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What to Know About Refacing Kitchen Cabinetry

Man refacing wooden cabinets.

Reface your cabinets for a quick new look.

Chances are your vision of your cabinetry conjures up images of doors and moldings; not of the frame. Refacing offers a speedy way to leave the frame as is but makeover the rest.

If you're in need of a refreshed kitchen look but are happy with the current layout of your kitchen and your cabinets' quality, refacing may be just the route to take. Refacing does just that — gives your kitchen a new "face" — while using the same "body," a method that has the potential to save both time and money.

Refacing refers to the process of removing your old doors, drawer fronts, and hardware then resurfacing the frames and exposed cabinet ends with hardwood veneer. The veneer is stained and finished to match your new choice of doors, which are then installed to the recently refreshed frames.

Check with your refacer, but you should be able to add molding or valences to further dress up your new cabinetry. While your layout must remain static, some refacers offer you the option of adding new cabinetry or an island to your existing design.

Unsure of whether you need to replace or reface?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you tired of your kitchen's current look?

  • Do you want a more up-to-date look?

  • Does your current kitchen offer adequate storage and countertop space?

  • Are your cabinet drawers still in good condition and open easily?

  • Have other neighborhood homeowners remodeled their kitchens in the last few years?

  • Has the value of your home stopped rising?

  • Do you plan to sell your home in the next year?


If you answered yes to the majority of them, refacing may be the right solution for you. Keep in mind the following:

  • You can't change the layout;any current headaches you have from misdirected traffic or bumping elbows

    won't disappear.

  • Check out the warranty: it generally will cover the new products only, not the new "cabinet."

  • You will be applying veneer to the surface, not solid wood.

  • Your cabinets' interiors will remain the same; be sure you're currently comfortable with the way they look and the ease of cleaning them.



More in this category:« Refinishing