Why You Should Try Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

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Many people do not know the power of kitchen cabinet refinishing. It is one of the homeowners’ secrets in transforming their kitchen area.

In this article, get to know how refinishing works and if it is worth the try!

How Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Works

If you are thinking about replacing your cabinets, you might want to consider trying kitchen cabinet refinishing, refacing, or resurfacing first.

Kitchen cabinet refinishing and other alternatives is a good way of transforming your area by giving it a refreshing and good-as-new look.

These processes are best for those who already love their current kitchen layout.

Difference Between Refinishing, Refacing, and Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinet refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing are different from each other.

Before knowing how kitchen cabinet refinishing works, let us know the difference between the three processes first.

  • Refinishing

With kitchen cabinets refinishing, it means that you will not change any parts of the cabinet. You can change the color, which is done through hand sanding or removing the old wood finishes.

Kitchen cabinets refinishing begins after removing the existing coating, then you can apply new paint or stain.

  • Refacing

Refacing is commonly interchanged with resurfacing. However, refacing focuses on the visible surfaces of the kitchen cabinet.

  • Resurfacing

By resurfacing a kitchen cabinet, the doors and drawer fronts will be replaced with new ones. The existing cabinet boxes will not be replaced.

However, you can also opt to replace the side panels, face frames, and moldings to match the changes.

What are the Benefits of Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

Based on the previous part, you might think that kitchen cabinet refinishing only gives minimal changes to your cabinets.

However, people can gain many benefits from kitchen cabinets refinishing, and here are some of them.

  • Budget-friendly

Kitchen cabinet refinishing is the most affordable option among the three processes mentioned. A complete kitchen renovation may cost you thousands of dollars, depending on the required changes.

However, with kitchen cabinets refinishing, you can minimize the costs and save more money.

  • Unique Design Options

Kitchen cabinet refinishing gives you unlimited options of colors. It allows you to have unique design options that you can apply to your cabinets. Who does not love customized furniture, right?

  • Enhancement of Style and Function

Doing kitchen cabinets refinishing is not limited to changes in color. You can also enhance the style and functionality of your cabinets by upgrading the knobs, pulls, and hinges.

  • Immediate Renovation

The process of refinishing takes a small amount of time. Although the work is still hard, it will only take a couple of weeks to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

It is best for those who need immediate renovation for their cabinets and drawers.

How Professionals Do Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

If you want to freshen up your kitchen, but your cabinets are still in good condition, so replacing them might not be a good option. Professionals will most likely advise you to opt for cabinet refinishing, and here is how they do it.

  • Draw the kitchen layout and label each door and drawer. This first step is essential to avoid problems during reinstallment.
  • Uninstall doors and drawers. After labeling each door and drawer, professionals can already uninstall the doors and drawers along with their hinges.
  • Clean cabinet parts. Before beginning with the kitchen cabinet refinishing, the doors, drawers, and hinges should be clean. It will help the contractor see the blemishes that need fixing.
  • Cover up the blemishes. Once the parts are clean, they will start covering up the flaws. They will apply a filler to smooth out the surface.
  • Sand the doors. Once the fillers are set and dried, the next step that they do is sanding. This step is to remove any unwanted debris so painting will be easier.
  • Apply primer to the surfaces. After sanding the surface of the door, they will start applying primer before painting.
  • Apply the first coat of paint. Once the primer is applied, applying the first coat is the next step. Several coatings are needed to achieve the color that you want.
  • Sand between coats. Sanding between coats is an essential step. However, you cannot proceed to this until the last coating is completely dry. Sanding will clean the surfaces per layer.
  • Install new and enhanced doors and drawers. After the coatings and sandings are done, they will begin to reinstall the new and enhanced doors and drawers. In this step, you can opt to change the hardware to improve the functionality of your cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets refinishing is one of the most efficient and least costly ways of improving your kitchen. If you d not know how to do kitchen cabinets refinishing, we highly suggest asking help from professionals.

Is It Worth It?

Refinishing kitchen cabinets will bring wonders to your kitchen, but is it worth it? Should you reuse your kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them with a brand new one? We will help you in answering those questions and help you understand which is best for you!


Starting with the costs, we will give you an idea of the average prices of refinishing cabinets.


  • Refinishing cabinets (national average): $2,860
    • Typical range: $1,744 to $4,003
  • Labor and Materials (stain, lacquer, varnish, paint, or shellac): $4 to $10 per square foot
  • Glaze for a vintage look: $10 to $25 per square foot
  • Labor: $35 to $75 per hour


Based on the values above, we can see that refinishing kitchen cabinet are much cheaper than buying a new one. For the national average, the value depends on the material type, design, and a number of cabinets that need refinishing. When it comes to the design, contractors check if it has carvings or not. Cabinets with carvings are complex because they may take some time to sand.

If you opt to have your cabinets refinished but need some repairs, contractors will most likely charge you for that. Repairs cost around $300 on average, which is separate from the costs of refinishing itself.

If your cabinets need lots of repairs, or the wood is of low-quality already, you might want to change it instead. It is because pushing for cabinet refinishing might equal the costs with a brand new unit. That is why it is best to opt for refinishing if your unit is still in good condition.

Things to Consider Before Refinishing Your Cabinets

There are also some things to consider before refinishing your cabinets. It is to make sure that you are making the right decision of having your cabinets refinished or not. Take note of these questions and answers before pushing through with the process.

  1. Does your kitchen layout best serve your needs? If yes, then it’s better to have it refinished and just enhance the doors and drawers to improve its functionality.
  2. Are the cabinet boxes still in good condition? Cabinet boxes are the body parts that hold the objects inside. If it is still in good condition, then replacing it is not a need yet, and refinishing should be fine.
  3. Is the wood of the doors and drawers still in good condition? If yes, then refinishing is a good option for you. If not, we suggest having it repaired or replaced.
  4. What type of fixing do you need? If you want to remodel your kitchen, but do not want to replace everything, then cabinet refinishing is a good choice. However, if your problem is more on the size of the cabinets, we suggest you buy a custom cabinet that can fit your belongings.

Final Thoughts

Kitchen cabinet refinishing is a budget-friendly way of beautifying your kitchen area. It does not only give your cabinets a new color, but it can be your way of showing your personality.

Many people are not aware the cabinets can be refinished, so they tend to buy new ones frequently. However, it is not sustainable to change your furniture often. With cabinet refinishing, you can transform your furniture with unique design options. Note that this is only possible if your cabinets are still in good condition.

We’ve shown earlier the steps on how to refinish a cabinet or drawer. It might look easy, but we suggest hiring a professional to do it. It is better to have it refinished by them because we might make unintentional mistakes in the process.

We hope that this guide was helpful enough to let you know how to transform your kitchen!


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