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Know How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money

Know How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money


Refacing kitchen cabinets can be an excellent way to give your kitchen a fresh, updated look without the hefty price tag of a full cabinet replacement. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll address the top 10 most frequently asked questions about how to reface kitchen cabinets and save money. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or looking to hire a professional, you’ll find valuable insights and tips to make your cabinet refacing project a success.

See: Kitchen Cabinets


1. What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective kitchen remodeling method that involves updating the exterior appearance of your existing cabinets while keeping the structural framework intact. It typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, as well as applying a new veneer or finish to the cabinet frames.

Benefits of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cost savings compared to full cabinet replacement.
  • Faster and less disruptive process.
  • Allows you to maintain the layout and functionality of your kitchen.

Materials Needed for Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Veneer or laminate sheets.
  • Hardware (handles, knobs, hinges).
  • Paint or stain.
  • Tools (screwdriver, saw, sandpaper).

2. Is Cabinet Refacing DIY-Friendly?

Cabinet refacing can be a suitable DIY project for individuals with some woodworking skills and tools. However, it’s essential to assess your capabilities and comfort level with the required tasks before embarking on this project.

DIY-Friendly Aspects of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Changing cabinet doors and hardware.
  • Applying veneer or laminate to cabinet frames.
  • Painting or staining cabinets.

Tasks Best Left to Professionals:

  • Cabinet structural repairs.
  • Complex cabinet modifications.
  • Extensive electrical or plumbing work.

3. How Much Money Can You Save with Cabinet Refacing?

The cost savings associated with cabinet refacing can vary depending on factors such as kitchen size, materials chosen, and whether you DIY or hire professionals. On average, cabinet refacing can cost 30-50% less than completely replacing cabinets.

Factors Influencing Cost Savings:

  • Materials selected (e.g., solid wood vs. laminate).
  • Number of cabinets and their size.
  • Labor costs if hiring professionals.
  • Geographic location.

4. What Styles and Finishes Are Available for Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers a wide range of style and finish options to suit your kitchen’s aesthetic. You can choose from various materials, colors, and designs to achieve the desired look.

Popular Cabinet Refacing Styles:

  • Traditional.
  • Contemporary.
  • Shaker.
  • Modern.
  • Rustic.

Common Cabinet Finish Options:

  • Painted.
  • Stained.
  • Veneer.
  • Laminate.

5. Can You Replace Cabinet Hardware During Refacing?

Yes, replacing cabinet hardware is an integral part of cabinet refacing. Swapping out old handles, knobs, and hinges for new ones can significantly impact the overall appearance of your cabinets.

Tips for Choosing Cabinet Hardware:

  • Consider the style and finish that complements your kitchen’s design.
  • Ensure the hardware’s size matches existing holes to avoid additional drilling.
  • Invest in high-quality hardware for durability and a polished look.

6. How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project can vary depending on its complexity and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals. On average, a DIY project may take several days to a week, while professionals can complete the task in 2-4 days.

Factors Influencing Refacing Time:

  • Kitchen size and number of cabinets.
  • Complexity of cabinet modifications.
  • Drying time for paint or adhesive.
  • Work pace and experience of the individuals involved.

7. Can You Reface Cabinets with Water Damage?

Cabinet refacing is a viable option for cabinets with minor water damage or surface imperfections. However, if the damage is extensive, it may be more cost-effective to consider cabinet replacement or repair.

Steps for Refacing Water-Damaged Cabinets:

  1. Assess the extent of the damage.
  2. Repair any structural issues.
  3. Apply a water-resistant primer or sealant.
  4. Proceed with refacing as usual.

8. Should You Reface Cabinets Before Selling Your Home?

Refacing kitchen cabinets can be a smart investment if you’re preparing to sell your home. It can make your kitchen more appealing to potential buyers without breaking the bank.

Benefits of Refacing Before Selling:

  • Enhances the overall appearance of the kitchen.
  • Increases the perceived value of the property.
  • Attracts more potential buyers.

9. Can You Reface Cabinets with Laminate?

Yes, you can reface cabinets with laminate materials. Laminate is a versatile and budget-friendly option for achieving a fresh and modern look for your kitchen cabinets.

Advantages of Using Laminate for Refacing:

  • Durable and easy to clean.
  • Available in various colors and patterns.
  • Resistant to stains and moisture.

10. How Do You Maintain Refaced Kitchen Cabinets?

Maintaining refaced kitchen cabinets is relatively straightforward. Regular cleaning and proper care can extend the lifespan of your cabinets and keep them looking their best.

Tips for Cabinet Maintenance:

  • Wipe down cabinet surfaces with a damp cloth regularly.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage finishes.
  • Tighten loose hardware as needed.
  • Address any minor issues promptly to prevent larger problems.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a cost-effective and efficient way to transform the look of your kitchen while saving money compared to full cabinet replacement. Whether you choose to tackle it as a DIY project or hire professionals, understanding the process and your options is essential for a successful outcome. Keep these answers to common questions in mind as you embark on your cabinet refacing journey, and enjoy the refreshed look of your kitchen.

11. Can You Reface Cabinets with Veneer?

Yes, you can reface cabinets with veneer, and it’s a popular choice for many homeowners. Veneer is a thin layer of wood or other materials that can be applied to the surfaces of your cabinet frames and ends, giving them a fresh appearance.

Advantages of Using Veneer for Refacing:

  • Wide variety of wood species and finishes available.
  • Offers a natural wood look and feel.
  • Can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic.

