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Kitchen Cabinets Refacing – Why New Cabinets Are Probably A Better Option

Refacing kitchen cabinets is cost-effective to save money on a kitchen remodeling project.

Up to half of a kitchen remodel costs go toward replacing the cabinets, which are essential to the room’s overall aesthetic. The cost of refacing kitchen cabinets may turn out to be a worthwhile investment in your home’s future.

A cabinet refacing solution can transform the look and feel of your home in less time than a complete makeover. To reface your cabinets, you must remove your old cabinet doors and drawer fronts and replace them with high-quality veneer materials.

To learn more about the perks of cabinet refacing, continue to read this article.

Know About Kitchen Cabinet Refacing?

You can’t be wearing the same dress for your entire life. Then why should the cabinets? Yes, Kitchen cabinet refacing is just like providing a new, dramatic appearance to your kitchen cabinets by changing the skin, paint, texture, and hardware, allowing them to complement the kitchen in the best way possible.

Kitchen cabinet refacing includes:

  1. The removal of cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

  2. Adding double lamination.

  3. Covering the front cabinets with a layer of natural woods.

  4. Self-sticking veneer.

  5. The ends with durable plywood.

Last but not least, the knobs and pulls, door hinges and latches, and all the other cabinet hardware is replaced with new ones, matching the new look.

Why Should You Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets?

A question that must be coming to your mind, again and again, is, ‘why should I reface my existing cabinets and not opt for a complete remodeling or merely paint?’

Well, the answer is quite simple. Where kitchen remodels can give you a completely new look but cost a lot, and it will take days also. On the other hand, painting the cabinets is a budget-friendly process, but it can’t give a new look.

Moreover, the painted cabinets can easily get peeled or flaked as they attract grime and dirt. So, maintaining them can be a big problem.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Refacing The Kitchen Cabinets

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Until now, you have become well aware of what cabinet refacing is. Now let’s dive into the ins and outs of refacing kitchen cabinets that you should know before opting for it.


There are several advantages of refacing kitchen cabinets, which can’t be enlisted for sure. Some important ones are:

Add Value To Your Home

Do you want to sell your home, but everyone finds your kitchen outdated? Nothing to worry about. Refacing your kitchen adds significant value to your home from a selling point. According to a rough estimate, the profits obtained after refacing the kitchens is almost 50%, while the renovation is between 25 to 30%.

So, from a selling point of view, refacing your kitchen is a must as it is the perfect way to attract the attention of potential buyers, instead of letting them go disappointed.


Another plus point of refacing the cabinets is that it doesn’t cost much. Instead, it costs almost 25 to 50% lower than replacing the cabinets with new ones. You don’t even need to change the entire Cabinet to reface it. But if you are replacing them, it can damage the surrounding parts and floor, causing additional damage.

So, if your cabinets are in good condition, or you don’t want to change the layout at all, go for the refacing option. However, a few upgrades can be made according to your needs and budget.

Easy Process

While other techniques are time-consuming and necessitate the use of professionals to complete the assigned task, kitchen cabinet refacing is a simple process. Nothing more than following the instructions on this blog, and you’ll be good to go! You can do it yourself also if you are good at taking the exact measurements because that is the only tricky part.

Rest is all concerned with removing the previous one and adding veneer and plywood, later giving the finish accordingly. Experts aren’t required to do this task. Moreover, it takes only a maximum of 3 to 4 days to finish up refacing. But the replacement of cabinets or the entire kitchen renovation can take more than a week.

Saving Environment

What? How can there be any relation between your environment and kitchen refacing? Apparently no, but yes, there is a solid relationship. If you reface the cabinets, you can change the doors and drawers fronts by adding veneers, double lamination, and things like that. In short, nothing is wasted as such hence the earth’s landfill is also not tossed with your scratched cabinets.

But if your cabinets are replaced, not only is it expensive, as mentioned earlier, it has a significant impact and role to play in the degradation of the environment by filling the land with cabinets. In addition, the cabinets contain a chemical called formaldehyde which is quite hazardous to the environment.

