Cabinet Kitchen Refacing: A Cost-effective Solution for a Fresh and Updated Look

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and the cabinets play a significant role in both functionality and aesthetics. Over time, cabinets can become


cabinet kitchen refacing

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and the cabinets play a significant role in both functionality and aesthetics. Over time, cabinets can become worn, outdated, or simply no longer match your desired style. While a full cabinet replacement may seem like the only solution, cabinet kitchen refacing offers a cost-effective alternative that can transform the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of cabinet kitchen refacing, its benefits, various techniques, step-by-step process, customization options, and potential challenges. By the end, you will be equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to embark on your own cabinet kitchen refacing project.

Understanding Cabinet Kitchen Refacing

Cabinet kitchen refacing is a process that involves updating the appearance of your existing cabinets while keeping the original cabinet boxes intact. It is different from replacing cabinets entirely, as it focuses on changing the external elements of the cabinets rather than starting from scratch. This approach allows you to achieve a fresh and updated look without the hefty price tag and extensive labor associated with full cabinet replacement.

Refacing cabinets offers several benefits over replacing them entirely. First and foremost, it is a cost-effective solution that can potentially save you thousands of dollars compared to a complete cabinet replacement. Additionally, refacing cabinets is a much quicker process, causing minimal disruption to your daily life during the renovation period. Moreover, it is an eco-friendly choice as it reuses existing cabinet frames, reducing waste.

Evaluation and Preparation

Before diving into cabinet kitchen refacing, it is essential to evaluate the condition of your existing cabinets. Check for any structural issues or damage that might affect the feasibility of refacing. If your cabinets are in good condition overall, refacing is likely a viable option.

Once you have decided to proceed with refacing, gather the necessary tools and materials. These may include new veneer or laminate, adhesive, sandpaper, paintbrushes or rollers, new doors and hardware, and any other desired decorative elements.

Cabinet Refacing Techniques

There are several cabinet refacing techniques available, each offering its unique benefits and aesthetics. The most common techniques include:

  1. Traditional Veneer Refacing: This technique involves applying a thin layer of real wood veneer to the cabinet frames, giving them a natural and authentic look. Veneer refacing offers a wide range of wood species options to suit various styles.
  2. Laminate Refacing: Laminate is a synthetic material that comes in various colors and patterns. It is cost-effective, durable, and easy to clean. Laminate refacing is an excellent choice for those seeking a modern or sleek look for their kitchen cabinets.
  3. Thermofoil Refacing: Thermofoil is a thin vinyl material that is heat-applied to the cabinet frames. It provides a smooth and seamless finish and is available in a wide array of colors and styles. Thermofoil refacing is a popular choice for contemporary kitchen designs.
  4. Acrylic Refacing: Acrylic is a high-gloss material that offers a luxurious and reflective finish to your cabinets. It is highly durable, resistant to scratches and fading, making it an excellent long-term investment for your kitchen.
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Choosing the right technique for your cabinet refacing project depends on your personal preferences, budget, and desired style for your kitchen.

Step-by-Step Cabinet Kitchen Refacing Process

Now that you have evaluated your existing cabinets and chosen a refacing technique, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of cabinet kitchen refacing:

  1. Clearing out and preparing the kitchen space: Remove all items from your cabinets and clear the surrounding area to create a workspace.
  2. Removing cabinet doors and hardware: Unscrew and remove all cabinet doors, as well as any hardware such as handles or hinges.
  3. Cleaning and sanding the cabinet frames: Thoroughly clean the cabinet frames using a mild detergent or cleaner. Once dry, lightly sand the frames to create a smooth surface for better adhesion of the new veneer or laminate.
  4. Applying new veneer or laminate to cabinet frames: Cut the veneer or laminate sheets according to the measurements of your cabinet frames. Apply adhesive to the backside of the veneer or laminate and carefully press it onto the cabinet frames, ensuring proper alignment and smooth application.
  5. Installing new doors, drawers, and hardware: Attach new doors and drawers to the refaced cabinet frames using hinges or drawer glides. Install new hardware such as handles or knobs according to your desired style.
  6. Finishing touches and final adjustments: Clean up any excess adhesive or debris from the refacing process. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure all doors and drawers are aligned correctly and functioning smoothly.

