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How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money

How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money


In this comprehensive guide, we will address the top 10 most frequently asked questions about how to reface kitchen cabinets and save money. 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 kitchen remodel. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or looking to hire professionals, we’ve got you covered with valuable insights and tips.


1. What Is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a kitchen renovation method that involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts while retaining the existing cabinet frames. This process also includes updating the hardware, such as handles and knobs, and applying a new veneer or finish to the cabinet surfaces. It provides a significant aesthetic improvement without the need to replace the entire cabinet structure.

Why Choose Cabinet Refacing?

  • Cost-Effective: Refacing costs considerably less than a full cabinet replacement.
  • Less Disruption: The process is quicker and less invasive than a complete kitchen remodel.
  • Sustainable: It reduces waste by reusing existing cabinet structures.
  • Customization: You can choose from a variety of door styles, finishes, and hardware to match your desired look.

2. Can I DIY Cabinet Refacing?

Yes, you can tackle cabinet refacing as a DIY project if you have some basic carpentry skills and tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

DIY Cabinet Refacing Steps:

  1. Gather Supplies: Collect the necessary tools, materials, and safety equipment.
  2. Remove Doors and Hardware: Take off cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.
  3. Clean and Prep: Clean the cabinet surfaces and prepare them for veneer or paint.
  4. Apply Veneer or Paint: Choose between veneer or paint to achieve your desired look.
  5. Install New Doors: Attach the new cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  6. Add Hardware: Install new knobs, handles, and hinges.
  7. Final Touches: Make any necessary adjustments and ensure everything functions smoothly.
  8. Enjoy Your Updated Cabinets: Step back and appreciate your refreshed kitchen cabinets.

3. How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Cost?

The cost of cabinet refacing varies depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and whether you hire professionals or DIY. On average, cabinet refacing can cost between $2,000 to $6,000 for a typical kitchen.

Cost Factors:

  • Kitchen Size: Larger kitchens will require more materials and labor, resulting in higher costs.
  • Material Choice: High-quality veneer and door materials will increase expenses.
  • Professional vs. DIY: Hiring professionals may cost more but ensures a polished finish.

4. Can I Reface Cabinets Without Replacing the Doors?

Yes, you can reface cabinets without replacing the doors, but it’s essential to consider whether this approach suits your aesthetic goals. To achieve this, follow these steps:

Refacing Without Door Replacement:

  1. Clean and Prep: Clean the cabinet surfaces thoroughly.
  2. Sand and Paint: Sand down the existing finish and apply a fresh coat of paint.
  3. Replace Hardware: Swap out old hardware for new knobs and handles.
  4. Consider New Veneer: If desired, apply a new veneer or laminate to the cabinet exteriors.

5. How to Choose the Right Cabinet Refacing Materials?

Selecting the appropriate materials is crucial to achieving the desired look and durability in your kitchen cabinet refacing project. Here are some popular options:

Cabinet Refacing Materials:

  • Veneer: Thin wood veneer sheets are commonly used to cover cabinet surfaces.
  • Laminate: A synthetic material that is durable and available in various colors and patterns.
  • Solid Wood: Ideal for custom cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Thermofoil: A budget-friendly, heat-sealed vinyl covering that mimics wood grain.

6. 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, DIY refacing can take a few days to a week, while professionals can complete the job in 2 to 4 days.

7. What Are Some Popular Cabinet Door Styles?

Choosing the right cabinet door style is crucial for achieving the desired aesthetic in your kitchen. Here are some popular styles to consider:

Popular Cabinet Door Styles:

  • Shaker: Simple, clean lines with a timeless appeal.
  • Raised Panel: Features a raised center panel with a classic look.
  • Slab: Flat and minimalist, offering a modern and sleek appearance.
  • Beadboard: Adds texture with vertical grooves and a cottage-style charm.

