What’s the difference between refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing? (Infographic)

Posted on: March 28, 2019


So, you made some noticeable improvements to your kitchen. You already had your countertops replaced, repainted your walls, and even your flooring looks a lot different from before. Everything seems like new again except that old cupboard of yours.

Kitchen cabinets are not just mere storage areas. They also give some sense of personality to the overall look of your kitchen. If you finally decided to take the big step of upgrading your cabinet, then you should be ready to have it refaced. However, several layman’s terms regarding ways of improving cabinetry started to brew around leading to some confusion amongst clients. These terms are:

  • Refinishing
  • Refacing
  • Resurfacing

This infographic will discuss the differences of these terms as well as what are the changes that they can bring once a cabinet had undergone such processes:

What’s the difference between refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing-01


Cabinet refinishing is basically the process where you retain all of the original components of your cabinet and then change the color through hand sanding or chemically taking off the old finish from the wood to apply new paint or stain. This way could be the most affordable one as it only changes the color of your cabinetry. Though be mindful if your cabinet had some functionality issues like defective hinges, you better not just opt for this one.


Refacing involves removing the face of your cabinet which is made up of either a laminate or a wood veneer and replacing it with new material of your choice. You’ll be able to keep the main body of your cabinet but unlike refinishing your cabinet will have new sets of doors and drawer fronts.

Based on your preferences, you can also have face frames, cabinet side panels, and moldings replaced so that the designs of each part complements well with each other.

This process is most likely the best option as it not only gives your cabinet a new look, but it also improves functionality. You can even add up some new features and add-ons for a higher price.


The common misconception nowadays is that resurfacing is a process different from refacing. But this is wrong, as resurfacing is just another term for refacing and both terms refer to the same process of getting your cabinet a facelift with the addition of new components. THEY ARE THE SAME THING!

When deciding between refinishing and refacing/resurfacing, keep in mind that if your cabinets are made from laminate or thermofoil, do not refinish it as the paint doesn’t stick with these materials. But in case you have wood cabinets, then the choice is yours!

Let us help you uplift the look of your kitchen cabinets with our cabinet refacing service! Visit our website today at www.kcnetdev.wpengine.com or call us at (800) 581-0694 to learn more.