Kitchen Cabinets: New Face or Completely Replace?

by Doris Arnold 09/07/2021

Photo by Jafar Mansuri on Unsplash

To resurface or replace? That's the question. Consider replacing if:

  • They have significant water or humidity damage.
  • They're poorly constructed and/or falling apart.
  • The design frustrates. You could do better starting over.
  • The style can't be easily updated, for example, floral moldings.
  • The cost to refinish is more than new cabinets. It can be.
  • Otherwise, you may want to refinish what you have to make your cabinets.

    How to Replace Cabinets

    Replacing cabinets rarely involves building them yourself. Most kitchen remodeling professionals don't even do that. You can purchase pre-made cabinets. They'll fit in most kitchen. But don't forget to measure.

    Start by evaluating how the cabinets are attached. Most cabinets simply unscrew from the wall for clean removal. You can now hang new ones in their place. But remember, if you need to stain or finish, always do that and let them dry before hanging. It will just be easier when they're on the floor or a work table.

    If it's just the hardware you don't like, consider replacing it instead of the whole cabinet. That's generally a small job that just needs a screwdriver and new handles.

    How to Give Cabinets a New Look

    A coat of paint or stain can work wonders. But know that refinishing actually takes a lot longer than hanging new. Plan for three to eight weekends of work and a semi-functional kitchen during that time. The more cabinets, the longer it will take. Let's get started

  • Choose your resurfacing medium. Polyurethane, varnish, paint, lacquer, shellac, penetrating oil or vinyl are all excellent choices. Purchase this, a stripping agent, clothes and brushes and your local home supply.
  • Ventilate. Open some windows and turn on your stove vent to keep the smells from overpowering you. Safety first.
  • Clean the surfaces. They may have collected years of grease, dust and hand oil.
  • Protect your kitchen by laying down plastic 
  • Remove the hardware and soak it in soapy water. Scrub it, if needed. But a good soak should do most of the work.
  • Strip & refinish the cabinets according to the instructions on the finish you choose. If you're getting creative with alternating colors or finishes, you may want to remove the doors and lay painter tape to create crisp contrasts between shade. 
  • Once dry, replace your glistening hardware. And you're done. 
  • *Pro tip* Some woods soak up oils like a sponge, so you might need multiple coats to achieve the desired look. That's one reason the job takes multiple weekends since each layer must dry.

    About the Author
    Author

    Doris Arnold

    Real Estate is, if nothing else a people business. For me as a leading real estate professional, my work is not so much about buildings, contracts and inspections; it's about people, their dreams, aspirations and the most important place in their world- their home. I am a people person through and through. Simply put, people fascinate me... spend a few minutes with me and you can sense this unique attribute. I listen intently to you and most importantly, I have a genuine interest in what you have to say. Follow me around for a day and you will witness the powerful and positive effect I have on the people around me, whether it's my family, close friends, or a community acquaintance. Undoubtedly, you will see a caring and committed woman who makes a difference in people's lives. If you ask my past clients what they liked about working with me, some would say it was my business savvy and real estate expertise that impressed them, but most of them would comment on how much I cared about them. I really listen to what my clients want and do what I can to anticipate their needs. I always try to stay one step ahead and keep in constant contact. My clients know I am always working for them to keep them informed and up-to-date, and I have a highly organized way of walking my clients throughout the process of buying or selling their home that makes them feel confident nothing will slip through the cracks. I absolutely love what I do and I can tell you "I'm in The Business of People." What that means to me is that I have the privilege of helping my clients achieve their dreams. What that means to you is that you can count on me to care about what matters most to you because I make your real estate needs my top priority.