8. Can I Reface Cabinets with Glass Doors?

Yes, you can reface cabinets with glass doors to create an open and airy feel in your kitchen. Here’s how to do it:

Refacing Cabinets with Glass Doors:

  1. Choose Cabinet Doors: Select doors with glass inserts or have existing doors modified.
  2. Remove Existing Doors: Take off the current cabinet doors.
  3. Install Glass Inserts: Attach glass inserts or panels securely.
  4. Add Hardware: Install new hardware to complete the look.

9. Is Cabinet Refacing Environmentally Friendly?

Cabinet refacing is generally considered environmentally friendly compared to full cabinet replacement because it minimizes waste. By reusing existing cabinet structures and components, you contribute to reducing landfill waste and conserving resources.

10. What Are Some Tips for Maintaining Refaced Cabinets?

To ensure the longevity and beauty of your refaced cabinets, follow these maintenance tips:

Cabinet Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down cabinets with a damp cloth regularly.
  • Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Use gentle cleaners to prevent damage to the finish.
  • Handle Care: Be mindful of the cabinet hardware; tighten loose knobs and handles as needed.
  • Prevent Water Damage: Wipe up spills promptly to avoid water damage.
  • Check Hinges: Periodically inspect hinges for any signs of wear or looseness.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to update your kitchen cabinets and save money. Whether you choose to DIY or hire professionals, understanding the process and materials involved will help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams without breaking the bank.

In this continuation of our guide on how to reface kitchen cabinets and save money, we’ll explore more questions and considerations to help you successfully embark on your cabinet refacing journey.

11. Can I Change the Layout of My Cabinets During Refacing?

Cabinet refacing primarily focuses on updating the appearance of your cabinets, but it doesn’t involve altering their layout. If you wish to change your kitchen’s cabinet layout, that would typically require a more extensive renovation, such as a full cabinet replacement or kitchen remodel.

12. What Are Some Color Trends for Refaced Cabinets?

Choosing the right color for your refaced cabinets can significantly impact your kitchen’s overall aesthetic. Some current color trends include:

Cabinet Color Trends:

  • Neutral Tones: Whites, grays, and muted pastels create a timeless and versatile look.
  • Two-Tone Cabinets: Combining different colors for upper and lower cabinets adds visual interest.
  • Dark and Moody: Deep blues, greens, and blacks are gaining popularity for a bold statement.
  • Natural Wood Finishes: Embracing the beauty of natural wood with clear or light finishes.

Consider your kitchen’s style and your personal preferences when selecting cabinet colors.

13. Is Cabinet Refacing Suitable for All Cabinet Types?

Cabinet refacing is generally suitable for most cabinet types, including framed and frameless cabinets. However, the specific design and condition of your cabinets may affect the feasibility and results of the refacing process. It’s advisable to consult with a professional to assess your cabinets’ suitability for refacing.

14. How Do I Choose the Right Cabinet Hardware?

Selecting the appropriate hardware, such as knobs, handles, and hinges, is essential to the overall look and functionality of your cabinets. Consider the following factors when choosing cabinet hardware:

Tips for Choosing Cabinet Hardware:

  • Style Consistency: Ensure the hardware complements your chosen cabinet door style.
  • Finish: Match the hardware finish to other elements in your kitchen, like faucets and lighting fixtures.
  • Comfort and Functionality: Opt for hardware that is comfortable to use and suits your daily needs.

15. Can I Add Additional Cabinets or Features During Refacing?

While the primary focus of cabinet refacing is on updating the existing cabinets, it is possible to add new cabinets or features if it aligns with your kitchen renovation goals. Keep in mind that these additions may increase the overall cost and scope of the project, and it’s crucial to plan and budget accordingly.

16. What Are Some Alternatives to Cabinet Refacing?

If cabinet refacing doesn’t align with your goals or budget, consider alternative ways to update your kitchen:

Kitchen Cabinet Alternatives:

  • Full Cabinet Replacement: A more extensive and costly option for a complete kitchen transformation.
  • Painting Cabinets: A budget-friendly choice for a fresh look, especially if the cabinet structure is in good condition.
  • Open Shelving: Remove cabinet doors for an open and airy kitchen design.
  • Cabinet Accessories: Add organizational elements like pull-out shelves, lazy Susans, and dividers.

17. Should I Reface Cabinets Before or After Countertop Replacement?

The timing of cabinet refacing in relation to countertop replacement depends on your specific project and budget. However, it’s generally recommended to reface cabinets before replacing countertops. This ensures that the new cabinet finish complements the chosen countertop material and design.

18. How Do I Find Reliable Professionals for Cabinet Refacing?

If you decide to hire professionals for your cabinet refacing project, finding reliable experts is crucial. Here’s how to go about it:

Finding Reliable Cabinet Refacing Professionals:

  • Ask for Recommendations: Seek referrals from friends, family, or neighbors who have recently completed similar projects.
  • Read Reviews: Look for online reviews and testimonials from previous customers.
  • Request Quotes: Obtain multiple quotes from different professionals to compare pricing and services.
  • Check Credentials: Ensure the professionals are licensed and insured.

19. Can I Reface Bathroom Cabinets Using the Same Method?

Yes, the same principles and methods used for kitchen cabinet refacing can be applied to bathroom cabinets. Refacing bathroom cabinets can be a cost-effective way to update your bathroom’s appearance without the need for a full remodel.

20. How Do I Care for and Maintain Refaced Cabinets Over Time?

Proper maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and longevity of your refaced cabinets. Refer to the following tips for ongoing care:

Ongoing Cabinet Maintenance:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down cabinets as needed to prevent buildup of dirt and grime.
  • Avoid Excess Moisture: Be cautious about excess moisture in the kitchen, as it can damage cabinet finishes.
  • Address Issues Promptly: Fix any hardware or structural issues as soon as they arise to prevent further damage.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a versatile and cost-effective way to transform your kitchen cabinets and save money. By considering the factors discussed in this guide and making informed decisions, you can achieve a beautiful and updated kitchen without breaking the bank. Whether you choose to go the DIY route or hire professionals, the key is to plan, budget, and execute the project with care and attention to detail.


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the ins and outs of cabinet refacing and how it can help you save money while giving your kitchen a fresh and updated look. Cabinet refacing is a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to full cabinet replacement or a complete kitchen remodel. It offers various benefits, including cost-effectiveness, reduced disruption, and customization options.

We started by understanding the basics of cabinet refacing, discussing what it is and why it’s a popular choice for homeowners. We delved into the possibility of taking on cabinet refacing as a DIY project, providing a step-by-step guide for those who enjoy hands-on home improvement.

Cost is often a significant consideration, so we tackled the question of how much cabinet refacing typically costs and the factors that influence pricing. We also explored the option of refacing cabinets without replacing the doors, allowing you to achieve a refreshed look while retaining the existing cabinet doors.

Selecting the right materials is crucial to the success of your cabinet refacing project, so we discussed various options, including veneer, laminate, solid wood, and thermofoil. We also addressed the time it takes to complete a cabinet refacing project, emphasizing the importance of planning for the duration.

For those concerned about aesthetics, we highlighted popular cabinet door styles and provided guidance on refacing cabinets with glass doors. We also touched on the eco-friendliness of cabinet refacing, as it reduces waste and contributes to sustainability.

Additional questions addressed various aspects of cabinet refacing, such as layout changes, color trends, hardware selection, and the possibility of adding new cabinets or features. We also provided alternatives to cabinet refacing, including full cabinet replacement, painting cabinets, and open shelving.

Timing your cabinet refacing project in relation to countertop replacement and finding reliable professionals were essential topics we covered to ensure a seamless renovation process.

Finally, we concluded with advice on caring for and maintaining refaced cabinets over time, emphasizing the importance of regular cleaning and addressing issues promptly.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a versatile and cost-effective way to transform your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Whether you choose to embark on a DIY adventure or enlist the expertise of professionals, informed decision-making and careful planning are key to achieving the kitchen of your dreams while saving money. By considering the factors discussed in this guide, you can embark on your cabinet refacing journey with confidence, knowing that you’re making a smart investment in your home.

Read: Cheap DIY Ways to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

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