painting vs replacing cabinets

Should You Replace or Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets?

How Do You Choose Between Refinishing or Replacing your Kitchen Cabinets?

Is your kitchen or bathroom looking a little outdated? Do you want a whole new look in your home without remodeling? Have you been searching the internet to see if you should replace or refinish your kitchen cabinets? If so, let’s talk about the options of replacing, resurfacing, or refinishing your cabinets. Here’s a few quick explanations:

Replacing your cabinets requires completely removing them off your walls and installing new ones.

Resurfacing, also known as refacing, keeps your base cabinets in place and only requires you to change the cabinet doors.

Refinishing your cabinets keeps the base and doors intact. Only their look is changed by applying new coats of paint or wood stains.

Before you make a choice, you should ask yourself…

– Is it better to refinish my cabinets than to replace them?
– Should I reface my cabinets?
– How much do these options cost?
– How long will this take?
– How messy will this be?

Newly Refinished Kitchen Cabinets

As you can see, the questions add up, leaving you with many decisions to make and plan out. The more you have to plan, the more daunting the task can be. This in turn makes the whole process very stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you can simply choose to refinish your cabinets and reap all the benefits that come with it. Compared to replacing your cabinets, refinishing them can give you a whole new look and feel in your kitchen or bathroom without the expensive price tag.



Refinishing requires much less prep work than replacement. Buying paint or stain is much cheaper than getting new cabinet faces or changing them altogether. Many people believe that refacing is a less expensive option than replacing them. But, you’d be surprised how little you’ll save when you choose to reface your cabinets instead. You might only save around 30%-50% of the cost of complete replacement by choosing to reface them.

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With refinishing, you won’t need to worry about the cost of wood, hardware, tools, or labor required to completely change or reface your cabinets. You can achieve a whole new look and feel of your living spaces for a fraction of the cost.

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Refacing or replacing your cabinets can be quite invasive. You’ll need to choose a new style and wood material, which can be a long process. But with refinishing, you won’t have to worry about your choices of wood or the hardware needed to put them in place. You’ll also save a lot of time on consultation and trips to the hardware store.

Refinishing your cabinets will save you a lot of time in the long run. The refinishing process can be done in a matter of days so you get back to using your kitchen or bathroom as quickly as possible.

This is a much faster and efficient option for people who want a newer look in their home without waiting weeks. Plus, it’s a lot less messy, so you’ll save time on cleaning as well.

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Complete replacement requires a lot of work such as removing your old cabinets, taking new measurements, attaching them to your walls, making sure they’re level, and many other requirements. You may also need to replace sinks and cabinets when doing a full replacement job.

On the other hand, refinishing your cabinets requires much less hassle, making the overall experience easier. Compared to replacing your cabinets, you won’t need to worry about all the above. Not only will you save a lot of time, you’ll save a lot of stress and hassle as well.

Repainting kitchen cabinets


The process of refinishing has gotten better throughout the years and will only continue to improve. Back in the day, it used to be harder to fix your cabinets, so many people had no choice but to completely change them out for new ones. Nowadays, fixing cracks, dents, wood rot, and warping on your existing cabinets is very doable.

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Many older homes, especially those in Hilton Head, have superior cabinet construction quality compared to the wood you’ll find on the market today. You could potentially destroy a lot of heritage from your beautiful, older home by replacing your cabinets. Instead, refinishing can give them a newer modern look and improve durability while still maintaining the history behind them.

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If you choose to replace your cabinets in your home, extra time will be needed to calculate the measurements of how they’ll fit within your existing spaces. This can get very complicated because you’ll need to work around your appliance areas.

Before you know it, you’ll need to start worrying about factors you never thought of before. This can add stress and set you back in time and money. In some instances, you might even need to change the wiring or plumbing of your appliances.

This, in turn, can get very expensive and time intensive, and nearly as complicated as a full kitchen remodel. But, if you choose to refinish your cabinets, you won’t need to worry about this. In the end, you’ll save a lot of planning time and hard work. And can you really afford to be without a kitchen for months?

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Overall, choosing to refinish your cabinets will save you a lot of time, money, and stress. I think the financial benefit alone makes it a really great option. In fact, this is a topic we have been discussing at great length in our on home. Our cabinet are almost 22 years old and feel a little dated, a color change is in order! I will make sure to let you know what we decide…on color!

Blair Witkowski
Author: Blair Witkowski

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