Kitchen cabinets can make or break your house look. Worn-out or old cabinets make your kitchen look stale and dull. Refacing kitchen cabinets will improve the interior greatly, especially since people automatically look at the cabinets first when entering the kitchen. There are four common options to reface your cabinets: veneering, repainting, partial replacing, and full replacing. The question is: which one is better?
Compare your options before picking any refacing method. Here are the comparisons between the four and what you should expect.
Veneering Kitchen Cabinets
Veneering the cabinets is the easiest option to revamp them. In this method, you apply a thin layer of veneer on the cabinet surface. The veneer sheets may be wooden or vinyl, depending on your cabinet design. You can find veneer sheets in various colors and patterns, even the ones that mimic solid wood.
Veneering is cheap and quick, and you can install the sheets yourself with basic handyman skill. You don’t need to tear up the cabinets or deal with messy paint. The kitchen is open to use while you are doing the refacing. Veneering is also the most environmentally-friendly solution, because there are no paint chemicals or renovation landfill.
The cons? This method does not work if your problem is bad kitchen design. Also, if you want to create a certain look, you must spend extra money to buy veneer sheets with a more unique and exotic look.
Repainting Kitchen Cabinets
Repainting is the second-easiest refacing method after veneering. A fresh coat of color will bring the difference between dull and great kitchen. This is also a cheap option if your cabinets don’t have any serious damages or problems.
Repainting cabinet is also great to follow kitchen interior trend. The year 2019 sees the rise of colorful cabinets, such as red, lime green, or orange. You can follow the trend by repainting the cabinets yourself, adding a sheen coat to make them more attractive.
Despite the low cost and convenience, repainting is a “messy” job, which renders your kitchen unusable until you finish. Improper surface preparation and wrong paint option will also cause ugly surface problems, such as peeling or warping. Surface preparation is not recommended if your cabinet has a laminated surface, since sanding will reduce its sheen.
Partially Replacing Kitchen Cabinets
Partial replacing means you only replace the front of your cabinets. This can be done if your cabinets have good structures and integrity. Replacing the front parts will give the cabinets new look without removing all the parts. You can choose any design and color that match the entire cabinet structure.
This method is more intense than repainting or veneering, but not as extreme as a full replacement. You may spend the extra cash, but you will get a neat, fresh look in the end. However, since it requires professional service, you need to spend extra money on the service.
Fully Replacing Kitchen Cabinets
Full replacement is the final option of revamping kitchen cabinets. This is an ideal option if your cabinet structures are damaged or rusty. You need to spend extra money for professional installation. However, this option is ideal if you want to change the kitchen layout.
Full replacement is a complicated project. A professional service team must ensure that the countertop surface is level, so eggs and other round ingredients will not roll. You must also plan the design carefully, since the result is permanent. There will be another cost if you want modifications in the cabinets, such as a slide-out rack or lazy Susan.
Tips to Choose Refacing Options
There are several ways you can choose the right refacing methods. Consider these factors:
- Structural integrity
If your cabinets are wobbly, crooked, or creaking when filled, the structural integrity may be weak. You require a full refacing for this case. If the cabinet is strong and steady, you can consider repainting or partial replacement.
- Surface damages
Check the type of surface damages your cabinets may have. Scratches and little chippings may only require a little refiling and repainting. A small amount of damages may just require veneering. However, widespread damages that cannot be covered or rust may require replacing.
- Overall kitchen design
Poor planning can create an awkward design, especially in a small space. If your kitchen design and appliance positions create difficulties, consider replacing and moving the cabinets. Discuss the design plan with the contractor first to avoid another mistake.
Finally, think about the costs you must spend. Simple veneering (especially if done as a DIY project) may cost around USD500 to USD600 for the materials, and another USD50 to USD100 for the tools. Replacing may cost you around USD15,000 to USD25,000, depending on the materials, sizes, and work extend.
Refacing is important to revamp old kitchen cabinets, but there are different ways to do it. Cheap options are veneering and repainting, while partial and full replacements are more expensive. You must be prepared to discuss with professional contractors and team for more complicated projects. However, investing for refacing kitchen cabinets will get you fresh, even brand-new cabinets.