Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Remodeling Kitchen Cabinets Costs Less than Replacing Them

by Roger Diez
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

One of the least expensive ways to give your kitchen a makeover is to freshen it up by refacing the cabinets. Unless your storage space is inadequate or your cabinets are structurally weak, it is hard to justify the cost of completely new cabinets.

Depending on your budget and level of expertise, there are a number of ways to reface your cabinets:

  • Painting or staining
  • Adding molding or other ornamentation
  • Applying laminate or wood veneer

Whichever you decide, you have the choice of saving money by doing the work yourself or of hiring a professional.

Steps for Remodeling Kitchen Cabinets

If you plan to do it yourself, here's a summary of what it entails to transform your old kitchen cabinets:

  1. Determine the finish you want. Browse magazines and catalogs that deal with remodeling kitchen cabinets. Search kitchen remodeling websites for ideas.
  2. Purchase the materials you will need to realize your vision, whether it is paint, stain, veneer, or laminate.
  3. Empty the cabinets and clean them thoroughly before you begin. Remove all the old hardware and clean it if you intend to re-use it. Remove cabinet doors and drawers.
  4. Prepare the surfaces. Strip old paint or varnish, patch holes and blemishes.
  5. Follow the manufacturer's instructions if installing a laminate or veneer. If painting, use at least four coats of high quality paint.
  6. Re-install doors, drawers, and hardware.


Remodeling kitchen cabinets is not too tough--and definitely easier on your budget.

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