Should you Reface or Replace Kitchen Cabinets?


Depending on your budget, there are two main options for transforming your kitchen from plain to pretty–refacing or replacing. Let’s dive into each option and see which makes the most sense for you needs and budget.

What is refacing?

Cabinet refacing (or refinishing as it’s sometimes known) is the process of changing the finish or paint color of existing cabinet without removing them. It usually requires some sanding, paint stripping, and staining and is a popular option for people on a budget or DIYers.

The pros and cons of refacing

Below is a list of some common pros and cons for refacing kitchen cabinets:


  • No need to tear out your current cabinets

  • Keep your existing countertops

  • Not a drawn out process

  • Usually more cost effective than replacement

  • Can be done without hiring a contractor

  • Refinish only to keep all existing components, like doors, hardware


  • Can be as expensive as replacing

  • You’re stuck with same layout

  • It’s harder to update storage functionality

What is replacing?

Replacing your cabinets is essentially out with the old, in with the new. If you don’t like the layout or functionality of your kitchen, replacing is usually the option to go with. Replacing also gives you full design, color, and layout control and is instrumental in improving your home’s value.

The pros and cons of replacing

Below is a list of some common pros and cons for replacing kitchen cabinets:


  • Custom-built to solve all your needs

  • You can change your layout

  • It’s a great investment that increases your home's value

  • Brand new storage solutions

  • You can upgrade your countertops


  • More expensive

  • Requires more time and planning

  • If you’re making a major layout change, you may need to redo electrical and/or plumbing

What do we recommend?

Refacing or replacing your cabinets are both great options to update your kitchen. Depending on your needs, we recommend the following:

  • If you’re on a tighter budget, like to get your hands dirty, or like the functionality of your current cabinets, we recommend you Reface you existing cabinets.

  • If you want major changes to your kitchen and to be in control of the details, we recommend you Replace your cabinets with new ones.

If you fall into the Replace category, feel free to contact Helmut Cabinetry for a free design consultation.

Clayton Helmuth