Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling: Refinish or Reface?

kitchencabInstead of replacing your kitchen cabinetry when you redo your kitchen, you can save money and hassle by cabinet remodeling instead. Rather than the need to remove the old cabinets and install new ones (or pay someone to do it) you can opt to either refinish or reface your cabinets. What's the difference between refinishing and refacing?

Refinishing involves keeping your original cabinets and changing the finish, either through staining or painting. If your cabinets are any material other than wood, you can't refinish. Laminate cabinets, for instance, are a poor choice for cabinet remodeling. They won't hold paint and sanding or stripping will just destroy the surface. But if you have wooden cabinets that you want to change, refinishing is an option.

Refacing, on the other hand, involves leaving the cabinets in place but replacing drawer fronts and doors. This allows you to give your cabinets a new look and even a new style, no matter what materials they're made from. If replacing cabinet doors made from laminate, considering switching to wood to give yourself more durability and options in the future.

If you're kitchen cabinet remodeling and your cabinets are wood, you may wonder if either refinishing or refacing has any particular benefits. The choice between refinishing and refacing is chiefly personal. It depends on what you like, how much other kitchen remodeling you plan on doing, and how much you want to spend.

Refinishing is cheaper than refacing, because you're keeping all of your existing cabinetry. This option costs about 1/3 less than refacing. So if you're happy with your cabinets' look and the doors and drawer front are all in good shape, you can save money by refinishing. The cost is even less if you do the work yourself.

But bear in mind that stripping and refinishing the cabinets requires harsh chemicals and fumes, and it's work intensive. It's harder to get good results by refinishing when cabinet remodeling than if you were refacing, whether you finish them with stain or paint. You'll also need to purchase special equipment, if you don't regularly strip varnish and stain wood. If you're in doubt, hire a professional.

Refacing is easier for a less-experienced DIYer to get right, but it presents special challenges. Still, it's the perfect option for someone who wants a completely new look for the kitchen cabinetry. Staining new cabinetry to match cabinets you just stained can be difficult. If you plan on an extensive remodel and addictions like a new center island or other cabinets, refacing is the better kitchen cabinet remodeling choice. You could even opt to reface with wood veneer that could be painted or stained.

Be sure, before you make a choice, that you've thought about the results. No matter how much you want to save money, you shouldn't waste money and time refinishing cabinet fronts that you dislike when you could spend just a little more to reface. Then you can be sure you'll still be happy with your cabinet remodeling results after the newness starts to wear off.

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Vintage Toastmaster kitchen dimensions under cabinet pastry toaster Model 785

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Originally posted 2009-09-16 12:19:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Cabinets, Handy Man, Kitchen, Refresh, Refurbish


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1 comment so far ↓
#1 Stephanie Bullwinkel on 09.17.09 at 2:43 pm

Refacing is something I would not recommend as a DIY project… just as I would not recommend construction a suit as a DIY project. Both take expert craftsmanship and tailoring experience. Our installers have to go thru several training sessions before they are allowed to go out on a reface project. And even at that, some of them just don’t have what it takes.

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