A Tutorial on Cabinet Refacing to Liven Up Your Kitchen

When it comes to wooden kitchen cabinets that are faded, discolored, or scratched, beauty (and value) is in the eye of the beholder. While their unattractive finishes might lead some people to replace them right away, others see their potential and consider the far cheaper option of cabinet renovation instead.

Cabinet refinishing basically means keeping the cabinets you have, but you cover every surface you see – sides, tops, and bottoms of the cabinets – with a 1/8 inch thick wood or laminate veneer. After a few cosmetic procedures, your cabinets will look like new at a fraction of the cost of a full replacement.

Cost of renewing the cabinet

Professionally refurbished cabinets in a 10 x 12 foot kitchen cost $ 1,000 to $ 9,000, according to HouseLogic, depending on the refacing material you use. Full replacement can range from $ 4,000 to $ 20,000.

“Refacing is easy and beautiful,” says Halina Hofmann, a contractor and real estate agent for Level Group in Manhattan. “If the cabinets are in great condition, they can be reworked. It’s a lot cheaper than installing new ones. “

Refurbishing kitchen cabinets is also generally faster than replacing them. The entire process should not take more than a week.

Unfortunately, not every cabinet is a candidate for redesign. When cabinet boxes are warped, rotten, or falling apart at the seams, reworking throws good money after bad.

But most cabinets don’t fall apart – they just need a facelift and then they’re good to go.

Types of materials for cabinet renovation

First things first, you need to choose what style and material you want for your new cabinets. Here are the top options:

  • Laminate: Tough plastic sheets that are not easy to shape and work well for simple cabinet designs.
  • Rigid thermal films (RTFs): Pressure formed vinyl film that is malleable and suitable for more detailed designs.
  • Wood veneer: Real, ultra-thin wood that sticks to cabinets.

You can customize the existing finish or give cabinets a completely new look. You can revamp oak cabinets with cherry veneer or banish those avocado-colored cabinets forever with a white makeover.

How to redesign cabinets

Reworking should best be left to professionals. However, once you feel confident in your construction skills, here’s how.

Step # 1: Draw a diagram of your kitchen cabinets.

Carefully measure the cabinets, including base cabinets and drawers.

Draw a diagram of kitchen cabinets.

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Step # 2: Remove and clean the doors

Unhinge the cabinet doors and clean the cabinet surfaces to remove grease and dirt.

Remove doors.
Remove doors.

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Step # 3: Grind the cabinets.

Polish cabinets with 150-grit sandpaper to help the veneers adhere better. Wipe off sawdust.

Rub down the closet.
Rub down the closet.

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Step # 4: Cut off the veneer.

Cut the veneer to the size of the case, leaving an overhang that is half an inch wide and 2 inches long.

Cut off the veneer.
Cut off the veneer.

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Step # 5: Glue the veneer on the cabinets.

If necessary, apply glue and press down on the veneer. If you are using a self-adhesive veneer, line up the veneer with the cabinets, slowly peel the backing off, and press the veneer onto the cabinet as you peel it.

Press Post Process.
Press Post Process.

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Step # 6: Install the cabinet doors.

Hang the doors with new hinges, aligning them with the old holes if possible, or drill new holes. Install and pull buttons.

Put the doors back on.
Put the doors back on.

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And there you have it – cabinets that appear to be brand new.

This is what the kitchen looks like with newly designed cabinets.
This is what the kitchen looks like with newly designed cabinets.

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For more information, see the following video from Showplace Renew.

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