Kitchen Cabinets – Should we Reface, Replace or Paint? (Infographic)

Posted on: June 18, 2018

Kitchen cabinets are one of the major components of a great kitchen and are one of the first things that people notice and remember long after they visit your home. So, if your kitchen cabinets are already making your kitchen look old and worn, then perhaps it’s the perfect time to update their look.

When it comes to updating your kitchen cabinets, you can either choose to reface, repaint, or just get those old cabinets out of your kitchen and install new ones. Before you make any decisions, you need to consider many factors and have the opinion of an expert to determine which one is best suited to your preference and budget requirements.

To help you decide, we have detailed in this infographic everything you need to know about refacing, replacing, and painting your old kitchen cabinets, and what each option entail regarding their costs and value they add to your space.



Kitchen Cabinets - Should we Reface, Replace or Paint01

1. Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

For someone who is looking to get their kitchen looks new, but don’t want to do a complete remodel of the space, kitchen cabinet refacing is the way to go. Whether you have a California-style or darker, modern cabinetry in your kitchen, refacing them will save you from the hassle of tearing your entire kitchen, not to mention the cost.

The basic refacing project usually consists of replacing new cabinet doors and drawer fronts of your existing cabinets. The face frames are then covered with veneer or wood stain of your choice. So, refacing is a lot like changing the “skin” of your cabinets. It significantly improves the surface look without the hassle and cost of buying new cabinets.

Cabinet refacing is also a cost-effective option, especially for those who are working on a tight-budget. In fact, refacing your old cabinets can save you up to 30%-50% of the cost of replacement, plus you can choose a variety of design and colors so that you can customize their final appearance to your liking. Just make sure you talk to a highly-rated cabinet refacing company to ensure that the work will be done by professionals.

To recap, kitchen cabinet refacing has the following advantages:

  • A valuable alternative to new cabinets.
  • Can be completed without removing cabinets.
  • A variety of design options to choose from.
  • Can be combined with new cabinetry.
  • Performed by professionals for quality and precise output.

2. Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinet refacing, however, is not for every kitchen. Refacing only works if the structure of the existing cabinetry is still in good condition. The process doesn’t work on cabinets that are already heavily damaged and are beginning to fall apart. It also doesn’t solve rusting issues of metal cabinets and structural issues in your kitchen cabinets.

When you choose to replace your existing kitchen cabinets, you will need to hire experienced installers to set and precisely level your base cabinets. This is critical to ensure that the counters remain level enough so that the eggs don’t roll. For a cost that ranges from $12,000-$20,000, you can have contractor-grade cabinets installed in your kitchen.

To recap, here are the situations where you need to replace your kitchen cabinets:

  • When refacing is not the best option.
  • When you want to change the layout of your kitchen.
  • When your cabinets are in bad shape.
  • When doing a full-scale kitchen remodel.

3. Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Giving old cabinets with a fresh coat of paint is increasingly becoming popular, especially to those who are fond of DIY. It also is the cheapest option – it is possible to save 60%-70% when you choose to paint your cabinets yourself compared to completely remodeling your entire kitchen. It can also be done much faster but is a less convenient and risky option – especially for those who lack the skills.

Surface preparation is critical for the paint to properly adhere and take the beating and wiping that cabinets must take. This option is also not recommended to many modern cabinets which have laminate fronts, since sanding and painting those will likely end with underwhelming results. And even on a wood surface, putting the wrong type of paint could still lead to warping and peeling particularly if the surface wasn’t prepared correctly.

If you are serious about painting your old cabinet, you must consult with a reputable contractor to ensure you properly prepare the area and use the correct type of paint.

To recap, painting your kitchen cabinets is the best option if you:

  • Have a really small
  • Have the budget to hire an expert interior painter.
  • Have certain time restraints.
  • Have the time, energy, and know-how to do the job yourself.