Thinking About Refacing your Kitchen Cabinets? Here’s how to decide.

If you want that new kitchen look but don’t have a new kitchen budget, consider refacing your kitchen cabinets. With cabinet refacing you can save 30-50% or more and get a brand new look and feel to your most popular room in the house.

Let’s start with definitions and an understanding of refacing options. Broadly speaking, refacing your kitchen cabinets means you will be changing the doors and drawers of your cabinets but keeping the rest. The carcass of the cabinet, as it’s called, is the plywood box that comprises 80% of the cabinet. The doors and drawers, while only a small portion of the cabinet as a whole, account for 90% of what you see and therefore, changing or enhancing them will make a big impact on the overall look.

In addition to doors and drawer fronts, you will also want to replace your crown molding to match the new look.

Pros and Cons of Refacing your Cabinets

When refacing, since you are keeping the carcasses and drawer boxes, you are stuck with the layout you have. If you are looking for a new flow to the kitchen or plan to rearrange things, refacing may not work for you.

Hinges and door/drawer pulls can be replaced or, if the existing hardware is in good shape, cleaned up and put back to use to further save money.

Reusing the existing cabinets is also a green remodeling option by minimizing what ends up in the landfill.

Options for Refacing – Reuse or Replace

There are generally two ways to reface your existing cabinets; either refinish or replace what you have.  Each option has its own pros and cons and budget implications.

Painting or staining your existing cabinet doors and drawers

If your existing cabinets are looking a little tired and worn or if you like the style of your kitchen but don’t like the color, you have the option of putting a new coat of paint or stain to freshen things up and look like new. This can be done by handy homeowners who have experience sanding and painting or staining. It is detailed work so needs to be done with extra attention but is within reason for many non-professionals but certainly not for the faint of heart.

Spraying vs Brushing vs Rolling

To get the best results if you decide to paint, spraying is the way to go, hands down. However, spraying also requires the most skill and prep. Rolling can give you good results if you get quality rollers and brushes for the tight corners. Visit’s article for a good round up of your application options.

Replacing your cabinet doors and drawer fronts

Cabinetmaker’s Choice has endless options for doors and drawer fronts to choose from when deciding on your new look. If you choose a wood veneer for your cabinet frames, you can match the color and texture with one of the hundreds of options from our Conestoga Wood Cabinet finishes.

For stain, solid colors and treatment options available with Conestoga Wood Cabinets, check out our detailed Conestoga’s Catalogs to make a bold statement with your new look.

You can choose from any of our three cabinet lines to get the exact look you want and make your kitchen shine like new:

Refacing Your Cabinet Boxes


Keep in mind that in addition to painting or staining the doors and drawers, when refacing your kitchen cabinets, the visible outside of the cabinet carcasses will also need to be refaced. This will require significant effort to prep and protect your kitchen counters, walls and floors.

Refacing with laminate veneer

This option will require significant skill or a professional installer. With this option, you reface the cabinet boxes with laminate or real wood veneer and replace the doors and drawer fronts completely with new slabs. Due to the precise workmanship and specialized tools required, most people will hire a professional if they choose this option.