A brand-new look

The best fact about refacing the cabinets is that you get the maximum-minimum. It refurbishes your cabinets’ entire look and style, although it is not revitalizing the old ones. You can change the whole look from material to hardware, yet it costs way less than replacement.

No Trees are used

Since refacing includes remodeling the already present kitchen’s layout and kitchen cabinets in the best way out, it doesn’t require more wood. In this way, you can play a significant role in making your earth a better place to live in, as you are not using new trees as wood for the same purpose.


We all know that there is a corresponding disadvantage to every advantage. So, although refacing kitchen cabinets is handy and beneficial in many ways, it is not a jack of all trades. It has got a few disadvantages too which you must keep in mind and consider before refacing the kitchen cabinets.

No Space Upgrades

One of the setbacks of refacing the kitchen cabinets is that the space can’t be increased. In refacing, the front drawers and doors are changed and upgraded to the new ones, but the internal layout remains the same. So, if you find less space in your cabinets, refacing them is not the best option for you.

Condition Of Cabinets Remains The Same

Yet another drawback of refacing is that only the front is changed, but the internal material remains the same. So, if your metal has started to rust or peel off, refacing the cabinets won’t help you. Instead, it would no longer be cost-effective too as, after a year or two, you will have to replace them with the new ones.

Not Always A 100%, DIY Friendly

Although it is often said that you can do refacing cabinets by yourself, it is not always the scenario. Things like removing the previous laminations without damaging them, and installing new veneers, and laminations, all require attention and professionalism. So if you aren’t good at measurements, don’t reface the cabinets yourself as you can make it cost double.

Why Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets Makes Sense

Natural wood veneer, cabinet frames, new cabinet boxes, and remodelling of existing cabinetry ideas

So, if you don’t want an entirely new look of your kitchen cabinets and don’t want to change the layout even, then kitchen cabinet refacing makes sense. There are certain conditions in which refacing makes sense and should be adopted as the best option. But it isn’t always the right option.

Moreover, it is a budget-friendly process too. But if your drawers and cabinets are in too rough conditions, damaged from places, or have begun to rust, refacing is not the best option for you as it won’t work. In such situations, the laminations and veneers can start to peel off easily within a year or two.

And secondly, if your aim is not a budget-friendly process, but the one that gives a completely transformed and updated look with a changed layout and structure, then refacing can’t give you that all.

Cabinet Refacing Options Exist

Various types and options exist in the kitchen cabinet, facing shaker style to glass front. Whether you are going for something that better complements your kitchen or a new, unique look, countless options exist in choosing the wood, hardware, and doors. On average, 1000 hours per year on an American is spent in the kitchen, so it is worth your attention and average. Below are the different types and styles of cabinet refacing options you can go for.


There are five types of refacing options that exist:

1. Cabinet Refinishing

2. Cabinet Redooring

3. Cabinet Reconditioning

4. Adding cabinets and shelves

5. Full Cabinet refacing


kitchen refacing project and creative ideas for countertop space, door style, wood veneers, plastic laminate, and glass panels

The primary type of refacing option is cabinet refinishing. In this, you don’t need to replace the doors cabinet fronts or laminate them. Instead, you have to change your cabinets’ final outlook and finish. Yes, for this purpose, you may feel the need to remove the doors or cabinets to make your process easy. Some types of Cabinet Refinishing are:

  1. Faux finishing

  2. Re-staining and variation of wood

  3. Decorative painting

2. Cabinet Redooring

When someone walks into a kitchen, the first thing that catches their eye is the doors and fronts of the cabinets. Their color, finish, and style grab all the attention, and changing this for a better outlook is termed redooring. By doing such, an impact is created all at once. While redooring, however, you should look at the colors of Thermofoil and the style that complements and add to your kitchen’s overall outlook.

Completely transform your old house, doors drawer fronts, face frames, wood species

3. Cabinet Reconditioning

The quickest option of refacing is Cabinet reconditioning. The furnishings are changed and made to look new by recoating it. Mostly the wear off of coats occurs due to dirt or grease. However, according to a rough estimate, a cabinet can stay new if adequately maintained for more than 50 years. So, reconditioning followed by good maintenance is the cheapest and the least invasive option.

