Re-facing Your Tired Kitchen Cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are tired, scratched, grimy, or just plain ugly to you but you cannot afford to do a total kitchen remodel then try re-facing your cabinets.

How re-facing works

When re-facing your cabinets, you will keep the existing cabinets but give them a face lift with new doors and drawers, hardware, and add a veneer to the facing of cabinet where the doors and drawers attach. Also, any area of the cabinet base that people see will need a layer of veneer on it. This can make your kitchen cabinets look totally new and no-one other than you will know they are the existing cabinets.

You will need to make a list of ideas of what you want. If you are not working with a professional, we suggest you cut pictures out of home remodeling magazines and save them for inspiration. This will allow you to talk to your local lumber or home remodeling store personnel to get a better understanding of what the molding and door facing styles are. Would this molding work with this style of door facing?  You are working on getting an overall conception of what you want your cabinets and kitchen to look like and if the styles you choose will work well together.

Some home building sites have applications on their website that will show how those elements may look in your home.

What you will need

  • Veneer can be plastic laminate or very thin wood placed over the existing cabinet base.
  • The fronts of the drawers and doors are replaced to match or accent the colour of the laminate you have chosen.
  • New hardware –knobs, pulls, hinges. Also if want to have sliding shelves this is the time to do that. Hinges come in soft close which are a little more expensive than regular hinges but also save the wood on the facing and cut down on noise of slamming doors and drawers.
  • New moldings can give a nice clean edge and a new look. If the old molding is rounded and the new one is more decorative and matches the veneer you placed on the cabinet facings you will have a fresh new look. There are many decorative moldings in different sizes.


This will cost much less than a total renovation of the kitchen cabinets. Total cabinet replacement will cost $5000.00 and up depending on what you purchase. With re-facing you will save between $3000.00 and $4000.00. Again this will depend on what you choose to do when re-facing your cabinets.

By re-facing your cabinets you can give your kitchen a whole new look. Add fresh paint to the walls, a new backsplash, and you will have a whole new kitchen, which can be done a little at a time instead of all at once.

Start with the cabinets and molding, then in a few months when your budget allows give the walls a fresh coat of paint, a new sink and backsplash, or new appliances.

Additional Articles about Kitchen Cabinets: