Renovate Your Cabinets the Cheap and Smart Way

restoreIf your cabinets are starting to show their age or if you are wanting to change the entire look and feel of your kitchen you may want to consider refacing or restoring.   Both options are more budget friendly than replacing your cabinets entirely.  Your decision may depend on several factors: your project budget, the condition of the existing cabinetry and the function and layout of the current kitchen.

You may wonder, what exactly is the difference in price and procedure?  To start refinishing is the least expensive remedy and refinishing works with your existing cabinet finish. Refacing is more costly and involves replacing doors and drawer fronts and bonding wood veneer to cabinet boxes giving them the look of brand new cabinets.  You should talk with an experienced, licensed cabinet maker when considering your options.



When renovating the kitchen, cabinets are typically the largest cost so the price of refinishing or refacing may turn out to be the deciding factor on which way to go.

A typical kitchen restoration project cost is usually between $1,000-$1,500 and may take 1-2 days to complete.

A refacing project costs are usually around $10 – $15K and takes about 5 days to complete.  When refacing, keep in mind that you also have to replace your countertops, sink and faucet. This is not included in the cabinet cost. Also, you may need to hire a plumber for sink, faucet, disposal and dishwasher re-hook-up.  You should expect the plumber costs to be around $500-$1,000.


Cabinet Condition

The condition of your existing cabinets is part of the decision making, restore or reface, but also what, exactly are you wanting to accomplish? Are you looking for a dramatic change or are you looking to revitalize what you currently have?

Restoring your cabinets means keeping your existing doors and drawer fronts and fixing the existing finish as  close to the original look and color as possible. If you are happy with your cabinets, it’s a great remedy.  You can also darken your cabinets a shade or two with this process.

Refacing will dramatically change the look of your kitchen.  Typical refacing projects include a combination of refacing and cabinet modifications, either removing cabinets, changing drawer box sizes on a bank of drawers or adding cabinetry.

Saving Cabinets

Either way you decide, refacing vs. restoring, you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint by not dumping your cabinets in the local landfill.

When you restore your cabinet finish you are buying more time to use your existing cabinets, thus saving you tons of money in the process.  The clear finish product used will help to preserve your cabinets.

Refacing will also allow you to keep your cabinets and you will only need to replace to doors and drawer fronts.  Be sure to research the clear finish that the cabinet contractor plans on using.  The finish usually will determine how long the cabinets will last. Conversion varnish is one the top-of-the-line cabinet finishes. But if you don’t use conversion varnish you can have your cabinets restored in a few years that is bring them around again to an almost new cabinet.

For all your kitchen cabinet projects and ideas, visit or call Kitchen Make-Overs @ 925 753-5002.  Help us to help others with their cabinet needs.  Like us on Facebook and be sure to tell others about our cabinet or wood restoration, new drawer boxes, roll-out shelves, cabinet refinishing and cabinet restoration services.




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