4. Additional Cabinets And Shelves

In Cabinet refacing, although you can’t change the basic layout or structure, the best thing is that you can add more cabinets and shelves to increase your kitchen’s storage. Moreover, you can trim and partition your existing cabinets too.

5. Full Cabinet Refacing

The last option of Cabinet refacing is the complete refacing process which includes a mishmash of all the four options mentioned above. The doors and cabinet fronts are replaced, veneers are placed, exterior doors are repainted, shelves are added, and hardware is also changed. It is the most detailed refacing type, ultimately leading to a new, stylish, and top-graded kitchen that would be able to meet your needs too.

Just a facelift your new doors and drawer, drawer pulls, refaced kitchen, and solid wood doors

Inspect Your Cabinets To See If They Need To Be Refaced Or Not

We have discussed in detail what refacing is its pros and cons, the options, and many more. But how can you know if your cabinets require refacing or not? Refacing is more of a cosmetic process. Following are a few points whose analysis can help you decide:

  1. Are you happy with the layout of your kitchen?

  2. Are your cabinets in good condition and don’t need to be replaced?

  3. Do you want a visual enhancement or structural one too?

  4. Are your cabinets previously laminated or not? If they are, can it be laminated again?

  5. Is your Cabinet made of soft quality wood or hard quality? If the wood is of soft quality, good for you as it can be refaced. But if it is of hardwood, refacing is not an excellent choice to make.

  6. Are your cabinets damaged with rust or any other thing? If yes, refacing is just a waste of money; opt for replacing them.

Cabinet Refacing Material Matters

Use the high-quality material to transform your kitchen cabinets. The most commonly used materials are:

1. Wood

2. Thermofoil

3. 3D laminate


Wood is the most versatile material used in construction throughout the world, whether cabinetry work or remodeling. Its rustic hue can complement and stand out in any kitchen interior. The veneers that are made exclusively of wood are more adhesive and durable. Moreover, it provides various styles to choose from, such as cherry, oak, mahogany, etc.

However, it has some setbacks such as:

  1. Inconsistent straining, resulting in color variation across the band

  2. Ability to rot by absorbing moisture

2. Thermofoil

Thermofoil is made of a high-quality vinyl layer and moderate dense fibreboard. After wood, it is the most commonly used material for refacing. A few benefits of Thermofoil over wood that should be kept in mind are:

Existing cabinet doors refacing ideas, kitchen remodel and refacing costs estimation
  1. Durable: Thermofoil is highly durable and impervious to moisture and humidity, making it the best choice in countries with humid environments.

  2. Consistent color: Due to the use of Vinyl in its manufacturing process, as mentioned earlier, Thermofoil provides consistent color and doesn’t show color variation as is in the case of wood.

  3. Warranty: Mostly, the Thermofoil refacing of cabinets comes with a warranty of a few years.

  4. Customizable: Since one of the components of Thermofoil is Vinyl, it can easily be changed into different shapes and patterns, giving you the ability to customize it as per your idea.


Being less susceptible to wear and tear, 3D laminate is also one of the best materials to consider while choosing to reface your cabinets. These laminates are scratch-resistant, affordable, easy to clean, give a high-quality feel, and come with endless color options. However, the only problem is that laminate can lift over time and not be refaced again.

Procedure To Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets

The process of refacing kitchen cabinets can be divided into an essential step-by-step guide to help you out.

Removing and cleaning

The first step is to remove all the doors and cabinet fronts. Then clean and pull off all the grease and dirt on the sides of the cabinets. Lately, glue the plywood to the exposed parts of your Cabinet. Clean the cabinets and empty them before going to the next step.

Application of Skin and Veneer

The next refacing cabinets are the most time-consuming ones, testing your patience.

  1. The skin is attached to cabinet sides and base by cutting a single large piece according to your needs. Once appropriately cut, they are attached using nail pins or other adhesive.

  2. The front of the Cabinet is covered with veneer and not skin. However, the veneer application requires a much stronger adhesive for proper performance. Trim the excess veneer, if any. It is also cut according to the size and dimensions required.

