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4 Simple Ways to Reface Kitchen Cabinets for a Fraction of the Price

4 Simple Ways to Reface Kitchen Cabinets for a Fraction of the Price


Refacing kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh and updated look without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll explore four simple ways to reface kitchen cabinets for a fraction of the price. Whether you’re looking to revamp your kitchen’s appearance or increase the resale value of your home, these budget-friendly options are worth considering.


Can I Reface My Kitchen Cabinets Myself?

One of the most common questions people have about refacing kitchen cabinets is whether they can tackle the project themselves. The answer is yes, you can reface your kitchen cabinets on your own with the right tools, materials, and a bit of DIY enthusiasm. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Cabinet veneer or laminate
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain
  • New cabinet hardware (handles and knobs)
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Paintbrushes or roller
  • Wood filler (if needed)

Step 1: Remove Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Begin by removing the cabinet doors and drawers, as well as any hardware like knobs and handles. This will make it easier to work on the cabinet frames.

Step 2: Sand and Clean

Sand the cabinet surfaces to remove any old finish and roughen them up for better adhesion. Clean off any dust and residue thoroughly.

Step 3: Apply Veneer or Laminate

Cut the veneer or laminate to fit the cabinet surfaces and apply it using adhesive. Ensure it’s smooth and free of bubbles.

Step 4: Paint or Stain

Paint or stain the cabinet doors, drawers, and frames to your desired color. Allow them to dry completely between coats.

Step 5: Reattach Hardware

Once everything is dry, reattach the cabinet doors and hardware. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure they’re aligned correctly.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Newly Refaced Cabinets

Admire your refreshed kitchen cabinets and the money you saved by doing it yourself!

Keep in mind that while DIY refacing is possible, it does require some skill and patience. If you’re not confident in your abilities, consider hiring a professional for the best results.

Refacing your kitchen cabinets yourself can save you a significant amount of money, as you won’t have to pay for labor costs. However, it’s essential to be well-prepared and take your time to achieve a polished and professional-looking result.

In the next section, we’ll explore another common question about kitchen cabinet refacing.

What Are the Benefits of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets?

Refacing kitchen cabinets offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchens without a complete renovation. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Cost-Effective: Refacing is much more budget-friendly than replacing all your kitchen cabinets. You can achieve a refreshed look at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Time-Saving: Refacing is a quicker process compared to a full cabinet replacement. You can typically complete the project in a matter of days, minimizing kitchen downtime.
  3. Less Disruption: Since you’re not tearing out your existing cabinets, there’s less mess and disruption to your daily life during the refacing process.
  4. Customization: You have the freedom to choose the cabinet veneer, paint color, and hardware that match your style and preferences.
  5. Environmental Impact: Refacing is a more eco-friendly option as it reduces waste by reusing existing cabinet frames.
  6. Increased Home Value: A well-executed cabinet refacing can increase the resale value of your home by giving your kitchen a modern and attractive look.

It’s important to note that the success of your cabinet refacing project depends on the quality of materials and workmanship. Investing in high-quality veneer, paint, and hardware will ensure a longer-lasting and more appealing result.

What Are the Different Cabinet Refacing Materials?

When refacing kitchen cabinets, you’ll have several options for materials to achieve the desired look. Choosing the right material is crucial to achieving the style you want and ensuring the longevity of your cabinets. Here are some common cabinet refacing materials:

1. Wood Veneer:

  • Pros: Provides a warm and natural look, can be stained or painted, durable.
  • Cons: Higher cost compared to other materials.

2. Thermofoil:

  • Pros: Resistant to moisture, easy to clean, budget-friendly.
  • Cons: Limited in color options, can peel over time if exposed to excessive heat.

3. Laminate:

  • Pros: Wide range of colors and patterns, affordable, low maintenance.
  • Cons: Less durable than wood veneer, can chip or peel with heavy use.

4. Acrylic:

  • Pros: High-gloss finish, modern appearance, resistant to scratches and moisture.
  • Cons: Higher cost, limited color options.

5. Metal:

  • Pros: Sleek and contemporary look, durable, easy to clean.
  • Cons: May not suit traditional kitchen styles, higher cost.

6. Rigid Thermofoil (RTF):

  • Pros: Resistant to moisture and stains, budget-friendly, versatile.
  • Cons: Limited color and style options.

Your choice of material should align with your kitchen’s style, your budget, and your desired level of maintenance. Each material has its own unique characteristics, so be sure to consider these factors when making your decision.

How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Last?

One of the factors to consider when deciding whether to reface your kitchen cabinets is the longevity of the refacing job. You want your investment to last, and the durability of the materials and workmanship plays a significant role in this.

