Whether you're looking to give your kitchen a facelift or you're starting from scratch, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing what kind of finish to put on your cabinets. There are two main options: painting and refacing. But which is the right choice for you? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about painting vs refacing kitchen cabinets.

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What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is the process of covering the existing cabinet boxes with new materials. This includes adding new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Cabinet refacing is a great way to give your kitchen a whole new look without having to gut the entire space and start from scratch. Plus, it's typically less expensive and less disruptive than a full kitchen renovation.

What is Cabinet Painting?

Cabinet painting is exactly what it sounds like: painting the existing cabinet boxes, doors, and drawer fronts. Cabinet painting is a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen without having to do a major renovation. It's also relatively quick and easy, so you can enjoy your newly updated kitchen sooner rather than later.

Refacing vs Painting: Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to both cabinet refacing and cabinet painting. Below, we've outlined some of the key considerations for each option:


+ You'll end up with cabinets that look and feel brand new.

+ You can choose from a wide range of style options, including different wood finishes, door styles, and hardware.

+ Cabinet refacing typically adds resale value to your home.

- Cabinet refacing can be more expensive than painting.

- The process takes longer than painting (typically 2-3 weeks vs 1 week).

- You'll need to clear out your kitchen for at least part of the project.

- Some homeowners find the process disruptive.


+ The paint may not adhere well to cabinets that are very old or in poor condition.

+ Paint may chip or peel over time.

+ Touch ups will be necessary every few years.

- You may be able paint your cabinets yourself to save money.

- Cabinet painting is typically less expensive than cabinet refacing.

- The project can be completed relatively quickly (usually in 1 week).

- You won't have to empty out your entire kitchen during the project.

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Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Refacing and Painting Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes time to give your kitchen a facelift, you may be wondering whether to repaint or reface your cabinets. Both options have their pros and cons, so it's important to do your research before making a decision. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding between refacing and painting kitchen cabinets.


One of the first factors you'll want to consider is your budget. Repainting your cabinets is generally the more affordable option; however, keep in mind that you may need to repaint sooner than if you had chosen to reface them. If you decide to go the route of refacing, you'll also need to factor in the cost of new doors and hardware.


Another important factor to consider is how much time you're willing to invest in the project. Repainting cabinets is generally a quicker process than refacing; however, it will require more prep work. If you're short on time but still want to give your cabinets a fresh look, painting might be the best option for you.

Return on Investment (ROI)

If you're planning on selling your home in the near future, you'll want to choose a kitchen update that will offer the highest ROI. According to Remodeling magazine's 2019 Cost vs Value report, refinishing or refacing kitchen cabinets has an ROI of 78%. Painting kitchen cabinets has an ROI of 80%.


When deciding between refacing and painting kitchen cabinets, it's also important to consider your personal style. If you want a complete change, refinishing or refacing might be the best option for you. This will allow you to change the color, finish, and door style of your cabinets. If you're happy with the overall look of your cabinets but just want to give them a fresh coat of paint, painting might be the better option.

Cabinet Condition

Another important factor to consider is the condition of your cabinets. If your cabinets are old or in poor condition, painting might not be the best option as the paint may not adhere well. In this case, you might want to consider refacing or replacing your cabinets altogether.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

The cost of painting kitchen cabinets can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the kitchen, the number of cabinets, and the type of paint used. For a small kitchen with few cabinets, the cost may be as low as $100.

For a large kitchen with many cabinets, the cost could be more than $1,000. The type of paint also makes a difference. High-quality paint is more expensive than low-quality paint, but it will last longer and provide a better finish. In general, it is best to hire a professional painter to get the job done right. Professional painters will have the necessary equipment and experience to ensure that the paint job looks its best.

How much does it cost to reface kitchen cabinets?

Refacing kitchen cabinets is a popular way to give your kitchen a new look without the expense and hassle of a full renovation. The cost of refacing will vary depending on the size and style of your kitchen, but it is generally much cheaper than replacing all of your cabinets. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 to reface your kitchen cabinets.

This price includes the cost of new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. If you are planning to do the work yourself, you may be able to reduce the cost by ordering custom-made doors and drawer fronts instead of purchasing them from a home improvement store. With a little time and effort, you can give your kitchen a whole new look without breaking the bank.

How long does it take to paint kitchen cabinets?

Painting kitchen cabinets is a big job that usually takes about two days to complete. This includes prep work, painting, and drying time. The first day is typically spent cleaning the cabinets, removing all hardware, and sanding down any rough spots. Once the cabinets are prepped, the actual painting can begin. It's important to use a high-quality paint and brush, and to take your time with each coat. After the final coat is dry, you can replace the hardware and admire your handiwork!

How long does it take to reface kitchen cabinets?

The time it takes to reface kitchen cabinets will vary depending on the size and style of your kitchen. On average, it takes about two days to complete the job. This includes prep work, measuring for new doors and drawer fronts, and attaching them to the cabinet frames. With a little time and effort, you can give your kitchen a whole new look!

Is it cheaper to reface kitchen cabinets or paint them?

One of the most common questions that homeowners face when renovating their kitchen is whether to reface or paint their cabinets. There are a few things to consider when making this decision.

Painting is usually a cheaper option than refacing. However, painting does not always provide the same results as refacing. Refacing can give your cabinets a completely new look, while painting will only cover up the existing finish.

Painting is a fairly simple DIY project, while refacing requires more time and effort.

Keep in mind that both options will require some prep work, such as sanding and cleaning the cabinets before beginning.

Ultimately, the best option for your kitchen will depend on your budget and how much effort you're willing to put into the project.

How long do refaced cabinets last?

Cabinets are an essential part of any kitchen, and they can play a major role in determining the overall look and feel of the space. When it comes time to renovate or update your kitchen, one option is to reface the cabinets. This process involves replacing the doors and drawer fronts, as well as adding new hardware. It's a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a whole new look, and it can be completed in as little as a weekend. But how long do refaced cabinets last?

On average, refaced cabinets will last for about 10 years before needing to be replaced. However, this can vary depending on the quality of the materials used and the level of care and maintenance. If you choose high-quality doors and drawer fronts and take good care of them, your cabinets could last much longer. With proper care, they could even last a lifetime!

How long do painted cabinets last?

Painted cabinets are a popular choice for many homeowners, as they provide a clean and stylish look that can complement any décor. But how long do painted cabinets last? The answer depends on a number of factors, including the type of paint used and the level of wear and tear.

High-quality paints can last for years without showing signs of wear, while cheaper varieties may start to chip and peel after just a few months. Similarly, cabinets that are subjected to frequent use may show signs of wear more quickly than those that are used less often. With proper care and maintenance, however, painted cabinets can provide years of beauty and function.


There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between cabinet refacing vs painting. It really comes down to personal preference and budget. If you want brand new looking cabinets but don't want the hassle or expense of a complete kitchen renovation, cabinet refacing is probably the way to go. But if you're looking for a quick, budget-friendly update, cabinet painting may be the better option. Whichever route you choose, we hope this guide has helped make the decision easier!