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Main Differences Between Cabinet Painting vs. Refacing

When giving your kitchen a fresh, updated look, cabinets often take center stage. The decision between cabinet painting and refacing can significantly impact your kitchen transformation’s aesthetics, cost, and timeline. In this blog, we’ll delve into the main differences between cabinet painting and refacing, helping you make an informed decision based on your preferences and budget.

Cabinet Painting Overview

Cabinet painting involves applying a new coat of paint to the existing cabinet surfaces. It’s a popular choice for homeowners looking to refresh the appearance of their cabinets without the extensive costs and labor associated with full-scale replacements.


  • Cleaning and Preparation: Before painting, cabinets must be thoroughly cleaned and prepared. This includes removing hardware, sanding surfaces for better adhesion, and filling imperfections.
  • Priming: A high-quality primer is essential for promoting paint adhesion and ensuring a smooth, durable finish.
  • Paint Application: The chosen paint color is applied, typically with a brush or roller, creating a fresh and cohesive look.
  • Sealing and Finishing: A clear sealant or topcoat is applied to protect the paint and enhance its longevity.

Pros of Cabinet Painting

  • Cost-Effective: Cabinet painting is generally more budget-friendly compared to full refacing.
  • Quick Turnaround: The process is relatively quick, allowing for a faster kitchen transformation.
  • Versatility: You can choose various paint colors and finishes to suit your style.
  • DIY Option: While professional expertise is recommended for a flawless finish, cabinet painting can be a DIY project for those with experience.

Cabinet Refacing Overview

Cabinet refacing involves replacing the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones while the cabinet frames and boxes remain in place. This process provides a significant visual upgrade and can include adding new hardware and accessories.


  • Removal of Old Doors and Drawer Fronts: Existing doors and drawer fronts are removed, leaving the cabinet frames intact.
  • Installation of New Doors and Drawer Fronts: Custom-made doors and drawer fronts are installed, often made from materials like wood, laminate, or veneer.
  • Matching Cabinet Exterior: The visible sides of the cabinets, known as the exterior or face frames, are covered with matching veneer or laminate to ensure a cohesive appearance.
  • Hardware and Accessories: New hardware, such as handles and knobs, can be added to complete the updated look.

Pros of Cabinet Refacing

  • Transformative Aesthetics: Cabinet refacing provides a significant visual upgrade, making it an excellent option for those seeking a more dramatic change.
  • Preserves Cabinet Structure: Since the existing cabinet frames remain in place, there’s minimal disruption to the kitchen layout.
  • Customization: Refacing allows for the customization of door styles, materials, and finishes to match your design preferences.
  • Higher-end Look: The result often gives cabinets a higher-end, custom appearance than painting.

Choosing Between Cabinet Painting and Refacing

Considerations for Cabinet Painting

  • Budget: If budget constraints are a primary concern, cabinet painting is a more cost-effective option.
  • Existing Cabinet Condition: Cabinet painting works best when the existing cabinets are in good structural condition and you’re satisfied with the current layout.
  • Quick Transformation: If you’re looking for a relatively quick transformation without a lengthy renovation process, painting is the way to go.

Considerations for Cabinet Refacing

  • Visual Impact: Refacing is a better choice if you desire a more significant visual transformation with new door styles and materials.
  • Structural Integrity: Refacing is suitable for cabinets with solid structural integrity, as it doesn’t address underlying issues.
  • Long-term Investment: While more expensive than painting, refacing can be viewed as a long-term investment in your kitchen’s overall aesthetics and value.
  • Customization: Refacing offers greater flexibility if you want a customized look with specific door styles and finishes.

Give Your Cabinets a Makeover with SwiftHand Painting

Whether you opt for the simplicity of cabinet painting or the transformative impact of refacing, SwiftHand Painting is here to bring your vision to life. Our expert team specializes in cabinet painting and refacing, ensuring top-notch quality and attention to detail. Contact us today at 385-438-4797 for a free estimate, and let SwiftHand Painting elevate the heart of your home. Transform your kitchen with precision, expertise, and creativity—choose SwiftHand Painting for a kitchen that reflects your style and personality!

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