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7 Inexpensive Options for Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

7 Inexpensive Options for Refacing Kitchen Cabinets



Refacing kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh and updated look without the hefty price tag of a full remodel. Many homeowners are curious about the various options available for refacing cabinets and have numerous questions. In this comprehensive article, we will address the ten most frequently asked questions about affordable kitchen cabinet refacing options.


Question 1: What Is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a process that involves updating the external appearance of your kitchen cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet boxes intact. This typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, as well as applying a new veneer to the cabinet frames. Cabinet refacing is an excellent way to transform the look of your kitchen without the expense and hassle of a complete cabinet replacement.

How Does Cabinet Refacing Work?

The cabinet refacing process generally follows these steps:

  1. Remove Old Doors and Drawer Fronts: The existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed.
  2. Prepare Cabinet Surfaces: The cabinet frames are cleaned, sanded, and prepared for the application of veneer.
  3. Apply Veneer: A new veneer is applied to the cabinet frames, giving them a fresh appearance.
  4. Install New Doors and Drawer Fronts: New cabinet doors and drawer fronts are installed, along with updated hardware.
  5. Finish and Cleanup: The refacing process is completed with any necessary finishing touches, and your kitchen is cleaned up.

Is Cabinet Refacing Cheaper Than Cabinet Replacement?

Yes, cabinet refacing is generally more cost-effective than completely replacing your kitchen cabinets. It can save you up to 50% or more compared to the cost of a full cabinet replacement, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.

How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on factors like the size of your kitchen and the complexity of the job. However, most projects can be completed in as little as 3 to 5 days, minimizing the disruption to your daily life.

What Are the Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers several advantages, including:

  • Cost Savings: It is a budget-friendly option.
  • Minimal Disruption: Your kitchen remains functional during the process.
  • Environmentally Friendly: It reduces waste by reusing existing cabinet boxes.
  • Customization: You can choose from a wide range of styles and finishes.

Is Cabinet Refacing DIY-Friendly?

While some homeowners with the necessary skills and tools may choose to tackle cabinet refacing as a DIY project, it’s often recommended to hire professionals. Professional installers have experience and can ensure a high-quality finish.


Cabinet refacing is an affordable and efficient way to update your kitchen cabinets. It involves replacing doors, drawer fronts, and applying a new veneer to the cabinet frames. This method saves money compared to cabinet replacement, takes a relatively short time, and offers various customization options. Whether you hire professionals or go the DIY route, cabinet refacing is a practical choice for enhancing your kitchen’s aesthetics.

Question 2: What Material Options Are Available for Cabinet Refacing?

When considering cabinet refacing, one of the crucial decisions is choosing the right materials for your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The material you select will not only impact the appearance of your kitchen but also affect durability and cost. Here, we’ll explore some of the common material options for cabinet refacing.

1. Wood Veneer:

  • Appearance: Wood veneer offers a classic and elegant look with natural wood grain patterns. It’s available in various wood species like oak, maple, cherry, and more.
  • Durability: Wood veneer is sturdy and long-lasting, making it a great choice for high-traffic kitchens.
  • Cost: It’s moderately priced, with variations based on the type of wood chosen.

2. Thermofoil:

  • Appearance: Thermofoil is a laminate material that can mimic the look of wood or other finishes. It provides a smooth, seamless appearance.
  • Durability: Thermofoil is resistant to moisture and easy to clean, making it ideal for kitchens.
  • Cost: Thermofoil is often more affordable than real wood veneer.

3. Laminate:

  • Appearance: Laminate comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, including woodgrain and solid colors.
  • Durability: It’s resistant to stains, impact, and moisture, making it a durable choice.
  • Cost: Laminate is budget-friendly and offers a variety of design options.

4. **Acrylic:

  • Appearance: Acrylic is known for its glossy, contemporary appearance. It provides a sleek and modern aesthetic.
  • Durability: Acrylic is highly durable and resistant to scratches and fading.
  • Cost: It’s typically more expensive than other materials but offers a luxurious look.

5. MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard):

  • Appearance: MDF can be painted or coated with a veneer, allowing for various style options.
  • Durability: It’s less durable than some other materials, so it may require extra care.
  • Cost: MDF is often affordable and can be a good choice for those on a budget.

How Do I Choose the Right Material?

The choice of material depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and the level of durability you require. Consider your kitchen’s style and your personal taste when making this decision. Wood veneer offers a timeless appeal, while laminate and acrylic provide modern options. Thermofoil is a practical choice for those seeking durability and easy maintenance.


Selecting the right material for your cabinet refacing project is a crucial step in achieving the desired look and functionality for your kitchen. Each material has its unique characteristics, so weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. Ultimately, your choice should align with your budget and style preferences while considering the demands of your kitchen environment.

Question 3: What Are the Cost Factors Involved in Cabinet Refacing?

Understanding the cost factors involved in cabinet refacing is essential for budget-conscious homeowners considering this remodeling option. While cabinet refacing is generally more affordable than cabinet replacement, several factors can influence the overall cost of the project.

1. Cabinet Size and Quantity:

  • Larger kitchens with more cabinets will naturally cost more to reface. Consider the number of cabinets, drawers, and any additional features like islands or built-in pantries.

2. Material Selection:

  • As discussed in the previous section, the choice of materials for your cabinet doors and drawer fronts can significantly impact the cost. High-end materials like acrylic or wood veneer tend to be more expensive than laminate or thermofoil.

3. Finish and Design Complexity:

  • Intricate designs, custom finishes, or decorative details will add to the project’s cost. Simple and straightforward designs are more cost-effective.

4. Hardware Upgrades:

  • If you plan to replace cabinet hardware such as handles, knobs, or hinges, factor in the cost of these items. High-quality hardware can improve both function and aesthetics.

5. Labor Costs:

  • The cost of professional labor will vary depending on your location and the complexity of the job. Hiring experienced installers ensures a smooth and well-executed project.

6. Additional Services:

  • Some homeowners may require additional services such as cabinet modification, repairs, or the installation of new shelving or pull-out trays. These services can increase the overall cost.

7. Location:

  • Labor and material costs can vary by region. It’s essential to obtain quotes from local contractors to get a clear idea of the cost specific to your area.

8. DIY vs. Professional Installation:

  • If you have the skills and tools necessary for cabinet refacing, opting for a DIY approach can save on labor costs. However, professional installers ensure a high-quality result.

9. Warranties and Guarantees:

  • Some cabinet refacing companies offer warranties on their work and materials. This can add to the cost but provides peace of mind regarding the project’s longevity.

10. Timeframe:

  • In some cases, faster turnaround times may come at a premium. If you need the project completed quickly, be prepared for potential higher costs.

How Can I Get an Accurate Estimate?

To get an accurate estimate for your cabinet refacing project, it’s advisable to obtain multiple quotes from reputable contractors. Provide them with detailed information about your kitchen, including measurements, material preferences, and any additional services required. This will help you compare costs and make an informed decision.


The cost of cabinet refacing is influenced by various factors, including the size of your kitchen, material choices, design complexity, labor costs, and location. Understanding these factors and obtaining detailed quotes from professionals will enable you to plan and budget effectively for your cabinet refacing project. Remember that while cost is important, the quality of the workmanship and materials should also be a consideration in your decision-making process.

Question 4: Can I Reface Cabinets with Paint?

Painting is a popular and budget-friendly option for refreshing the look of kitchen cabinets. It’s a DIY-friendly approach that can yield impressive results when done correctly. Here, we’ll delve into the process of refacing cabinets with paint.