The lifespan of refaced kitchen cabinets can vary depending on several factors:

  1. Quality of Materials: Using high-quality materials, such as solid wood or durable laminates, can significantly extend the lifespan of your refaced cabinets.
  2. Workmanship: The skill and expertise of the person or team performing the refacing work are crucial. Proper installation and attention to detail can ensure the longevity of the cabinets.
  3. Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance of your cabinets can extend their life. Avoiding excessive moisture and using gentle cleaning products are essential.
  4. Usage: The amount of wear and tear your cabinets endure will impact their lifespan. Cabinets in high-traffic kitchens may wear out sooner.

On average, well-maintained and professionally refaced kitchen cabinets can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more. It’s important to note that the quality of the materials used and the skill of the installer are key factors in achieving the upper end of this range.

How Can I Update the Look of My Cabinets Without Refacing?

If you’re not ready to commit to a cabinet refacing project or if your cabinets are still in good condition, there are several ways to update their look without a full makeover. Here are some simple and cost-effective options:

1. Painting: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Choose a color that complements your kitchen’s theme and update the hardware for a complete transformation.

2. Hardware Replacement: Swapping out old knobs and handles for new, stylish ones can give your cabinets a modern look.

3. Open Shelving: Remove the doors from some upper cabinets to create open shelves. This not only adds a trendy element but also provides easy access to your dishes and glassware.

4. Glass Inserts: Install glass panels in some cabinet doors to showcase your dishes and add a touch of elegance.

5. Under-Cabinet Lighting: Add LED strip lighting beneath your cabinets to brighten up the kitchen and create a contemporary ambiance.

6. Decorative Molding: Attach decorative molding to the cabinet doors and frames to enhance their appearance.

These options allow you to refresh your kitchen’s look without the time and cost of a full cabinet refacing project. However, keep in mind that they may not be suitable for cabinets in poor condition or those with structural issues.

In the next section, we’ll address another common question about the costs associated with cabinet refacing.

How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Typically Cost?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and whether you hire professionals or go the DIY route. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs associated with cabinet refacing:

1. Materials: The cost of materials, such as veneer, laminate, or acrylic, can range from $1,000 to $6,000 or more for an average-sized kitchen.

2. Labor: If you hire professionals to reface your cabinets, labor costs can add another $2,000 to $5,000 to the project.

3. Additional Upgrades: If you opt for extra features like soft-close hinges, pull-out shelves, or glass inserts, expect to pay more for these customizations.

4. DIY Savings: Refacing your cabinets yourself can save you money on labor costs, but you’ll still need to budget for materials and tools.

5. Location: Prices can vary by location, with urban areas generally being more expensive.

To get an accurate estimate for your specific kitchen, it’s recommended to obtain quotes from local cabinet refacing professionals. They can assess your cabinets’ condition and discuss your design preferences to provide a detailed cost estimate.

Keep in mind that while cabinet refacing is more affordable than a full kitchen remodel, it’s still an investment. However, the results can be transformative, giving your kitchen a fresh and updated look at a fraction of the cost.

What Are the Steps for Hiring a Professional Cabinet Refacing Service?

When you decide to hire a professional cabinet refacing service, it’s essential to follow a systematic process to ensure that you choose the right team for the job. Here are the steps you should consider:

1. Research and Gather Recommendations:

  • Start by researching local cabinet refacing companies online.
  • Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations based on their experiences.

2. Check Credentials and Reviews:

  • Verify that the companies you’re considering are licensed and insured.
  • Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge customer satisfaction.

3. Request Estimates:

  • Contact multiple cabinet refacing companies to request estimates for your project.
  • Ensure the estimates are detailed and include materials, labor, and any additional costs.

4. Visit Showrooms (If Available):

  • If a company has a showroom, visit it to see their workmanship and available materials up close.

5. Ask Questions:

  • Prepare a list of questions to ask potential contractors, including their experience, warranty policies, and expected timeline for the project.

6. Check References:

  • Request references from the contractors and follow up with previous clients to inquire about their satisfaction with the work.

7. Compare Quotes:

  • Evaluate the estimates, taking into account the quality of materials, reputation of the company, and overall cost.

8. Sign a Contract:

  • Once you’ve selected a contractor, ensure that all the details of the project, including materials, timeline, and cost, are clearly outlined in a written contract.

9. Prepare Your Kitchen:

  • Clear out the contents of your cabinets and create a workspace for the contractors.

10. Monitor the Project:

  • Stay in touch with the contractors throughout the project to address any concerns or changes that may arise.

By following these steps, you can hire a reputable cabinet refacing service that meets your expectations and delivers a quality result. Hiring professionals ensures that the project is completed efficiently and with attention to detail.

How Can I Choose the Right Cabinet Hardware?

Selecting the right cabinet hardware is a crucial step in the cabinet refacing process, as it can greatly influence the overall look and functionality of your kitchen. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect cabinet hardware:

1. Consider Your Kitchen Style:

  • Match the hardware style to your kitchen’s overall design. For traditional kitchens, choose classic and ornate hardware, while modern kitchens benefit from sleek and minimalist options.

