Two techniques can restore worn, damaged, or outdated cabinetry. You will get different results.

Cabinet Refinishing

Do-it-yourselfers and crews from cabinet- and carpentry companies take apart the kitchen cabinets and strip away any existing stain or paint. Then, they apply a new stain or paint in the same or a different color scheme. You will be left with the same style of wood doors but with a unique finish when refinishing.

Older doors may need to be fixed or warped in some cases. This is something you can only correct by refinishing with a different stain. External hinges can also cause problems.

Cabinet Refacing 101

Do-it-yourselfers or cabinet refacing specialists remove old doors, false faces, and drawer fronts, apply veneer made of natural or laminate to the frame, then replace doors and drawer fronts with matching materials.

Kitchen Magic recommends cabinet refinishing, but not.

  • Although refinished cabinet surfaces can look great at first, they often crack, chip, or become discolored after a few months or weeks of exposure to heat or moisture.
  • Refinishing all cabinets is usually the best way to fix medium-to-large cracks or peeling areas.
  • Wood surfaces can be damaged by refinishing. Stripping and sanding are two methods that remove the top layer of wood and soften it. The wood may become warped or disfigured if it is refinished repeatedly.
  • To finish a project, toxic chemicals emit fumes for a long time.
  • Refinishing can be labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Kitchen Magic prefers and recommends refacing.

  • Refacing is more than just a cosmetic improvement. Refacing wood substrate, veneer, and veneer can strengthen the cabinet framework, making it last longer.
  • If a damaged section of a cabinet is causing damage, it’s not necessary to reface all cabinets. A cabinet refacing will often be able to remove the damaged area and replace it without leaving any trace of the repair.
  • Most adhesives can be refaced without causing permanent damage to surfaces. If adhesive removal requires sanding, the cumulative surface damage is less than cabinet refinishing.
  • There are many non-toxic and odorless alternatives to refacing adhesive.
  • Refacing takes only three to five days. Additional time may be required for extreme damage or for adding a different cabinet section.

What are you going to do? Reface or refinish?

Knowing the differences between refinishing or refacing your kitchen, you can now ask yourself: “Which method should I choose for my next kitchen remodel?” Schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with a Kitchen Magic expert to get the best out of your investment.

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