Steps to Reface Cabinets with Paint:

  1. Preparation: Start by removing all cabinet hardware, such as handles and knobs. Clean the cabinet surfaces thoroughly to remove grease, grime, and any existing finish. Sand the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and frames to create a smooth surface for paint adherence.
  2. Priming: Apply a high-quality primer to the sanded surfaces. Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides a consistent base. Let it dry completely.
  3. Painting: Choose a durable paint that is suitable for cabinets. Typically, a semi-gloss or satin finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets. Apply the paint evenly with a brush or roller, working in thin coats. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. You may need two or more coats for full coverage.
  4. Drying and Curing: Allow the painted cabinets to dry and cure fully. This can take several days, so be patient to achieve a durable finish.
  5. Reassembly: Once the paint is completely dry and cured, reinstall the cabinet hardware. Be careful not to scratch the freshly painted surfaces.

Benefits of Painting Cabinets:

  • Cost-Effective: Painting is one of the most budget-friendly options for cabinet refacing.
  • DIY-Friendly: With some basic painting skills, homeowners can tackle this project themselves.
  • Customization: You have a wide range of paint colors to choose from, allowing for complete customization.


  • Surface Preparation: Proper surface preparation is crucial for a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • Drying Time: Painted cabinets require ample drying and curing time to achieve the desired durability.
  • Maintenance: Painted cabinets may require occasional touch-ups or repainting over time.


Refacing cabinets with paint is a cost-effective and customizable option for homeowners seeking a fresh look for their kitchen. While it’s a DIY-friendly project, attention to detail during surface preparation and drying time is essential to ensure a professional finish. Painting can provide a dramatic transformation to your kitchen without the need for a complete overhaul.

Question 5: What Are the Alternatives to Cabinet Refacing?

While cabinet refacing is a popular and cost-effective option for updating kitchen cabinets, it’s not the only choice. Here, we’ll explore some alternative approaches to consider if you’re looking to give your kitchen a fresh look.

1. Cabinet Replacement:

  • If your existing cabinets are in poor condition, outdated, or you want a completely different layout, cabinet replacement may be the best option. While it’s more expensive than refacing, it allows for a complete kitchen transformation.

2. Cabinet Refinishing:

  • Cabinet refinishing involves sanding down the existing finish and applying a new stain or paint to the cabinet surfaces. It’s less costly than refacing but can still provide a significant improvement in appearance.

3. Open Shelving:

  • For a trendy and open feel, consider removing cabinet doors and replacing them with open shelving. This can make your kitchen feel more spacious and provide a platform for displaying dishes and decorative items.

4. Cabinet Hardware Replacement:

  • Simply updating the cabinet hardware, such as handles and knobs, can give your cabinets a fresh and modern look without major renovations.

5. Cabinet Resurfacing:

  • Resurfacing involves applying a thin layer of veneer or laminate over existing cabinet surfaces. It’s similar to refacing but with a thinner layer and may be a more affordable option.

6. Repainting Cabinet Doors:

  • If your cabinet doors are in good condition, you can refresh their appearance by repainting them. This is a budget-friendly choice that allows for creative color choices.

7. Combination Approaches:

  • You can mix and match some of these alternatives to create a unique and budget-conscious kitchen upgrade. For example, you could reface some cabinets and replace others, or combine open shelving with traditional cabinets.

Consider Your Goals and Budget:

The choice between these alternatives depends on your specific goals, budget, and the condition of your existing cabinets. If you’re unsure which option is right for you, consult with a professional kitchen remodeler who can provide guidance based on your needs.


While cabinet refacing is a popular choice, there are several alternative approaches to updating your kitchen cabinets. Whether you opt for cabinet replacement, refinishing, open shelving, hardware replacement, resurfacing, repainting, or a combination of these methods, each option can breathe new life into your kitchen and transform its appearance to suit your style and budget.

Question 6: What Are the Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacement?

When contemplating a kitchen cabinet makeover, homeowners often face the choice between cabinet refacing and cabinet replacement. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Cabinet Refacing:


  1. Cost-Effective: Refacing is typically more budget-friendly than cabinet replacement, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money.
  2. Quick Turnaround: Refacing projects can be completed relatively quickly, minimizing disruption to your daily life.
  3. Less Waste: Refacing reduces waste as it utilizes your existing cabinet boxes, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  4. Customization: You can choose from a variety of door styles, materials, and finishes to achieve the desired look.
  5. Minimal Disruption: Your kitchen remains functional during the refacing process.


  1. Limited Transformation: Refacing retains the existing cabinet layout and structure, limiting major design changes.
  2. Surface-Level Update: It primarily addresses the external appearance of cabinets and may not address underlying issues or structural problems.
  3. Cost Variation: The final cost can vary depending on materials, finishes, and labor, potentially approaching the cost of cabinet replacement for high-end options.

Cabinet Replacement:


  1. Complete Transformation: Cabinet replacement allows for a complete overhaul of your kitchen’s design and layout.
  2. Durability: New cabinets often come with warranties and are built to last, ensuring long-term durability.
  3. Structural Improvements: You can make structural enhancements, such as adding extra storage or incorporating modern features.
  4. Increased Home Value: A full kitchen remodel, including cabinet replacement, can increase the resale value of your home.


  1. Higher Cost: Cabinet replacement is more expensive than refacing due to the need for entirely new cabinets.
  2. Extended Timeline: The process can be time-consuming and may require you to temporarily relocate your kitchen.
  3. Waste Generation: The removal of old cabinets generates more waste compared to refacing.

Making the Choice:

The decision between refacing and replacement hinges on your budget, the extent of the kitchen makeover you desire, and the condition of your existing cabinets. If your cabinets are in good structural shape and you want a cost-effective update, refacing may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a complete transformation, have the budget for it, and are willing to endure a longer renovation process, cabinet replacement might be the better choice.


Both cabinet refacing and cabinet replacement have their pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your specific needs and budget. Carefully evaluate the extent of the makeover you desire, the condition of your existing cabinets, and your willingness to invest in a full-scale kitchen remodel. Ultimately, the decision should align with your goals for your kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality.

Question 7: Can I Reface Cabinets with DIY Kits?

DIY cabinet refacing kits have gained popularity among homeowners looking to save money and take on kitchen remodeling projects themselves. In this section, we’ll explore the concept of DIY cabinet refacing kits and their suitability for your project.

What Are DIY Cabinet Refacing Kits?

DIY cabinet refacing kits are packages that typically include all the materials and instructions needed to reface your kitchen cabinets. They are designed to simplify the refacing process, making it accessible to homeowners with moderate DIY skills.

Pros of DIY Cabinet Refacing Kits:

  1. Cost Savings: DIY kits are often more budget-friendly than hiring professional installers.
  2. Convenience: Kits come with pre-cut veneer and all necessary materials, reducing the need for extensive measuring and cutting.
  3. Customization: Many kits offer a variety of door styles and finishes for you to choose from.
  4. Learning Experience: Engaging in a DIY project can be a valuable learning experience and can give you a sense of accomplishment.

Cons of DIY Cabinet Refacing Kits:

  1. Skill Required: While designed for DIYers, cabinet refacing can still be a challenging project, requiring skills in measuring, cutting, and careful installation.
  2. Time-Consuming: DIY projects can take longer, especially if you’re new to the process, which may disrupt your kitchen for an extended period.
  3. Quality Concerns: The quality of the final result may not match that of professional installations, particularly if the installation is not done meticulously.
  4. Risk of Errors: Mistakes in measurements or installation can lead to imperfections in the final product.

Factors to Consider:

Before opting for a DIY cabinet refacing kit, consider the following factors:

  • Your Skill Level: Assess your DIY skills and whether you’re comfortable taking on a project of this magnitude.
  • Time Availability: Do you have the time to commit to the project, including learning and completing the installation?
  • Kitchen Layout: The complexity of your kitchen’s layout may influence the suitability of a DIY kit.
  • Quality Expectations: Be realistic about your expectations regarding the final result compared to professional installations.


