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Cabinet Refinishing Costs

Remodeling the kitchen while on a budget means finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Since cabinets are a big part of any kitchen, their appearance needs to be given a great deal of consideration. To improve the look of the room without spending too much, homeowners should look into refinishing existing cabinets rather than investing in brand new fixtures. While most can do this without a pro, others like to ensure expert cabinet work.

National Refinish Cabinets Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 1386 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Refinish Cabinets Costs
Average reported cost $2,363
Number of Cost Profiles 1386 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $150
Maximum reported cost $5,000
Most homeowners spent between: $1,776 to $2,717

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Refinishing vs. Replacing

The average cost of a complete cabinet installation is just over $4,100. That's a big investment for just one part of a kitchen remodel. On the other hand, refinishing falls somewhere in the $400 - $900 range depending on location. This is much more manageable to the homeowner on a budget. If the existing layout of the cabinets is workable and no more space is required, refinishing may be the best option. However, if other elements in the kitchen are going to be upgraded or replaced, new cabinets can help to bring the style together.


Before deciding whether to refinish or replace your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, there are a few important questions to consider:

  •  Are the existing cabinets in good condition?
  •  What materials were used in the original cabinets?
  • Is the cabinet style right for the current design of the kitchen?
  • How much money is available to cover remodeling costs?
  • Is time a factor?

The answers to these questions will help homeowners determine the best course of action when it comes to remodeling kitchen cabinets.

DIY vs. Professional

A DIY cabinet refinishing job allows total control over every part of the process. The person doing the work should be familiar with all of the necessary work, including removing and replacing cabinet doors, drawers and hardware. Experience with stripping, minor cosmetic repair, and staining or painting is also essential to ensuring a good outcome. There are many steps involved in the refinishing process, making it both painstaking and time-consuming. However, anyone with a little patience and the right skills can create beautiful results that improve the look of the kitchen in the long run.

For those who aren't ready to tackle such a big task alone, the other option is to hire a professional. While this may cost more, it can result in a better finished look that lasts longer than DIY jobs. Letting someone else do the work also takes less time, which may save hurried homeowners a lot of worry and stress.

Refinishing Options

Giving cabinets a makeover by refinishing can be done in a variety of ways. Wood cabinets may be restored with a fresh application of stain either in the same shade as the original or something deeper for a bold look. Paint is another option that can brighten up old, cramped or dark kitchens. Homeowners may also want to consider replacing cabinet hardware. If the current hardware is in good condition, it should be cleaned so that it doesn't detract from the look of the cabinets. When the refinishing job is done right, it will give the kitchen a whole new style.

Last updated on Aug 24, 2016

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