Tips To Reface Your Cabinets

The way your cabinets look can impact the overall style of your kitchen or bathroom. If you’re planning a remodel or seeing that your cabinetry is looking a bit out-of-date, it might be time to consider refreshing your look.

But, cabinet replacement can be expensive! If you’re on a budget, giving your cabinets a new look can seem like an impossible task. But never fear! There are other options available that can fit into most budgets by utilizing your existing cabinet structure. See how you can reface your cabinets for a new look for less.

If you’re changing the look of your kitchen and bath, a refresh might take more than just refacing cabinets. Contact a remodeling pro today for up to four quotes from local contractors in your area for free.

Cabinet Refacing Vs Cabinet Refinishing

Cabinet Refacing Vs. Cabinet Refinishing

Whether it’s the bathroom or kitchen, it’s important to understand the difference between cabinet refacing and refinishing. Cabinet refinishing replaces the old stain or paint with a fresh coat. You’ll still keep the general appearance of your cabinets, but have the ability to change the look of the color. Refinishing cabinets is a cheaper process than a replacement and refacing, with most homeowners spending between $1,800 and $2,800. This doesn’t always give homeowners the quality change they most desire.

Many homeowners confuse the refinishing process with refacing cabinets. This process can completely change the look of your cabinets without destroying your existing structure, by giving cabinet doors and drawers new fronts. Additionally, it’s a quick process, with a total completion time between four to seven days. This will give your cabinets a completely new look. The average cost to reface cabinets is $6,324, with most homeowners spending between $5,069 and $7,196.

With either option, you can significantly reduce your remodeling budget and get a new look. However, refacing will give you a new and updated look that will last. For some materials, it’s best to contact a pro who can help ensure that all is installed correctly.

Cabinet Repairs

Cabinet Repairs

Before you begin your cabinet refacing project, you should check to see if any repairs are needed. After all, you will be using the existing structure of your cabinets. Refacing cabinets will not solve any structural problems. Check to see if there are any cracks that need to be filled or any scratches to be touched up. The average cost to repair cabinets is $317, with most homeowners spending between $188 to $318. Depending on the extent of the damage, it’s likely small repairs can be a DIY project.

Refacing Materials

Refacing Materials

When it comes to refacing your cabinets, either in the kitchen or bathroom, there are many materials you can use to update your look. Here are three popular refacing materials:

1. Wood Veneer

If you like the the look of real wood, without the price tag, wood veneer would be the right material for you. This option comes in sheets and can be cut to size for your current cabinets. For refacing, you’ll need a cabinet grade veneer to avoid scratches and dents.

2. Rigid Thermofoil (RTF)

The most budget-friendly option is rigid thermofoil, or RTF. This is a vinyl material that can be fit and molded over an existing cabinet with heat and pressure. RTF comes in various styles and colors, so it’s easy to find one to fit your look. However, this style can easily damage by heat in the kitchen or discolored quickly from use.

3. Install New Doors & Drawers

For homeowners who are unhappy with their cabinets, there is the option to completely replace their doors and drawers. This is the most expensive kind of refacing, but appropriate for homeowners looking to go from a solid wood cabinet door to a glass cabinet door.

Don’t Forget Hardware

While you’re refacing, don’t forget to exchange your old kitchen cabinet hardware. A simple upgrade can complete the look of your cabinet refacing project. Pay attention to finishes that match your new style as well as what matches other appliances in the room. Stainless steel and chrome are popular choices for kitchens while gold is making a comeback in the bathroom.

Adding new hardware to your kitchen cabinets, with or without refacing them, can be a great upgrade to your kitchen. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes in your space.

DIY Or Contact A Pro

DIY Or Contact A Pro?

Often times, refacing cabinets is best left to a contractor who has the expertise to cut and apply everything to the exact measurements needed. This is especially important in kitchen cabinet refacing. However, for a small bathroom cabinet or vanity, this can be a DIY project for those who are more experienced with home improvement.  Some materials, like RTF, are better left for a pro to install. They’ll also ensure that no damage is done to your existing cabinetry during the refacing process.


Cabinets are an important element of your kitchen and bathroom. If they’re old and damaged, they’ll alter the style and feel of the entire room. Consider refacing your cabinets as a time-saving and budget-friendly upgrade for your kitchen or bath.

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