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cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets

The Cheapest Way to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

Are you looking for the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets for an affordable kitchen makeover? In this article, we’ll delve into cost-effective options that will help you transform your kitchen without overspending. Discover the secrets to achieving a fresh and updated look while staying within your budget.

Let’s dive into the world of kitchen cabinet refacing and uncover the best tips and strategies for a wallet-friendly kitchen transformation.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Costs

One of the primary advantages of choosing kitchen cabinet refacing is its affordability compared to full cabinet replacement. On average, the cost of refacing cabinets can range from $3,500 to $8,000 for a standard-sized kitchen. This cost includes materials, labor, and any additional upgrades or enhancements.

The final price of your refacing project will depend on various factors, such as the size of your kitchen, the type of materials and finishes you choose, the number of cabinets to be refaced, and whether you opt for DIY or professional installation.

For budget-conscious homeowners, cabinet refacing presents an excellent opportunity to achieve a fresh and updated kitchen without the high expenses associated with cabinet replacement. With careful planning and consideration of affordable materials, you can enjoy a significant cost saving while achieving a stylish and customized kitchen space.

Choosing the Right Refacing Option

When it comes to updating your kitchen cabinets on a budget, choosing the right refacing option is crucial. Let’s explore the cost-effective benefits of cabinet refacing compared to other alternatives like cabinet refinishing or full cabinet replacement.

Choosing the Right Refacing Option

Cabinet Refacing vs. Refinishing

Cabinet refinishing involves sanding down the existing cabinet surfaces and applying a fresh coat of paint or stain. While this option may seem more budget-friendly initially, it has its limitations. Refinishing works best when your cabinets are still in good structural condition and you’re satisfied with their current layout. However, it won’t change the overall design or hardware, limiting your style options.

On the other hand, cabinet refacing allows you to give your kitchen a complete facelift without the need to replace the entire cabinet structure. By replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, you can choose from a wide range of design options to achieve the desired look. This way, you get a brand-new appearance without the hassle and expense of a full replacement.

Cabinet Refacing vs. Full Replacement

Full cabinet replacement is undoubtedly the most expensive option for kitchen remodeling. It involves tearing out the existing cabinets and installing entirely new ones. While this approach offers complete design flexibility, it comes with a hefty price tag that includes not just the new cabinets but also demolition and installation costs.

In contrast, cabinet refacing offers substantial cost savings. By retaining your existing cabinet boxes and only updating the visible components, you can allocate your budget more efficiently. Additionally, refacing minimizes the disruption to your daily life during the remodeling process, as it typically takes less time to complete compared to a full replacement.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

As you embark on your kitchen cabinet refacing journey, you may be wondering whether to take the DIY route or enlist the help of a professional contractor. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each approach to help you make the most cost-effective decision for your kitchen remodeling project.

Hiring a Professional

DIY Cabinet Refacing


  • Cost Savings: DIY cabinet refacing can save you money on labor costs, as you’ll be doing the work yourself.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Successfully completing a DIY project can bring a great sense of achievement and pride.
  • Flexibility: You have full control over the timeline and design choices, allowing for a personalized touch.


  • Skill and Experience: Refacing cabinets may seem straightforward, but it requires a certain level of skill and precision to ensure a professional-looking outcome.
  • Time-Consuming: DIY projects often take longer to finish, especially if you have limited experience or availability.
  • Potential Mistakes: Without proper knowledge, you may encounter mistakes that could lead to additional expenses.

Hiring a Professional Contractor:


  • Expertise: Professional contractors have the necessary experience and skills to carry out cabinet refacing efficiently and effectively.
  • Time-Efficient: Hiring professionals means the project will be completed in a timely manner, minimizing disruption to your daily life.
  • Quality Workmanship: With a professional, you can expect a high-quality finish and attention to detail.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Hiring a contractor may involve upfront costs for labor, but their expertise can save you from potential costly mistakes.
  • Less Personal Control: While contractors will consider your preferences, you may have less direct control over every detail of the project.

Affordable Refacing Materials and Finishes

When it comes to budget-friendly kitchen cabinet refacing, choosing the right materials and finishes can make a significant difference in achieving a fresh and updated look without overspending. Let’s explore some cost-effective options that will breathe new life into your cabinets without breaking the bank.

Affordable Refacing Materials
  1. Laminate:

Laminate is a popular and economical choice for refacing kitchen cabinets. It is a durable material that comes in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic without the hefty price tag. Additionally, laminate is relatively easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal option for busy kitchens.

  1. Thermofoil:

Thermofoil is another cost-effective material that provides a smooth and seamless appearance to your refaced cabinets. It is a vinyl-like material that is applied to the cabinet doors and drawer fronts through a heating process. Thermofoil comes in various colors and styles, including wood grain patterns, offering versatility and budget-friendliness.

