Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Pie posted 02-18-2009 07:21 PM 1966 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3606 days

02-18-2009 07:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question refurbishing traditional

One of my future projects /home remodeling projects is to lighten up the kitchen cabinets. The cabinets are dark and have been there for a while.There are various options in doing this, replacing the cabinets, painting or resurfacing them. I have read some on resurfacing and it sounds so easy but my intuition tells me it may be a little bit more difficult than what I read. Since I have never done this I am putting a shout-out for advice from someone who has already done this and can provide some advice on which way to go.

Replacing – probably not an option due to having to tear everything apart to remove/replace, not to mention the cost of new or building my own. But this is still an option so if this is the best way to go then please tell me.

Refacing – I thought this might be the way to go and just make new doors.

Painting – hmmmm something just doesn’t sound right about doing it this way.

So please load up those advice shotguns and give me both barrels!!

Luv this site.

-- Pie

13 replies so far

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4191 days

#1 posted 02-18-2009 07:30 PM

The carcasses should be OK but to upgrade the doors, you’ll also have to upgrade the face frames. Face frames are easy actually, it’s the doors that give me a hard time. But then again, if you’re reusing the existing hardware and making the new doors the same, then you shouldn’t have any problem…right?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 02-18-2009 07:47 PM

I will make the doors the same size but not the same style. I hadn’t even thought about whether to use existing or new hardware but I am thinking I will probably use new hardware.

-- Pie

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3688 days

#3 posted 02-18-2009 08:27 PM

Lots of possibilities here, Pie, and I will let the professionals guide you. However, one thing I did to our kitchen cabinets that pleased my wife, was to build slide out shelves for the lower cabs, and put full extension slides on them. Makes it easy to get those big bowls and pans out. I also put full extension slides on the drawers, again to gain access to the back of them. Good luck, post lots of pics!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View gotmarko's profile


18 posts in 4600 days

#4 posted 02-18-2009 09:00 PM

I upgraded the cabinets in our master bathroom by refacing the cabinets and replacing the drawer fronts and doors with unfinished items bought through Rockler on-line. I bought the self-stick veneer and also used contact cement to make sure everything stayed in place. It’s been 12 years now and the cabinets and everything still look great.

Depending upon your location, you might have a cabinet shop in the area that will build doors and drawer fronts more cheaply than through an online order.

The worst part of the whole job was making sure all the joints between the cabinet carcasses were flat and smooth so that the veneer wouldn’t show that there was a joint beneath it. I didn’t have to do the ends of any cabinets, but when we had the kitchen done (before I knew it was reasonably easy) they just used a thin (3/16”?) plywood with the face veneer on it over the ends, then used a trim router to trim it to the cabinet.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4075 days

#5 posted 02-18-2009 09:13 PM

I’m wrapping up a kitchen re-face now. The client wanted new face-frames … not just veneer over the old face frames. Never again! The veneer is so easy – you can get 2” wide peel & stick and just slap it on there. If you are happy with the quality and layout of the cabinets you have, I’d go with a reface.

However, if you like the look of painted cabinets, you don’t have to build anything, just buy the paint. Let the person at the paint store know what you are using it for – you don’t want to use regular interior latex because it’s not very hard and takes forever to cure. There are suggestions in other threads about what paint to use, and everyone has their favorites!

-- -- --

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3606 days

#6 posted 02-19-2009 12:02 AM

Wow thanks for the advice. Sliding shelves sounds like a very good idea. Thx PetVet.

Sounds like the refacing option is sounding soooo much better in all aspects. I am thining of making my own doors and have them contrast in wood/color etc from the cab frames. If I can convince the boss this will make things super easy. The end result desired is to brighten up the kitchen so this would do i

-- Pie

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3954 days

#7 posted 02-19-2009 12:19 AM

1/4” ply for the end panels and veneer for the face. This is fairly easy and will make a huge difference in the look. Hardware will also make a big difference. For the doors, you can either strip and refinish them or replace them. Some of the older cabinets have odd size doors so be ready tomake some or pay extra.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View JDL's profile


15 posts in 3737 days

#8 posted 02-19-2009 03:21 AM

I’m painting mine here in a few days. I found some mdf doors online a while back for around $15 a piece on several websites. They seemed to have some pretty decent looking raised panel versions as well. It would be nice to have hardwood cabinetry but lately it seems like the more I pretend I hate mdf the more I look around and realize that it is starting to become all I use… Its just too dang cheap. Oh, and I was thinking about new hardware until I realized how proud hardware stores are of a simple set of hinges. I’ll be interested to find out if anyone has some clues on inexpensive hardware sources…

-- Jay

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4093 days

#9 posted 02-19-2009 03:35 AM

If your current cabinet layout works for you, then I would reface and build new doors. I’ve done a few reface jobs and it gets easier every time. This is your biggest bang for the buck and if done well, the results are amazing.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3606 days

#10 posted 02-19-2009 03:00 PM

Thanks a bunch everyone. I am feeeling better about doing this and how it will turn out.

-- Pie

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3965 days

#11 posted 02-19-2009 03:39 PM

JDL, inexpensive hardware is usually just what it is, the finish usually won’t last very long or tarnish. But I do know what you mean, price out the hardware, with drawer glides it could get really expensive.

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3965 days

#12 posted 02-19-2009 03:39 PM

I do think that refaceing isn’t a bad option.

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3606 days

#13 posted 02-19-2009 07:16 PM

Anyone have a good source of supply for the veneer for refacing?

-- Pie

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics