Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing: 5 Steps To Success

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The holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas, is still a whole Hallow’een season away.

But, since most of the legwork of those holiday events involves a lot of time in the kitchen, maybe now is the time to turn to a kitchen cabinet refinishing, sometimes called kitchen cabinet refacing, to get it ready for holiday activities. 

But, where do you begin? Home improvement and property industry writer Shannon Dauphin is here to help get you started with 5 areas to put on the list before your kitchen cabinet project begins.


When temperatures start to drop, staying close to home sounds quite appealing. So does the opportunity to cook those big holiday meals and savor them with family and friends. But after a while cabin fever can start to kick in, and you might start looking for ways to change the atmosphere.

Refacing your kitchen cabinets can change the entire look of your kitchen. Rather than replace the entire cabinet, which can cost quite a bit of money and take a large chunk of time, cabinet refacing takes only a few days and usually costs far less.

5 easy steps to start a refacing project

Refacing can take the form of do-it-yourself painting or staining, and that sometimes works for handy homeowners who want to make the most of their cabinets on a very limited budget. But if you have a bit of extra cash lying around, hiring a contractor to replace the kitchen cabinet fronts can give you a true refacing job that your neighbors will appreciate when they come over for that cup of hot cocoa.

Ready to give the job a whirl? Here’s how to start:

  1. Explore kitchen cabinet styles. Maybe you’ve had those shaker-style cabinets for a decade. Does a more modern look suit your fancy? How about changing the wood from oak to maple or even mahogany? The options are virtually endless.
  2. Look at your budget. The materials you use to reface your cabinets usually depend upon what you can afford. Choose your favorites and then decide which cabinet fronts will fit into your budget. Don’t forget to include installation costs.
  3. Measure. Then measure again. If you are hiring a contractor to handle this, sit back and relax—they will take care of the measurements and ordering. But if you are ordering your own cabinet fronts to save some cash, you are responsible for making sure the doors you choose are the right size.
  4. Prepare your kitchen. While you are waiting for your kitchen cabinet fronts to arrive, clean out your kitchen. Take dishes off the shelves and clean out the cupboards. Remove the doors, taking care to save every piece of hardware. Clean the shelves and cabinet boxes until they shine.
  5. Get it done. If you are hiring a contractor to handle the work for you, now is the time to simply stand back and watch the work. If you are doing it on your own, take care to read every manufacturer’s instruction for attaching your new doors to the cabinet boxes. Take your time and do the job right. After all, you’ve got plenty of time while the snow flies outside!

Cabinet refacing can transform your kitchen, and who doesn’t need a bit of pick-me-up in the harshest days of winter? Start your planning now to create the kitchen of your dreams by springtime.


Thanks, Shannon!

Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.



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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.