Craftsmen of Fine Cabinetry


Shaker style Brookfield Reface We often get questions on this cabinet updating dilemma. What is the difference between the two processes? Here is the low down on the basics of the terms.

Refinishing: It is by far the most economical of solutions to updating your cabinets.  No changes to your existing floor plan or cabinet components. It is simply changing the color /finish of your cabinets. It is most often completed by a painter. The stain or paint is sanded or chemically stripped, or combination of the two, to remove the existing finish. Then new stain or paint is applied. Negatives: It can be very messy/dusty. (but most remodeling is). You stick with the existing cabinet components so if the drawer is falling apart or won’t open correctly it will still do that, just with a new color! Hardware is tough to change, especially if you have exposed hinges. You may be able to change the Handles/ knobs it just needs to stay within the same parameters of the existing. Positives : Budget friendly and can be completed by the handy homeowner or diy with relative ease.

Refacing/Resurfacing: The two terms are interchangeable simply put changing the face or surface of your cabinets. You keep the bones of your cabinets( the cabinet box). Then face frames are refaced/surfaced.  New doors and drawer fronts(and drawers if needed/wanted)are added. New finished ends, mouldings, and more are installed This process is done differently by different companies. Many will cover the existing face frame with laminate or wood veneer, glued on. Here, at Detail Woodworks, we apply a solid wood stock pinned on the existing frame. We find it to be much more durable than either the laminate or veneer. Refacing is typically done by custom cabinet makers. There are companies who do just resurfacing but will most likely use veneers or laminates. Positives: You can completely change wood specie, and color. The style of your cabinet doors and drawers can also be changed, and your drawer will now close and open correctly! You can change all your hardware, add mouldings, more cabinets etc. It is a much more versatile choice. Savings are about 30% over new. Negatives: Of course there is that dust again, some kitchen/bath downtime and you still have the same kitchen footprint.

What should I do? Every homeowner has a wish list followed by that pesky budget. Here is how we try to guide our clientele. If you plan on being in the home for more that 5 years, remodeling the home the way you want it is worth it. The kitchen is the most used space in your home and it should be a reflection of who you are and what you need. If you are planning on a short term stay, refacing to upgrade is often the way to go. You get to enjoy the new look while your there, and will help sell the home when the time comes. If you love your kitchen and everything is working great then refinishing may be just the spice up you need.

I hope that this has cleared up some questions for you. As always give us a call to help in anyway we can with your next project!

**The photo next to the blog shows a refaced kitchen we completed in Brookfield. The island was oak, flat. We added the raised panels and changed the wood species to maple with white paint finish.**