Thinking About Refacing?

The spring is a great time to think about refacing those cabinets!  Small changes, big impact....

Refacing your kitchen cabinets can be a good alternative to save time and money if your cabinetry is still in good shape and there is no need to make alterations to improve the layout of your kitchen.   The advantages of refacing over a complete renovation include obviously a cheaper cost and also less overall disruption to the daily household routine.  A refacing job may only take a week to complete.   Plumbing and electrical connections don’t have to be moved, and refacing allows you to leave your countertop in situ while totally changing the look of the kitchen with a new colour, door style and hardware.  Keeping an existing granite/quartz countertop is a huge saving in itself.

There are two ways to reface—either by refinishing the existing doors and drawer fronts or by replacing them completely.

To refinish the existing doors, the first thing to consider is the material the existing door is made out of and the new look you want to create.  For instance, oak has a deep grain which does not work well with painting.  However, the flatter surface of birch, maple and MDF (medium-density fibreboard) can result in a smooth painted finish. 

To try and re-stain an existing door is more complex and more expensive in attaining the final finish.  When staining is preferred over painting, obviously a wood door is required.  This could be solid wood or a solid-wood and wood-veneer combination, which will accept the application of any stain depending on the type of wood chosen.  For example, maple is one of the most popular woods in kitchen cabinetry and works well with multiple stains.  Birch, maple and cherry wood are the most commonly used woods in today’s kitchens; birch being the least expensive, maple having a mid-range cost and cherry wood be the most expensive.

To obtain a perfect painted look, a far better option than repainting the existing doors is to use new doors and drawer fronts made of a MDF base. This product is suitable for painting and produces a 100% perfect finish. Choosing this option, you have a multitude of designs and colours available to suit your taste and the style of your room.

Keep in mind that whether you are repainting or replacing the doors and drawer fronts, the existing cabinet boxes probably would need to be prepared to match the new doors.  The boxes generally have white interiors and the edge of the box section might be in white or in a colour that toned into the existing door.  As such, front edges of the cabinets would possibly require repainting, as would some of the side panels, depending upon what changes you are making.

There potentially would also be additional areas that may require painting, i.e. crown molding, light valences, toe kicks and wall-and-base end panels.

In the case of repainting, the doors would be removed and taken to a custom-finishing paint shop, while the additional areas would generally be painted on site using specific cabinet melamine paint which would be colour matched to the doors.  Once the new doors are painted, they will be installed and hardware replaced.  This can take approximately a week to complete, depending upon what needs to be painted/stained etc.

If any alterations in the sense of adding cabinets or an island to utilize unused space are required, this can be done to blend into the design, but would also increase the cost and labour requirements.

If you love the design and functionality of your kitchen but the existing doors are chipped, not closing properly or you just want an updated look, refacing could be the answer.  Shake it up even more with some new hardware!