Refacing a cabinet is a great way to freshen up its look and brighten up the rooms it's a part of. The longer you're in a home, however, the likelier it is that you'll find yourself asking: "Can I reface my cabinets more than once?"
Several factors come into play in answering that question. We'll look at them below:
The Quality & Condition of Your Cabinet Boxes
Whether or not you can reface a cabinet multiple times will depend partly on the material it's made from and the construction of the frame. There are several common choices of materials for cabinets.
Solid wood is a popular choice for a classic look and durability, and a cabinet with a hardwood face frame will usually be a good candidate for repeated refacing, providing a solid base for veneers and anchor points for new doors.
Less common and best-suited for cabinets with slab-style doors, plywood cabinets can be refaced on multiple occasions, provided their panels are in good condition and offers the kind of smooth surface that veneers can adhere to.
Similar to plywood, MDF is manufactured from a combination of wood fibers and resin, with the difference being that MDF is made using a mate of compressed wood fiber. It's just as good for refacing purposes with the same caveats applying as with plywood.
It's perfectly possible to reface particle board cabinets once, but whether or not you can do so repeatedly depends on whether their structure holds up: refacing addresses cosmetic issues, not structural ones. Longevity is particle board's weakness; it is likeliest to succumb to the effects of water and humidity in just a few short years.
The Type of Cabinet Door and Drawer Fronts You Want
The fronts of your cabinet doors and drawers -- also called overlays -- are the elements of the whole that will most dramatically alter the appearance of a room when you change or update it.
The easiest overlay types to reface, whether once or repeatedly, are inset and full overlays. The first type is a door mounted inside a face frame affixed to the front of the cabinet structure, and the second is a full cabinet door mounted on top of the face frame. With a full overlay, there's no need to worry about matching colors with the front of the frame, and with an inset, it's relatively simple to match the frame color to the door.
Partial inset and partial overlay fronts rest either partially inside or outside the face frame, making it more difficult to precisely match the colors and style of different parts of the overall.
The easiest options for repeated refacing are full or inset overlays, as all the elements that need to match in terms of color and style are in full view and easily accessible.
The Type of Cabinet Hinges You're Using
Cabinet door hinges come in a range of styles that can have implications for whether repeated refacing can work, especially after a cabinet has been disassembled.
Hinges are all comprised of the same basic parts:
- The frame wing attached to the cabinet frame
- The door wing connecting to the cabinet door
- The knuckle integrating the first two parts to allow hinge rotation
- The pin holding the hinge together
These parts can be combined into seven different types of hinges:
- Wrap-around hinges in either partial or full variants
- Semi-concealed face frame hinges with the door wing out of sight
- Surface mount hinges with both wings on the outside of the door and frame
- Inset hinges with the door wing concealed and extending into the frame cavity
- Overlay hinges where the frame wing wraps two sides of the frame
- Reverse bevel hinges similar to overlay hinges, but where the door's mounted edge slopes inward to the door wing
- Full inset hinges with both wings concealed and only the hinge exposed
On the whole, the type of hinge installed on your cabinet needs to be a good match to the type of door that's mounted on it. Concealed hinge types or overlay hinges tend to be the best fit for overlay cabinet doors, for example. If any work on the cabinet has resulted in the hinges being ripped out and damaging the frame, refacing alone won't address the problem. Still, if your hinges and frames are intact and the hinges are functioning well, repeated refacing should be possible.
How to Care for Your Cabinets to Maintain Longevity
A well-maintained cabinet will likely have a longer life, making it possible to continue updating it with more than one refacing. In particular, avoiding abrasive cleaning solvents and commercial waxes and sprays is important, which can alter or damage surfaces and make refinishing impossible. Limit your cabinet's exposure to moisture (for example, avoid hanging wet dish towels or rags on the cabinet).
Practice good cabinet care and get in touch with the cabinet experts when it comes time to refresh your cabinet's look, and you'll be able to save money while enjoying spaces that look their very best.
Want to reface your cabinets? Contact Cabinet Coatings
We provide free virtual and in-home estimates and the kind of expert advice you can trust. Our family-owned and operated company is committed to doing the job right the first time, and we provide honest, up-front pricing.