Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets vs Refacing (Worth it?)

Painting kitchen cabinets is generally a more budget-friendly option, with costs varying based on DIY or professional services. Refacing cabinets involves a higher upfront cost for materials and labor but may offer long-term durability and a refreshed aesthetic.

The cost of painting kitchen cabinets between $50 and $500 per linear foot of cabinets. The cost of refacing kitchen cabinets between $150 and $500 per linear foot of cabinets.

In this article, we will discuss the cost of painting and refacing kitchen cabinets. We will also help you decide which option is right for you.

Painting vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

There are two primary methods for transforming kitchen cabinets: painting and refacing.

Painting involves applying a fresh coat of paint to the existing cabinet doors and frames, providing a more affordable and DIY-friendly approach.

Refacing means replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones, while leaving the cabinet boxes intact. This method offers a more comprehensive update and is often preferred when the existing cabinets are structurally sound but lack the desired style or finish.

FeaturePaintingRefacing
CostLess expensiveMore expensive
Dramatic changeNot as dramaticMore dramatic
DIY-friendlyYesNo
Good forCabinets in good conditionCabinets that need a more dramatic change
Average cost per linear foot$100-$500$200-$500
Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets Materials (DIY)

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Cost Breakdown for DIY vs. Professional Painting

Painting kitchen cabinets can be a DIY project or you can hire a professional to do it for you. The cost of DIY painting will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the job, and the quality of the paint you choose.

OptionCost
DIY$50 – $100
Professional$100 – $500 per linear foot of cabinets

Factors Influencing Paint Costs (Quality, Color Choice, etc.)

The cost of paint can vary depending on the quality, brand, and finish. High-quality paint will generally be more expensive than basic paint. However, it will also be more durable and easier to apply.

The color of the paint can also affect the cost. Some colors, such as white and black, are more readily available and therefore less expensive than custom colors.

In addition to the cost of the paint, you will also need to factor in the cost of supplies, such as brushes, rollers, tape, and drop cloths.

Pros and Cons of Choosing Paint as a Budget-Friendly Option

Pros:

  • Affordable: Painting is the most affordable option for updating your kitchen cabinets.
  • DIY-friendly: Painting is a relatively easy DIY project that you can do yourself if you are handy.
  • Wide range of colors: Paint is available in a wide range of colors, so you can find the perfect match for your kitchen.

Cons:

  • Not as durable: Paint is not as durable as refacing, so it may need to be touched up more often.
  • Not a dramatic change: Painting will not give you a dramatic change in the look of your cabinets.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet refacing involves replacing the doors and drawer fronts of your cabinets with new ones. The cabinet boxes are left intact. This process can give your kitchen a completely new look without the expense of replacing the entire cabinets.

The refacing process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: A contractor will come to your home to assess your cabinets and discuss your design options.
  2. Measurements: The contractor will take measurements of your cabinets.
  3. Door and drawer front selection: You will select the doors and drawer fronts that you want for your cabinets.
  4. Fabrication: The doors and drawer fronts will be fabricated to your specifications.
  5. Installation: The doors and drawer fronts will be installed on your cabinets.

Cost Breakdown for Materials and Labor

The cost of refacing kitchen cabinets will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the job, and the quality of the materials you choose. However, you can expect to pay between $200 and $500 per linear foot of cabinets.

The cost of materials will include the cost of the doors and drawer fronts, hinges, knobs, and pulls. The cost of labor will include the cost of the contractor’s time and expertise.

Examining the Role of Style and Material Choices in Overall Cost

The style and material of the doors and drawer fronts you choose will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your refacing project. Solid wood doors will be more expensive than laminate doors. Custom doors will be more expensive than standard doors.

You can also choose to add decorative elements, such as molding or glass inserts, to your cabinets. These elements will also add to the cost of your project.

Cost of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets Materials (DIY)

Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets Materials (DIY)

ItemQuantityAverage Cost
Drop cloths1-2$10-$20
Painter’s tape1-2 rolls$5-$10
Sandpaper1-2 sheets$2-$5
Degreaser1 quart$5-$10
Primer1 gallon$20-$40
Paint1 gallon$30-$50
Paintbrushes1-2 sets$10-$20
Paint rollers1-2 sets$10-$20
Roller covers1-2 packs$5-$10
Paint tray1$5-$10
Paint thinner1 quart$5-$10
Total$100-$190

Cost of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets Materials (DIY)

ItemQuantityAverage Cost
Doors and drawer frontsVaries$100-$300 per linear foot
HingesVaries$10-$20 per dozen
Knobs and pullsVaries$5-$10 each
Adhesive1-2 tubes$5-$10
Jigsaw1$50-$100
Drill1$50-$100
Screwdriver set1$10-$20
Sandpaper1-2 sheets$2-$5
Tape measure1$5-$10
Pencil1$1-$2
Level1$10-$20
Total$200-$500

Long-Term Durability and Maintenance

Painted cabinets can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. The key is to use high-quality paint and to apply it correctly. You should also be careful not to scratch or damage the paint.

Here are some tips for extending the life of your painted cabinets:

  • Use high-quality paint. Choose a paint that is specifically designed for cabinets. This type of paint is more durable and will resist scratches and chipping.
  • Apply the paint correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This includes using the correct primer and applying the paint in multiple thin coats.
  • Protect your cabinets from scratches. Avoid using sharp objects near your cabinets. You should also use trivets and coasters to protect the countertops from hot pots and pans.
  • Clean your cabinets regularly. Wipe up spills immediately. You should also dust your cabinets regularly and clean them with a mild soap and water solution.

With proper care, your painted cabinets can last for 10 years or more.

The durability and maintenance requirements of refaced cabinets

Refaced cabinets are more durable than painted cabinets because they have a new layer of material on the front of them. This material is typically laminate or wood veneer, which is more resistant to scratches and chipping than paint.

Refaced cabinets do require some maintenance. You will need to clean them regularly and you may need to replace the doors and drawer fronts if they become damaged.

Here are some tips for maintaining your refaced cabinets:

  • Clean your cabinets regularly. Wipe up spills immediately. You should also dust your cabinets regularly and clean them with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Inspect your cabinets regularly. Look for any signs of damage, such as scratches, dents, or peeling.
  • Replace damaged doors and drawer fronts. If you do notice any damage, you will need to replace the affected doors and drawer fronts.

With proper care, your refaced cabinets can last for 15 years or more.

Wrap Up

Painting and refacing are two popular options for updating kitchen cabinets. The best option for you will depend on your budget, your goals, and your personal style. If you are on a tight budget, painting is a good option. However, if you want a more dramatic change, refacing is a better choice.

FAQ

Is it worth painting old kitchen cabinets?

Whether it’s worth painting old kitchen cabinets depends on the condition of your cabinets and your desired outcome.

If your cabinets are in good condition and you’re simply looking for a fresh look, painting can be a great option.

If your cabinets are damaged or have a lot of wear and tear, painting may not be the best solution. You may be better off refacing or replacing your cabinets instead.

Why not to paint kitchen cabinets?

Here are some reasons why you might not want to paint kitchen cabinets:
– Your cabinets are in poor condition.
– You want a dramatic change.
– You are not DIY-savvy.

What kind of kitchen cabinets Cannot be painted?

Types of kitchen cabinets that cannot be painted:
– Cabinets with laminate or melamine finishes.
– Cabinets with veneer finishes.
– Cabinets that are water damaged.

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