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4 Essential Tips for Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

4 Essential Tips for Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget



Refacing kitchen cabinets can breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank. It’s a cost-effective way to transform the appearance of your kitchen, giving it a fresh and updated look. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 10 questions people commonly ask about refacing kitchen cabinets on a budget, providing you with valuable insights and tips for your next home improvement project.


1. What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is the process of updating the exterior appearance of your kitchen cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. It involves replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, and applying a fresh veneer to the cabinet frames. This cost-effective method can give your kitchen a whole new look without the expense and hassle of a complete cabinet replacement.

When refacing your kitchen cabinets, you can choose from a variety of materials and finishes for the cabinet doors, allowing you to customize the look to match your style and preferences.

2. How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Cost?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and whether you hire professionals or tackle the project yourself. On average, cabinet refacing can cost significantly less than a full cabinet replacement, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.

To get a more accurate estimate, it’s recommended to obtain quotes from local contractors or kitchen remodeling companies. This will help you determine the cost based on your specific requirements and location.

3. Can I DIY Cabinet Refacing?

Yes, you can certainly tackle cabinet refacing as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project if you have some woodworking skills and the right tools. Many homeowners find this to be a cost-effective way to revamp their kitchen cabinets. However, it’s essential to be prepared and understand the process fully before attempting it yourself.

DIY cabinet refacing typically involves removing the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts, applying veneer to the cabinet frames, and installing new doors and hardware. Make sure to follow detailed instructions and take your time to ensure a professional-looking result.

4. What Materials Should I Use for Cabinet Refacing?

When choosing materials for cabinet refacing, consider durability, aesthetics, and budget. Common materials for cabinet doors and drawer fronts include wood, laminate, and thermofoil. Wood offers a timeless and elegant look but may be more expensive. Laminate and thermofoil are budget-friendly options that come in various finishes, making them suitable for different design styles.

For veneer, you can opt for wood veneer or laminate veneer. Again, the choice depends on your budget and desired aesthetics. It’s essential to select materials that complement your kitchen’s overall design and color scheme.

5. How Can I Maximize Storage During Cabinet Refacing?

One of the advantages of cabinet refacing is the opportunity to improve your kitchen’s storage capacity. While working on your cabinets, consider adding pull-out shelves, lazy Susans, and other storage solutions that make the most of your available space. These additions can help organize your kitchen better and make it more functional.

6. What Hardware Should I Choose?

Choosing the right hardware can significantly impact the overall look of your refaced cabinets. Cabinet knobs, handles, and pulls come in various styles and finishes. Consider the existing design elements in your kitchen and choose hardware that complements them. You can opt for modern, classic, or transitional hardware to achieve the desired aesthetic.

7. Can I Change the Cabinet Layout?

During the cabinet refacing process, you have the option to make layout changes if desired. However, major layout changes may involve additional costs and complexity. It’s crucial to discuss any layout modifications with a professional to ensure they can be executed within your budget and structural limitations.

8. What Are the Steps in the Cabinet Refacing Process?

Cabinet refacing involves several essential steps:

  1. Removing cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  2. Cleaning and preparing the cabinet surfaces.
  3. Applying veneer to the cabinet frames.
  4. Installing new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.
  5. Making any necessary adjustments and ensuring everything functions correctly.

9. How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on the size of your kitchen and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals. On average, a DIY project can take several days to a week or more. Professional installers often complete the job more quickly, typically within a few days.

10. Can I Combine Cabinet Refacing with Other Kitchen Upgrades?

Yes, you can combine cabinet refacing with other kitchen upgrades to create a comprehensive remodel. Consider adding new countertops, backsplash, lighting, or flooring to enhance the overall look of your kitchen. Combining multiple upgrades can give your kitchen a complete transformation while still staying within your budget.

In conclusion, refacing your kitchen cabinets on a budget is an excellent way to achieve a fresh and updated look without the high cost of a full cabinet replacement. By following these essential tips and answering common questions, you can embark on your cabinet refacing project with confidence and create a stunning kitchen that meets your design preferences and budgetary constraints.

