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How Much Does Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Cost?

Cabinet Refinishing Prices

New cabinets can dramatically improve the look of your kitchen, but the cost of replacing cabinetry is often prohibitive. Fortunately, there are alternatives to replacement. By refacing or refinishing your cabinets, it's possible to transform the look of your kitchen at a cost significantly lower than buying new cabinets. To learn more about kitchen cabinet refacing and resurfacing, including how much the procedures cost, continue reading.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing vs. Resurfacing

Although refacing and resurfacing both result in a makeover for your kitchen cabinets, the two projects differ significantly in terms of labor and cost.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

The first step in cabinet refacing is to remove the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. After that, the now-exposed cabinet face frames are sanded down and a fresh veneer (typically about ¼ inch) made from wood veneer, rigid thermofoil (RTF), or plastic laminate that matches the new cabinet doors is applied to the face frames. Once the veneer has been applied, new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware are installed, resulting in a completely updated look.

Refacing cabinets is recommended for homeowners who have structurally sound cabinets and like the cabinet arrangement, but don't like the cabinets' appearance. In addition to improving kitchen décor, refacing also extends the life of cabinets.

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet refinishing is less expensive than refacing but it still results in an effective kitchen makeover. In a nutshell, refinishing involves repainting or re-staining cabinets in the color of your choice. If you choose to apply stain, clear varnish, or polyurethane to previously-painted cabinets, it will be necessary to first strip the cabinets of paint and sand them. Stripping isn't necessary when merely applying a new coat of stain or polyurethane, but the surfaces should still be sanded and discolored spots filled in.

Many homeowners choose to install new hinges and knobs to cabinets during the refinishing process. Although a manageable do-it-yourself project, hiring a professional cabinet refinisher will lead to better results.

Why Stop With Cabinets?

Cabinets are the surface most commonly refaced in the home, but there are plenty others, including countertops, bathtubs, and sinks, that can also benefit from a facelift. By having these surfaces refaced in conjunction with your cabinets you can not only save money, but effectively update your entire house as well.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing and Resurfacing Costs

The actual job cost depends on a number of factors, including the number of cabinets and drawers refurbished or replaced, the type and quality of the materials used, and local labor and material costs.

  • Kitchen cabinet refacing costs generally fall between $4,000 and $10,000. Another way to figure the cost of refacing is $150 to $300 per "opening," with each door, drawer front, or false front counting as a single opening.
  • Kitchen cabinet resurfacing costs start at around $1,500 to $3,000 for an average-sized kitchen and can be much higher depending on whether the cabinets are stripped and new hardware is purchased.