Cabinet Refacing- Call In The Experts!

refaced kitchen with white shaker doors
oak cabinets refaced with white shaker doors and navy blue lowers

What is cabinet refacing? Do you have those old oak kitchen cabinets that were so popular back in the day? Has it grown orange with age, however it functions very well for you? Maybe you wish to upgrade your kitchen without blowing your budget on brand new kitchen cabinets? Along with that, how is cabinet refacing different that cabinet refinishing? At Homestead Cabinet Design, we help you through these questions, and many more.

Cabinet refacing brightens your worn and tired kitchen cabinets with brand new modern doors and drawer fronts. You can choose any color you desire, or even change your painted kitchen to a wood species! In addition, the face frame of your cabinets gets a brand new coat of matching paint, or a thin wood veneer with the same wood species as your doors. This instantly transforms your kitchen, changing it from blah to extraordinarily beautiful! Refacing gives you a powerful transformation for a fraction of the cost of installing new cabinets.

Do you love your existing kitchen layout, but you long to upgrade to a modern white kitchen? Maybe your kitchen is one of those painted kitchens that is truly showing its age, while you really love the warm cozy feel of a birch, hickory, cherry or even a maple kitchen. If your dream kitchen includes an upgraded and revitalized space, think of refacing. It truly is totally possible to have that shaker kitchen of your dreams, without changing anything else in your kitchen!!

At Homestead Cabinet Design, we guide you through the myriad options for your changing your kitchen from blah to gorgeously stunning!! You get to choose from the timeless lines of Shaker cabinet doors, to slab doors; from full overlay or partial overlay doors; to resurfacing or refinishing. The possibilities are endless!!


Refacing Your Old Cabinets Allows You to:

  • Keep your existing kitchen cabinets.
  • Re-figure any kitchen cabinets that need changing.
  • Change all drawer slides to soft close, making an incredible difference in the feel of your kitchen.
  • You get to choose the style and color of your existing kitchen.
  • Any color paint will do- you get to choose!!
  • Upgrade to another wood species.
  • Choose the stain color if you go with another wood species.
  • Upgrade your door style.
  • Update all your hinges, and door knobs.
  • Add crown molding to your kitchen.
  • Save a ton of money!

With refacing, your kitchen changes from dated and ugly to modern and gorgeously vibrant, all without changing your cabinets!

Upgrading to white shaker doors and adding crown molding changed this kitchen from boring to spectacular! Crown molding lives up to its name, adding a wood crown around the tops of your cabinets. In turn, this adds that extra beautiful flair to your kitchen.

refaced white kitchen

What is the Difference between Cabinet Refacing And Refinishing?

With cabinet refacing, you always receive brand new doors and drawer fronts for your existing kitchen, instantly updating it. Do you wish to hide the grain in your old oak cabinets? Painted or stained wood veneer applied to your face frame will cover all that ugly grain.

In addition, you also receive new soft close hinges, along with the choice of upgrading to soft close drawer slides. These upgrades make an amazing difference in the feel of your kitchen.

Moreover, adding crown molding adds a finished flair to any kitchen, as the photos show above! As the name suggests, crown molding consists of adding trim all the way around your existing kitchen cabinets, perfectly accenting the top edge of your cabinets.

white painted kitchen with crown molding

Whereas, with cabinet refinishing, the current doors and drawer fronts in your kitchen will be thoroughly cleaned and sanded before painting with the color of your choice. This is definitely a cheaper option, however, you will not have a choice of new doors. Neither will you be able to change your kitchen to any other door style or wood species.

What Happens To The End Panels On My Kitchen Cabinets?

There are two options in upgrading the end panels of your kitchen. You can choose to add door panels in the same style as the doors, or cover the end panel with the same thin wood veneer as is used on the face frame. These both effectively change the look of your kitchen.

