Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Give your cupboard doors a fresh look

by Roger Diez
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

A kitchen remodel can be an expensive proposition, but you can save money and get great results by resurfacing your kitchen cupboards instead of replacing them. If your existing cabinets are structurally sound and provide enough storage, you can resurface them for a completely new look at minimum cost. Repainting or re-staining your cabinets and doors, plus applying some molding and replacing the hardware, can make your kitchen look like new. Another option is to use a veneer on the cabinet fronts and buy new cupboard doors to match.

Painting is an easy way to resurface cabinets

You can resurface cabinets yourself, using good quality, low VOC or VOC-free paint or stain. VOCs are chemical solvents that exude fumes that may cause respiratory problems. Most major paint manufacturers now offer low VOC latex paints.

Spraying is the best application method, as it leaves no brush or roller marks. You should remove and thoroughly clean your cupboard doors, remove the old finish, and add any molding touches before painting.

If you have neither the time nor the expertise to do the job yourself, then consider hiring a contractor who specializes in cabinet refacing. Find a contractor by filling out the form on this page, check references, and get at least three bids before signing a contract.

What will cabinet refacing cost?

The material cost breakdown to refinish your cabinet doors yourself is as follows:

  1. Paint: $2.50 to $5.00 per linear foot depending on paint quality
  2. Molding: $2.00 to $6.00 per linear foot depending on pattern
  3. Hardware: $5.00 to $15.00 per door for new hinges and knobs

The cost to have a contractor reface your cabinets will range from $150 to $250 per linear foot, depending on materials.

In between these extremes there are other options, such as applying a veneer to your cabinet fronts and replacing your cupboard doors. A 24-inch by 96-inch sheet of self-adhesive rigid thermo-foil (RTF) veneer starts at around $75, with wood veneer around $100. A sheet will cover approximately 10 door openings. RTF laminate cabinet doors can cost as little as $20, but wood will generally perform better and last longer. An 18-inch by 30-inch wood cabinet door will cost between $50 and $100 depending on the type of wood and the style of the door.

With a little bit of work and an average degree of expertise, you can have sparkling new kitchen décor for a fraction of the cost of a complete remodel, plus the satisfaction of having accomplished it by yourself.

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