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Create Refreshing Change for Your Cabinets: Repainting vs Refacing vs Replacing

Create Refreshing Change for Your Cabinets: Repainting vs Refacing vs Replacing

In many homes, the kitchen is where the magic happens. Even if your culinary finesse extends to boiling water, this is where we gather with family, help with homework, chat with friends over coffee, and make memories that last a lifetime. Sometimes, the heart of the home is strong – but certain elements could use a facelift. If your decor is outdated, simply does not spark joy, or if you don’t love where you live, then it’s time for a change. Cabinet refacing can transform the entire look and feel of your kitchen, instantly updating and elevating your look.  

What is cabinet refacing, and is it the right solution for your home? 

A Kitchen Refresh with Cabinet Refacing  

When refacing cabinets, the basic framework and structure of your cabinets (i.e. the cabinet box) is left intact. It is the “skins” that are replaced; the doors and cabinets, kitchen cabinetsdrawer fronts are swapped out for new, updated styles and finishes. Typically, the hinges, handles, and drawer pulls are also replaced to achieve an effective makeover. 

Why is cabinet refacing an exceptional choice for your home improvement project 

  • If you love your current layout or footprint, refacing gives you the opportunity to change your aesthetic or give your kitchen a modern update.  
  • It is less expensive than replacing the cabinets entirely. If you have well-built base cabinets, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals at a lower price point. On average, it costs 30% to 50% less to reface cabinets versus replacing them entirely with semi-custom or custom models. 
  • You want beauty that will last – and you want it sooner rather than later. Installing new cabinets can take 25-35 hours of labor time. For custom cabinets, this can be two to three times as long. Refacing can be done on a much faster timeline. 
  • We’ve focused on kitchens, but there is no reason you cannot reface cabinets in your bathroom, garage, mudroom, or other spaces in order to infuse new life into these areas. 

Before you schedule your cabinet refacing project, though, it is important to remember that it can be more expensive than you realize. For example, you may need custom doors made and bases painted to match. Material also plays a role: refacing with laminate is relatively inexpensive, but higher quality veneers and solid wood do edge the cost up. 

cabinets, kitchen cabinetsAnother consideration: if you want wood-stained cabinets, it is highly likely that the bases and doors will not be a perfect match. They’ll be close – but typically not 100%. Most guests would never notice, but for perfectionists, this can be a sticking point when it comes to refacing.  

Should You Reface or Replace Cabinets? 

There are some situations in which you should forget refacing and opt to install new cabinets: 

  • You don’t love your layout. A great layout makes your life easier, more convenient, and, of course, more elegant. Sometimes, cabinets are not placed intuitively or with a mind towards functionality. In this case, you may want to start over and design a footprint that works for you. 
  • You don’t have the right storage or features. While beauty is an important feature in cabinets, functionality is essential. Your current cabinets may not have the elements you need, such as rollouts, ample drawer space, custom built-ins (e.g. spice rack drawers, peg pullouts for utensils, tray dividers for baking sheets, wine rack drawer, etc.). These elements flawlessly blend form and function. 
  • Your bases are in poor shape. If your cabinet boxes are not in great condition, it doesn’t make sense to give them a facelift. The underlying problem will not be addressed. In this case, it is best to start over and get both the quality and look that you want.
  • It’s expensive to reface and installing new cabinets makes more sense. As mentioned, sometimes refacing cabinets is more expensive than one realizes. In the cost-benefit analysis, consider aspects such as the condition of the bases, layout, functionality, materials you want to incorporate, and the difficulty matching wood stains. 

To Reface or Not to Reface 

Still not sure which path will bring you to your dream kitchen? If you are weighing the pros and cons of refacing or replacing cabinets, get in touch with the ACo team. We will provide either a free in-home consultation or virtual in-home design assistance. Every step of the process can be completed remotely, while delivering the full benefit of our experts’ knowledge and experience.  

As always, with ACo’s worry-free approach, we will give you the information and insight you need to make the right decision for your home, your budget, and your lifestyle. Love where you live. 

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