Refacing Cabinets: The Essentials You Need To Know

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White kitchen cabinets

Many homeowners dream of an updated kitchen where they can choose the colors, style, and technology that bring the most joy.

Whether you hire professionals or attempt the DIY method, kitchen remodels require pricey upgrades from the ceiling to the floor that quickly add up. Part of this process involves renewing the look of your kitchen cabinets. Some people pay to replace them with one of the 3 popular types of kitchen cabinets.

Instead of replacing them, you can reduce the price tag by refacing them. Refacing cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a makeover without doing a full-on remodel.

With our ultimate guide on refacing kitchen cabinets in Pasadena, Maryland, you’ll learn about what cabinet refacing consists of and why homeowners choose this option over others.

How Does Refacing My Cabinets Save Money?

You always pay more than you bargained for with custom or semi-custom cabinets; part of this involves hiring a company to install them. Both of these work together to raise the cost of kitchen cabinets.

After factoring installation costs into your total, you may start considering refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them.

What Is Kitchen Cabinet Refacing?

Refacing cabinets means replacing the exterior skin of cabinet doors and drawer fronts with a new veneer. Depending on the type of cabinets you have, you might add windows, lights, or crown moldings to your cabinets during the process.

You can consider cabinet refacing as a form of upcycling, reusing your current cabinets to give your kitchen a facelift. 

Refacing Cabinets Helps The Planet

When you replace old cabinets, you add dangerous garbage to your local landfill. Many companies build their cabinet boxes out of MDF, a composite material that contains formaldehyde capable of leaching into local water sources.

Instead of contributing to waste, go green with cabinet refacing.

What Equipment Do I Need to Reface My Cabinets?

When refacing cabinets, the equipment can include:

  • Wood veneer or laminate
  • A hand drill
  • At least one medium grit sanding sponge
  • ¾ inch brad nails 
  • Construction adhesive
  • Wood stain pens or colored putty
  • A cleaning agent such as denatured alcohol
  • New hardware like hinges, handles, and drawer pulls

Due to the alarming amount of equipment and labor, you may prefer to hire professionals for your refacing project. Refacing cabinets takes a lot of patience and skill, so if you don’t enjoy spending time on DIY projects, this won’t make a good first home improvement project.

How Does Cabinet Refacing Work?

Step 1: Prepare for the Project

Measuring cabinet

Measure your cabinets and drawers to ensure you buy enough veneer and inspect the cabinet hardware so you know all of the tools or equipment you might need. Have your equipment readily available, so you can work quickly and without issue.

Step 2: Cabinet Door and Kitchen Drawer Removal

Unscrewing kitchen cabinets

Remove your cabinet doors and detach the fronts from kitchen drawers. Check the style and condition of hardware like hinges, door handles, and drawer pulls to see if you want to keep them or replace them. If you want to keep your current hardware, you can paint or texture them for an updated appearance.

Step 3: Refacing Your Cabinetry

Use a laminate slitter to cut your veneer to size. If you don’t own a laminate slitter and don’t want to purchase one, some hardware stores may do this for you. Sand down the exterior and front-facing interior sides of your cabinet box and cover them with your chosen layer of wood veneer or laminate.

Step 4: Test Your Refaced Covers

Hold your doors up to your cabinet boxes to ensure they fit before reattaching. Take a single drawer front for drawers and use a tacky but not permanent adhesive to test the fit. Testing for size makes it easier to adjust your doors and covers if they don’t fit properly.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Newly refinished kitchen cabinets

When you know that the doors and drawer fronts fit correctly, return them to their original places. Many homeowners realize they need new hardware after completing their refacing project. You can fit updated hinges, drawer pulls, or handles without removing the doors or drawer fronts.

How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Cost?

Pricing for cabinet refacing depends on several factors, including:

  • The size and quantity of cabinets and drawers
  • The style and quality of replaced hardware
  • The choice of using wood veneers or laminate
  • The color and finish of wood veneers or laminate
  • The amount of equipment you have vs. what you need to purchase

Some homeowners find refacing pricier than they expected. While cabinet refacing beats the price of semi-custom or custom cabinet installation, gathering the necessary materials can add up.

The most affordable alternative includes painting or refinishing your cabinets. This process also takes a significant amount of time and won’t yield the same satisfaction as cabinet refacing.

Can I Reface My Cabinets?

Dark blue cabinets with gold pulls

While refacing your cabinets saves you money and makes your kitchen update easier, some circumstances won’t allow this upgrade. Some situations where refacing won’t work for you include:

You Want a Different Kitchen Layout

Refaced cabinets keep their original construction, so updating your kitchen footprint won’t be possible. Updating kitchen layouts can involve moving the cabinets, though most homeowners leave them where they are.

Your Current Cabinets Lack Your Ideal Amount of Storage

Cabinet box interiors remain the same after refacing. You’ll need to pay for more building materials or services if you need more shelves, extra drawers, or other built-in storage options. New cabinetry addresses storage issues better than a cabinet refacing will.

You Want to Complete the Upgrade Quickly

Like other properly-executed construction projects, the last steps make or break the overall effect. Painting your kitchen cabinets requires multiple coats and careful brushwork, while wood veneers need staining and varnishing to stand the test of time.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing in Pasadena, Maryland

Cabinet refacing offers a cost-efficient, more environmentally-friendly option for homeowners remodeling their kitchens. If you like your kitchen layout, have plenty of storage space, and don’t want to shell out the money for brand-new cabinetry, cabinet refacing may be the best option for upgrading your style.

Are you considering refacing cabinets? Fill out our contact form to speak with your local construction professionals at Brucksch & Sons Contracting, LLC.


  • Bobby Brucksch

    Bobby is a seasoned professional in the home remodeling industry, with a wealth of experience and a passion for transforming living spaces. With a background in interior design and a keen eye for detail, Bobby brings creativity and expertise to every project he undertakes. His dedication to helping homeowners realize their vision for their homes is evident in his writing, where he shares valuable insights, tips, and inspiration to guide readers through the remodeling process. As an author, Bobby aims to empower homeowners with the knowledge and confidence they need to create the homes of their dreams.

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