Kitchen Cabinets – Should we Reface, Replace or Paint?

By August 15, 2019 February 16th, 2024 No Comments

Refacing Cabinets vs Painting Cabinets vs NEW Cabinets: Pros and Cons

When it’s time to do a kitchen renovation there are three common choices available. Painting the cabinets can completely change the color of the existing cabinetry and make a huge impact with very little investment. Refacing cabinetry allows for more options and convenient upgrades without incurring all of the costs of a full renovation.

New cabinetry provides more options for not only the form but functionality of the kitchen and usually comes with a higher price tag. Each family’s needs are unique and there is no “one size fits all” method for renovation so it’s important to know what choices are available. Here is a list of pros and cons for each method to help determine what’s the right project for you.

Painting your cabinets is the least expensive solution and, in some ways, the least invasive. There are low odor paints available that can be applied without the need to move out of your home while the paint cures. A full kitchen can be painted in a matter of days if done by a professional so you can be back to cooking sooner. The prep work involved with painting the kitchen is significant and if not done properly the new painted finished won’t last very long. Even when done correctly by a professional a new paint job on old cabinetry will start to show signs of wear in under 10 years. For clients who expect to live in the home for longer than that may choose a more permanent solution.

Refacing can make an old kitchen look brand new and, in some cases, can make minor adjustments to the existing cabinet layout, increasing functionality. The doors, drawers and any moldings are removed leaving only the cabinet boxes themselves which are then laminated with a new material to match the new door selection. The refacing process has been refined in the last 20 years to produce striking results that are virtually indistinguishable from new cabinetry on the outside. The inside of the cabinetry remains the same but can be painted if necessary, to complete the look. Refacing is typically more expensive than a professional painting contractor would be but eliminates many costs associated with making more significant changes in the kitchen. You may not need to change your countertop or backsplash when refacing your cabinetry, which represents a significant reduction in cost over full renovation. Unfortunately, as is the case with painting, refacing does not allow for changes made to the footprint of the cabinetry. If a significant change to the cabinet or appliance placement is necessary, refacing may not be the right solution for you.