Kitchen Cabinets – Reface Or Refinish?

by Gail Brumfield

A kitchen is a special place in every home. An organized kitchen is defined by the look of its cabinets, and it’s nice to give the kitchen a makeover every several years. With cabinets, you can choose to reface or refinish. But before we look at which of the two cabinet renovation methods is right for you, it’s important to first understand what these options mean. Cabinet refacing, also known as resurfacing, is a process where you maintain the old framework of your cabinets while completely changing the doors. In short, you are able to update your cabinet’s face, without changing the rest of its physical structure. On the other hand, refinishing involves keeping all the components of your old kitchen cabinets and simply changing the finish or paint. Normally, the stripping is done using chemical strippers or sand, after which you apply a new paint. You can either try and do refacing or refinishing on your own, or you can contact a professional cabinet refinishing company like N-Hance of Tacoma.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is often an ideal kitchen renovation solution for homeowners because of the following advantages:

  • When compared to new installations, this method can save some time. Typically, it can take about 3-5 days to reface cabinets.
  • You don’t need a permit to do the cabinet remodeling.
  • You can save roughly 50% of the total cost of installing new kitchen cabinets.
  • You have the freedom to add new cabinets anytime you want.
  • Old cabinet drawers and doors are removed to give your kitchen a new look.
  • Other than the drawers and doors, the other parts of the cabinet remain the same. You don’t have to remodel your entire kitchen.

On the downside, however:

  • This is very difficult to do on your own, so you will need to hire someone.
  • Your cabinet boxes stay, so you stick with them for better and for worse. The interiors of the boxes do not change, and it’s up to you to do the updates.
  • This method can be wasteful as the old materials will need to be disposed.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refinishing

In some situations, this method is referred to as cabinet painting because you’re mainly changing the paint or finish. Ordinarily, this method offers the following advantages:

  • The application is cheaper than refacing since your only need a new paint, a stripping agent, and less manpower.
  • You can work on the cabinet on your own schedule, as the application can be a DIY project.
  • You can change the look of your cabinets according to the way you want. The application allows you to stain and color the cabinets with the paint that you prefer.
  • The method is fast, and you can finish the application within a day.

The cons of cabinet refinishing include:

  • Some cabinet finishes such as particle boards swell whenever they are exposed to moisture.
  • Materials such as thin veneers can peel off if you use a chemical stripper.
  • The application may be mess if you are not careful or sure of what you are doing.

Deciding Between the Two

When deciding between refacing and refinishing your kitchen cabinets, you should consider a few things. One, laminate cabinets are best remodeled by refacing. This is because the finish cannot be stripped or sanded, so it might be difficult for the paint to adhere. Two, if you dislike the style of your kitchen, cabinet refinishing is the ideal option. Lastly, if the budget is your major concern and you want to change the look of your kitchen, the smarter choice is still refinishing. This is because it’s cheaper and fast. You won’t spend a lot of effort and money in the remodeling.

Final Thoughts

Whether its cabinet painting or refacing that your kitchen cabinets need, updating them once in a while is a smart move. A renovated kitchen is inspiring and attractive to the user. You’ll always find pride in a smart-looking kitchen, and the process starts with changing the cabinets.