DIY cabinet refacing kits can be an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners with the necessary skills and time to devote to the project. While they offer cost savings and customization, they also come with challenges, including the need for DIY skills, the time required, and the potential for errors. Carefully evaluate your abilities and expectations before deciding to use a DIY kit, and consider consulting with professionals for guidance if needed.

Question 8: What Are Some Creative Cabinet Refacing Ideas?

When it comes to cabinet refacing, there’s no shortage of creative ideas to transform your kitchen into a unique and stylish space. Here are some creative cabinet refacing ideas to inspire your kitchen makeover:

1. Two-Tone Cabinets:

  • Create visual interest by choosing two different colors or finishes for your upper and lower cabinets. This adds depth and personality to your kitchen.

2. Open Shelving:

  • Replace some cabinet doors with open shelves to showcase your favorite dishes, cookbooks, or decorative items. It gives your kitchen an airy, modern feel.

3. Glass Front Cabinets:

  • Swap out solid cabinet doors for glass-front ones. This allows you to display your glassware and adds an elegant touch to your kitchen.

4. Beadboard Paneling:

  • Add beadboard paneling to the cabinet fronts for a charming, cottage-style look. Paint it in a soft pastel color for a cozy atmosphere.

5. Shaker Style:

  • Embrace the timeless Shaker style by selecting simple, recessed-panel cabinet doors with minimalist hardware for a clean and classic aesthetic.

6. Geometric Patterns:

  • Apply geometric patterns or stencils to the cabinet doors for a contemporary and eye-catching design. Choose a bold color to make a statement.

7. Distressed Finish:

  • Create a rustic, weathered appearance by distressing the cabinet doors with sandpaper and adding a distressed paint or stain finish.

8. Chalkboard Cabinet Doors:

  • Turn your cabinet doors into chalkboards. It’s a practical way to jot down grocery lists, recipes, or fun messages.

9. Mirrored Accents:

  • Add mirrored panels to the cabinet doors or backs to reflect light and make your kitchen appear more spacious and bright.

10. Mixed Materials:

  • Combine materials like wood, metal, and glass in your cabinet refacing design for an eclectic and unique look.

11. Custom Hardware:

  • Choose distinctive and artistic cabinet hardware, such as handcrafted knobs or handles, to personalize your kitchen.

12. Built-In Wine Rack:

  • Incorporate a built-in wine rack or wine glass holders into your cabinet design for a touch of sophistication.

13. Unique Drawer Fronts:

  • – Customize your drawer fronts with unique shapes or patterns, adding a sense of character to your kitchen.

14. Bold Color Pop:

  • Opt for a vibrant and bold color for your cabinet doors to make a statement and infuse energy into your kitchen.

15. Minimalist Slab Doors:

  • Achieve a sleek and modern look with flat, slab-style cabinet doors and minimalist hardware.


Cabinet refacing offers endless possibilities for creative kitchen transformations. Consider your personal style, the overall kitchen theme, and your budget when choosing from these ideas. Whether you prefer a timeless, classic look or want to experiment with bold and unique designs, cabinet refacing allows you to express your personality and create a kitchen that reflects your tastes and preferences.

Question 9: How Can I Maintain Refaced Kitchen Cabinets?

After investing in cabinet refacing, it’s important to maintain your kitchen cabinets to ensure they stay beautiful and functional for years to come. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

1. Regular Cleaning:

  • Wipe down your cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and frames regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust, grease, and stains. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

  • Use mild, non-abrasive cleaning solutions for tougher stains. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing pads that can harm the cabinet’s finish.

3. Handle Cabinets with Care:

  • Be gentle when opening and closing cabinet doors and drawers. Avoid slamming them, as this can cause damage over time.

4. Check for Loose Hardware:

  • Periodically inspect the cabinet hardware (handles, knobs, hinges) to ensure they are tight and secure. Tighten any loose hardware as needed.

