A kitchen or bathroom remodel is a pricey project, particularly when you want to gut the whole room and replace all of the cabinets. But the good news, especially for your budget, is that when you want a new look, you don’t need to go to the expense of buying new cabinets. It’s a lot cheaper to spruce up your cabinets and make them look updated by either refacing or painting them. 

Before you decide which option is best, decide on the look you want. Do you want to go with a classic look like the popular shaker style, prefer a rustic flair, or do you want a clean minimalist look? Once you know the look you want, Great Guys Painting provides key information on the major differences between refacing or painting so you can be confident about choosing the best method.

Cabinet Refacing vs. Painting – What’s the Difference? 

Cabinet painting entails refinishing existing cabinet doors while refacing entails replacing front-facing doors, drawers, and hardware. Refacing cabinets can cost up to twice as much as simply repainting your existing cabinets.

Refacing Your Cabinets

What is Involved in Refacing Cabinets? 

Refacing involves replacing the front-facing doors, drawers, and hardware (including hinges, handles, and knobs) while keeping the cabinet framework, internal shelves, and base boxes. With refacing, you don’t salvage your old cabinet fronts but give your cabinet framework a ‘new face’. 

Refacing Can Transform Outdated Cabinets

First of all, refacing allows you to choose a new style that can make your kitchen or bathroom cabinets look entirely new and stylish. Refacing transforms old cabinets that make your kitchen or bathroom look worn out and outdated. 

Answer These Questions to Know if Refacing Will Provide the Goal you Want

  • I like the layout of my kitchen or bathroom.
  • I’m happy with the storage space in my kitchen or bathroom.
  • I don’t like the style of my cabinet doors and drawers.
  • The cabinet boxes are in good condition and don’t need to be replaced.

Finding a Reliable Refacing Company

If you answered yes to the four bullet items above, you’ll know that refacing is probably the option you’re looking for. You can then go ahead and search the internet for “cabinet refacing” and you’ll find that there are many companies. 

But how can you trust that a company you find on the internet will be trustworthy and reputable? Great Guys Painting has already vetted cabinet refacing contractors to make sure they are reliable, licensed, and insured. And we make it simple for you to get a free quote from a trustworthy contractor near you so you can quickly find out how much refacing will cost.

Painting Your Cabinets

What is Involved in Painting Cabinets?

Painting involves resurfacing and refinishing your existing cabinet doors and drawers. The painting process includes sanding, painting, and in some cases, applying a durable finish to the old cabinets. With painting, you can choose to reinstall the same hardware or buy new. New hardware is a great way to add a custom look to your newly painted cabinets. 

Painting Can Be the Cheapest Method of Renewing Your Cabinets

Painting cabinets is almost always the most cost-effective method of giving your cabinets a new, fresh look and is certainly cheaper than refacing or replacing them.

But painting cabinets needs to be done right – especially in kitchens and bathrooms where grease and/or moisture are always present. Choose a durable paint that is formulated to stand up to moisture and a lot of use.

Reasons You May Choose to Paint Instead of Reface

Painting your cabinets will make them look clean and a new color can impart a trendy new look, but painting can’t change the door and drawer styles. We review some of the reasons you may prefer painting your cabinets rather than going with refacing.

  • You like the cabinet style but are tired of the dated color on your cabinets.
  • You simply want to change the color scheme in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • You want to go with the cheapest method of updating the look of your kitchen or bathroom. (In general, it costs about ⅓ to ½ as much to paint kitchen cabinets as it does to reface them).

Should I Paint My Cabinets Myself?

If you paint your cabinets yourself, you need to have some fairly experienced painting skills and patience to do the job right so the newly painted surfaces will last. You’ll need to remove hardware, including hinges; properly sand the doors and drawers; and tape off sections properly to prevent an amateurish or sloppy job.

Hiring a painting pro is the fastest and easiest way to change the paint color on your cabinets so it will be long-lasting and look great. Great Guys Painting can quickly connect you with reputable painting pros near you. 

Deciding Between Refacing or Painting

Here are some other factors to consider as you weigh refacing vs. painting your cabinets:

  • Some cabinet styles that were popular in the ’70s and ’80s feature rounded or ornate moldings that clearly impart an old, dated, worn look. Even if you paint, there is no way to mask those tired, outdated styles. The only effective way to renew outdated cabinet doors and drawers styles is to reface them. 
  • If you like your cabinet style but aren’t happy with the color, painting is a terrific and cheaper solution.
  • If you know you want an update, but you’re not sure about styles or colors, you can scan big box and home improvement stores’ websites to see which styles are currently most popular. Also, paging through home decorating magazines is another great way to get a sense of the new and popular cabinet styles and colors.
  • To save some money, try to find cabinet doors and drawers that are pre-finished. The colors are usually very limited but pre-finished doors and drawers provide a fast and easy way to reface old cabinets.


Let Great Guys Painting help you find a trustworthy, licensed, and insured expert to update your cabinets. Get a free quote now to find out how affordable refacing or painting your cabinets can be!