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Kitchen remodeling: cabinets upgrade

Kitchen Remodeling Guide: Redoing Kitchen Cabinets


Minor kitchen remodeling projects, such as cabinet refacing and cabinet painting, can improve the functionality and aesthetic of your kitchen.

Our homes should always accommodate our needs, and one of the most important rooms in the house is the kitchen.

For many, a kitchen renovation can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.

Kitchen renovation can be a fun and rewarding project that improves your daily life. Make sure to do the right planning and guidance. By choosing small, low-cost projects, you can still increase your house value and breathe new air into your kitchen.

In this kitchen remodeling guide, we will focus on one aspect that can have a significant impact: kitchen cabinets, and more specifically cabinet refacing and cabinet painting.

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What exactly is cabinet refacing? 

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective way to transform the look and feel of your kitchen without having to replace all of your cabinets.

It's a great option if you want to update your kitchen without the hassle and expense of a full renovation.

According to a report by Remodeling Magazine, an average kitchen remodel costs $23,452, whereas refacing kitchen cabinets can cost as little as $5,000, resulting in a cost savings of up to 80%.

Whether you are looking to replace your cabinets, reface them, or even give them a new fresh paint coat, we've got you covered.

image showing a remodeled kitchen, modern and luxurious

Types of kitchen remodels

Kitchen remodeling can be divided into three categories: minor, partial kitchen remodel, and major/full kitchen remodel.

Major remodeling is the most complex and most expensive type of project that involves kitchen redesign, and structural changes, such as moving walls, changing the layout, and adding new appliances.

A midrange kitchen renovation is a less comprehensive project compared to a major remodeling. This type of remodeling involves the replacement of major surfaces, including flooring, countertops, sinks, and custom cabinets. 

Minor remodeling, on the other hand, involves cosmetic changes, such as cabinet refacing, painting, or upgrading hardware.

If you want to upgrade your kitchen in no time, if you have a small budget, or if you are a senior homeowner who wants a hassle-free change, minor kitchen remodeling projects are often the preferred choice.

They can make a big difference in the look and feel of the kitchen without the need for extensive construction work or a major investment.

Cabinet refacing and painting, for example, are affordable and convenient ways to update the look of your cabinets and give your kitchen a fresh new appearance.

With a wide variety of cabinet styles, colors, and materials to choose from, you can easily customize your cabinets to match your taste and create the perfect ambiance in your kitchen. In addition to cabinet refacing and painting, there are many other aspects of kitchen remodeling to consider, such as new cabinet hardware, knobs, and handles, as well as new countertops, backsplashes, and flooring.

By carefully selecting the right materials and accessories, you can create a cohesive and stylish look that perfectly complements your home's overall decor.

Cabinets play a crucial role in setting the tone for the entire space, and upgrading them is the very first step to transforming the look and feel of your kitchen. There are different ways to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, and all of them entail different benefits, a different budget, and a particular outcome

Cabinet doors

Kitchen cabinets can be upgraded in a variety of ways. One of the most impactful ways is substituting your cabinet doors.

What is cabinet refacing?

With this option, you will usually replace just the doors and the drawers of your kitchen cabinets. The new doors and drawers will eventually match the color of your existing cabinetry.

It is the best option if what concerns you the most about your kitchen is the condition and style of your cabinets, but you like its current color and layout.

image showing a man installing new cabinet doors

However, keep in mind that the style choice is yours. You can still play around with colors and materials as you wish.

In other words, you will obtain:

  • New doors and drawer fronts
  • New doorknobs and pulls
  • New hardware and drawer boxes

All of this can be obtained within a day or even just a few hours. The process entails:

  • In-home consultation: an expert will come to your house to take a look at your current cabinets’ status, measure them, and discuss your options.
  • Choice of new cabinet doors: there are many styles, colors, and materials to choose from when it comes to cabinet doors. Take your time to select the right style and material that fits your kitchen's overall design and aesthetic.
  • Removal of old cabinet doors, and installation of the new doors
  • Installation of the hardware
  • Clean up: you’re all settled!
How much does kitchen cabinet refacing cost?

Substituting cabinets is a great option for those looking to update their kitchen without breaking the bank.

The cost of replacing cabinet doors can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your kitchen, the quality of materials you choose, and the complexity of the installation.

If you're on a tight budget, you can go for a cost-friendly cabinet door replacement that ranges from $1,000 to $9,000. To understand how to obtain it, read our guide on how to replace your cabinets on a budget

On the higher end of the spectrum, replacing kitchen cabinets entirely can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 or more, depending on the size of your kitchen and the materials used.

Keep in mind that investing in high-quality materials and professional installation can ultimately save you money in the long run by increasing the lifespan and functionality of your cabinets.

When considering the cost of cabinet installation, it's important to weigh your options and choose the solution that best fits your budget and your specific needs.

What are the benefits of cabinet door replacement?

With a wide range of cabinet styles, colors, and materials to choose from, you can create a personalized and functional storage solution that fits your needs and style without breaking the bank. 

  • Quick. It is a quick and affordable facelift.
  • Modernization. By replacing old, worn-out cabinet doors with new custom cabinet doors, you can instantly modernize the look of your kitchen.
  • Colors and material change. Replacing cabinet doors can also be a great way to introduce new colors or materials into your kitchen and give your kitchen a fresh look. 

image showing drawers with soft-close hinges

Why Cabinet Refacing?

With cabinet refacing, your kitchen will undergo a bigger transformation in a fraction of the time of a major kitchen renovation project.

A survey by Houzz found that 43% of homeowners who upgraded their kitchen cabinets during a kitchen remodeling project opted for refacing over full cabinet replacement.

