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We understand that updating your kitchen cabinets is a huge decision. Our goal is to empower you with realistic cabinet updating cost information to help you budget for your project.

This cabinet refacing cost and pricing guide will help you evaluate which cabinet improvement methods are right for you and to develop an initial budget for these services.

Want to see how the different design and installation elements affect the cost of a project? Check out our FREE Pricing Scenarios Guide where we take a common kitchen layout and price it multiple ways for comparison purposes.

Get Pricing Examples

Cost of Cabinet Refacing: Where Do You Start?

When evaluating if improving your existing cabinets is the right option for you, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself.

If the answer to most of these questions is yes, then you may want to continue to learn more:

  • Am I happy with the overall layout and placement of appliances and fixtures in the Kitchen?
  • Any redesign I may want with my cabinets is minor additions or subtractions that don’t require permits? (i.e. moving plumbing, electrical, or knocking out walls, etc.)
  • Is your primary distaste with your cabinets decorative, like an out-of-date door style or paint/stain color?
  • I’ve already spent a lot of money on countertop and/or flooring updates, can I keep them while updating my cabinets?
  • Do you hate the idea of a long and messy remodeling project?
  • Will I be staying in this home long enough to justify a major remodeling investment?
  • Is it possible to get the custom cabinet look I want without breaking the bank?

Updating Your Existing Cabinets: What are the Options and the Costs?

First, a quick discussion on DIY vs. Professional Installation

Because our journey into home remodeling started out as Do-It-Yourselfers, we know there are others out there like us who are always asking “can we do it ourselves and save?”

The answer is yes, you can, but know your abilities and keep it simple.
DIY could save you thousands, but it could also cost you thousands if you don’t do a good job!

(As we expand our blog, we hope to offer more detailed How-To and repair articles, so keep in touch over the coming months.)

In the meantime, here are a few observations and pitfalls for the DIY’er:


DIY Skill Level- Beginner:

  • Cabinet Painting is the most likely DIY project to be tackled.
  • Prep and prep some more! Cabinets are dirtier and greasier than you think, poor cleaning and poor prep are the main reasons for failure.
  • Do your research and get the right coating; don’t trust a paint associate at a typical paint store or home improvement center.
  • Spend the extra money for high-quality paints or paint kits that give you the best chance of success. Better quality coatings will level out the brush strokes, don’t keep trying to brush them out.
  • When brushing and rolling cabinets, runs and drips are common, especially in the profile areas of the cabinet doors. Multiple thin coats, that are easier for you to manage, will turn out better than trying to put it on thick.
  • You can get by for $300-500 for a good DIY paint job.


DIY Skill Level - Intermediate:

  • Cabinet Door Replacement would be the next level for a DIY’er.
  • You can paint the cabinets and replace the doors for best effect or find a door that matches your cabinet color/stain.
  • The actual work to replace doors is not that difficult, you just need a drill. But beware of some complicated doors like corner cabinets that can have complicated hinges.
  • Make sure your drawer fronts can be removed and replaced. Some drawer fronts are part of the drawer box.
  • Installing drawer fronts onto drawers and getting them lined up with the doors below can be challenging. And be careful, or you might just put a screw through the front!!
  • The biggest, and potentially most costly, mistake in door replacement is measuring and ordering. Every door has to be accurate, the appropriate hinges ordered, the appropriate style, and color must be entered correctly.
  • To make older cabinets look more modern, the new doors are ordered larger to have a larger overlay. Getting this right for all doors requires meticulous measuring (to the 1/16”), and again areas of corner cabinets, fridge heights, door swing space, etc. can all be missed if you don’t know what you are looking for.
  • There are several online door makers who sell directly to the public. Study their website’s measuring and ordering procedures and you can get it done yourself. Prices and quality vary greatly — depending on the size of kitchen you might spend from $1,000-$3,000 for all materials.


