My wife recently suggested kitchen cabinet refacing as a way of updating our kitchen without the cost of starting from scratch. What's the difference between simply painting or re-staining the cabinets and refacing them?
George H. ~ Richmond, Virginia
The big difference here is time. A re-stain will take the most amount of time because there is going to be lots of prep work necessary to get the old cabinets ready for a new stain. Re-painting will take less time.
There is considerable amount of prep to be done but not as much as stain prep. Although refacing will be your fastest option, it will also cost the most. One thing to consider on the reface is if the new doors are going to match the wood and color of the old cabinets where the face frames or sides will still be visible and not covered by the new doors.
Old stained wood cabinets will become darker over time. New doors, even if they are the same wood and stain, may be lighter than your old cabinets initially. Give them some time and they will often end up matching.