2. Coordinate with Cabinet Color:

  • Ensure that the hardware complements the color of your cabinet doors and frames. Contrasting or matching colors can create different visual effects.

3. Think About Functionality:

  • Consider how you use your kitchen. For ease of use, select hardware that is comfortable to grip and operate, especially for drawers and pull-out shelves.

4. Experiment with Finishes:

  • Hardware comes in a variety of finishes, such as brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, and more. Experiment with different finishes to find the one that best suits your kitchen’s aesthetic.

5. Try Before You Buy:

  • Visit a hardware store or showroom to see and feel the hardware options in person. This can help you make a tactile decision.

6. Budget Wisely:

  • Cabinet hardware comes in a wide price range. Set a budget for hardware and stick to it to avoid overspending.

7. Consistency is Key:

  • Ensure that the hardware is consistent throughout your kitchen. While you can mix styles, maintaining a consistent finish and design can create a cohesive look.

8. Think Long-Term:

  • Choose hardware that you’ll be happy with for years to come, as it can be costly and time-consuming to replace.

Remember that cabinet hardware is like the jewelry of your kitchen, adding a finishing touch that enhances its overall appeal. Take your time in selecting the hardware that best suits your kitchen’s style and your personal preferences.

In the next sections, we’ll explore more questions related to cabinet refacing, providing you with comprehensive information to make informed decisions.

What Are Some Creative Ideas for Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers endless possibilities for creativity and customization. If you’re looking to infuse your kitchen with a unique and personalized touch, consider these creative ideas:

1. Two-Tone Cabinets:

  • Paint the upper and lower cabinets in different colors to create a striking contrast.

2. Open Shelving Inserts:

  • Replace some cabinet doors with open shelving to display decorative items or your favorite dishware.

3. Patterned Veneer:

  • Use veneer with patterns or textures to add visual interest to your cabinets.

4. Floating Shelves:

  • Install floating shelves above your countertops for a contemporary and open feel.

5. Glass Cabinet Doors:

  • Opt for glass inserts in your cabinet doors to showcase your glassware or collectibles.

6. Chalkboard Paint:

  • Apply chalkboard paint to a cabinet door or section for a functional and fun message board.

7. Cabinet Lighting:

  • Incorporate under-cabinet lighting to illuminate your countertops and create a warm ambiance.

8. Reclaimed Wood Accents:

  • Add reclaimed wood accents to your cabinets for a rustic and eco-friendly touch.

9. Decorative Handles and Knobs:

  • Choose unique and artistic handles and knobs that serve as statement pieces.

10. Stenciled Designs:

  • Use stencils to paint intricate designs or patterns on your cabinet doors.

These creative ideas can transform your kitchen into a unique and visually appealing space. When implementing such ideas, be sure to maintain a cohesive theme to ensure your kitchen’s overall harmony.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored a wide range of questions and topics related to cabinet refacing. Refacing your kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective and transformative way to update your kitchen’s appearance without the expense and hassle of a full renovation. Whether you’re considering a DIY project or hiring professionals, here are some key takeaways:

  • DIY Cabinet Refacing: If you have the skills and enthusiasm, refacing your kitchen cabinets yourself is a rewarding and budget-friendly option. It allows you to choose materials, colors, and hardware that match your style.
  • Benefits of Refacing: Refacing offers numerous advantages, including cost-effectiveness, shorter project timelines, and customization options. It’s an environmentally friendly choice that can increase the resale value of your home.
  • Choosing Materials: The material you select for cabinet refacing plays a significant role in the project’s outcome. Consider factors like style, durability, and maintenance when making your choice.
  • Longevity: Properly refaced cabinets can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more. The quality of materials, workmanship, and maintenance are key factors in determining their lifespan.
  • Cost Considerations: The cost of cabinet refacing varies depending on factors like materials, labor, and additional upgrades. Obtain detailed estimates and choose a contractor that aligns with your budget and expectations.
  • Hiring Professionals: When hiring professionals for cabinet refacing, follow a structured process that includes research, checking credentials, obtaining estimates, and signing a clear contract.
  • Choosing Hardware: Cabinet hardware selection is a crucial step in cabinet refacing. Consider your kitchen’s style, functionality, and your personal preferences when choosing knobs, handles, and pulls.
  • Creative Ideas: Get inspired by creative cabinet refacing ideas, such as two-tone cabinets, open shelving inserts, patterned veneer, and more, to give your kitchen a unique and personalized touch.

By addressing common questions and providing valuable insights, this guide aims to empower you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about your cabinet refacing project. Whether you’re aiming for a modern makeover or a traditional transformation, refacing your kitchen cabinets can breathe new life into your home while keeping costs in check.

Read: Easy Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen Cabinets Without Going Over Budget

Read: Understand What it Takes to Reface Kitchen Cabinets and Save Money

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