116-reface-cabinetsThe age old debate of whether to replace your cabinets or reface them is one that boils down to personal preference. In a remodel, you can do many things to change the way your kitchen or bath looks and it’s up to you how you do them. To shed a little light on the process of refacing cabinets for those who don’t see the difference, we’ve put together an overview of what will be done to a refaced cabinet.

While this can be a DIY job, it’s one that requires meticulous attention to detail (so as not to look sloppy), so of course we recommend consulting a professional if you’re unsure you can put in the required effort.

Getting Cleaned Up

There are many factors that go into refacing and it’s a job that will take some quality time and patience with your cabinets. The first step that goes into the process is cleaning the cabinet frame and door. The cabinets in the kitchen are potentially covered with dirt and grease so it needs to be removed before any application of stains or paints. Tri-Sodium Phosphate, which has many uses, is a great cleaning agent for cabinets that are being refaced. All hardware should be removed from doors and cleaned as well to make sure residue doesn’t get on the newly stripped cabinets.  After being sanded, it’s time for the real work to begin.

Putting on a New Face

Refacing a cabinet is more than throwing paint on the door and calling it a day. The entire cabinet needs to be changed and the biggest part of that is covering the cabinet box with veneer. Veneer strips should be cut about ½ inch wider and 2 inches longer than each part of the frame. This allows for space to cut excess off and have a clean edge when finished.  During this part of the process, paying attention to detail is the key. Going through quickly can leave cabinets looking messy and poorly refaced, a reason why it’s wise to leave this part to the kitchen professionals.

Finishing Up

After the cabinet frame has been covered with veneer, it is time to install the cabinet doors. In a refacing project, there are a few options on how to get a new look. Purchasing a new door style, painting or staining the existing doors or adding decorative pieces to the doors are all ways to add a new feel to existing cabinetry. To reinstall the doors, screw the hinges to the door and temporarily place them on the frame for alignment purposes. Once they have been aligned properly, tighten the screws. For the door knobs and pulls, drill new holes for the hardware in the new doors and drawers.

Refacing cabinets can be a great way to add a different look to a kitchen without a complete overhaul. There are plenty of options to creatively change the look and feel of the kitchen or bath. Considering the many different veneer types and door styles, any homeowner can make their space feel brand new again.