Reface, Not Replace Kitchen Cabinets

Gene and Katie Hamilton

Gene and Katie Hamilton

Refacing is an alternative to replacing kitchen cabinets that’s less costly because it uses the existing cabinets and adds a new laminate surface to their base, fronts, sides and doors. It’s a good choice if the cabinets are in sound condition, provide the storage space you want and are located to make the most of your kitchen layout. The job typically involves a laminate veneer being applied to the cabinet bases, doors and drawer fronts, and installing new hardware.

In a medium-sized kitchen with 15 feet of base and wall cabinets a contractor will charge $7,500 to reface the cabinets, which includes labor and material. It does not include new countertops. You can do the job for $650, the cost of the material and pocket a big savings. The job starts with removing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware. Then the detail work begins. It’s a tedious precision job that includes preparing the surfaces and using specialized veneering rollers, blades and irons to apply the veneer. Despite the big DIY savings we think it’s a job best left to a pro.

To find more job cost comparisons visit


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.
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