What Does Resurfacing Cabinets Mean?

Resurfacing cabinets, also known as cabinet refacing, involves stripping the old finish from your cabinets and applying a new one. You also usually get new cabinet doors and drawer fronts with cabinet resurfacing.

We’ll go over resurfacing cabinets in more detail, including:

  • What cabinet resurfacing includes
  • Cabinet resurfacing vs. cabinet refinishing
  • How long a cabinet resurfacing takes
  • Cabinet resurfacing options

Need a quote to reface your cabinets? Contact us online or call 480-641-9611, and one of our Phoenix cabinet experts will come give you a free, same-day quote.

What cabinet resurfacing includes

The process for resurfacing cabinets will vary from company to company.

To give you a general idea of what to expect, we’ll go over our cabinet refacing process at Cabinet Coatings:

  • Consult: Our Phoenix cabinet experts will come to your home to help you decide which color and style of cabinets you want.
  • Prepare: We remove the finish from your existing cabinet boxes and sand them to get them ready for the new finish you chose.
  • Coat: We apply our ultra-durable, waterborne coating to your cabinet boxes and your new solid hardwood cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Install: We install your newly finished cabinet doors and drawer fronts, along with any hardware upgrades (new pulls, soft-close hinges, etc.).
  • Walkthrough: We inspect our work to make sure everything looks good and that you’re happy with your new cabinets!

Wondering what can differ in the process? Well, some companies will:

  • Install doors and drawer fronts made of engineered wood. Particle board and plywood cabinets are more cost-effective, but aren’t the best quality. That’s why we only use hardwood doors and drawer fronts for your cabinet refacing.
  • Use veneers or laminates. Veneers and laminates (see below for the difference) are cost-effective but lower-quality options for resurfacing cabinets. Veneers and laminate don’t last as long as the ultra-durable acrylic product we use at Cabinet Coatings.

Cabinet resurfacing vs. refinishing vs. remodeling

If you’re looking at resurfacing your cabinets, you’ve probably come across the terms “refinishing” and “remodeling,” too.

We’ll go over how refinishing and remodeling differs from resurfacing:

  • Cabinet refinishing: As with cabinet resurfacing or refacing, cabinet refinishing involves applying a new finish to your cabinets. The only difference is that refinishing doesn’t include new doors and drawer fronts. Your existing ones are stripped and sanded, and applied with the same new finish as your cabinet boxes.
  • Cabinet remodeling: This involves completely replacing all of your cabinets (doors, drawer fronts, and boxes) and installing new ones with a finish of your choice. The benefit of remodeling your cabinets is getting genuinely custom cabinets designed for your specific needs and wants.

In terms of cost, cabinet refinishing is usually the most affordable option and cabinet remodeling is the most expensive. Cabinet refacing usually lands somewhere in between the two.

Learn more about the differences between refacing, refinishing, and remodeling cabinets in our blog, “Cabinet Refinishing vs. Refacing vs. Remodeling.”

How long a cabinet resurfacing takes

If you’re going with a professional (which we strongly recommend), cabinet resurfacing can usually be completed within a week.

That said, how long your refacing takes will depend on several factors, which we outline in our blog, “How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

On the other hand, a DIY cabinet refacing can easily take several weeks or even months if you’re new to resurfacing cabinets. You often spend more time and money than you initially thought you would with DIY refacing. Plus, you don’t get the quality of work (or the guarantees) you would with a professional.

Learn more about why you should never attempt a DIY refacing in our blog.

Cabinet resurfacing options

You essentially have 3 finish options when resurfacing cabinets:

  • Veneers: Veneers are super-thin sheets of wood that are adhered to the cabinets. Our cabinet experts never recommend veneers for cabinets because while they may look like solid hardwood cabinets, they’re not nearly as durable. Learn more about why we’d never use veneers on your cabinets.
  • Laminate: Laminates are thin sheets of plastic or thermofoil that are heated and molded over the base of the cabinet. Our cabinet experts don’t recommend laminates for your cabinets either, as they tend to chip and crack not long after the resurfacing.
  • Waterborne coating: This finish is a waterproof acrylic product sprayed onto cabinets—almost like paint, but smoother and much more durable. The waterborne coating we use at Cabinet Coatings is so strong that we guarantee it won’t chip, crack or fade for 5 years after applying it.

Ready to resurface your cabinets?

Schedule an appointment online or call us at 480-641-9611 for a no-obligation quote to update your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Our Phoenix cabinet experts will talk with you about what you’re looking for, and then give you a no-obligation quote the same day.

Chuck Derouen

For 20 plus years chuck has been helping homeowners make decisions on how to bring new life into their kitchens. Most homeowners know what they want but don’t know how to communicate it. When chuck does the in-home consultation he draws from the client and uses his expertise to help them bring their imagination to life (achieve the look they imagine.) Chuck dubs himself a “professional mind maker upper.”

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