Installation of hinges and doors

Once the skin and veneer are applied, 80% of your work is done. The next step is simply screwing the hinges and installing the doors and cabinets. It is highly advisable to check the position of doors before tightening the hinges correctly.

Cabinet Hardware

Last but not least comes the part of choosing and attaching the perfect cabinet hardware for your kitchen’s new look. Whether you want to go for all knobs or pulls depends entirely on your taste.


Since you have just gone through the entire refacing process, you must be clear that it is not a big deal, which you can do yourself too. Even if you hire a professional, the design, style, material, and hardware will be bought as per your demands, then why not reface it yourself? It is an easy DIY skill.

The only step that requires a massive amount of attention is choosing the suitable material for veneer and skins. You should be clear whether you want to go for 3D laminate, wood, or Thermofoil as your final look. For this purpose, you can look for a professional guide. Otherwise, follow the steps mentioned above and reface your kitchen cabinets.

Remodel The Kitchen With Cabinet Refacing

Existing cabinet frames, drawer box, crown molding, door hardware, and refinishing cabinets for current cabinets

Refacing the cabinets change the outlook of your kitchen up to 85%. It looks neat, stylish, and new. By adding a few things to your refacing, you can remodel your kitchen. These are:

  1. Put in an under-cabinet lighting

  2. When adding additional shelves, opt for a butcher block island or sideboard

  3. Turn an upper cabinet into a plate rack

  4. Changing the paints of walls

Cost Of Refacing And Other Elements Affecting It

The best part of refacing is that it costs 1/3rd of that caused by replacing the kitchen cabinets. This is because the layout and the cabinet boxes aren’t changed in refacing the structure. Only the doors and fronts are changed, and sometimes hardware, if necessary. The cost of refacing varies from house to house depending on the following factors:

  1. The total number of doors and cabinet fronts that need to be changed

  2. The refacing you are going for

  3. The material you are choosing between wood, laminate, and Thermofoil

  4. The designs and styles you are going for; the more detailed and complex the customized design, the more it will cost.

Three common mistakes to avoid

Although refacing has become one of the most popular remodeling projects of the kitchen, it is essential to have a deep knowledge of all the nuts and bolts to avoid while going for refacing. Enlisted below are a few common errors to avoid while refacing your kitchen from turning into a great mess:

Poor planning

Poor planning of styles results in mismatched designs. This would ultimately lead to ruining the whole look of your kitchen. You should always consider the material, design, style, and budget. Else Refacing will cost you more bucks than you thought.

Using Cheap Material

No doubt fashion and style are important to consider; it is not all about the apparent makeover. The material used matters a lot. If you use cheap material, the cabinets will not last long as they can easily be damaged by absorbing moisture, rusting, etc. Always prefer durable material that gives high-quality cabinets to your kitchen.

Short-lived Trends

Always opt for more subtle designs and colors. Never use color schemes and trends that are short-lived. Once that style is gone, your whole process of refacing will look outdated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is the average cost of refacing kitchen cabinets?

Although refacing kitchen cabinets depends on several factors, the average cost lies between $4000 to $9000. Almost 60 to 70% of the total cost is spent on the material chosen.

Which one is cheaper, reface or replace cabinets?

Since replacing the cabinets includes the whole demolition, followed by installing new cabinets, it is more expensive than refacing, in which only the doors and fronts of cabinets are changed. Refacing is 40 to 50 percent cheaper as compared to replacing.

What is the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets?

One of the cheapest ways to refinance kitchen cabinets is to refinish. It simply involves the removal of the old, cracked paint and adding a layer of new paint or varnish.

Is refacing cabinets better than painting?

Although painting is cheaper, refacing the cabinets doesn’t break your bank even. It is a better option because it includes changing the entire look, ranging from material to hardware, giving your kitchen a facelift.

Conclusion- The Bottom Line

Cabinet refacing is a cheaper, eco-friendly way of giving your old kitchen a new feel. But always remember that refacing is like applying cosmetics, while replacing is like undergoing a complete surgery.

If your cabinets are not structurally damaged and you are happy with the layout, refacing is a perfect on-to-go option for you whether you want to liven up the kitchen for your use or for selling purposes. Brace yourself, find the material and start to reface!

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