Kitchen remodeling is one expensive and time-consuming undertaking. With the amount of time spent in the kitchen, though, it isn’t surprising that the longing for a new look in that room bubbles to the surface every decade or so. A shortcut to a kitchen facelift can be as simple as making a change to the kitchen cabinets.


Not only does replacing kitchen cabinets cost significant time and money, but since cabinet boxes are usually sent to a landfill, your kitchen overhaul could also be giving Mother Nature a bit of a headache.

As long as your cabinet boxes are structurally sound and haven’t been previously damaged, you may want to consider refacing the cabinets instead of replacing them. The cabinet doors, molding, and drawer fronts are removed while the cabinet frames stay put. After you choose new colors and finishes, the refinisher gives all the cabinet fronts and the boxes a facelift with your new wood or synthetic veneers.

From start to finish, a refacing project will cost up to half as much as a complete cabinet replacement, and it will take much less time. In addition, where a remodeling project might put the kitchen out of commission for an indeterminate amount of time, a refacing project will pose little disruption to your daily routine.


Another idea for freshening up the look of your kitchen cabinets is to paint them. Whether you hire a professional painter or go the do-it-yourself route, painting is even more cost effective than refacing and opens up a greater variety of color and texture options.

The success of a paint job on cabinets relies heavily on preparation of the surfaces. Thorough cleaning is a must in order to get a smooth result, and the fact that kitchen cabinets rest in an environment that sees them collecting grease and dust on a daily basis can make this part of the task onerous. Steam cleaning is best, but a bucket of warm water with a grease-cutting dish detergent added will serve the purpose just as well. Be sure to rinse and dry the surface thoroughly. After that, the surface of the cabinets must be lightly sanded, and the sanding dust must be cleaned away. Only then are the cabinets ready to paint.

While the average homeowner might be able to complete the job in a weekend, you can see how the level of detail required to give the cabinet that new look might send some people running to locate the nearest Best Pick painter.

Replacing Doors and Hardware

Even the smallest update can bring a fresh perspective to the kitchen. Often a simple change to the drawer pulls and doors of the kitchen cabinets can improve the look of the entire space. Drawer pulls are easy to remove and swap out using nothing more than a screwdriver and a few extra minutes.

Cabinet doors can be changed from solid to glass fronts or decorated with molding or stenciling. Another idea is to remove the doors altogether and create open shelving, a very modern take on kitchen organization.

In all, a little bit of TLC on the surface of your cabinets can make your kitchen feel like a whole new room.

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Sources: Better Homes and Gardens; Dubois (Pa.) Courier-Express; EBSCOhost Home Improvement Reference Center: How to Reface Cabinets; HGTV; Popular Mechanics; San Francisco Chronicle; Southwest Florida News-Press; This Old House.

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