How Refacing Kitchen Cabinets Can Change the Overall Look of Your Kitchen

Everyone wants a new kitchen, but doing an entire remodel can cost many thousands of dollars and is not possible for many. New cabinets are a huge expense on their own. A new set of cabinets for your kitchen can cost many thousands of dollars

These figures will make almost anyone balk at the thought of a kitchen makeover.

However, there’s an alternative. Have you ever considered the concept of refacing kitchen cabinets instead?

This option is far cheaper than replacing your cabinets entirely and can give your kitchen a whole new look. It can breathe new life into an outdated kitchen space, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Read on to learn about the process and cost of refacing kitchen cabinets and discover some great ideas to change your kitchen for the better — without breaking the bank.

Refacing Cabinets: What Is It?

The concept of refacing kitchen cabinets may be new to you and you may not be familiar with the term. However, the definition is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of taking down your cabinets and building new ones, refacing involves changing the look of cabinets that are already in place.

There are a couple of options to consider before you begin your resurfacing project. Let’s take a look. 

DIY vs Professional Installation

Homeowners who are interested in refacing their cabinets have two options. They can hire a contractor to do it for them, or they can try to do it themselves. In either case, the cost will be similar. Most kitchen cabinet refacing projects cost about thirty to forty percent of what brand new cabinets would cost.

Painting Cabinets

If you are doing it yourself, it’s possible to save money and time and create a whole new look by painting the cabinets. However, be sure to look online for inspiration and tips before undertaking this task.

Many people don’t like how they look in the end, and there are many potential mistakes and pitfalls that you might encounter in the process. 

If you’re deadset on painting, you can also hire someone to paint your cabinets for you. Many professional painters have experience in this realm and they will likely do a more impressive job than you may be able to do yourself on such an unusual substrate.

In reality, painting your cabinets is not really refacing them. Most professionals would refer to this process as refinishing rather than refacing in most cases.


Other options for refacing cabinets generally focus on replacing the outer skin of the cabinets with a new wood or laminate coating. This can be done on your own, too, but for best results, you might want to hire a professional.

There are several types of laminate that can be used in a cabinet refacing project. In most cases, homeowners choose a wood laminate for cabinets, but you don’t have to go that route. Other options may include bright solid colors, patterns, high gloss, or even laminate with a shiny metal finish. 

Decide what route you want to take and the finished look you seek, and then it’s time to get started on the project itself.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: The Process

Once you’ve decided how you want to move forward with resurfacing your cabinets, it’s time to do it. The first step in the process is to measure everything.

If you hire a company to reface your cabinets, they will send someone over to do this for you, but if you’re doing it yourself, you’ll need to measure everything and write it all down in a clear and understandable manner.

You’ll need these numbers to figure out how much laminate you will need and so you can cut it with accuracy. 

The next step is to empty the cabinets and remove the doors and drawers. Take off all the hardware, label them, and put them somewhere safe for later.

Installing Laminate

Putting new laminate on your cabinet doors, drawers, and boxes is next and it can be quite time-consuming. If you are doing this job yourself, you will have to take your time, be careful, and be very attentive to details.

Cutting and applying laminate can be very tedious and stressful, which is why many choose to leave a project like this to the professionals. However, it can be done as a DIY project – just be sure you know what you are undertaking before you begin.

If you hire someone to reface your kitchen cabinets, the company you hire will probably send a team of several people to work on your kitchen all day. Depending on how large your kitchen is, they should be able to finish this step in a day or, at most, over two consecutive days.

Today, many veneers come in a peel and stick application which saves time and effort, but others must be affixed with contact cement or another type of adhesive. It’s best to begin with the large, flat end panels and doors before moving on to the smaller and more exact strips between the cabinets and drawers.

Again, this is a process that requires exact measurements and that has little margin for error. If you cut a piece incorrectly, it could be a very expensive mistake that is not possible to fix without ordering more laminate, so be careful.

Final Steps

Once all the laminate is in place, it’s time to put the kitchen back together. Doors and drawers and hardware will need to be reinstalled. You or your installer will inspect everything carefully to make sure all laminate is attached well and that there is nothing that looks incorrect or out of place.

Then its time to enjoy your new kitchen! You’ll be amazed at what a difference a simple cabinet refacing can do to your overall kitchen look.

When you invite your friends, family, and neighbours over, they’ll think that you had new cabinets installed. They’ll be shocked when you tell them the truth and how much money you were able to save in the process.

Enjoy Your “New” Cabinets

Whether you hired a company or did it yourself, you will be enjoying your “new” cabinets for years to come. You made a major change for a fraction of the price of brand new kitchen cabinets and now your kitchen is a room of which you can be proud.

Refacing kitchen cabinets is a great move. Sit back and enjoy it, and start thinking about your next exciting project!

If painting is part of your future plans and you want to hire a reputable and experienced painter in Calgary, look no further than GBS Painting. Scott would love to paint your home and can help you with color design ideas as well. Give GBS Painting a call today! We can’t wait to hear from you.