Cabinet Refacing Options

Basically, you have three options with cabinet refacing. The first option upgrades all your doors to a painted or stained wood species, along with applying a matching wood veneer to all your cabinet face frames. the second option changes out your cabinet doors to mdf paint grade doors, along with painting the face frame of your cabinets. The last option only changes your cabinet doors, leaving the face frame of the cabinet as it was. With each option, you always receive new cabinet doors.

Now is also the time to add any additions or modifications you want done to your kitchen. Good professionals can change your cabinets to include a dishwasher, a pantry cabinet with rollouts, or any other additions your dream of adding to your kitchen.

Would you like the valance above your kitchen window changed? Or possibly you want your cabinets to appear as if they extend to the ceiling instead of stopping at the soffit, as some older cabinets do. Ask to have it done along with your kitchen update. All of these are totally possible! Think of it as giving your kitchen a new face, hence the name refacing cabinets!

Refacing Cabinets with Wood Grade Veneer

Refacing your kitchen with wood veneers, whether they are stained or painted, is the most costly upgrade in refacing. However, remember that when refacing your kitchen, any wood species or paint color becomes available to you. Changing a vintage green kitchen to a beautiful red birch or cherry kitchen adds a delightful punch to a worn and dated kitchen! You see amazing results by changing even old oak cabinets to the warmer hues of red birch or maple.

This veneer is not cheap veneer with plastic on top! In actuality, it is thin strips of real wood, painted or stained in the color of your choice, and sealed with a clear sealer. After thoroughly cleaning and sanding the face frame of your cabinets, the painted/stained wood veneer gets glued onto the face frame of your cabinets with powerful wood glue, then trimmed to size. As can be seen, even blah and ugly kitchens upgrade beautifully without changing any kitchen cabinets!!

Refacing Cabinets With Stained Wood Veneer

Wood veneer comes from thin strips of the actual wood species you choose. They then become stained in the color you choose and finally clear coated, before installing onto your cabinets. This veneer matches your cabinet door choice.

Below you find a vintage kitchen Homestead Cabinet Design refaced for a client. As you can see, the cabinets were old and badly needed a face lift!!

vintage green kitchen

The former picture is a close up picture of the base cabinet. However, the top cabinets were painted white. All of this changed to a beautiful cherry kitchen by refacing the cabinets with cherry veneer, and brand new cherry doors. The transformation was outstanding!!

vintage kitchen being refaced to cherry
Preparing to take off all doors, hinges, and hardware. However, counter-tops and floors must always be protected first!
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is green-painted-cabinets-being-refaced-to-cherry-wood1.-Weinburg-1024x768.jpg
Taking off hardware.
refaced cherry kitchen

Notice that even the valance above the window is upgraded! In addition, the ugly wallpaper got covered with beautiful cherry plywood, thus making the cabinets look like they seamlessly go to the ceiling. Refacing changed this kitchen from ugly and blah to a beautiful work space- all by changing the face frame and doors of existing kitchen! Amazing things happen when you reface your kitchen cabinets!! Truly, the sky is the limit!

Refacing Cabinets With Painted Wood Veneer

Painted wood veneer comes from thin strips of wood, also. However, with painted wood veneer, you choose the colors you desire for your kitchen.

Below is another vintage kitchen that Homestead Cabinet Design refaced, using paint grade wood veneer.

vintage green kitchen to be refaced

After dismantling the doors and thoroughly cleaning the face frame, painted wood veneer strips gets glued onto the existing face frame. Strong clamps hold them firmly in place until the glue dries. Once the veneer firmly adheres to the original wood, any excess veneer is trimmed off. You do not seen where the original wood of the cabinet starts and where the veneer starts.

painted wood veneer being applied to the face frame

Refaced and transformed! Furthermore, notice that even the stove hood became revitalized, adding a powerful punch of beauty in this newly updated, charming country kitchen.

refaced kitchen with blue and white shaker doors

Along with refacing your kitchen cabinets, think of diversifying. Possibly reface your kitchen cabinets with paint grade doors, however reface your island with a wood species, or vice versa. A different color island really offsets the color of your kitchen, anchoring your island as a central, focal point. For more ideas for your island visit our blog on islands. These clients decided to reface their island in hickory wood, thus transforming it as you see below!!

