Refacing cabinets can save you money

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ February 18, 2011

Most people are looking for a quick, effective way to handle tired and worn kitchen cabinets without having to embark on a long, costly and disruptive kitchen remodeling effort. While very few kitchen improvement projects are considered inexpensive today, cabinet refacing or resurfacing can be a way to trim overall costs while completing a facelift that alters the way you and others view your kitchen.

Say that your cabinets still are in fine working condition but look the worse for wear. Cabinet refacing can cost you upwards of $2,000 and $3,000, depending on the number of cabinet doors and drawer fronts you own. On the positive side, a cabinet project of this scale can spare you thousands of dollars less than an entire kitchen remodeling effort, including new cabinets, new backsplashes, flooring, countertops, paint and appliances.

Steps in cabinet refacing

Unlike a remodeling or cabinet replacement project, a refacing effort can be completed in a single weekend. That means you won't significantly interrupt the use of one of the busiest rooms in the house. With refaced cabinets, you save the cost of new cabinet boxes or removing your countertops. The money you save in refacing (rather than replacing) cabinets can go toward other projects on your home improvements list.

The basic steps for a cabinet makeover include cleaning the cabinets, removing doors and hardware, stripping old finishes, repairing nicks and scratches, sanding and adding new paint or stain. Or, you can call in a contractor and have all the steps completed by an expert, plus you have the option of adding new veneers, laminates, wood ornaments and hardware.

Cabinet styles

If your kitchen has evolved while your cabinets simply got old and worn, now you have the choice of refacing them so they're compatible with your new style and decor. Match the new faces and paint with complementary hinges, pulls, knobs and other hardware to complete the overall theme. If you're doing your own veneer work, be sure you understand how to carefully trim the veneer with a utility blade.

You may want to swap out the cabinet doors with glass replacements, or simply attach self-stick veneers made of green materials that won't off-gas dangerous chemicals into your home. Once you start making changes, there are few limits (beyond financial ones) to the breadth of kitchen ideas that complete your home and add lasting value.

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