How to Reface Your Old Kitchen Cabinets- Via Houzz.com
New project for a new year: Update your cabinets without replacing them entirely, as a DIY project or with help from a pro.
First step: Determine if your cabinets can take the restoration process well enough to be revitalized for at least another 10 years of life. If the cabinet body, or carcass, is in bad structural shape, is water damaged or will not take to refinishing well enough, you might have to replace the cabinets in a full kitchen remodel.
Why reface: In the most basic process, you will be leaving the cabinet intact and in its same place. This avoids the expense and effort of taking out and replacing the entire cabinet. So the advantages are less expense, less material going to the landfill and a less-complicated construction process.
Consider color an ally in making decisions about how to update the look of your cabinets. The verdigris tone shown here is a soothing complement to the hardwood floor, and allows a wonderful contrasting color pop of apple red at the range. Notice the rusticated patina of the finish, which adds dimension to the scheme. Other details, such as the beadboard panels, bottle cubbyholes, plate rack and arch impression, give this design lots of character.
Is this a good project for you? If your cabinets have sturdy frames, refacing can be a good solution. The degree to which you refurbish the cabinets is up to you. Simply painting or restaining them can have a dramatic effect. In some cases it is desirable to replace the doors and drawer fronts with a completely different door style or wood species. Replacing the hardware, pulls and knobs is another option to consider, and can make a nice difference inexpensively. Repairing damaged wood can also be part of this process. Combinations and variations of each of these options defines refacing cabinets.
Permit: As long as you are not changing any electrical or plumbing, you probably can do this project without a permit. Check with a design professional or ask the local building department and describe your intentions in detail to find out for certain.
Project length: Simpler modifications can be accomplished in a weekend, and even the most involved projects can probably be completed within one month.
Best time to do this project: This is a project for the winter, after the holidays and before Easter, or in the fall before Halloween. Summer might be too hot, depending on your climate, or it might be best in milder climates.
Who to hire: If you are simply repainting your cabinets, this might be a DIY project. Even replacing knobs and pulls is simple and can be done without too much trouble. Consider using a handyperson if you don’t have time to do the work yourself. A handyperson might also be able to do more demanding work, such as replacing the doors and drawer fronts. If your remodel is more extensive, architects, kitchen designers and interior decorators can all be called upon to work on the project with you and provide valuable design direction.
Cost: A simple paint job might cost a few hundred dollars. For a more extensive refacing job, $5,000 to $15,000 is likely. If the project involves replacing the countertop and appliances, you can spend considerably more.