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Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Updated on October 20, 2009

Kitchen cabinet refacing is a great option if you want to get a modern kitchen design but do not want to go through an entire kitchen remodeling and replace all of your kitchen cabinets. In addition, kitchen cabinet refacing gives you the opportunity to choose between many different kitchen cabinet door styles so you can give your kitchen a little personality.  Most of the time, the part of the cabinet that gets the most wear and tear is the door, the shelves and main body of your cabinet is usually in fine shape so it really is not necessary to replace the entire cabinet. If you choose to reface kitchen cabinets, you could let people think that you have gotten entirely new cabinets and they would probably never know the difference. In terms of kitchen cabinet refacing cost, it varies widely depending on the type of refacing you choose to do. In addition, a kitchen cabinets refacing project can be just as long and difficult as a cabinet replacement project, so be prepared for some hard work and time without cabinet doors.

To Replace or Reface…

When you are trying to decide if you want to do a kitchen cabinet door refacing or completely replace your kitchen cabinets with new ones you need to consider two points.  First, are you doing any other work in your kitchen?  If you are doing a complete kitchen remodeling project then it probably makes more sense to replace the kitchen cabinets with new ones.  The reason for this is that a complete kitchen makeover usually means moving around appliances, installing custom kitchen islands, adding new kitchen island lighting, or even moving or knocking down walls.  With large changes like this including changes to plumbing and electricity, it will be hard to fit your old cabinets back in the new spaces created so you should probably just buy a complete kitchen cabinets set.  The second thing to consider is the condition of your cabinets.  You need to think about not only the doors but the frames as well.  No matter how great your kitchen cabinet refacing ideas are, if there are large gashes or dents in the doors or frames, you might not be able to correct them with refacing techniques.  Do it yourself kitchen cabinet refacing has its limits.  Therefore, if you are not doing a major kitchen project and your cabinets are in good condition you can try to reface your kitchen cabinets.

Cost of Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

The kitchen cabinet refacing price depends on what kind of refacing you are talking about. Some people consider kitchen cabinet refacing to mean taking off the current kitchen cabinet doors and replacing them with new ones or ones that have been custom made. Other people think that refacing your kitchen cabinets means refurbishing the kitchen doors you have so that they look like new. The cost of the project will depend on what type of refacing you are interested in.

No matter which way you choose the process is relatively similar. The first step is to decide what you want your new kitchen cabinets to look like. If you are buying new doors then you need to pick them out and if you are refurbishing the old doors you need to buy your kitchen cabinet refacing supplies so that you get the look you want. Next, you want to remove the old cabinet doors from the cabinet frames. Repeat this step as necessary until all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are off. Take off all the kitchen door hardware such as door pulls, knobs, handles, and hinges. If you plan to reuse the door hardware, then save it. Otherwise, you can dispose of it. You will need to strip and reface the fronts of the cabinet frames next. You need to make sure that they match either your new doors or the style you plan to refurbish your old doors with. After this step, the two methods diverge. If you bought new kitchen cabinet doors then you will need to attach the hardware and hand the new doors and drawer fronts. Your kitchen cabinet refacing project is finished. If you are refurbishing your kitchen doors then you will need to strip and reface them in the same manner that you did the frames. After you are done, you can install the hardware and hang or install the kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

If you replace your cabinet doors with new ones then the cost is the price of the new doors and hardware if it is needed and the supplies to reface the cabinet frames. The bulk of this cost is with the new doors and drawer fronts. The prices vary widely. You can spend around $2,000 or as much as $100,000 depending on the size of your kitchen and if you get custom made cabinet fronts. The prices will be more if you hire a contractor to do the work, but you do have the advantage of relying on a professional who will have to pay for his own mistakes. Generally you can count on the cost of replacing you cabinet doors to be anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of what it would cost to replace the entire set of cabinets.

If refacing your kitchen cabinets means refurbishing your old doors then the cost can be significantly less than replacing the doors. Essentially, you only need to pay for the supplies to get the project done. You will need to purchase chemicals to strip the old stain or paint off the cabinets, sandpaper, and the new stain or paint. If you are painting kitchen cupboards, your cabinet doors make sure you do not forget the primer. If you are staining, the kitchen cabinets then do not forget sealer and/or a clear coat. You can probably pick up all the supplies you need for a few hundred dollars but there is another cost involved – your time. This process requires a lot more time and energy than ordering replacement doors.


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