Refacing includes changing out the doors, hardware and drawer fronts of cabinets without installing entirely new frames. Veneer overlays can be used to match the cabinet sides and edges to the new doors.
According to Alexandra Bandon, writing for This Old House, refacing versus new can cut costs as much as 80 percent. Refacing also means less mess and upheaval since cabinet frames remain in place.
Do It Yourself or Not
Considered moderate in difficulty by This Old House, refacing requires precise measuring before purchasing new doors and careful positioning of veneer overlays since they are self-stick or applied with glue, allowing little room for repositioning once applied. You will need at least some basic tools such as a hammer, drill/driver, straight edge, utility knife and any other equipment required by your choice of material and extent of the redo.
Availability of Materials
Large home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s should have everything you need for refacing. There are also online sites (FaceYourKitchen.com), with guides to material purchase, contractors specializing in refacing and other pertinent information.
If you like the look of your cabinets overall, but not the color or hardware, consider refacing with paint and new knobs as a viable alternative to replacing doors and applying veneers.