What is the Difference Between Cabinet Refacing and Cabinet Refinishing?

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It’s finally time to make those stylistic updates you’ve been wanting for your kitchen! And, you’ve decided to save loads of time and money by choosing a much more resourceful and cost-effective solution, rather than going with a complicated and costly remodel. Now, you’ve got to choose between two options: cabinet refacing or cabinet refinishing for your kitchen. But, what even is the difference between these options and which option is best for your needs? Keep reading for a quick run-down on both of these options.

Refacing VS Refinishing

In a nutshell, refacing and refinishing both involve updating your existing cabinets to either enhance their original look or transform them altogether, while still keeping your cabinet box frames. These options are ideal if your cabinet box frames are still in good shape and if you’re happy with your kitchen layout, but just want the style of your cabinets updated.

Refacing your cabinets, as the name suggests, involves giving your cabinets new “faces” by replacing the doors and drawer fronts with new ones. The existing cabinet frames are then covered with thin wood to match the new doors and drawer fronts. If needed through cabinet refacing, you can make your cabinets taller, extend the doors, or even turn your existing cabinet doors into pull downs. On the other hand, refinishing involves simply changing the finish, or color, of your existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts. 

When Cabinet Refacing Might Be the Better Option

If your kitchen cabinets aren’t in the best condition already and you want to dramatically change the look of your cabinets, cabinet refacing offers the better option. Cabinet refacing allows you to enhance your cabinet doors and drawers with new colors and styles, while still making use of the original box. This helps you save money opposed to pouring more money into cabinet doors/drawers that are already pretty damaged, as they won’t last long nor look as good anyways. Also, depending on the current style and material of your cabinets, it might be impossible to get them refinished to be the way you want them, leaving refacing as the only effective option. For example, while you could refinish your cabinets to go from white-washed wood to a darker wood color, you can’t really effectively switch cabinets from a darker color to lighter color. Painting is always an option, but cabinet painting limits you as it prevents you from being able to change the styles of the door or drawer fronts similar to veneers.  Any current scratches or nicks are still visible with a fresh coat of paint.

So, if your cabinets aren’t in the best shape or you’re wanting to dramatically transform the look of your cabinets, cabinet refacing is probably your best bet. You can even get those sleek, modern cabinet handles and hardware you’ve always wanted to match your new stylish doors/drawers. Generally, our experts recommend cabinet refacing, as you can get the precise style and hardware you want for your kitchen cabinets, without having to worry about whether the new finish is going to look good or not. 

When Cabinet Refinishing Might Be the Better Option

If your kitchen cabinets are in pretty good shape and you like their style, but you just want a minor color change or slight enhancement, refinishing might be perfect for you. Refinishing is generally the most affordable and quickest way to transform run-down cabinets into appealing ones. However, as mentioned above, refinishing is only ideal when your cabinets are in great condition and when you don’t want a significant style change. You wouldn’t want to refinish your cabinets if they aren’t in great shape. The refinishing process involves stripping, sanding, and staining them, which can be destructive to cabinets that aren’t in the best shape.

Or, Combine the Two Options!

Another option is to combine both cabinet refinishing and cabinet refacing. For example, you could refinish most of your cabinets, and adding new glass fronts to a few will make a statement with cabinet refacing. The possibilities are truly endless, so contact our kitchen cabinet experts to discuss your project today!

Let’s Revamp Your Kitchen Cabinets Today!

If you are looking to reface your kitchen cabinets or even build new custom cabinets, our cabinet experts are here and ready to help you obtain the kitchen cabinets of your dreams. Request your free quote today by giving us a call at 919-809-6161 or by filling out the form below.