  1. Wood Veneers:

If you prefer the natural beauty of wood, but solid wood is beyond your budget, consider wood veneers. Wood veneers are thin slices of real wood that are applied to the cabinet surfaces, providing an authentic wood look at a fraction of the cost of solid wood. They come in various wood species and finishes, giving you the opportunity to achieve the elegance of wood without the high price.

  1. Simple and Timeless Finishes:

Choosing simple and timeless finishes can help you save on costs while ensuring your cabinets remain stylish for years to come. Classic colors like white, cream, or light gray can brighten up your kitchen and create a timeless appeal. These neutral tones also make it easier to change the kitchen’s decor in the future without worrying about clashing colors.

  1. DIY Painting:

If you’re on a tight budget, consider DIY painting as a wallet-friendly alternative to refacing materials. With a little time and effort, you can repaint your existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts using quality paint that complements your kitchen’s theme. This approach allows you to save even more while achieving a customized and updated look.

Cost-Saving Design Tips

Achieving a wallet-friendly kitchen cabinet refacing doesn’t mean compromising on style or aesthetics. With these cost-saving design tips, you can transform your kitchen into a beautiful and updated space without exceeding your budget.

Cost-Saving Design

Utilize Existing Hardware and Fixtures:

One of the easiest ways to save on costs during cabinet refacing is to reuse existing hardware and fixtures whenever possible. Check if your current handles, knobs, and hinges are in good condition and can be cleaned or refinished. Reusing these items can significantly reduce your expenses, allowing you to allocate your budget to other essential aspects of the project.

Consider Open Shelving or Glass Doors:

Open shelving or glass doors can add a touch of elegance and openness to your kitchen without the expense of new cabinet doors. Removing the doors from some of your upper cabinets and displaying your stylish dinnerware or glassware can create a visually appealing and budget-friendly focal point in your kitchen.

Repurpose or Paint Existing Cabinets:

If some of your existing cabinets are still in good condition but don’t match the new design, consider repurposing or repainting them. For instance, converting a lower cabinet into a pull-out drawer or slide-out tray can enhance functionality without the cost of new cabinetry. Similarly, applying a fresh coat of paint in a complementary color can unify the entire kitchen design while keeping costs low.

Opt for Affordable Backsplash:

Choosing an affordable backsplash can add a pop of style to your kitchen without breaking your budget. Consider alternatives like peel-and-stick tiles, beadboard paneling, or paintable wallpaper. These options offer a wide variety of designs at a fraction of the cost of traditional tile backsplashes.

Upgrade Lighting Fixtures:

Updating your kitchen’s lighting fixtures can instantly modernize the space and draw attention to your refaced cabinets. Look for budget-friendly options like pendant lights or under-cabinet LED lighting. Proper lighting can enhance the ambiance of your kitchen and make it feel more welcoming without significant costs.

Focus on Paint and Accessories:

Never underestimate the power of paint and accessories in transforming your kitchen. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can breathe new life into the entire room and complement your refaced cabinets. Additionally, inexpensive accessories like new curtains, rugs, or decorative items can add the finishing touches that tie your kitchen’s design together.

Budget Planning and Estimation

Before diving into your kitchen cabinet refacing project, careful budget planning and estimation are essential to ensure a successful and cost-effective transformation. Follow these steps to create a realistic budget and avoid any unwelcome surprises along the way.

Research Refacing Costs:

Research the average costs of cabinet refacing in your area. Gather quotes from multiple contractors and suppliers to get a better idea of the price range for your specific project. Remember that costs may vary based on materials, finishes, and the complexity of the job.

Set a Realistic Budget:

Based on your project scope and the research you’ve done, set a realistic budget for your kitchen cabinet refacing. Be sure to account for not only the materials and labor but also any unexpected expenses that may arise during the process.

Prioritize Your Needs:

If your budget is limited, prioritize the aspects of your kitchen refacing that are most important to you. Allocate a higher portion of your budget to areas that will have the most significant impact on the overall look and functionality of your kitchen.

Consider Financing Options:

If your ideal kitchen refacing project exceeds your current budget, consider financing options. Some suppliers or contractors offer financing plans that can help you spread out the cost over time. Be sure to evaluate the interest rates and terms carefully before committing to any financing arrangement.

DIY vs. Professional Costs:

If you’re considering a DIY approach, be realistic about your skills and the tools you’ll need. Factor in the cost of any necessary tools or equipment and compare it to the cost of hiring a professional contractor. While DIY may save on labor costs, ensure that you have the expertise to achieve satisfactory results.

Track Your Spending:

Throughout the project, keep a close eye on your spending. Record all expenses related to the refacing, including materials, labor, and any additional purchases. Staying organized will help you stay on track with your budget and identify any areas where you may need to adjust your plans.

In conclusion

kitchen cabinet refacing offers a cost-effective and stylish solution to update your kitchen without breaking the bank. By choosing affordable materials, implementing smart design tips, and setting a realistic budget, you can achieve a stunning kitchen transformation. Whether you go the DIY route or hire a professional, a refreshed and beautiful kitchen awaits you. Happy remodeling!