Your cabinets can break or make the whole kitchen. In some cases they’ll need a full-on makeover to really increase the functional use of the space along with its aesthetic. In other instances, your kitchen may just benefit from a fresh coat of paint to get a whole new look.

If you’re thinking that your cabinets are in desperate need of a facelift but are a bit out to sea on what the costs are going to amount to, don’t despair. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular methods for upgrading your cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom, and what kind of expense you’re looking at with each approach.

Refacing Your Cabinets

Having your cabinets refaced essentially involves having new wooden veneers applied to the cabinet base along with installation of new drawers and cabinet doors. This approach is typically going to constitute the least costly and most ecologically sound alternative to purchasing completely new cabinets for your kitchen or bathroom.

In cabinet refacing, you’ll first remove all of your target cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and associated hardware like hinges.

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Removing your drawers before refacing

A thin coat of about ¼” thickness of wood veneer is wrapped around the cabinet faces. Your options for available veneers are virtually limitless, from wood grain, to pure white, or even finishes resembling other textures and colors. You can also opt for laminate selections.

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After veneers have been applied, all of the doors, drawer fronts, and cabinet hardware are reattached. Voila! The kitchen has a whole new look at relatively little cost.

Refacing can be a great idea if you’re looking into a more extensive renovation for your kitchen, too. Combining new countertops and flooring with a DIY refacing job can give your kitchen or bathroom a whole new look without breaking the bank. As an added benefit, often times the refacing process will significantly increase the durability of your cabinet surfaces, adding years of life to them.

Total Cost for Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

The total cost of refacing your kitchen cabinets will vary based on a number of factors, including the materials used to cover the fronts and sides of your cabinet boxes. The most common options for this job are plastic laminates (which cost an average of $1,000-4,000) and wood veneers (which cost an average of $2,500-6,000).

The size and style of your cabinets’ new doors and drawers will impact your bottom line, as will the cost of labor. Hardware replacement (handles, knobs, etc.) is also a cost factor to consider, but will likely be the least expensive part of refacing.

On average, most refacing can be done in two to four days. Cleanup services may cost an additional fee, but homeowners can usually opt to do some of this work themselves. In the end, the average overall total cost to reface kitchen cabinets is $6,687.

Alternative: Cabinet Refinishing

Professional cabinet refinishing is the most inexpensive way to give your cabinets a new lease on life.

Cabinets in colors can be very exciting in the kitchen: in postal blue, light pastels, whisper gray and sunny yellow can all create surprising results. Decorating magazines often show cabinets in spruce green, Navy blue and weathered or faux finishes.

One of the latest trends is to combine painting and staining in different areas of the same kitchen cabinets, or stain in two different colors. You are only limited by your imagination!
If you are not sure which color to select, your paint professional may offer color consultations, or you may want to get advice from an interior designer.

For the best results, a professional should paint or stain the cabinets. Not to mention that a professional job will last for many years, probably longer than the finish you currently have. Of course, this will depend on the amount of traffic that goes through the kitchen. Just as the painted woodwork and doors in your home need periodic painting, so the kitchen cabinets will also need maintenance. An advantage to painted cabinets is that any nicks or worn areas can easily be touched-up, thereby extending the life of the paint job.

A small to medium kitchen will take about three days. Larger jobs will take from three to five days. If you have other dark wood work in your home—such as your bathrooms vanities, doors, casings, base, etc.—these areas can be painted at the same time as your cabinets, giving the whole house a new look.

Whichever way you choose to go with it, this should be a fun and exciting new DIY remodeling project to jump into! We envy you the fun of improving your home and refashioning it into something closer to your heart.