Cabinet Refacing vs. Painting Cost Analysis

Kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in particular, may experience specific wear and tear as years pass. The wood finishes may lose their color, peel or blister, surfaces may easily be scratched or worn out, and the styles look obsolete. So when the time comes for refinishing your cabinetry, you have two clear options that are available to you, which are refaced or repainted. But which of them is cheaper, or to put it in other words, which one is better value for the money? Below is a closer look at the comparison between cabinet refart6cing versus painting prices, which will assist you in determining the best option.

Cabinet Refacing Costs

Cabinet refacing can be loosely translated as an operation in which the outer surface of your current cabinets is covered with veneered doors, drawer fronts, and trim. Costs can float anywhere from $3,000 up to $10,000, which again depends on the area of the kitchen and the kind of material used, among others.


It is mainly done on laminate or wood veneer most of the time and for most of the refacing jobs. Laminates, on the other hand, cost between $5-20 per sq. foot installed. The costs of installing oak, cherry, maple, and other wood veneers vary between $ 10 and $ 50 per square foot. Different kinds of wood, such as walnut, are even more expensive than these.

Cabinet Refacing Costs


In fact, the refacing process often includes replacing new knobs, pulls, and hinges, as well as other hardware components. This is the case with the more minor details that can actually dent the total expenses. For instance, it may take about $200-$500 to develop 20-30 new hardware parts, which may be in brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. Other factors that increase the costs include peculiar styles, forms, and dimensions of the ceramic products.


Another factor that goes into determining the cost of refacing is the cost of hiring a professional to put in place all that is needed. Appropriately dressing cabinets with new veneered surfaces and components is much different from simply painting, which requires more talent and accuracy. In regard to its time consumption, most of the kitchen refacing projects are estimated to take between 35 and 40 hours of labor time at a cost ranging from $50 to $100 per hour. This means that the installation fees range from $1,750 to $4,000.

Summary of Refacing Costs

Altogether, it will cost $5,000 to $15,000+ for a complete refacing work of cabinets with all the new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. The last digit depends upon the size of the kitchen, the grade of materials used, doors/ drawers’ options, and hardware.

Cabinet Painting Costs

Replacing the cabinet’s surface is not always necessary; a less invasive transformation method is hiring a specialist to paint it. This involves preparation, surface treatment, and application of 1 or 2 coats of high-quality and challenging paint. Another advantage of choosing refacing over the entire cabinet is the cost.

Cabinet Painting Cost


When painting cabinets, the surface must first be cleansed and sanded to make the surface better for the paint to stick. All other fixtures which are hardware including hinges and knobs are also pulled out. Time spent prepping impacts price:

Light Preparation: $500-$1,000

Especially for the newer model cabinets that still look almost new and only require a little sanding or cleaning.

– Medium Preparation: $1,000-$1,500 

Ideal for older cabinet designs with some dust collect and slight surface scratch.

– Heavy Preparation: $1,500-$2,500

For cabinets with cabinets, lousy smell, discolored, peeling laminates/veneers, or other structural problems.

Primer & Paint

Expert painters then apply high-bonding primers and cabinetry paints to give the best and long lasting paint work. Specialty products typically fall under this category and can cost between $50 and $100 per gallon.

The amount needed varies by kitchen size:

– Small (up to 10 cabinets): 1-2 gallons.

– Medium (10-25 cabinets): This is because 3 to 5 gallons is a reasonable amount that anyone can carry from the taps to their homes without the need for any assistance.

– Large (25+ cabinets): over 6 gallons

Taking into consideration the fact that most kitchens need 3-4 gallons by the time you are done painting, material costs range between $300-$600.


It should be noted that an experienced painter will cost around $50 per hour for the cabinet painting. The work done on a medium- big kitchen usually takes 25-30 hour. This brings the labor cost to $ 1,250-$ 1,500. Painting small kitchens can take as little time as 15-20 hours, including preparation, painting, and other preparations.

Summary of Painting Costs

In conclusion, any DIY painter can change the appearance of the cabinets for an amount ranging from $ 750 at the very minimum. They charge between $3,000 – $5,500 for the service, which includes preparation, materials, and project size.

The Verdict: The Costs of Refacing and Painting

In a nutshell, when planning to reface kitchen or bathroom cabinets, one should be prepared to dig deeper about $2 to $3 for every square meter than if one were to repaint the same. The key benefits of painting are the affordable prices for the works and the short time required to complete the task.

The drawback is the finish which is not as hard wearing as refacing, and would require doing over again every five to ten years. Remember that the first and foremost rule is comparing the costs of the first several months of using a particular approach and the benefits you will get from it in the long term when it comes to your cabinets!


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call us for free estimate