How Can You Know Whether You Should Refinish, Reface, Or Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets? - Elite Cabinet Coatings

How Can You Know Whether You Should Refinish, Reface, Or Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Is it time for your kitchen to get a new look? Or maybe you just want a bit more charm added to your kitchen? An excellent way to gift your kitchen with a new look/feel is by making a change to the cabinets.

Once you’ve decided to make a change to your kitchen cabinets. The big decision that comes next is “Should I refinish, reface, or replace them?” Before you jump in and start, let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of each.

This is a big decision, and a potentially very costly one, so prepare for it and choose wisely. It also depends on how “invasive” you’re willing to get with your cabinets. Let’s break down the most significant factors that matter when making a decision- style, quality, functionality, cost, and durability.


What exactly does this mean?

Out of the three different options, the least invasive is refinishing. It doesn’t involve getting rid of any current cabinet parts and getting new parts. It only involves revamping. Usually, refinishing is a decision between applying a new veneer, stain, laminate, or paint to the face/door of the cabinets. For some types of cabinets, you may not be able to paint or restain, however adding veneer can instantly improve and add charm to the cabinets.

Functionality: In terms of new functionality, refinishing your cabinets will not affect your kitchen. It’s simply improving the appearance of your cabinets. You’re not able to move the cabinets or change how they are used due to refinishing.

Style: Refinishing will improve the appearance of your cabinets, but the core design won’t change. When refinishing, you’re applying paint, stain, veneer, or laminate over the design which you already have. It’s simply changing the colour of the cabinets, not the style.

Quality: Refinishing your cabinets can improve the appearance, but won’t be changing the quality of the cabinets. The exterior of the cabinets will look better, but don’t confuse this as a means of improving the quality of your cabinets. The main way the quality of cabinets can improve with refinishing is if it’s done using scratch-resistant, or anti-scratch paint/laminate.

Cost: Refinishing is the lowest cost option out of the three in the short term. However, when looking at this as a longer term investment, that’s not necessarily the case.

Durability: Refinishing will add a new appearance to your cabinets, but it will not generally affect the durability and the ability of the cabinets to withstand time. The durability of your cabinets will remain the same, since essentially the cabinet boxes are still the same.










What does it mean? Refacing the kitchen cabinets is more invasive than refinishing but not as invasive as fully replacing your cabinets. Refacing consists of replacing the actual doors of the cabinets, not the whole cabinet box.

Functionality: Refacing can get you more functionality for your cabinets compared to refinishing. This is because you’re replacing the whole face of the cabinet (the cabinet doors). New cabinet doors can have new hinges and other new hardware. These additions can add more functionality to your cabinets.

Style: Refacing changes the style of the cabinets, however it doesn’t change the layout. If style is the only concern, go with refacing. Bear in mind it doesn’t change the core design.

Quality: Quality can definitely be improved by refacing your cabinets, since the cabinets doors are completely new. The wood chosen to replace the old doors can be much better quality than what was used before. Keep in mind you won’t be changing the quality of the actual cabinet box.

Cost: Refacing generally costs more than refinishing, however not as much as replacing. It’s a good middle ground.

Durability: Just like quality, you can improve the durability of your cabinets through refacing. However this will only apply to the doors, the actual cabinet doors will remain the same.



What does it mean? Replacing your cabinets involves replacing everything about the cabinet: the box, face frame, door, and hardware. Replacing your kitchen cabinets brings several benefits. The biggest disadvantage of replacing your kitchen cabinets in the short term is cost. Through replacing, you can improve the overall design, quality, style, and functionality of your cabinets.

Functionality: If you’re looking to change the layout of your kitchen, your only option is to replace the cabinets. When replacing your kitchen cabinets, you have the most flexibility and control. You can adapt your kitchen to fit your needs.

Style: You are able to completely change the style and feel of your kitchen by replacing your cabinets.

Quality: When replacing your kitchen cabinets, you replace the whole cabinet box, this improves the overall quality.

Cost: Generally, replacing your kitchen cabinets is the most expensive option. However when looking at it as a long term investment, replacing is a very valid option.

Durability: Replacing your kitchen cabinets offers many long term benefits in terms of quality, durability and appearance. Replacing gives you the option to improve the overall durability of the whole cabinet, rather than just having a new appearance.

If you’re interested in giving your kitchen a facelift. Head over to our website and get an instant personalized estimate & 500$ off your service with us if you book an appointment using this link.

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