You’ve finally decided to do it: renovate your kitchen. After years of old appliances, chipped tiles, and worn out cabinets, you’re ready for a fresh start. But one big question you might be asking yourself before you take the leap is: Should you invest in refacing cabinets or simply paint them?

It’s certainly a personal decision and you have to take into account a list of factors, including your vision, timeline, budget, and the condition of your cabinets. To help you in the process, here are some of the pros and cons of both options:

Pros of Refacing Cabinets

Cabinet replacement is a huge cost and a big commitment. However, you can get a similar new look and serious upgrade by refacing cabinets instead. This is a particularly good choice if you already like the layout of your kitchen and aren’t planning on changing the overall flow.

In addition, while cabinet refacing sounds like a big job, it can often be completed in a matter of days. That means you don’t have to take a big bite out of your calendar or plan for weeks of downtime to have the work done. On average, it takes three to five days for a traditional refacing project to be completed by our professional teams. 

While you’re saving time, you’re also saving money when compared to a full replacement. You’re not purchasing all-new materials and paying for installation. You also don’t have to worry about disturbing any of the plumbing or wires that run through your kitchen, offering a significantly lower price tag than a total overhaul. 

Finally, you’re saving the existing cabinetry that’s already in place. This is especially important if your home has solid wood cabinets or you have high-quality, custom-made ones. The boxes of these cabinets are often more durable than newer, pre-built ones made from pressed-wood products, which don’t hold up to daily use as well. You can retain structural integrity and simply bring a different vision for your kitchen to life by refacing cabinets. 

Cons of Refacing Cabinets

If your cabinetry isn’t structurally sound, then refacing them doesn’t make economic sense. Likewise, if the layout of your kitchen isn’t functional, then simply refacing might improve the cosmetics of the cabinets, but it won’t add value and practicality to your home. 

For instance, if there’s not enough counter space or the placement of the appliances is awkward, then you’ll want to think about a total renovation. This is an important consideration especially if you’re planning on selling in the near future. Today’s homebuyers want kitchens that look beautiful, but also make sense in terms of how they flow. 

In addition, some contractors use veneers that look like wood when refacing cabinet boxes. These might appear nice on the surface, but they won’t stand up to everyday wear and tear for long. In fact, they’re more prone to water damage, as well as dents and scratches, making them harder to maintain than hardwood cabinet exteriors.  

Pros of Painting Cabinets

The most obvious benefit of painting versus refacing cabinets is cost. Painting can cost less than buying new cabinets or refacing old ones. So if budget is your primary concern, then this could be the way to go. 

If you do choose painting over refacing cabinets, you might also have money to spend elsewhere, such as upgrading lighting and getting new appliances. As a result, you can breathe new life into an older kitchen in a way that’s budget-friendly. 

In addition to cost, the environment is another consideration. Painting your cabinets keeps the environmental impact at a minimum, while also conserving natural resources. That way, you’re not using valuable wood or fossil fuels in your kitchen upgrade. 

Cons of Painting Cabinets

Even if expenses are top-of-mind when it comes to updating your kitchen, you could wind up paying more in the long run. This is because painted cabinets are at risk for peeling, particularly if you plan to do the job yourself and the surface isn’t properly prepared.

Not only that but when cabinets are painted versus refaced, they tend to build up grease and dust. As a result, you’ll see grime more and have to work harder to keep them well-maintained. Using harsh cleaners could end up causing harm over time. 

In addition, painting is not an ideal choice for cabinets if they’re warped, seriously chipped, or damaged in some other way. You’ll simply waste time and money, all while getting disappointing results. 

Finally, the process of painting can get complicated. There are many steps involved, from taking doors and hinges off to labeling everything, thoroughly cleaning it all, sanding, priming, and more. If you’re not having a professional handle the job, cabinets could wind up looking patchy or blotchy, or have drip marks on them due to improper tools being used. 

Get the Best of All Worlds with N-Hance®

Whether your cabinets are scuffed and scratched or you just want a whole new look, we can offer you the best of all worlds with our approach to refacing cabinets. With it, we can update the style and color of your cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new models. We also apply a custom finish to your cabinet boxes that matches precisely, never using veneers like the traditional approach. 

With N-Hance, you can also choose from a range of styling options and custom colors and finishes, getting a brand new look in no time. In fact, thanks to our Lightspeed® Instant-Cure Wood Refinishing system, we can cure your cabinets instantly, saving days in the process. We can perform this all while still keeping your project at a budget-friendly price point. 

Ready to learn more? Call (855) 642-6230 today to request a FREE estimate. We can handle refacing cabinets so you love your kitchen once again.