Customization Options for Cabinet Refacing

One of the advantages of cabinet kitchen refacing is the ability to customize your cabinets according to your preferences. Here are some customization options to consider:

  • Choosing the right veneer or laminate: Select a veneer or laminate that complements your desired style and color palette for the kitchen.
  • Selecting door styles and designs: Explore various door styles such as shaker, raised panel, or flat panel doors. Consider adding glass inserts for an elegant touch.
  • Adding decorative elements: Enhance the aesthetic appeal of your cabinets by incorporating moldings or trim work. These elements can add depth and character to your kitchen design.
  • Exploring color choices and finishes: Opt for colors that match or contrast with your existing kitchen décor. Consider different finishes such as matte, glossy, or textured surfaces.
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By customizing each element of your cabinets during the refacing process, you can achieve a truly personalized kitchen design that reflects your style preferences.

Advantages of Cabinet Kitchen Refacing

Cabinet kitchen refacing offers numerous advantages that make it an appealing option for homeowners:

  1. Cost-effective compared to full cabinet replacement: Refacing cabinets can save you up to 50% or more compared to replacing them entirely, making it an affordable choice for homeowners on a budget.
  2. Minimal disruption to daily life: Refacing cabinets is a quicker process than completely replacing them, resulting in minimal disruption to your daily routine during the renovation period.
  3. Eco-friendly option: By reusing existing cabinet frames instead of disposing of them, refacing is an environmentally conscious choice that reduces waste.
  4. Wide range of design options: With various materials, colors, finishes, and customization choices available, you can achieve any style you desire for your kitchen.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

While cabinet kitchen refacing offers many benefits, there are some potential challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Recognizing when refacing may not be feasible or recommended: If your existing cabinets are severely damaged or have structural issues that cannot be easily fixed through refacing alone, it may be more practical to consider full cabinet replacement.
  • Dealing with structural issues or damage during the process: If any issues arise during the refacing process such as weak cabinet frames or water damage, it is crucial to address them promptly before proceeding with the refacing project.
  • Working with professionals vs. DIY refacing projects: While some homeowners may choose to tackle cabinet refacing as a DIY project, it can be beneficial to hire professionals who have experience in this specialized field. They can ensure a smooth and successful outcome while saving you time and potential mistakes.
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Maintaining Refaced Cabinets for Longevity

To ensure that your newly refaced cabinets look great for years to come, proper maintenance is essential:

  • Clean cabinets regularly using mild soap or detergent and warm water.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that could damage the finish.
  • Wipe up spills promptly to prevent staining or damage.
  • Inspect your cabinets periodically for any signs of wear or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.

By following these maintenance tips, you can extend the longevity of your refaced cabinets and keep them looking fresh and updated for years to come.


  1. Can I reface my cabinets myself?
    • While some homeowners may choose to tackle cabinet refacing as a DIY project, it requires precision and attention to detail. Hiring professionals who specialize in cabinet refacing can ensure optimal results.
  2. How long does cabinet refacing typically take?
    • The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on various factors such as the size of your kitchen and the complexity of the refacing technique chosen. However, on average, it can be completed within 3-5 days.
  3. Can I change the layout of my cabinets during refacing?
    • Cabinet refacing focuses on updating the external appearance of cabinets rather than altering their layout. If you wish to change the layout of your cabinets significantly, full cabinet replacement may be a more suitable option.
  4. Are there any alternatives to cabinet refacing?
    • If you are looking for alternatives to cabinet refacing, options include repainting existing cabinets or completely replacing them with new ones. However, these alternatives may require more time, effort, and cost compared to refacing.
  5. How much does cabinet refacing typically cost?
    • The cost of cabinet refacing varies depending on factors such as kitchen size, materials chosen, customization options, and professional labor costs involved. On average, cabinet kitchen refacing can cost between $3,500 to $8,000.


Cabinet kitchen refacing provides an affordable and efficient solution for transforming the look of your kitchen without undertaking a full cabinet replacement project. By understanding the concept of cabinet kitchen refacing along with its benefits, techniques, step-by-step process, customization options, potential challenges, and maintenance tips, you are now equipped to embark on your own refacing journey. With careful planning and consideration of your personal style preferences and budgetary constraints, you can achieve a fresh and updated look for your kitchen while enjoying significant cost savings along the way.


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