3 Benefits of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

What is the remedy for kitchen cabinets that are beginning to look a little down-and-out? A new Face of Course!

How do you go about getting your cabinets a new face? Refacing means covering the exposed cabinet frames (boxes) with a veneer of real wood or plastic laminate. Doors and drawer fronts are then replaced to match or complement the new veneer, and new hinges, knobs and pulls complete the face lift.

3 Benefits of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

1. Cost Savings: Refacing costs half or more over replacing cabinets.

2. Time: Refacing takes less time and is infinitely less messy than tearing out old cabinets and installing new ones.

3. Can be an environmentally-friendly gesture, because the old cabinets remain in place instead of adding to a land-fill.


There is no shortage of refacing options, with veneers available in a wide variety of colors, patters and textures. Some options include rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors, which feature a durable plastic coating over fiberboard, along with plastic laminates and real wood veneers in styles including oak, cherry and maple. (Wood veneers are the most expensive option and need to be sealed to protect against moisture).

In addition to choosing the style of materials and hardware, homeowners need to decide whether to hire a professional installer or to tackle the job themselves over a couple of weekend.s


Here are some other questions that will be important to think about before starting the project:

1. Will the backsplash or countertops be replaced at the same time?

2. Will anything else in the kitchen be changed such as appliances or lighting?


Once you have a good handle on the scope of the project, the next decision will be determining if refacing is a viable option. It won't be worth the investment unless the refaced cabinets will hold up for at least another ten years of life. If the cabinet boxes are sagging, water damaged or won't hold up to refinishing, they may have to be replaced.

It the cabinets can be refaced, the cabinet doors must be measured accurately to determine the amount of veneer required, and the correct sizes and quantities of doors and drawer fronts that need to be replaced and ordered. It should be noted that doors and drawer fronts may take up to two weeks or more for delivery.

Regardless of who handles the work, the first steps include removing the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts and washing the exteriors of the cabinets with a degreaser. The finish on the boxes needs to be lightly sanded so that the new veneers will adhere correctly. The veneer is then applied and then the new cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware is mounted.

Refacing an average kitchen with laminate is estimated to cost between $1,000 and $3,000 installed, and $2,500 to $5,000 or more for real wood veneers. Wood veneers can range even higher, depending on the wood that is chosen. Replacing kitchen cabinets completely can easily run double or triple the cost of refacing cabinets.

Thank you to Legacy Home Inspections for sharing this article.

Great Living in Colorado

Keller Williams Realty  DTC, 6300 S. Syracuse Way Suite 150, Centennial, CO 80111

Jim Holmes : 303-475-7249
Patrick Panzarino : 303-956-2949