5. Protect from Moisture:

  • Be cautious about spills and moisture near cabinets. Wipe up any spills promptly to prevent damage to the finish or wood.

6. Avoid Extreme Temperatures:

  • Maintain a stable indoor temperature to prevent cabinet materials from expanding or contracting excessively.

7. Refinish as Needed:

  • Over time, the cabinet finish may show signs of wear. If this occurs, consider refinishing or repainting the cabinets to restore their appearance.

8. Check for Structural Issues:

  • Regularly inspect the cabinet boxes for structural issues like loose joints, warping, or damage. Address any problems promptly to prevent further damage.

9. Lubricate Hinges:

  • Lubricate cabinet hinges annually to ensure they operate smoothly and quietly.

10. Protect from Direct Sunlight:

  • Direct sunlight can cause fading and discoloration of cabinet finishes. Consider using curtains or blinds to protect your cabinets from prolonged exposure.

11. Handle Moisture:

  • Use exhaust fans when cooking to reduce humidity levels in the kitchen, which can affect cabinet materials.

12. Store Items Properly:

  • Store items in cabinets with consideration for their weight. Avoid overloading shelves and drawers, as this can strain the cabinet structure.

13. Follow Manufacturer’s Recommendations:

  • If your refaced cabinets came with specific care instructions from the manufacturer, follow them carefully to ensure longevity.


Maintaining your refaced kitchen cabinets is crucial for preserving their beauty and functionality. Regular cleaning, gentle handling, and preventive measures to protect against moisture and sunlight can go a long way in keeping your cabinets in excellent condition. By following these maintenance tips and addressing any issues promptly, you can enjoy your refaced cabinets for years to come.

Question 10: What Are the Environmental Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing not only provides a budget-friendly and aesthetically pleasing kitchen upgrade but also offers several environmental benefits. Here are some ways in which cabinet refacing is environmentally friendly:

1. Waste Reduction:

  • Cabinet refacing significantly reduces waste compared to full cabinet replacement. The existing cabinet boxes are retained, reducing the need for disposal and minimizing landfill impact.

2. Resource Conservation:

  • By reusing existing cabinet structures and materials, refacing conserves valuable natural resources that would otherwise be used in manufacturing new cabinets.

3. Energy Efficiency:

  • The production of new cabinets consumes substantial energy and resources. Cabinet refacing requires significantly less energy, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint.

4. Reduced Emissions:

  • Manufacturing new cabinets often involves the release of harmful emissions and pollutants. Refacing cabinets generates fewer emissions and pollutants, contributing to improved air quality.

5. Extended Lifespan:

  • Refacing can extend the lifespan of your existing cabinets, reducing the frequency at which cabinets need to be replaced and lessening the environmental impact of disposal.

6. Sustainable Materials:

  • Many cabinet refacing materials, such as wood veneers and laminates, can be sourced from sustainable and responsibly managed forests.

7. Local Sourcing:

  • Choosing local cabinet refacing professionals and materials can reduce transportation-related emissions and support the local economy.

8. Energy Efficiency Improvements:

  • During cabinet refacing, homeowners may also choose to upgrade lighting fixtures and appliances, increasing energy efficiency and reducing long-term energy consumption.

9. Reduced Packaging:

  • The installation of new cabinets typically involves extensive packaging materials. Cabinet refacing generates significantly less packaging waste.

10. Customization:

  • Customizing cabinet refacing allows homeowners to choose environmentally friendly finishes, paints, and materials that meet eco-friendly standards.


Cabinet refacing offers numerous environmental benefits by reducing waste, conserving resources, and minimizing the environmental impact associated with new cabinet production. By choosing cabinet refacing as a kitchen renovation option, homeowners can contribute to sustainability efforts and make environmentally conscious decisions while improving their homes.

Read: Cost-Effective Ways to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

Read: Save Money Now with Professional Refacing of Kitchen Cabinets

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