DIY Skill Level - Advanced:

  • Full Cabinet Refacing with some cabinet additions subtractions.
  • At this level you would be a bit more than the average DIY’er and would have a bit of cabinet experience. If you’re at this level, you probably want to search for YouTube instructional videos and visit door manufacturer sites.
  • At this level you would be affixing front face veneers that match the new doors, adding end and island panels to flat cabinet surfaces and maybe some crown molding.
  • If you have the tools and skills for creating a custom kitchen look you can probably look to spend $3,000 to $6,000 depending on quality and size of kitchen. Another way to look at it, you’d probably save around half the full installation price.

A Cost Comparison: Cabinet Painting, Cabinet Door Replacement, Cabinet Refacing, and Cabinet Replacement

Painting, Refacing or Replacing
Professionally Painted Cabinets:

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most important features in your home, both aesthetically and functionally. Just a color change on the cabinets can change the emotion in the heart of your home.

How can it be done? Two basic types of cabinet painters:


The Professional Painter: This painter or painting company usually is an overall house painter, meaning they will paint interior and exterior, walls, trim, cabinets, etc.

  • There is a wide range of quality in this category. The cost of entry to become a painter is low, but the real craftsman can do amazing things with a roller or spray gun.
  • Cabinet painting is a real subset of painting. Not everyone in this group will paint cabinets and not everyone will understand the nuances of cabinet painting and cabinet coatings. Many treat cabinet painting the same way they do walls and trim.
  • The best craftsman can do an amazing job with a brush, even on cabinets, if they are using the right products. Many will also use a spray gun, but make sure the paint is best for cabinets.
  • As with any service, making sure the painter is capable and qualified is vital, see door samples and get references.
  • Painting cabinets has a higher risk of failure due to the hard surfaces and daily use they receive. A qualified painter will charge significantly more for this service than, say, wall painting. If they don’t then you should ask yourself why. Depending on size, any prices below $1,500 for a small kitchen and $2,500 for large may need some scrutiny.
  • Finally, for a good quality job you can expect $2,000-$5000 on average. Sprayed finishes have a higher quality, and require more prep and masking, so they can expect to be $4000-$8000 depending on size.


The Professional Cabinet Painter: These would be niche painters who solely focus on cabinets and maybe furniture.

  • Fresh Faced Cabinets fits into this category, we include cabinet painting as a part of our overall cabinet improvement business. We don’t do furniture or any other home painting for our business.
  • Others who fit in this category might also be considered re-finishers, meaning they also take on projects that require detailed repair, stripping, and coating cabinets and furniture. We do not offer refinishing services.
  • The main distinction we would put to this category is that the primary objective is to invest in tools and products that have the highest quality and most closely resemble a finish from a cabinet manufacturer.
  • The coatings used are meant to withstand the wear associated with cabinets such as water, chemicals, sun, and mar resistance.
  • These painters will typically spray finishes with equipment that finely atomizes the coating for best results.
  • Coatings to reach these standards are expensive. Our pigmented poly’s can cost over $100 per gallon.
  • Specialists also know that prep work on cabinets is vital. Cleaning and prepping can take hours and proper priming for good adhesion is a must.
  • Attention to detail is a must when spraying in a home. Masking thoroughly to control over-spray and tenting and ventilation are needed to control dust.
  • We keep overhead down by not having a shop and spraying on-site, while other companies take doors to a shop for spraying.
  • A high quality sprayed cabinet finish does cost more, commonly running from $4,500-$10,000 and usually takes 4-5 days.

(Note: Custom Island and Peninsula Trim Packages and Crown Molding are available with painted cabinets. See below for a basic discussion and pricing in the Cabinet Refacing section.)


Professional Cabinet Refacing: This would include different levels of updates:

  • Cabinet Door Replacement only.
  • Full Cabinet Refacing with veneers and end panels.
  • Full Customization with options such as crown molding and drawer replacement.
  • Minor cabinet alterations, additions, and/or subtractions.


Let’s take a look at each to learn more.


