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Can You Reface Old Cabinets?

old fashioned looking kitchen

If you’re looking to update your old cabinets, refacing them can be an effective way to give them a fresh look and feel—as long as they’re still in good shape.

In this article, we’ll go over:

We’ll cover each topic in more detail.

Looking to update your old cabinets? Contact us online or call (480) 641-9611. One of our cabinet experts will come to your home for a same-day, no-obligation quote to reface your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

When Cabinets Should Not Be Refaced

Before you can decide whether or not you can reface your cabinets, it’s important to understand what a cabinet refacing involves:

  1. Replacing your door and drawer front panels, so you get brand new ones.
  2. Removing the existing finish from your cabinet boxes.
  3. Applying the new finish to your cabinet boxes and new panels.

Since a refacing keeps your existing cabinet boxes, you should think twice if:

  • They’re damaged. Refacing cabinets that have structural damage is a waste of money. The finish usually starts looking bad (peeling, bubbling, cracking, etc.) because the cabinet base material has started to warp or deteriorate. When you reface damaged cabinets, you’ll start seeing the same finish problems shortly after the job is done—ultimately wasting your cabinet refacing investment.
  • They have an odor. Over time, the cabinet base material can absorb the various odors floating through your kitchen and bathrooms. Unfortunately, refacing cabinets won’t get rid of the smell because, although you get new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, you keep the same cabinet boxes that will still have lingering odors.
  • They’re super old. Most cabinets, especially those made of engineered wood (particle board and plywood), usually only make it 15–20 years before they start falling apart. In some cases, if you reface cabinets that are 15+ years old, you may need to pay to replace them in a few years—forcing you to spend a lot more money on your cabinets than you need to. However, at Cabinet Coatings, our refacing process has allowed us to restore hundreds of clients’ older cabinets. Schedule a free consultation with our cabinet experts today to learn what we can do for you.

You can learn more about when you should replace your cabinets in our blog.

That said, if your cabinets are in great shape, refacing cabinets has many benefits over replacing them.

The Benefits of Refacing

A cabinet refacing gives you:

  • A new look and feel at a fraction of the cost. A refacing costs between $5,000 and $15,000. A cabinet remodel (which involves completely replacing your cabinets), on the other hand, can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
  • An investment that adds value to your home. Potential homebuyers are less likely to bid on a house that they’re going to have to sink money into updating the cabinets—which are often the first thing they notice when shopping for a house. Plus, refacing cabinets usually gives you a good return on investment, which means you’ll get back most of your cost when you go to sell your home.
  • Cabinets that look great for years to come. A cabinet refacing can last decades as long as your cabinets are in good condition, you hire a professional to do the job, and take care of your cabinets after refacing them. You can find out more about a refacing lifespan in our blog “How long does cabinet refacing last?

If you decide to go with a cabinet refacing, you have the option of doing the job yourself or hiring a professional.

Whether to DIY or Hire a Professional

Our experts at Cabinet Coatings will always recommend going with a professional for 3 reasons:

  • You’ll likely cut corners without realizing it. Many people don’t realize that you have to take off the cabinet doors and drawer fronts to get the best results. This not only takes a lot of time, but also a lot of space to store and coat the loose panels. You also have to properly strip and sand all boxes, doors, and drawer fronts to ensure the finish sticks and lasts as long as possible.
  • DIY cabinet refacing takes a lot of time. Especially for someone who hasn’t refaced cabinets before, the job is very time-consuming. Even if you can commit 100% of your time to refacing the cabinets, you could easily spend weeks doing it. Professionals have fine-tuned their refacing process (over decades in our case) so they can reface just about any kitchen or bathroom within a few days to a week.
  • Cabinets could have underlying damage that only a professional will catch. You may not notice some slight warping or other signs of structural damage, but a professional’s trained eye can catch these signs during the initial estimate. They’ll let you know whether your cabinets are in good enough shape to support a refacing, or whether your money will be better spent on new cabinets.

We explain more about why you shouldn’t attempt a DIY cabinet refacing in our blog.

Want to Reface Your Old Cabinets? Call Cabinet Coatings Today.

Schedule an appointment online or call us at (480) 641-9611. We’ve been refacing cabinets in the greater Phoenix area for the past 30 years. Our finishing pros will talk with you about the kind of changes you want to make, then give you a free in-home or virtual consultation that same day. We’ll help you update your old cabinets so they look brand new.

Chuck derouen

Chuck Derouen