Is it Better to Refinish Cabinets Or Buy New Ones?

Cabinet refinishing uses what you have already, which reduces your environmental impact. It’s also less expensive than replacing cabinets.

However, refinishing isn’t the right solution for everyone. If your cabinets aren’t working for you or have structural damage, it would be better to replace them. A consultation with a professional can help you determine the best option for your home.


Cabinet refinishing is cheaper than removing and replacing them, as it saves you the cost of labor. It also reduces waste by utilizing materials you already have. This type of project makes sense if your cabinets are in good condition but need a visual refresh. However, it’s best to work with a professional if your cabinets need more than just a coat of paint. If they’re starting to sag or aren’t functioning properly, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace them.

A cabinet refinishing company can charge anywhere from $10 to $25 per square foot, depending on the level of customization you choose. If you want your cabinets to look like works of art, the price will go up. For example, some professionals offer ornate carvings and unique types of finishing materials, which will add to the overall price tag. If you want to keep the costs down, ask your refinisher to use a lower-quality paint and opt out of the glazing. You can also save money by bundling painting projects with other areas of your home or purchasing hardware yourself instead of through the refinishing company.

The type of material your cabinets are made from will determine whether or not they can be refinished via stain or paint. Solid wood cabinets are ideal, as they can withstand the process. However, many homeowners choose to reface their cabinets with laminate or thermofoil instead of solid wood because these materials are more affordable and easy to maintain.


Refinishing cabinets requires a lot of time. First, the wood must be stripped either manually or with chemical strippers. Then the raw wood must be sanded to smooth the grain and prepare it for staining or painting. This is a labor-intensive process, especially if the cabinets have lots of detail or ornate trim. Adding a darker stain or multiple coats of paint to the doors and drawer fronts also adds to the overall refinishing time. Using high-quality, time-saving products can help reduce the amount of time spent on prep work.

Once the sanding is complete, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be stained or painted. The type of finish chosen determines the final look of the cabinets. Staining is a great option for homeowners who want to keep their current layout and style but need to change the color. However, it’s important to note that not all materials can be stained. The medium-density fiberboard (MDF) used in many solid-color cabinets can’t accept a stain without showing the grain, for example.

In addition to sanding and staining, cabinet refinishers must also mask the cabinets and protect the surrounding walls and countertops. They may also need to repair small cracks and chips in the cabinet boxes or doors. Finally, they must clean and sand the newly painted or stained cabinets before applying a clear lacquer to protect the surface. Depending on the size of the kitchen, this can take several days. During this time, homeowners can still use the kitchen, but they’ll need to be careful not to damage or dirty the newly finished cabinets.


Cabinet refinishing can make your cabinets look brand new, and it’s usually less expensive than replacing them with new ones. However, the finish may not last as long as it would with a new set of cabinets. If your current cabinet doors have been exposed to heat or moisture over the years, they may start splitting or warping. Purchasing a brand-new set of cabinet doors that match your existing cabinets is the best option if this happens, as they’ll likely last up to 50 years.

Cabinet refacing is a great option for fixing cosmetic problems such as scratches, dents and faded colors. However, it is not the best option if your cabinets have structural issues such as warped doors or faulty hardware. It is also not the best solution if you want to add more storage options, like lazy Susans and pull-out trash cans. Refacing isn’t the best choice if you want to replace your cabinets entirely, either, since this would require removing and installing new boxes.

Cabinet replacement is a more significant undertaking, but it gives you the freedom to completely change the look and layout of your kitchen. Homeowners often choose this option because they want a kitchen that better matches their family’s lifestyle, needs, and cooking style. This allows them to implement new storage solutions, add new lighting, or even move the location of certain fixtures.

It’s important to choose a reputable cabinet refinishing service to ensure that the finished product is high-quality and durable. They should know how to properly sand the surface before applying a stain or paint. They should also be familiar with the various types of finishes available, including glazed, lacquer, or varnish. They should be able to help you find a color that suits your tastes and complements the style of your home.