Refacing Your Island

Another upgrade to consider when refacing is to reface the sides and back of your island. This is actually an easy update, however it adds so much value! Basically, we take new 1/4″ plywood painted/stained in the color of your choice, and add it all around your island. Then a frame of wood is mounted around the edges, making it look fresh and new. The size of your island will determine how may sections are added on the back side.

Below, you see the amazing transformation this island went through!

The original front side:

old island to be refaced

The original side view:

side veiw old wood island to be refaced with hickory wood

The original back side:

back side of old island to be refaced with hickory wood

Gluing on the hickory veneer to the front side. Clamps hold the veneer in place until the glue is firmly dry.

reface process for an island

Here is the brand new updated front! Isn’t is amazing?

refaced hickory island
hickory refaced island

Additionally, here you see the refaced side and back of the old island. Refacing takes your old blah kitchen to a new level of beauty and function by only changing the face of your kitchen! Who wouldn’t love having a transformed island like this one?

Refacing Cabinets With Painted Face Frame

Refacing cabinets with new painted doors along with painting the face frame with an identical color is another option. This is a slightly cheaper option than using wood veneers on the face frame of your cabinets. However, you will not be able to upgrade to a stained wood species when going with the option of painting your face frame.

There are many possibilities to consider even in this. Think of painting your lower cabinets one color, and painting the upper another. All other upgrades can still be applied, such as crown molding, end panel upgrades, new drawer slides, soft close hinges, and new modern knobs. In the end, you still receive a beautiful kitchen for a little less money, if this of concern to you.

Refacing kitchen process

When the face frame is repainted in a reface job, the procedure is the same for a reface job as a refinish job. However in step #4, the brand new doors come to our house from our supplier. There they are sanded and painted before proceeding as these steps show.

kitchen reface process-2

Is It Worth It To Reface My Kitchen Cabinets?

Absolutely! Most times kitchen cabinets are still in good solid working order. The face of your kitchen is the part of your kitchen exposed to the elements, the dirt and grime of daily living. Thus, changing the face of your cabinets, called refacing your cabinets, makes a huge difference in the appearance and feel of your kitchen.

Can I Choose Any Color When Refacing My Cabinets?

Absolutely! At Homestead Cabinet Design, we color match any Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore samples. You choose, we apply! Along with that, we match any stain if you desire to go with an all wood species. We are not limited to specific wood species, neither do we have only a few paint colors to offer you. Instead, we help you create that kitchen of your dreams IN the color and wood species you desire.

paint samples

You choose- We use!

Painted Cabinet doors
Door samples

Cabinet Door Choices In Refacing Cabinets

When it comes to new cabinet doors in refacing cabinets in your kitchen, the possibilities are endless! Think of it as giving your existing kitchen a new face- in the color or wood species that you desire.

First, choose whether you want to paint or use a specific wood species in your kitchen. Besides that, decide whether you want a more modern look with new Shaker doors or a more contemporary look with raised panel doors. Additionally, do you want modern look of full overlay doors, or do you like the more contemporary style of partial overlay doors? The possibilities are endless!

Following is a brief description of the various types and styles of doors, however for a more in-depth explanation of all the differing door styles and types check out our blog on cabinet doors.

Common Materials Used For Doors When Refacing

Common materials used for cabinet doors are solid wood doors, MDF composite doors, and Rigid Thermofoil doors. Each one has its own pros and cons as you can see below.