11. How Do I Maintain Refaced Cabinets?

Once you’ve completed your cabinet refacing project, it’s essential to maintain your newly refreshed cabinets to ensure they look great for years to come. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down cabinet surfaces with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and spills. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.
  • Avoid Excessive Moisture: Be cautious about excessive moisture near your cabinets, as it can cause warping or damage to the veneer. Use proper ventilation in your kitchen and wipe up spills promptly.
  • Check Hardware: Periodically inspect cabinet hardware to ensure it’s tight and functioning correctly. Tighten any loose knobs, handles, or pulls.
  • Protect the Finish: Use cabinet liners and shelf protectors to prevent scratches and damage to the interior surfaces. Avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on the cabinet surfaces.

12. Should I Reface All Cabinets or Just Some?

Whether you should reface all your cabinets or just some depends on your budget and design goals. Many homeowners choose to reface only the visible or prominent cabinets, such as those in the kitchen’s main areas. This can be a cost-effective way to achieve a significant visual impact while keeping the project within budget.

However, if your budget allows, refacing all cabinets can provide a cohesive look throughout the kitchen. Discuss your options with a professional to determine the best approach for your specific kitchen layout and design preferences.

13. Can I Change the Color of My Cabinets During Refacing?

Yes, changing the color of your cabinets is possible during the refacing process. You can choose a different veneer or paint the cabinets to achieve the desired color. Keep in mind that if you’re changing the color significantly, it may require additional steps, such as sanding and priming, to achieve the best results.

14. How Can I Ensure a Professional Finish?

Achieving a professional finish during cabinet refacing requires careful attention to detail and the use of quality materials. Here are some tips:

  • Proper Surface Preparation: Ensure that the cabinet surfaces are clean, smooth, and free of any defects before applying veneer or paint.
  • Quality Materials: Invest in high-quality veneer, cabinet doors, and hardware to achieve a durable and attractive finish.
  • Precision Installation: Take your time during the installation process to ensure that cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware are aligned correctly and function smoothly.
  • Professional Help: If you’re uncertain about your DIY skills, consider hiring a professional to handle the installation. They have the expertise and tools to achieve a polished result.

15. What Are Some Budget-Friendly Design Tips?

Enhance the overall aesthetics of your kitchen during cabinet refacing with these budget-friendly design tips:

  • Open Shelving: Consider replacing some cabinet doors with open shelves to create an open and airy feel in your kitchen. Display attractive dishes, glassware, or cookbooks on the shelves.
  • Decorative Molding: Add decorative molding to cabinet doors and drawer fronts for a custom look without the custom price tag.
  • Mix and Match: Combine different materials, such as glass-front cabinet doors, with solid doors to create visual interest.
  • Hardware Upgrade: Swap out old cabinet hardware with new, stylish knobs, handles, or pulls to refresh the look of your cabinets affordably.


Refacing your kitchen cabinets on a budget is a rewarding home improvement project that can transform the heart of your home. By addressing these common questions and following the essential tips provided, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your cabinet refacing journey. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve a stunning kitchen makeover without draining your finances. Enjoy the process and the beautiful, refreshed space you’ll create in your home.

16. Can I Upgrade the Cabinet Hardware Alone?

Yes, upgrading the cabinet hardware alone can make a significant difference in the appearance of your kitchen. Swapping out old, outdated knobs and handles for new ones can instantly give your cabinets a fresh and modern look. This is a cost-effective way to refresh your kitchen’s style without the need for a complete cabinet refacing.

When selecting new hardware, consider the finish and style that will best complement your kitchen’s design. It’s amazing how a small change like this can make a big impact.

17. How Can I Make My Cabinets Look Larger and Brighter?

If you have a small kitchen and want to make your cabinets appear larger and brighter during the refacing process, here are some tips:

  • Choose Light Colors: Opt for lighter cabinet colors and finishes to reflect more light and create a sense of spaciousness. White, cream, and light gray are popular choices for this purpose.
  • Glass Inserts: Consider replacing some cabinet doors with glass inserts. This allows you to display items inside and adds an open, airy feel to the kitchen.
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting: Install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate the countertop and workspace, making the kitchen feel brighter and more inviting.
  • Remove Upper Cabinets: If feasible, remove or replace some upper cabinets with open shelving to create an open, less crowded look.
  • Mirrored Backsplash: A mirrored backsplash can visually expand the kitchen by reflecting light and creating the illusion of more space.