Cabinet Door Replacement

This is just as it sounds: the only alteration is to replace the doors. If you happen to like the color of your cabinets and want to find a new door style to match, then a very affordable option is to only replace the doors. This is most common when old white thermal foil cabinet doors are peeling off. Replacing them with new white doors is simple fix.

Size and door styles affect the price and materials and installation can typically range from $4,300 to $7,000.

Option: Cabinet Door Replacement and Touch-Up Cabinet Painting
There are times when a color change is necessary or the cabinets are in need of freshening. Another budget option is to brush and roll the cabinet boxes to match the new doors.

This works best on smaller kitchens or kitchens with few end panels because the cabinets butt to walls. This typically would add $600 to $2,000 to the above door replacement price.


Full Cabinet Refacing

Full Cabinet Refacing includes installation options that are meant to fully transform your kitchen into a custom showcase. The added benefit is that the installations covered below are typically completed in 5 days or less! And, the kitchen is functional when we leave for the day.

To make your existing cabinets look new, we start with door style and finish. This will help determine which of the following methods to use:

  • Face Frame Veneers - Thin veneer strips that match the door style are trimmed and affixed with adhesives to fit the face frames of the cabinets.
  • They are trimmed and routed to best fit and look seamless on the fronts, and interior frame edges are stained or painted to match.
  • Wood stained finishes must be applied in this method to match. Painted finishes may be done this way or the following way.
  • Face and Cabinet Boxes Painted - If you choose a painted door then we may look at spraying the existing cabinets to match.
  • Because we are also cabinet painters we have the ability to spray the cabinets to match.
  • This is a great option if you already have crown moldings and other trim in place but want to change door style.
  •  Cabinet End Panels - For the ends of cabinets we typically attach door panels. This is a very effective way to match color and finish to the doors but, more importantly, they give a custom cabinet look.

For a full cabinet refacing for cabinets (not including islands or peninsulas) you can expect to spend from $5,000 to $10,000 for smaller kitchens, average kitchens range $8,000-$12,000, and large kitchens $10,000-$15,000 and up.


Islands and Peninsulas

We separate Islands and Peninsulas because they are typically an area that can receive different trim packages. Most builders only install flat panels on the backs and ends of islands. We find these places to be excellent areas to customize your kitchen.

Options include: staying with the flat look, adding door panels, or creating larger panels and base moldings for a built-in furniture look. Corbels, Decorative Legs, and Bead Board are also options.

This improvement is probably the biggest wow factor when we update a kitchen. The price can vary greatly depending on size and treatment applied.
You can expect to add $1,000 for a basic, smaller island, and range up to $4,000 for upgraded designs and or multiple Islands or Peninsulas.


Crown and Under Cabinet Molding

Showcase kitchens always have decorative moldings. We can add a variety of molding options for above and below the cabinets. Expect to add $750 to $1500 depending on size.

Replacement Drawers and Cabinet Storage

You can not only make your old cabinets look new, but also function like new.
Old and poor-functioning drawers can be replaced with new birch, dovetailed drawers with under-mount soft close glides. $110-$130 each depending on size.
Simple pull out trays (not soft close) can be added inside existing cabinets, $70-$80 each.

Cabinets can be converted to large, full extension, pots and pans drawers - $400-$500 per cabinet.

Add a soft close, trash and recycling pull out, about $300 installed.
Minor Cabinet Replacement/Additions

Often times there are one or two areas where a small cabinet change is desirable.

Common areas:

  • An unused desk area filled with a cabinet or beverage cooler
  • Raising the low hanging microwave over the range
  • Adding a cabinet to a blank wall

Figure roughly $300-$700/cabinet depending on size and location.

Replace Upper Cabinets: The Best of Both Worlds!

Replace and Reface

Sometimes you do want a more dramatic change in your kitchen.
But can you achieve that without tearing everything out? The answer is yes.
A highly effective way to make it look like you completely gutted your kitchen and started from scratch is to replace your upper cabinets while refacing you lower cabinets.

