Refacing cabinets in a vacation home

katie111October 4, 2013

We just bought a ski vacation condo. It's in great shape and we got an awesome deal on it but the kitchen cabinets are so ugly. They are that white laminate with a strip of oak near the top that was somehow popular in the 80's. We definitely don't want to do a remodel as the layout is fine & the kitchen is quite small (galley style) so we are thinking of just refacing the cabinets. They are actually very solid, just ugly. We will probably be using the condo about 40 days a year so the kitchen will not be getting a tremendous amount of use. The appliances are new and the countertops are in good shape so its really just the cabinets we are concerned about.

If you did reface, how do they look? Have they stood up well? We would definitely have it professionally done and we would want to do real wood, not laminate. Any ideas on cost? We only have about 10 cabinets and 5 drawers in the entire kitchen. I would love to do dark wood, but the insides are white, so would that look really strange? We have white cabinets in our home kichen, so I'd like to do something different and a little warmer looking.

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Figure about $150.00 per opening. Dark on white will be fine.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Many on this forum dismiss refacing, saying that it can cost nearly as much as replacing cabinets. But I think in certain scenarios it makes sense. Particularly in your case if you are not looking to change out the counters, it seems like refacing might give you the nicer-looking cabinets you're interested in.

We did a combination of new cabinets (to replace an existing L-shaped island and some uppers around our new range hood) and refacing. I didn't want painted cabinets, and our cabinet guy suggested we could reface with quarter inch plywood veneer on the cabinet boxes, stained to match the new cabinet doors (our old cabinets were maple). We're very pleased with the result.

In this picture, the right-most upper cabinet is a brand new cabinet (narrower than the one that was there previously). The two other uppers are the original cabinet boxes, but refaced. In the photo you see new solid wood full overlay cabinet doors, matching trim, and a side panel (next to the sink). All the lowers visible are our original cabinets, with new doors/drawers.

In this closeup picture, you can see how the quarter inch plywood veneer was applied to the front of the cabinet face frames and stained to match the new doors. If you look at the cabinets this closely, you can see that the veneer has been applied. But, it is not noticeable if you aren't looking for it.

I can't give any specifics on cost because our cabinetry work involved both new and refaced cabinets, and I don't have a breakdown. But, refacing a portion of our cabinets was less expensive than the cost of completely replacing. It sounds like in your situation it would definitely be worth looking into.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Thanks for the price estimate & the pictures. I think your cabinets look fabulous. That's pretty much the exact color & style that I want & I love your handles. Would you be able to give any more information on the color/wood of the cabinets and any info on the handles?

Anyone else have any positive or negative feedback on refacing?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 3:10PM
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The cabinets are alder with a stain called "washington cherry". The pulls were a nice budget big box find. Pretty plain, but they worked for me.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:19PM
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