the new ones you’ve chosen. Hardware, such as handles and knobs, is also installed during this phase.

6. Final Inspection and Touch-Ups (1 Day):

  • A thorough inspection of the refaced cabinets is conducted to ensure everything is in order. Any final adjustments or touch-ups are made to achieve a polished look.

In total, a cabinet refacing project can typically be completed within 1 to 2 weeks, with some additional time needed for consultation and material ordering. This timeline is significantly shorter than a full cabinet replacement, making cabinet refacing an ideal choice for those seeking a faster kitchen upgrade.

Question 7: How to Choose a Reliable Cabinet Refacing Professional

Selecting a reputable cabinet refacing professional is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your kitchen renovation project. Here are some essential considerations and tips to help you make an informed choice:

1. Research and Recommendations:

  • Start by researching cabinet refacing professionals in your area. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews. Word-of-mouth referrals can provide valuable insights.

2. Check Credentials:

  • Verify the credentials of the professionals you’re considering. Ensure they have the necessary licenses, insurance, and certifications for cabinet refacing.

3. Portfolio and References:

  • Ask for a portfolio of their previous work and request references from past clients. This will give you a sense of their expertise and the quality of their craftsmanship.

4. Get Multiple Quotes:

  • Obtain quotes from several cabinet refacing professionals. Compare their pricing, materials, and timelines to make an informed decision.

5. Visit Showrooms:

  • If possible, visit showrooms or view samples of their work to get a better understanding of the materials and designs they offer.

6. Ask About Warranties:

  • Inquire about warranties for both materials and labor. A reputable professional should stand behind their work and offer warranties for their products and services.

7. Clear Communication:

  • Ensure that the professional communicates clearly and effectively. They should be attentive to your design preferences and project goals.

8. Review Contracts Thoroughly:

  • Before signing any contracts, review them carefully. Make sure all project details, costs, materials, and timelines are clearly outlined.

9. Visit Ongoing Projects:

  • If feasible, visit a current project they are working on. This can give you a firsthand look at their workmanship and professionalism.

10. Trust Your Instincts:

  • Ultimately, trust your instincts when selecting a cabinet refacing professional. Choose someone you feel comfortable working with and who understands your vision for your kitchen.

By taking these steps and conducting thorough research, you can choose a reliable and experienced cabinet refacing professional who will help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. Working with the right team is essential to ensuring a successful and satisfying renovation experience.

Question 8: What Materials Are Used in Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing involves the use of various materials to update the appearance of your kitchen cabinets. Understanding these materials is essential for making informed decisions during your renovation. Here are the key components used in cabinet refacing:

1. Veneer:

  • Veneer is a thin layer of material applied to the cabinet frames. It comes in various options, including wood veneer, laminate, and thermofoil. Wood veneer provides a natural wood appearance, while laminate and thermofoil offer durability and easy maintenance.

2. Cabinet Doors:

  • The doors of your cabinets can be replaced with new ones made from different materials. Common choices include solid wood, MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard), and thermofoil. Each material has its unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal.

3. Drawer Fronts:

  • Similar to cabinet doors, drawer fronts can be replaced with materials such as solid wood, MDF, or thermofoil. The choice depends on your design preferences and budget.

4. Hardware:

  • Cabinet hardware includes handles, knobs, and pulls. Select hardware that complements the style and finish of your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. This small detail can significantly impact the overall look of your kitchen.

5. Finishes:

  • The finish you choose for your cabinet doors and drawer fronts plays a vital role in the appearance of your kitchen. Options include paint, stain, or natural wood finishes. Each finish has its unique charm and maintenance requirements.

6. Accessories:

  • Consider adding accessories such as crown molding, trim, and decorative panels to enhance the visual appeal of your cabinets. These elements can provide a custom and polished look to your kitchen.

7. Soft-Close Hinges and Slides:

  • To improve the functionality of your cabinets, you can opt for soft-close hinges and drawer slides. These features prevent slamming and create a quieter and more user-friendly kitchen.

8. Pull-Out Shelves and Organizers:

  • If you’re looking to maximize storage and organization, consider adding pull-out shelves and organizers to your cabinets. These additions make it easier to access items and keep your kitchen clutter-free.

9. Under-Cabinet Lighting:

  • Under-cabinet lighting can enhance both the functionality and ambiance of your kitchen. LED lighting options are energy-efficient and provide excellent illumination.

10. Countertops:

  • While not directly part of cabinet refacing, updating your countertops can complement the refreshed cabinets. Materials like granite, quartz, or laminate can give your kitchen a modern look.

When planning your cabinet refacing project, carefully consider the materials and components that align with your design vision, budget, and lifestyle. A combination of the right materials can transform your kitchen into a stylish and functional space.

Question 9: How to Maintain and Care for Refaced Cabinets

Proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure that your refaced cabinets remain in excellent condition for years. Here are some tips to help you keep your cabinets looking and functioning their best:

1. Regular Cleaning:

  • Wipe down cabinet surfaces regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that could damage the finish.

2. Avoid Excessive Moisture:

  • Be cautious about excessive moisture in the kitchen. Dry any spills promptly to prevent water damage, especially around the sink and dishwasher.

3. Gentle Cleaning Products:

  • Use mild, non-abrasive cleaning products to maintain the finish on your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Avoid harsh chemicals that can cause discoloration or damage.

4. Dusting:

  • Dust the cabinet exteriors, including the tops, regularly. Dust can accumulate over time, especially in areas with open shelving or decorative cabinet tops.

5. Hardware Maintenance:

  • Check and tighten cabinet hardware, such as handles and knobs, as needed. Loose hardware can affect the functionality and appearance of your cabinets.

6. Soft-Close Hinges:

  • If your cabinets have soft-close hinges, ensure they are functioning correctly. Lubricate them if necessary to maintain smooth operation.

7. Organizational Habits:

  • Organize your cabinets to prevent overcrowding and stress on the doors and hinges. Proper organization also makes it easier to find items and reduces wear and tear.

8. Avoid Hanging Heavy Items:

  • Be cautious about hanging heavy objects on cabinet doors, especially if they weren’t designed for heavy use. This can cause stress on the hinges and door panels.

9. Sunlight Protection:

  • Protect your cabinets from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as it can cause fading or discoloration over time. Consider window treatments or UV-blocking film.

10. Professional Inspection:

  • Periodically have your refaced cabinets inspected by a professional to ensure they remain in good condition. They can identify and address any issues early on.

By following these maintenance and care guidelines, you can extend the life and appearance of your refaced cabinets, keeping your kitchen looking beautiful and functional for years to come.

Question 10: DIY vs. Professional Cabinet Refacing

When it comes to cabinet refacing, you may wonder whether you should attempt it as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project or hire professionals. Here’s a breakdown of the considerations for both options:

DIY Cabinet Refacing:


  1. Cost Savings: Doing it yourself can save on labor costs.
  2. Control: You have full control over the design and execution of the project.
  3. Learning Experience: It can be a valuable learning experience if you enjoy DIY projects.
  4. Flexibility: You can work on your own schedule.


  1. Skill and Experience: Cabinet refacing requires specific skills and tools that DIYers may not have.
  2. Time-Consuming: It can take longer if you’re not experienced.
  3. Quality: The final outcome may not match professional results in terms of durability and appearance.
  4. Risk: Mistakes can be costly to rectify.

Professional Cabinet Refacing:


  1. Expertise: Professionals have the necessary skills and experience for a high-quality result.
  2. Efficiency: They can complete the project faster than most DIYers.
  3. Warranty: Professionals often offer warranties on their work and materials.
  4. Customization: They can help you achieve your desired design with precision.


  1. Cost: Hiring professionals involves labor costs, which can be a significant portion of the project budget.
  2. Less Control: You may have less control over the process and design compared to a DIY project.
  3. Scheduling: You’ll need to work with the contractor’s schedule.

In summary, the decision between DIY and professional cabinet refacing depends on your skill level, available time, budget, and the desired level of quality. While DIY can be cost-effective for those with experience and the right tools, professional cabinet refacing often ensures a faster, higher-quality outcome, making it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a stress-free kitchen upgrade.

With these insights into the top 10 questions about cabinet refacing, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions about transforming your kitchen into a stylish and functional space. Whether you choose to tackle this renovation as a DIY project or enlist the help of professionals, cabinet refacing offers an affordable and attractive option for upgrading your kitchen cabinets.

Read: Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets: A Quick Guide

Read: Free-Standing Kitchen Cabinets: Pros and Cons

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