Kitchens and bathrooms often tell the age of a home – that’s why they’re popular rooms to renovate. One of the first questions homeowners ask when starting a kitchen or bath project is, “Should I paint (refinish) or replace my cabinets?”
It’s a good question. Cabinets are an important focal point in most rooms. When they start to show their age, cabinets can bring down the look and value of an entire kitchen or bath, so you want to make the right decision.
Here’s some insight to help you make the best choice based on your home and budget.
Should I Paint (refinishing) My Cabinets?
Typically, homeowners consider painting because they’re tired of outdated, stained cabinets and are working on a budget. While painting (refinishing) your cabinets refreshes your kitchen or bath’s look, there are limitations.
- Site-applied paint on cabinets does not last as long as factory-applied products, so factory-finished cabinets are always more durable and long-lasting.
- Solid wood cabinets require professional prep work to avoid color and surface issues.
- No matter how talented a painter is, she/he cannot eliminate wood grain/texture issues.
If you love the look of your existing doors and drawers, are working with a tight budget, and want short-term results, painting might be the solution for you.
Warning, do your research! All cabinet painters are not created equal. Look for a professional who has experience refinishing cabinetry. There are significant differences that impact the long-term finished product based on application techniques and technologies.
When is the Right Time to Replace Cabinets?
Cabinets are a major component of a great kitchen or bath design that make a lasting impression. If your cabinets are old and worn, perhaps it’s time for an update.
As two of the most used rooms in your home, kitchens and bathrooms see a lot of wear. By investing in new cabinets, you can change the entire look and layout of the room. A new cabinet footprint can change a non-functional space into your favorite room in the house, even without remodeling.
If you’re doing extensive work like knocking down walls, it almost always makes sense to replace your cabinets. You don’t want to paint your cabinets and top them off with a beautiful new countertop only to discover you have structural issues causing new (and expensive) problems.
Should I Replace or Paint My Cabinets Checklist
|Best Choice is Painting||Best Choice is Replacing|
|My cabinets have structural issues – warping, mold, and/or glides, hinges, and drawers that don’t work properly|
|I want to change the design of the room to improve functionality
|I need a short-term solution|
|I want to change the style of cabinetry|
|I want long term durability|
|I’m prepared to make regular paint touch-ups in high traffic areas|
|I want to change the style of the doors, drawers, and overall look|
|I want to upgrade my cabinet quality|
|I want to do the work myself|
|I want to add new features like extra storage|
|Cost the most important consideration|
Don’t throw away your old cabinets
At Kane Home Cabinetry & Design, we offer various cabinet options to satisfy a wide range of design and budget requirements. Don’t feel guilty that your used cabinets will end up in a landfill. We’ll remove your old cabinets and deliver them, as your donation, at no charge, to Habitat for Humanity, assuming they’re in decent shape.
The Bottom Line
If you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer, painting cabinets may be cost-effective. But, if you’re hiring a professional refinishing painter, it makes sense to consider the cost and added value of replacing your cabinets. The price difference may not be as much as you expect.If you’re updating your kitchen or bath, our experienced designers can make your dream a reality.
Kane Home Cabinetry is a premier kitchen and bath design boutique with a showroom located in the heart of St. Charles, Illinois. We design and remodel custom kitchens, baths, and work areas that are as functional as they are beautiful.