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Refinishing vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: Which Is Right For You?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Craig Byrne

If you’d like to update your kitchen, you’ve probably thought about a change to your existing cabinetry. Maybe they have a wood finish, and you’d like them to be painted white, or perhaps you want something more dramatic, in keeping up with this year’s hot new color trends.

On the other hand, your cabinets may have the stain and color you want, but they have structural damage. These issues can be anything from peels, chips, dents or scratches.

When it comes to a cabinet update, you have a few options. You can go the expensive route and order brand new cabinetry, or you could call a professional cabinet refinisher to see if you are a good candidate for cabinet refinishing or refacing. These two options will save you money and give you the brand-new look you desire.

What is Refacing?

When a pro gives your cabinetry a new exterior surface without the high price of new cabinets, the process is called refacing. Some people use the word resurfacing to mean the same thing as refacing.

Refacing means replacing all the parts and/or surfaces of your cabinetry that can be seen when the doors are closed. This is a great option for homeowners who have so much damage to their cabinets they can’t be refinished (we will discuss refinishing cabinets later).

When refacing, the doors, hardware, and drawer boxes all can be replaced. Pros use thin wood veneers and laminate to resurface the toe kicks, panels, and face frames. In the end, the cost will be a fraction of what you’d spend by replacing your cabinetry.

Maybe you have an older home with high quality, traditional wood cabinets you don’t want to change. Again, in this case, refacing is a great option. This is because it’s difficult to refinish a dark stain to a lighter stain.

However, it can be hard to find stain that matches the type and color wood you already have, if your home is older. In this case, you may want to refinish your cabinetry if they don’t have a lot of damage to keep the look you have.

What is Cabinet Refinishing?

Cabinet refinishing is often called kitchen cabinet painting by homeowners. You can use the terms interchangeably. So, what’s the difference between refinishing and refacing?

When you reface, you place new materials onto old. You also replace drawers and drawer fronts.

When you refinish, you change the color or finish of the existing cabinets. Remember, refinishing or cabinet painting can only be done if your cabinets are not structurally damaged to the point of needing serious repair.

A professional kitchen cabinet refinisher will be happy to visit your home to see which process is best for you and your situation. Both options are money savers when compared to the high cost of replacing all your cabinets. Plus, you’ll have the dazzling new look you crave.

If you are in Upstate South Carolina, call Greenville Refinishing. They will be happy to give you an exact quote of what the update will cost you.

Before You Replace Your Cabinets

Call Greenville Refinishing!


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