Options For Giving Your Cabinets A Facelift

Old, dated cabinets can make your kitchen look dingy and old fashioned. Yet, if you have solid-wood cabinets, you may be be hesitant to replace them, even if the fronts are worn or ugly. The following guide can help you determine the best way to give the cabinets a facelift for your specific situation.

Reface or Replace?

Your first decision is whether to reface or replace. Cabinets made of sturdy wood or plywood that is in good condition are the best candidates for refacing—even if the doors are made of a weaker material. Those made of thin wood or particle board should be replaced, since these sub-par materials will end up giving out sooner rather than later.

Generally, refacing is less expensive, but it doesn't make sense to reface cabinets made of shoddy materials, since the cabinets simply aren't made to last. You will still need to eventually replace the cabinets, which means that you effectively wasted the money spent on ineffective refacing.

Quick facelift

For those with cabinets that have solid doors with a modern or neutral design, you may be able to do just a few cosmetic changes for a quick refacing job. These changes can include:

  • Replacing the hardware, including knobs, drawer pulls, and hinges with more modern versions.

  • Removing any dated decorative facing elements, such as tacked-on borders or scrollwork, and then filling in the nail holes.

  • Repainting the entire cabinet or just the door. Alternatively, stripping old paint and preserving a natural finish.

A moderate makeover

Sometimes the doors are sturdy but just overly plain for your tastes. In this case, you have two main options for refacing:

  1. Use a door veneer. These veneers are applied over the front surface of the cabinet. You can add insets, beadboard, or other decorative attributes to plain doors to make them more modern.

  2. Remove and replace the inset. For cabinets with a center inset, you can have the inset completely removed and replaced with glass.

The full replacement

For badly constructed doors, those in bad repair, or those simply too ornate to reface using other methods, the full replacement option of just the doors provides the best refacing option. New doors are more expensive than hardware, paint, or veneers, but they are less expensive than having the entire cabinet replaced. Basically, you still get the look of all-new cabinets but at a fraction of the cost.

For more help, contact a cabinet contractor from a company like Impressive ​​​​​Cabinet Refacing Ltd. in your area.