Reface or Refinish Your Cabinets for a Fast Kitchen Change
by Romy LeClaire Loran
You want the rich, warm hues of wood, or the new cool grays, blues, and greens hitting designer showrooms for your kitchen cabinets. But if you don't have the budget, consider refinishing or refacing them. By changing the cabinets' doors, drawers and other surfaces, refinishing and refacing kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen a whole new look.
Examine Your Current Kitchen Cabinets
Beneath their exteriors, your kitchen cabinets need to be in good shape for refinishing or resurfacing. If refinishing, your cabinets need to be constructed of a sturdy wood, since all you'll be changing is the finish or color. Refacing, on the other hand, involves laying a veneer over your current doors. You can completely replace doors and drawer fronts too. Your cabinet construction should be sound for any of these options. And you need to like your current layout.
Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets vs. Kitchen Cabinet Resurfacing or Refacing
Refinishing involves prepping your cabinets' surfaces by stripping or sanding them, and then applying stains, paint, or an acrylic surface. Refinishing can be relatively inexpensive but time consuming, if you're the one providing the elbow grease and materials. Although costs vary, many cabinets can be refinished for $2,500 to $4,500. Check with local contractors. When resurfacing, homeowners add wood veneer or plastic laminate, like Thermafoil, to existing cabinet surfaces. Refacing can cost seventy to eighty percent of replacing your cabinets' cost. Although some handy homeowners resurface cabinets themselves, it's more common to go through a contractor.
Mix and Match Your Kitchen Cabinets
If you want to refinish or resurface, but need more storage or an island, one new trend is mixing and matching styles. Cabinets may compliment each other but do not have to be the same. Consider complementary wood tones and colors, or adding a glass door or using some open shelving as you choose your surfaces and hardware. To complete your project, replace old hardware with slightly larger, sleeker knobs or handles to add an updated touch.
Fernau, Karen. "Don't Replace, Refinish." The Arizona Republic. Oct 25, 2008.
Landry, Elizabeth. "Mix It Up." Remodeling Magazine. July 2005.
Miloti, Stephan. "Room to Improve." The New York Times. March 6 2008.
"Refinishing and Refacing. Make Old Cabinets Look Like New." Ask the Editor. Kitchens.com. 2008.
Smart, Mary Lou. "Kitchen cosmetics: Local refacing contractors offer quick change ambience with looks from euro to country." Naples Daily News. Nov 14, 2008.
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