Kitchen Cabinets: Time to Replace, Reface, or Refinish?

Date:  November 24, 2014


Categories:  Painting, Polishing, Renovating, Tips

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Installing Cabinets When it’s time for a change, what should you do — replace, reface or refinish your kitchen cabinets? Making the right choice will save you time, money and hassle. Here’s a breakdown of each option, so you can make the decision that’s right for you.


Replacing kitchen cabinets means ripping out the old cabinet drawers, doors and boxes and getting all new ones. This complete kitchen makeover will take the most time and money to complete.

This option is ideal for homeowners looking for a new kitchen layout or design. It gives the most flexibility for changes and upgrades. If a kitchen is very old or in bad shape, a replacement kitchen may be necessary. Keep in mind that when replacing a kitchen, the kitchen won’t be useable for a period of time. Have your favourite pizza shop on speed dial.

Who Can Help?

A cabinet maker, interior designer, or wholesale distributor can give quotes on a new kitchen.

Time: ✓✓✓✓

Money: ✓✓✓✓



Refacing kitchen cabinets, means replacing the doors and drawers but keeping the boxes. The new doors and drawers can be a different design, but they should match in size and shape. The existing boxes are covered with a veneer to match the new doors. This is a cheaper alternative to getting a whole new kitchen, but can still substantially change the look of a kitchen.

This option is ideal for homeowners who have cabinets with minor interior wear looking for a different kitchen design. Refacing the existing cabinets is often enough to modernise a kitchen, especially if new hardware is installed. Refacing is about half as expensive as replacing, but it isn’t cheap. Kitchens being refaced experience little down time, so if convenience is a factor, this is a better choice.

Who Can Help?

A cabinet maker can measure and fit new cabinet doors and reface the existing boxes to match.

Time: ✓✓

Money: ✓✓



Refinishing kitchen cabinets, is when existing cabinets are painted to look new. Most older kitchen cabinets were built better than the prefabricated kitchen cabinets made today. These older cabinets are still solid and usually just require a fresh coat of high quality paint to modernise them. It doesn’t make sense to tear out a whole kitchen, if it’s still in good shape. Refinishing is sometimes all that’s necessary.

This option is ideal for homeowners looking for a cost-effective way to update their kitchen. Refinishing is the most affordable choice and takes the least amount of time — usually a couple of weeks.

Refinishing is perfect for vinyl wrapped kitchen cabinets that are peeling. Once the vinyl starts peeling, it can be removed and the underlying MDF can be painted. Melamine and timber cabinets can easily be refinished as well. Kitchens being refinished can typically be used during the transformation.

Who Can Help?

A professional polisher or cabinet maker with an in-house polisher can help.

Time: ✓

Money: ✓


Have you ever changed the look of your kitchen? Were you happy with how it turned out?

5 responses to “Kitchen Cabinets: Time to Replace, Reface, or Refinish?”

  1. Martin penrose says:

    Hi I am looking for a quote for updating existing kitchen cabinets..we are in Diamond Creek..martin

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Martin,

      we would love to help you out but unfortunately we only operate in WA and currently don’t have any branches in Victoria. Hoping you find a qualified French Polisher over there.
      Thank you and good luck, your Dianella Polishing-Team.

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Apologies Martin, we don’t currently have branches in the Eastern States. We hope you find a qualified French Polisher over there soon. Warm regards, your Dianella-Polishing-team.

  2. Peta says:

    How much do you charge to remove vinyl wrapping?

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