3 Ways To Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets

Outdated kitchen cabinets can really drag down the look of your kitchen. Full replacement can be expensive, but refacing provides a cost-saving option. With refacing, only the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are updated. Sometimes new hardware is also installed, but it is possible to continue to use the old hardware if it is in good condition. Refacing has a big impact since the cabinet faces are the main part of the cabinets that are seen.

1. Finish Update

The least expensive and quickest way to give the cabinets a quick face-lift is to update the finish. This can be done using either paint or a simple wood stain and finish product.

Although cabinets can be repainted in situ, the results are better if they are removed and laid flat. Your refacing contractor will then sand them down. Paint may need to be removed completely if you are switching to a natural stain, otherwise, a light sanding is sufficient. Then the cabinet faces are primed and painted. They can be rehung with new, updated hardware afterward.

2. Veneer Method

Sometimes refinishing isn't an option, depending on the condition of the doors or the material it's made from. In this case, the addition of a veneer is an option. Veneers cost more than finish updates but are less expensive than a full reface. 

The cabinet faces are initially sanded and prepared much the same as for painting. Instead of paint, though, your refacing contractor will glue a thin sheet of wood veneer over the face. This can be a simple wood sheet, or it may feature decorative features such as insets or carved designs. Some veneer faces are made to be painted or stained after installation, while others are pre-finished for a quicker installation.

3. Full Reface

For badly outdated cabinets you may need a more extreme refacing option. A full reface also often looks better than other types of refacing, plus it allows you to completely change the look of the cabinets. 

The process is simple: all doors and drawer faces are removed from the existing cabinets. They are then measured and new custom doors and faces are made to replace them. There are still cost savings since only the doors and drawer fronts, and possibly their hardware, are replaced. Paints and stains are typically applied before the new faces are installed. 

Contact a cabinet refacing contractor if you are ready to update your kitchen.