Solid Wood Cabinet Doors

Wood doors definitely have their pros and cons. If you want to see the beauty of the wood and will not be painting your doors, by all means, go with solid wood doors. Solid wood doors add timeless beauty to every kitchen and bathroom. However, remember that with all solid wood doors, you eventually do run the risk of hairline cracks in the joints. Along with that, solid wood doors tend to warp over time, especially in a high humidity area, such as above the stove or a coffee pot.

shaker wood door

When choosing to reface with a solid wood cabinet door, remember that you have as many choices now, as when building a brand new kitchen!!

Shaker wood door
Natural Hickory Shaker Door

Possibly you wish for solid doors, but your budget only allows for paint grade doors. Or, maybe you plan to paint your kitchen anyway. Along with that, you are looking for a way to keep the cost of your kitchen renovation down. In this case, think of installing high quality MDF doors.

MDF Cabinet Doors

MDF doors comprise of thin panels of Medium Density wood fibers, stripped and glued together with wax and resin. MDF doors have considerably more strength and density than plywood. Nor do they absorb moisture like wood doors do, thus preventing cracks and warping. With their exceptional solidity, they can withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear.

Moreover, MDF gives you many options to choose from! Any design can be routed into the surface of an MDF door, so the world of choices is open before you when you reface your kitchen! For this reason MDF has become an increasingly popular resource for painted doors.

Gray painted MDF shaker door
Gray Shaker Door

Rigid Thermofoil Doors

Rigid Thermofoil cabinet doors look and feel very similar to MDF doors when they are new. They are manufactured from durable vinyl and covered with a laminate foil. However, they bubble with high heat, making them a poor choice for most kitchen cabinets. Also, if they start to crack, or get a scratch, they absorb moisture, causing them to expand, making them repairable. This makes them a very poor choice for kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors.

Types Of Cabinet Doors

The three main cabinet door types available for refacing your kitchen consist of modern full overlay doors, or partial overlay doors, and inset doors.

What Is A Full Overlay Cabinet Door?

A full over lay door covers the face frame of your cabinets, leaving only a small 1/8th- 1/4th inch space between each door. Most often Shaker style doors are used for full overlay style of cabinets. These doors come in either painted doors, or any wood species you desire to upgrade to. As you can see below, they totally cover the face of the cabinets.

white shaker doors

What Are Partial Overlay Doors?

Partial overlay doors only partially cover the face frame of your cabinets, leaving a gap between each cabinet door. This is the more traditional, contemporary style. These doors come in many styles, and various designs in them.

knotty pine, raised panel partial overlay doors

What Are Inset Cabinet Doors?

Inset cabinet doors recess into the cabinet, giving you the same sleek look of full overlay doors. When choosing this option, remember that all wood doors contract and expand with humidity. So when the hot humid summer weather hits, you may not be able to close them fully. Since they have less space to expand than full overlay doors, they tend to rub more. Consequently, this will rub off the paint or stain that you use on the cabinet door, creating unsightly scratch/rub through marks.

Styles Of Cabinet Doors

Along with those three types of doors, choosing the style of your cabinet door creates more choices! Flat recessed panel, straight-edged Shaker cabinet doors are very popular. Raised panel doors and slab panel doors add personality to any kitchen. Add mullion and open face glass doors to your kitchen for those special spaces to be accented. For more information on cabinet door choices check out our blog on cabinet doors.

With the addition of new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, new soft close hinges and slides, your kitchen becomes a place of beauty, transformed from blah to stunningly beautiful!! You will be amazed at the difference when you reface your kitchen!

White Shaker kitchen cabinets

Do I Need To Clean Everything Out of My Cabinets?

Now is the time to deep clean those kitchen cabinets! Your kitchen cabinets do not need to be totally emptied out, however people often decide to deep clean their cabinets at the same time. You will definitely want to take out the most used items, since your kitchen cabinets will most likely be taped off for a few days. However if you use your kitchen on a daily basis, think through ways of storing the most used items in an adjacent room. This makes it easier for you while your kitchen is being updated.

Can I Do Some of The Work Myself?

