When choosing to remodel your kitchen, you have a few options that you’re probably researching. You’ll be weighing several considerations to make the smart choice for your remodel. The major considerations you’re probably thinking about include: the goals for the project, overall value, and time commitment. These questions include: What look and functionality am I trying to update? What makes sense for my situation in terms of overall project value? How long will I be without my kitchen? In this article, we dissect each cabinet remodeling choice with up to date industry facts to help you decide what’s best for your project.
If you’re looking to only change the color, this can be done the cheapest by painting your kitchen cabinets. Some may think this is a quick project but they don’t realize it’s a very time and labor intensive project. All of your doors and drawers must come off. The face of the boxes will be sanded, primed and sprayed in your home creating dust and odor. Oil based paints are the best for durability but come with a very strong odor and take much longer to fully cure than latex paints. Although oil based paints are more durable, there is usually no warranty with the project and if not done correctly, the paint will peel and rub off over time. The typical length of time to complete the paint job is about 2 weeks and is similar to the length of time it takes to demo your whole kitchen and start over with new cabinets. Applying paint to an outdated kitchen is referred to as “lipstick on a pig” where only the color looks nice but the door style and internal working of your cabinets including hardware remains the same. Painting cabinets is great for the shoestring budget remodels but may not get you the functionality, style and longevity compared to the other options we’ll discuss.
PROS: Least expensive.
CONS: No change to style of door and drawers. No upgrade to hardware or internal accessories. No warranty. Dust and odor in your home. Messy and lengthy project. Same cabinet layout and functionality.
Cabinet refacing involves making new doors to update the cabinet style and painting these the new color along with your existing cabinet boxes. Like cabinet painting, this is usually a 2 week process and involves dust and strong paint odor as the work is done in the heart of your home. If you plan to do cabinet refacing as well as change your countertops and backsplash, the only thing left is the cabinet boxes. This is the least expensive part of the cabinets and when you add the labor and materials to refinish the door and drawer face frames, you’re typically at a price point that can put you in a brand new set of cabinets. Another option if you’re not looking to change the doors and drawer style is to overlay wood veneers on the existing cabinets. This does reduce the dust and odor compared to refinishing but is a costly endeavor.
PROS: Slightly cheaper than new cabinets. Completely new look and feel of the kitchen.
CONS: Expensive process relative to cabinet painting, no upgrade to hardware or internal accessories. No warranty. Dust and odor in your home. Messy and lengthy project. Same cabinet layout and functionality as your current kitchen.
If your kitchen renovation involves changing the look of the cabinets, new countertops and backsplash, we strongly urge you to look at the new cabinet option. A common misconception is that new cabinets are more expensive and will take longer to remodel than cabinet refacing services. Our clients have found this to not be true. An new, entry-level kitchen with all wood stock cabinets is usually about the same price as refacing. Kitchen cabinet refacing is extremely labor intensive to remove the doors and drawers, sand, prime and paint. Also, it’s typical to wait a day or so in between each prime and paint step adding to the timeline. This process is repeated for the cabinet face frames in the refacing process. With proper planning, most kitchens can get demoed and new cabinets installed in 2-4 days as opposed to 10 days with a refacing process. If you plan to stay in the home during your kitchen remodel, new cabinets will not have a strong paint odor you will have to live through as they come prefinished and ready to install. The finish of new stock or semi custom cabinets gets done in a factory with high-tech equipment including UV curing stations and heat treatments. That’s why higher end manufactures can offer lifetime warranties on their products compared to no warranty from painting or refacing companies. Another advantage of new kitchen cabinetry is they come standard with soft-close hardware for doors and drawers that will be a price upgrade when only painting or refacing. You’ll also get to redesign your kitchen with more functionality like adding roll out trays, spice racks and trash pull out cabinets.
PROS: Completely new look and feel of the kitchen.
CONS: Expensive process relative to cabinet painting, no upgrade to hardware or internal accessories. No warranty. Dust and odor in your home. Messy and lengthy project. Same cabinet layout and functionality