Steps for Refacing Cabinets with Veneer:

  1. Measure and cut the veneer to the appropriate size.
  2. Clean and prepare the cabinet surfaces for adhesion.
  3. Apply adhesive to both the cabinet and veneer.
  4. Carefully position the veneer and press it into place.
  5. Trim any excess veneer and finish the edges for a seamless look.

12. What Are the Environmental Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing can also be an environmentally friendly choice compared to cabinet replacement. By reusing the existing cabinet structure and hardware, you reduce the demand for new materials and minimize waste.

Environmental Benefits of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Decreases the need for cutting down trees for new cabinets.
  • Reduces landfill waste from old cabinet disposal.
  • Lowers energy consumption associated with manufacturing new cabinets.

13. Can You Reface Cabinets in a Rental Property?

Refacing cabinets in a rental property can be a smart investment, especially if the existing cabinets are in good structural condition but look dated. It can enhance the property’s appeal to potential tenants without a significant upfront cost.

Considerations for Rental Property Cabinet Refacing:

  • Opt for durable and low-maintenance materials.
  • Choose neutral or universally appealing finishes.
  • Discuss the project with the property owner or management.

14. What Is the ROI (Return on Investment) for Cabinet Refacing?

The return on investment for cabinet refacing can vary depending on several factors, including the local real estate market and the quality of the refacing work. On average, homeowners can expect to recoup a significant portion of their investment when selling their property.

Factors Influencing ROI:

  • The overall condition of the kitchen before refacing.
  • The quality of materials and workmanship.
  • Local housing market conditions.
  • How well the updated kitchen appeals to potential buyers.

15. Can You Reface Cabinets with Glass Inserts?

Introducing glass inserts into your cabinet doors during refacing can be an attractive and functional choice. Glass can add a touch of elegance and allows you to display items inside your cabinets.

Types of Glass Inserts:

  • Clear glass for showcasing dishes or decorative items.
  • Frosted or textured glass for a more subtle look.
  • Leaded or stained glass for a traditional or artistic feel.

16. Are There Any Alternatives to Cabinet Refacing?

If cabinet refacing doesn’t align with your budget or goals, several alternative options can give your kitchen a refreshed look:

Alternatives to Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cabinet painting or staining.
  • Adding new decorative hardware.
  • Installing open shelving.
  • Replacing only the cabinet doors.
  • Mixing and matching refacing with a few new cabinets.

17. How to Choose the Right Professional for Cabinet Refacing?

If you decide to hire professionals for your cabinet refacing project, selecting the right contractor is crucial. Here are some steps to help you make an informed choice:

Steps to Choose a Cabinet Refacing Professional:

  1. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors.
  2. Check online reviews and ratings.
  3. Obtain multiple quotes and compare them.
  4. Verify the contractor’s license and insurance.
  5. Request references and view their past work.

18. What Is the Expected Lifespan of Refaced Cabinets?

The lifespan of refaced cabinets can vary depending on factors such as the quality of materials used, the craftsmanship of the installation, and how well you maintain them. On average, well-maintained refaced cabinets can last 10-20 years or more.

Tips for Extending Cabinet Lifespan:

  • Follow a regular cleaning and maintenance routine.
  • Avoid exposing cabinets to excessive moisture or heat.
  • Address any issues promptly, such as loose hardware or peeling veneer.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing offers a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to update your kitchen while saving money. By understanding the process, materials, and considerations involved, you can make informed decisions to ensure a successful cabinet refacing project. Whether you choose to DIY or hire professionals, the end result will be a refreshed kitchen that you can enjoy for years to come.

19. Can You Reface Cabinets with Chalk Paint?

Refacing cabinets with chalk paint is a trendy and DIY-friendly option for achieving a rustic or vintage look. Chalk paint adheres well to most surfaces and provides a matte, textured finish.

Steps for Refacing Cabinets with Chalk Paint:

  1. Clean and prepare the cabinet surfaces.
  2. Remove hardware and doors.
  3. Apply a coat of chalk paint using a brush or roller.
  4. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
  5. Apply additional coats for desired coverage.
  6. Optional: Distress the cabinets for a distressed or shabby chic look.
  7. Seal the cabinets with a clear wax or polyurethane for protection.

20. What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid in Cabinet Refacing?

While cabinet refacing is a manageable project, several common mistakes can lead to less-than-desirable results. Being aware of these pitfalls can help you avoid them:

Common Cabinet Refacing Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Inadequate surface preparation.
  • Poorly matched materials and finishes.
  • Rushing through the project without proper planning.
  • Neglecting to label doors and hardware for reassembly.
  • Using low-quality adhesives or paints.
  • Skipping necessary repairs or adjustments.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve answered the top 10 most asked questions about how to reface kitchen cabinets and save money. Cabinet refacing is a practical and cost-effective way to breathe new life into your kitchen while avoiding the high expenses of cabinet replacement. Whether you choose to take on the project as a DIY enthusiast or enlist the help of professionals, understanding the process, materials, and considerations involved is essential for a successful outcome.

From the basics of cabinet refacing to environmental benefits, ROI, and alternative options, you now have a comprehensive overview of this kitchen remodeling technique. Whether you’re looking to update your cabinets for your own enjoyment or preparing to sell your home, cabinet refacing offers a versatile and budget-friendly solution. Make informed decisions, follow best practices, and enjoy the refreshed look of your kitchen for years to come.

Read: 4 Essential Tips for Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

Read: Refacing Kitchen Cabinets? Read This Guide First

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