Absolutely! At Homestead Cabinet Design, we help you with as much or little of the process as you want. If you desire to tackle painting the face frame of your cabinets yourself, and only need the cabinet doors painted, call us! We have helped numerous people with sourcing doors for their kitchen. We are more than happy to paint them for you also, if you want us too.

Additionally, get full overlay doors that hide your cabinets. This minimizing how much of the cabinet you see, and so minimizes any mistakes you make, if you decide to tackle painting the cabinets yourself. Furthermore, if you want to save money as much as you can, and are willing to remove the doors and hardware yourself, do so!

Just call us- we are happy to work with your budget! Doing some of the labor yourself will definitely cut down on the cost for you. Call on us to order the doors for you, paint them, and deliver them. We have many high quality door styles for you to choose from. Along with that, we do as much or little of the project as you want us to do.

Why Get Homestead Cabinet Design to Reface My Kitchen Cabinets?

At Homestead Cabinet Design, we are committed to upgrade your kitchen smoothly and efficiently. We are insured and have professional equipment to help make the process as smooth and efficient as possible. We absolutely guarantee our work, giving you the freedom of mind that if anything goes wrong in the future, you can call on us to fix the issues for you. Our doors consist of high quality wood and/or cabinet grade MDF.

Along with that, we take great care to protect your existing surfaces when refacing your kitchen. We tape off all the counters, floor and ceiling, enclosing your kitchen in paper and plastic. In that way, no more sanding dust and over-spray goes farther than the kitchen than absolutely necessary. We also set up a large fan with a vent to the outside. In this way, as many of the fumes go outside as possible, thus making your home as toxic free as we can.

However paint fumes are strong while painting, so if you have pets or small children, you will want to keep that in mind, and keep them in another area of the house as much as possible. We do try to make the kitchen as accessible as possible for you in the time that we are working there.

How Long Does Refacing Cabinets Take?

Due to their experience and expertise, professionals at Homestead Cabinet Design can get the job done for you efficiently and quickly. As a matter of fact, we can have your kitchen upgraded in as little as 5-10 days!!! 

Like What You See, But Can’t Afford it?

Does refacing appeal to you, but you know you cant afford refacing everything at once? Do your doors consist of those old particle board doors that have seen their best days? Quite possibly they are falling apart with age, so you know you need to do something.

We hear you, refacing can be costly. However, there are options even here to help you achieve that stunning new kitchen look, without breaking your budget.

Have you thought of only replacing with full overlay doors at this time? Using full overlay doors allows very little of the face frame of the cabinets to show through. True, you see some of the cabinets behind it. However applying a rustic glaze to paint grade cabinet doors, allows your doors and cabinets to blend.

Possibly, you could even do the project in two steps. Upgrade the doors, and later paint the face frame of the cabinets.

Below you see some photos of a kitchen Homestead Cabinet Design refaced for one of our customers. They did not want to do everything in one step, however they wanted to upgrade the cabinet doors. They selected paint grade doors, with an applied rustic glaze to them. This complimented the dark cabinets well, totally changing the face of their kitchen! They were quite delighted with the results!

old style slab doors to be refaced
white glazed cabinet doors

As can be seen, the results are not as stunning, however at times this is all you can afford to do to a kitchen. In this event, even this upgrade made an amazing difference in their kitchen.

In conclusion, refacing cabinets includes as much or little as you want to incorporate into your kitchen cabinets. However, it will always include new cabinet doors.

Can We Help You Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams?

Call us today at Homestead Cabinet Design to set up an appointment!! We will be more than happy to guide you to the perfect cabinet doors for your kitchen, and for your budget!!

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For more information about our services click here.

Again, we have a large selection of doors for your kitchen cabinets. The sky is the limit. We will help you decide on the perfect style for your own kitchen!

Furthermore, we can color match any Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint samples!!

paint samples

Along with that, we have a huge selection of types of doors for you to choose from!

Painted Cabinet doors
Door samples

About the Author Susanna Glick