Cabinet Refacing Vs Painting: Which One Is Better?

    Cabinet Refacing Vs Painting

    Home renovation and redesign trends spring up every year. Experts try and experiment with new ideas but the core hardware, materials, and options remain the same.

    The kitchen has taken a central place in our homes. Now, it is a living room for the family as well as a guest room for intimate friends and coworkers. So, it is only natural to think about the look and feel of your kitchen.

    If you are planning to get a kitchen remodeling service, cabinets get the foremost treatment. There are two common effective ways you can transform the cabinets of your kitchen:

    • Cabinet Refacing
    • Cabinet Painting

    In this post, we are going to take a deep dive into what the two are all about and then decide in the end which one will be the best for you. So, stick around and read this cabinet refacing vs painting stand-off to see which one is going to be the winner.

    Cabinet Refacing

    Cabinet refacing may sound technical but it is a simple and straightforward concept. To give a better look to the cabinets of your kitchen, you replace the front-facing doors and drawers to the cabinets and leave the mainframe intact, including internal shelves. This leaves you with new;

    • Cabinet Doors
    • Hinges
    • Handles
    • Fixtures

    Since this is only a cosmetic effect on the cabinets, you will not see a drastic change in the utility and application of cabinet space.

    When Cabinet Refacing Is A Good Idea

    You know you need to go for cabinet refacing when;

    • You are fed up with cabinet door design and aesthetics.
    • Your kitchen cabinet doors are in poor condition.
    • You need to update the hardware on the cabinet doors.
    • You want to significantly enhance the resale value of your house. 

    Pros & Cons Of Cabinet Refacing


    Benefits of cabinet refacing;

    • Are easy to clean and maintain.
    • Can be treated with strong cleaning solutions.
    • Save you from the odor of freshly painted doors.
    • Increases the lifespan of cabinetry and kitchen in general.
    • Offers countless options for finishes and looks.


    Cabinet refacing has its drawbacks too.

    • The elephant in the room is price. It costs way more than painting.
    • It requires kitchen remodeling professionals to do the job.
    • The increase in the resale value of your house could be hit or miss.

    Cabinet Painting

    Cabinet painting is as simple as painting any other surface in your house. This is to give a fresh coat of paint on top of the existing one with no additional treatment.

    For many, it may sound like a better option when it is compared to cabinet refacing, it is not without its caveats and drawbacks. It is more reactive to changing kitchen environment and conditions like humidity, temperature, cleaning regimen, etc.

    Keep in mind that kitchen refinishing and resurfacing are other things besides painting and refacing. Resurfacing means sanding down an existing cabinet to remove the existing layer of paint and then giving the surface a new coat of paint. This is not possible for some hardware due to inappropriate door thickness.

    When Cabinet Painting Is A Good Idea

    It is best to buy new cans of paint for cabinet painting when;

    • You are okay with the hardware of the cabinet doors.
    • The doors retain their structural integrity.
    • You are only looking to freshen up the color palette of cabinet doors.
    • You don’t feel the need to change things in the kitchen drastically.

    Pros & Cons Of Cabinet Painting


    • The operative word here is cost-effective. You can save big bucks when you let go of the refacing option, in terms of materials, labor costs, etc.
    • There is no limit to the color and paint scheme and design when you go for cabinet painting.
    • You can retain existing hardware and no need to get a new one.


    For many, the cons of cabinet painting trump its pros, such as;

    • You cannot use strong cleaning agents on painted surfaces, thus hard to clean and maintain.
    • The odor of freshly-coated doors can take months to dispel.
    • Paint adds nothing to the structural integrity of the cabinetry.
    • It can peel off and become flaky with the passage of time.
    • For excellent results, you need professional painters. This way, costs go up and the edge painting has over refacing gets less pronounced.

    Cost Of Painting Cabinets Vs Refacing

    Cabinet refacing costs much more than painting them. This is one of the biggest brow-raiser for cabinet refacing. According to Home Advisor, the typical range of cabinet refacing goes from $4,304 to $9,975, with the national average at $7,138.

    Contrary to this, cabinet painting or refinishing can cost somewhere from $1,747 to $4,012, with a national average set around $2,879.

    Both cabinet painting and refacing have their benefits and drawbacks. But, comparing them both side to side, we can say that refacing is a much better option because it adds to the value and overall look of the kitchen at a marginal expense, compared to cabinet painting.

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