18. What’s the Difference Between Cabinet Refacing and Cabinet Resurfacing?

Cabinet refacing and cabinet resurfacing are terms often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on who you ask. In general, both processes involve updating the cabinet exteriors, but here’s a distinction:

  • Cabinet Refacing: This typically involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, applying veneer to the cabinet frames, and updating hardware. It’s a more extensive and costly process than resurfacing.
  • Cabinet Resurfacing: This is a more straightforward process where a new veneer or laminate is applied to the cabinet exteriors without necessarily replacing doors and hardware. It’s a less expensive option but may not achieve the same level of transformation as refacing.

It’s essential to clarify with your contractor or supplier what their specific process includes to ensure you’re getting the results you desire.

19. Can I Reuse the Existing Cabinet Hardware?

Reusing the existing cabinet hardware is possible if it’s in good condition and complements your new cabinet design. However, if you want to give your kitchen a fresh look, consider investing in new hardware that matches the updated style. Cabinet hardware is relatively affordable, and the change can have a noticeable impact on the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

20. What Should I Do with Old Cabinet Materials?

When you embark on a cabinet refacing project, you’ll have old cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and potentially other materials to deal with. Here are some eco-friendly options:

  • Donate: If your old cabinet components are in good condition, consider donating them to a local charity, Habitat for Humanity, or a reuse center.
  • Recycle: Some materials, like wood, can be recycled. Check with your local recycling center for guidelines on how to dispose of these materials responsibly.
  • Repurpose: Get creative and repurpose old cabinet doors into DIY projects like picture frames, wall art, or furniture.
  • Dispose Properly: If none of the above options work, dispose of the materials according to your local waste disposal regulations.

In conclusion, refacing your kitchen cabinets on a budget is a rewarding endeavor that can breathe new life into your space. With these additional tips and answers to common questions, you’re well-equipped to take on the project. Remember to plan carefully, consider your design preferences and budget, and enjoy the transformation of your kitchen into a stylish and functional space. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer professional assistance, the result will be a kitchen you’ll love.


Refacing your kitchen cabinets on a budget is a practical and rewarding home improvement project that can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. By addressing the common questions and tips provided in this comprehensive guide, you now have a solid foundation to embark on your cabinet refacing journey.

In summary, here are the key takeaways:

  • Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacement: Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective alternative to complete cabinet replacement. It involves updating the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while retaining the existing cabinet boxes.
  • Cost Considerations: The cost of cabinet refacing varies based on factors like kitchen size, materials chosen, and whether you opt for professional installation. Obtaining quotes from local contractors can provide a clearer picture of the potential expenses.
  • DIY or Professional Help: While DIY cabinet refacing is possible, it requires woodworking skills and tools. Alternatively, hiring professionals ensures a polished result but may incur additional costs.
  • Material Choices: Choose cabinet door materials that align with your style and budget. Options include wood, laminate, and thermofoil. Veneer choices encompass wood veneer and laminate veneer.
  • Layout Modifications: Consider layout changes during refacing, but be aware of potential budget and structural constraints. Major layout alterations may require additional investment.
  • Maintenance and Upkeep: Maintain your refaced cabinets by regularly cleaning, avoiding excessive moisture, and inspecting hardware. Simple steps can extend the lifespan of your cabinets.
  • Design Enhancements: Maximize storage, change cabinet colors, and upgrade hardware to elevate your kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality.
  • Budget-Friendly Tips: Incorporate budget-friendly design elements like open shelving, decorative molding, and strategic lighting to achieve an attractive and cost-effective kitchen makeover.
  • Hardware Upgrade: Swapping out old hardware for new knobs, handles, or pulls is a simple yet effective way to refresh the appearance of your cabinets.
  • Creating the Illusion of Space: Use light colors, glass inserts, under-cabinet lighting, and other design tricks to make a small kitchen feel larger and brighter.
  • Cabinet Refacing vs. Resurfacing: Understand the difference between these terms to ensure you’re receiving the specific changes you desire in your kitchen.
  • Reuse and Recycling: Responsibly dispose of old cabinet materials by donating, recycling, repurposing, or following local waste disposal regulations.

With these insights and considerations in mind, you’re ready to embark on your cabinet refacing project. Whether you choose to tackle it yourself or hire professionals, the result will be a kitchen that not only suits your budget but also reflects your personal style and enhances the functionality of your home. Enjoy the journey of transforming your kitchen into a space you’ll love for years to come.

Read: Transform Your Kitchen with Creative Refacing of Cabinets

Read: Know How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money

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