Cabinet refacing usually takes 3 to 5 days to complete. The kitchen contractor will remove your…

  • Cabinet doors
  • Drawers
  • Drawer boxes
  • Hardware

… and discard them.

You will be able to choose new elements that can either have the same style and color as your old ones or be a drastic change for your kitchen!

Cabinet refacing allows for great customization options. Custom cabinet doors can be designed to fit the style and design that you’re looking for in your kitchen, whether you're going for a modern, contemporary look or a more traditional, classic feel.

After that, your cabinets will be prepped and on them it will be applied a veneer of wood or a maintenance-free laminate material which will match the door styles you have chosen.

Your new doors, drawer boxes, and drawer fronts will be installed, together with new hardware and doorknobs and pulls.

image showing different types of cabinet doors

It's important to note that cabinet refacing is not a solution for cabinets that are in poor condition or are structurally unsound, in which case a full cabinet replacement may be necessary.

How much does cabinet refacing cost?

Cabinet refacing is an affordable way to give your kitchen a new look without the high cost of a full renovation.

The average cost of cabinet refacing can range from $4,000 to $9,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the materials used.

Moreover, it is a great addition to your house’s value: a study by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) found that homeowners who refaced their kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them saw an average return on investment of 80%, compared to only 60% for those who replaced their cabinets entirely.


What are the benefits of cabinet refacing?

  • Effectiveness. Update the look of your kitchen without going through a full renovation
  • Costs. Less expensive than a full cabinet replacement
  • Time. Less time-consuming than a major renovation
  • Eco-friendly. You upcycle your existing cabinets instead of sending them to a landfill
  • Additional storage space. You can add additional storage space and make certain layout alterations, such as extra cabinets or drawers
  • Accessories. Usually, refacing programs offer also a wide range of accessories, both functional and aesthetic. Ask your contractors and ponder your options and needs!
  • Low risk. As major kitchen renovation projects usually represent a risk for the rest of the furniture, the walls, and the floor, cabinet refacing represents a low-risk solution.


Cabinet painting

This is a great option if you are price-conscious. But what does it involve?

Usually, cabinet painting involves giving a new color to your cabinets and installing new knobs and pulls.

However, some experts in the market might offer a hybrid painting solution that involves replacing the doors and drawers with new hardware and installing soft-close hinges.

image showing a cabinet door being painted anew

The process is the following:

  1. Choose your color and – eventually – your new door style and door pulls/knobs
  2. Removal of old doors and drawers – eventually discard them – and paint the cabinet boxes
  3. Installation of your (new) doors

Everything happens in just one day!

Something important to keep in mind!

When it comes to painting kitchen cabinets, it is always best to install new doors, and have painted only the flat surfaces.

If your contractor tries to paint your doors, which usually have uneven surfaces, they will show the traces of the brush, and look, indeed, painted.

Also, always make sure that your contractor gives two coats of paint to your cabinet boxes, to make sure that endurance is ensured.

How much does cabinet painting cost?

If you are on a budget, cabinet painting is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh, updated look.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to paint kitchen cabinets is between $1,200 and $7,000, depending on the size of the kitchen and the complexity of the job.

The same HomeAdvisor report found that painting kitchen cabinets can also have a significant impact on a home's resale value. Homes with modern, freshly painted kitchen cabinets can sell for up to 10% more than homes with outdated or worn cabinets.

The price includes the cost of materials such as primer, paint, and hardware, as well as the labor costs for professional painting services.

You could consider DIY, but as we mentioned above, cabinet painting might be challenging for experts already, so it’s something that you better not try out yourself!

What are the benefits of cabinet painting?
  • Look. Painting your kitchen cabinets is an excellent way to update the look and feel of your kitchen without having to undergo a complete renovation.

Moreover, it allows for even more customization than getting new cabinets. You can choose from a wide variety of colors and finishes, giving your kitchen a unique look that reflects your style.

image showing woman choosing among different kinds of cabinet doors styles and colors

Additionally, you can update the hardware to match the new paint color or even replace the doors with custom designs.

  • Cost. painting your cabinets is a cost-effective solution to revitalize your kitchen.

It's much less expensive than replacing your cabinets altogether or even refacing them.

With a fresh coat of paint, you can change the entire look of your kitchen, giving it a more modern and updated appearance. Painting your cabinets can increase the value of your home if you're looking to sell it in the future.

  • Sustainable. Painting your cabinets provides a more sustainable option than completely replacing them.

With the increasing awareness of the importance of sustainability and reducing waste, painting your cabinets is an eco-friendly solution that reduces the environmental impact of your renovation project.

  • Time. Painting your cabinets is a relatively quick process that doesn't require a significant disruption to your daily routine.

You can complete the project in as little as one day, and you can use your kitchen throughout the process.

This is particularly appealing if you are a senior who may not want to undergo a lengthy renovation process.

As you can see, kitchen remodeling does not have to be long, difficult, and costly.

The options we listed will allow you to upgrade your kitchen according to your personal needs and budget. Ponder them wisely, and try to understand which is the one that suits you best.

image showing hand of a person who is choosing among different styles for cabinet doors

The best way to go through this process is to get a consultation with a professional. You can discuss together your situation and go over your options and budget to adapt the service to your needs.

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Related resources

All'bout Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

Why Updated Kitchen Cabinets are a Must-Have

10+ Kitchen Countertop Ideas to Transform Your Cooking

How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take: Timeline

Last update: 13 Jul 2024

Written by Anna

MyGreenHome editors Team is a professional team of copywriters and writes with dozens of years of experience covering consumers, financial and business products and services

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