Think about it, the upper cabinets are the primary visual cabinets in the room. Showcase kitchens often have them staggered in height and adorned with molding to add interest and drama.

The base cabinets are for function and to hold the other major decorative item in the kitchen: the counter top. Except on their end panels, the interiors and face frames of the lowers don’t add any visual interest.

The most common area where we replace upper cabinets is when builders designed high ceilings in the home but skimped with standard 30” wall cabinets.

In this case, it can be highly effective and affordable to replace the wall cabinets with 42” cabinets and crown molding. The taller cabinets fit better with the high ceilings, and the change will appear as if the whole kitchen was remodeled.
Estimating the cost of replacing cabinets is a little more custom to each kitchen, but on average these jobs have ranged from $11,000-$16,000. Larger kitchens can be $20,000 and up.

Comparing Full Cabinet Refacing to Cabinet Replacing

This is probably a good place to make some rough comparisons to a full kitchen remodel.

How do our painting and refacing service compare in price and quality?
There are a lot of quality differences in cabinetry. We have been outbid on jobs for full replacement kitchens, oftentimes when the replacement cabinets are from discount home centers.

Our cabinets and finishes compare in quality with upper custom cabinet lines that you would find at high-end kitchen design showrooms and are superior in quality to the box store cabinets and refacing lines.

If you’re replacing your countertop and flooring at the same time, the overall price difference lessens making a full cabinet replacement a more reasonable option.

So, to make some general comparisons we’ll only consider our most common full cabinet refacing and/or upper cabinet replacements with all the bells and whistles, end panels, island trim packages, crown molding, etc.
The average suburban home (25-40 doors and drawers) that we do at this level is $10,000 to $15,000. Smaller homes, think small ranch, might be closer to $7,000 to $10,000.

This only includes cabinet improvements, no counter tops, flooring, or backsplash. If these items are in good shape, then refacing is by far the best option for you.

When compared to new cabinets, you have to look at the quality of the cabinets chosen, as mentioned, lower quality off-the-shelf cabinets can be less expensive than our refacing materials.

Also, consider the design elements, only mid to upper-end cabinet lines offer decorative end panels and quality crown moldings, etc. Comparing apples to apples requires that a new cabinet installation also include all the bells and whistles.

And finally, when comparing costs to a new cabinet installation, you also need to factor in countertop, flooring, and backsplash. In general, these items need to be new and fitted to the new cabinets.

So, let’s assume you can get a decent cabinet line with all the trim for the same price as our refacing services:

Cabinetry $10,000 to $15,000
Countertop $5,000 to $10,000
Flooring $1,000 to $5000
Backsplash $1,500 to $2,500


This would offer a very conservative estimate of $18,000 to $33,000 total renovation cost for our refacing services and a very budget friendly full cabinet replacement.

In the real world, when our clients are pricing highest quality refacing vs. a like quality cabinet line the low end of replacing would start at around $30,000 to $50,000 and we've had clients with bids for over $90,000.

Not to mention that a recent prospect who was also getting a bid for a full remodel was told to expect a 4-6 months process, without a kitchen for most of that time.

Our service is done mostly in a week with no downtime in the kitchen. Even with a countertop and/or flooring replacement, you can expect everything to typically be completed from design completion in 2 months.

Thank You for Considering Us for Your Project.

We are a true Mom and Pop operation.  We market, design, sell and install.  We began our marriage and our remodeling passion almost two decades ago when we bought our first home in South St. Louis.  Fresh Faced Cabinets and cabinet updating has allowed our joy for taking something old and making it new.

We look forward to working with you.

David and Stephanie Short

David & Stephanie Short Fresh Faced Cabinets

We cannot rave enough about Fresh Faced Cabinets and their attention to detail! They were on time and consistently offered incredible design advice - little details that made all the difference! It was a joy working with them and I have highly recommended them to friends and neighbors.

Jen B. Facebook Recommendation