Learn how you can update your existing cabinets in a budget-friendly way by painting and refacing them for a whole new look!
Kitchen remodels can get expensive real fast! When we first got quotes for the kitchen remodel, the majority of the $$$ were going towards new cabinets! To save a lot of money, you can easily replace the cabinet doors and completely upgrade the look of the entire kitchen!
Table of Contents
- What is refacing
- Where to buy cabinet doors
- How to order new cabinet doors
- Video tutorial
- How to paint cabinets
- Installing the new doors
***This post is sponsored by Nieu Cabinet Doors. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring you new projects***
This is what my kitchen started out as.
You can check out more before pictures and the mood board here. We added new cabinets to extend the countertops and create more counter space. The last step to tying the cabinets together was to reface them.
What is cabinet refacing?
Cabinet refacing essentially involves removing the old doors and drawers, giving the existing frame a new look with either paint or laminate, and then adding all new doors and drawers to give the cabinet a completely updated custom look.
Cabinet refacing is a great way to save time and most importantly – money.
The main reasons I decided to go with refacing –
- My cabinet boxes were in great sturdy condition.
- There were multiple styles of kitchen cabinets and doors.
- The old doors were scratched up and damaged
- The design and color of the old doors were just not my styles.
Where to buy cabinet doors
When I started working on plans for the kitchen remodel, I decided to look for a place where I could buy the doors and drawer fronts instead of making them myself. There were a total of 33 doors and drawer fronts needed which was way more than I had time for.
During my search, I found Nieu Cabinet Doors. They manufacture cabinet doors in a multitude of styles and colors. They are made of MDF and are of excellent quality.
I started by ordering a sample kit which came with a mini door in the style of my choice and a set of MDF color swatches. The sample is very reasonable at $25.
If you feel that installing new cabinet doors is a bit above your DIY level, you can still look into ordering the doors, and then hiring a local contractor to install them. It will still save you money over buying all new cabinets. However, I have you covered. I have all the details you need to know to install them!
How to order new cabinet doors
The process of ordering is very simple. Nieu Cabinet Doors have a lot of resources online including a style quiz to help you figure out exactly what and how to order. Essentially –
- You choose the door style. I got the Shaker doors.
- Pick your color. All the colors are Sherwin-Williams colors so you can easily paint the cabinet boxes to match.
- Measure pre-existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts and enter the dimensions on the website. They have detailed how-to videos for every cabinet style to guide you.
- You can then select many other options like – bores for the hinges, drawer boxes, drawer slides, etc.
Note – If you need a different color than what is offered, you can order any Sherwin Williams color for a small fee.
That’s it! Now you can start painting the cabinet boxes while you wait for your doors to arrive.
I have a full video tutorial showing you step by step how to to reface the laminate and unfinished wood cabinets including detailed tutorial of how to install the doors and drawer fronts from Nieu Cabinet Doors.
How to paint cabinets
I had two types of cabinets in my kitchen and they each needed a slightly different preparation method.
- The new unfinished wood cabinets – These could be primed to seal the wood and then painted
- The old laminate cabinets – The laminate needed to be deglossed and roughed up before priming and painting.
- Liquid Sandpaper
- SW ExtremeBond Primer
- Paint in the color of your choice. I used SW Emerald paint in Rock Garden for the lower cabinets and Alabaster for the upper cabinets.
- Paint tray
- ¼″ nap roller
- Paintbrush. This one is my favorite.
- Painter’s tape
Step 1 – Prep
- Remove all the doors and drawers. Be sure to label them.
- Clean all the dirt and grime off of the old cabinets with a TSP solution and rinse with clean water.
- Use liquid sandpaper to remove the gloss from cabinets if they have an old finish. Liquid sandpaper needs to be left to dry for 5 minutes for it to work effectively. You can also sand but I prefer creating as little dust as possible.
- Tape off the walls, floor, appliances, and around the cabinets.
Step 2 – Prime
- Using the brush, cut in on the edges and use the roller to roll on the primer.
- In the case of unfinished wood, lightly sand after the first coat to knock down any wood grain.
- Apply a second coat of primer.
Step 3 – Paint
- Paint by cutting in along the edges and rolling in the paint.
- Paint additional coats as needed. I needed a total of 3 coats to get the best coverage and rich color.
That’s it! The cabinet boxes are painted!
Pro-tip – Be sure to remove the painter’s tape before the paint dries!
Once the paint has dried and cured, you can go ahead and attach the doors and the drawers fronts.
Installing new cabinet doors
I got my cabinet doors with hinge bores and re-used my old soft close hinges. For tips and tricks on how to install the doors and drawer fronts, be sure to watch the video.
Important – Do not re-use the screw holes in the cabinet frame for the hinges. Nieu Cabinet Doors automatically offsets the hinges to avoid this but you can let them know depending on your situation where you would like the hinge bores.
Lazy Susan cabinet – I have a Lazy Susan corner cabinet. Nieu Cabinet doors was able to easily send me doors to assemble my corner cabinet door.
The hardware brought everything to life! These are the Fransisco pulls in Champagne Brass. I got a combination of 3″, 4″ and 5″ pulls for different sized cabinets and drawers.
One side of the kitchen is done!
For comparison, this is what it looked like when we started. Yes, it didn’t exist!
I have one more major project to go and then a bunch of small touch-ups before I can call this kitchen done!
I leave you with a gorgeous view of the cabients!
Other projects in this kitchen-
- DIY Wood Slat Island Trim
- How to install backsplash without mortar
- How to install vinyl plank flooring
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