Kitchen cabinet refacing
March 26, 2014 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have firsthand experience with kitchen cabinet refacing?

Specific recommendations for (or warnings against) companies that provide this service in the Boston area would be much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Sublimity to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have refaced a few cabinets, but I did it as a DIY with paint. I've also repainted the cabinet boxes and I've had a cabinet maker create new doors.

What kind of refacing are you talking about? Laminate on top of laminate? New doors, a paint refresh?

A bit of specificity can help with the tips.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:16 AM on March 26, 2014

Indeed, a lot is going to depend on what you have in mind specifically.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:46 AM on March 26, 2014

Sure--I meant refacing with new laminate and perhaps new doors. Not refinishing or repainting.

Companies I have found in my local area that provide this service are here and here.

The layout of my cabinets is fine and I think the quality and condition are as good or better as we'd get if we yanked them all out and replace them with new from Ikea, say. I'd prefer a smaller, less disruptive process if possible to just change the aesthetics of the cabinets. The pics on those sites look great but I'm wondering if it's actually that nice in real life, or if it falls apart in a year, stuff like that.
posted by Sublimity at 11:01 AM on March 26, 2014

I ordered cabinet doors from last summer. They were painted solid wood and the doors look better than anything I saw in big box stores. We measured them ourselves and the doors that arrived all fit. We also installed them ourselves, so I can't say anything about that part of the process (except that Ikea hinges turned out to be superior to any purchased at Home Depot). I've also only had them since August, so I can't speak to their longevity.

The only problem was that a few doors arrived slightly damaged. The company replaced them without much trouble but the doors that arrived were a slightly different shade of white than the first ones. I probably could have pursued the matter further and had them replaced again but it was at the tail end of a long renovation, and I didn't have the energy to deal with it. Eventually, I may have them all spray painted.
posted by capsizing at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2014

I can't speak to your local area, but friends got their cabinets refaced with new laminate about two or three years ago, and it does look as good as new and has stayed looking good. It doesn't get a lot of wear, though, as they have no children and rarely cook.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 12:29 PM on March 26, 2014

You will be shocked at how expensive using one of these companies will be. For grins have them both come by and assess your kitchen and work up a quote for you.

I have seen the refacing with new laminate on the boxes and it's just not that great looking. It chips easily and you can see the edges (ask if you can see an example of the process, you'll see what I'm talking about.)

I'd rather paint the boxes (use a good latex primer first, then it's SUPER easy.) Then buy primed doors, and paint them too. I think it looks nicer, but it's objective so YMMV. Sometimes the paint will need a touch up, but it's a lot easier than dealing with chipped laminate.

I had a cabinet maker do my doors as a custom job in my condo. He hung them for me and everything. It was really affordable and I did the painting myself.

If you don't want to paint, you can hire a painter. It will be cheaper than a "refacing" company and you will like it a whole lot better.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2014

Not to totally threadsit, but repainting is not going to work in this situation. The existing cabinets are covered in horrid plasticky fake wood laminate. I have done a ton of interior and exterior painting and am pretty fearless about it, and I can see that this is not the solution for this issue.
posted by Sublimity at 1:08 PM on March 26, 2014

My mom did that about 10-15 years ago. The cabinets were really dark (almost black) wood and very brittle, so she had a very light colored laminate put on top and new doors and drawers. The laminate chipped on one of the corners very quickly, and she grew to hate that she'd had it done almost immediately. About two years ago she contacted a small, local company to build her new custom cabinets and she couldn't be happier with them. From what I recall, the laminate refacing cost somewhere between $5-10,000 (in ~2000 dollars), her recent new build cabinets, granite countertops, new sink/garbage disposal/stove, and a lot of electrical work, only set her back about $12,000. But her cabinets were very brittle and poor quality to begin with. If yours are nice, you may be happy with just doing the refacing.
posted by jabes at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2014

[OP, who is not anon, has said "no painting" plz send painting suggestions elsewhere, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:17 PM on March 26, 2014

existing cabinets are covered in horrid plasticky fake wood laminate Are they cheap and crappy and worth the trouble? Ikea has an annual kitchen sale, with 10% off. When I re-did my kitchen, I got another percentage off - 15% - ? - if I bought appliances. So I got the dishwasher and a new microwave, and a new stove. I had been planning to keep my old stove, but the increased discount made it pretty much free.
posted by theora55 at 3:41 PM on March 26, 2014

I don't have any experience actually doing it, but I remember my parents got our cabinets refaced and it was like having a different kitchen.

(I wish we had taken before-after pictures, as the previous cabinet doors were orange and the pulls had little lion heads...ugh the '70s.)
posted by radioamy at 3:57 PM on March 26, 2014

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