How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets?
Most homeowners spend between $1,858 to $2,832 nationally.
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Remodeling the kitchen while on a budget means finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Cabinets are a big part of any kitchen and their appearance can make or break the design. To improve the look of your kitchen without spending too much, consider refinishing your kitchen cabinets.
Once you see the savings, be sure to connect with up to four cabinet pros near you!
National Refinish Cabinets Costs
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|National Average Cost||$2,456|
|Average Range||$1,858 to $2,832|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 1721 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Cost
- Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing FAQs
- Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost Factors
- Cabinet Refinishing Costs Vs. Refacing Costs
- Cabinet Refinishing Costs Vs. Replacement Costs
- Cabinet Refinishing Options
- Cabinet Refinishing Advantages
- Cabinet Refinishing Disadvantages
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Refinish Cabinets
- Find A Cabinet Refinishing Contractor
Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Cost
The cost to refinish kitchen cabinets is approximately $2,400, with most homeowners paying between $1,800 and $2,800. As you might expect, there are plenty of cabinet refinishing cost factors (discussed later on) that can affect your final cabinet restaining cost.
Cabinet Refinishing Material Costs
Cabinet Refinishing Labor Costs
Total Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Cost
Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing FAQs
How Much Does it Cost to Refinish Cabinets in A Kitchen?
Your cabinet refinishing cost will depend on a few factors, but on average, most homeowners spend approximately $2,400.
What Does it Mean to Refinish Cabinets?
To refinish your cabinets, you or a cabinet contractor removes the old paint or stain, sands the surface, makes minor repairs and then applies the new paint or stain. Refinishing uses the materials in place, but alters the design of what you can see.
How Much Does it Cost to Sand and Paint Kitchen Cabinets
The cost to sand and paint kitchen cabinets ranges between $500 and $3,000, largely depending on the number of cabinets being worked on, the type of stain, refinishing tactic and your cabinet design. This price assumes you hire a professional contractor.
Is Painting and Refinishing Cabinets One in the Same?
Not exactly. Painting cabinets is just like painting a wall or car. Refinishing, on the other hand, includes cleaning, sanding, priming and applying a durable cabinet paint. More goes into kitchen cabinet refinishing as opposed to cabinet painting.
What Costs More: Cabinet Refinishing or Cabinet Refacing?
Cabinet refacing costs more than cabinet refinishing. Cabinet refacing could cost as much as double the cost of cabinet restaining.
What Costs More: Cabinet Refinishing or Cabinet Replacement?
Replacing kitchen cabinets costs more than cabinet refinishing. Cabinet replacement could cost as much as four times the cost to refinish cabinets.
Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost Factors
Not all cabinet refinishing projects were created equal. You may pay as little as $700 to refinish your cabinets or as high as $6,000. To make sure your refinishing price stays on the lower end, consider the following cost factors:
Number of Cabinets
The number of cabinets will play the biggest role in the final cost to refinish your cabinets. The more cabinets you have to refinish, the higher your refinishing cost will be. Likewise, the bigger your cabinets, the more it will cost.
However, many cabinet contractors offer deals for bulk projects. As such, the cost to refinish six cabinets should not cost the same as refinishing six cabinets individually. If you’re refinishing multiple cabinets, negotiate a deal.
Choice of Refinish
When it comes to refinishing, you have options, all coming with different price points. For example, refinishing wood cabinets is common if they’re still in decent shape. Some homeowners refinish the cabinets in a completely new shade. Others, keep the color the same, but want to give it a refresh. As you might expect, changing shades cost more.
Furthermore, some homeowners just paint or stain their cabinets without sanding or cleaning. There are higher grades of stain out there, driving up your total refinishing cost. Just note, if your cabinets see a lot of sunlight, you may need a higher grade.
Some cabinets are smooth to the touch. Others include attractive detailing, carving and trims for an upscale look. Well, it’s tougher and more time consuming to refinish non-smooth or custom cabinets. As such, your kitchen cabinet refinishing cost rises.
DIY Or Hire A Pro
Homeowners can refinish their own kitchen cabinets. It’s a fairly involved process, but not overly complicated. If you have basic DIY skills and are not scared of trying something new, give it a go and refinish your cabinets. You could save up to $3,000, depending on the project size.
On the other hand, if you want to ensure a quality job and time is an issue, we recommend finding local cabinet contractors.
Cabinet Refinishing Costs Vs. Refacing Costs
As opposed to editing or transforming your current cabinets, cabinet refacing actually replaces the doors and drawer faces (and handles at times). Furthermore, you also cover the current cabinet boxes with thin veneers. While refacing is not completely replacing your kitchen cabinets, it does go one step further than cabinet refinishing.
As such, the cost is a little steeper. According to our cabinet refacing cost estimator, the average cost to reface cabinets is just over $6,300. As you can see, it’s quite a jump from restaining or painting.
Cabinet Refinishing Costs Vs. Replacement Costs
The average cost of a complete cabinet installation is just over $4,250. That's also a big investment for just one part of a kitchen remodel. Therefore, if the existing layout of the cabinets is workable and no additional space is required, refinishing may be the best option. However, if other elements in the kitchen are getting upgraded or replaced, new cabinets can help bring the style together.
Cabinet Refinishing Options
If you decide cabinet refinishing is worth it, you more than likely have two options; you can refresh your cabinets with the same stain or totally transform your cabinets with a new color.
A similar shade to the one your cabinets currently have is the more common route. Oftentimes, a good sanding and restain will make all the difference. On the other hand, if you’re completely transforming your kitchen and want to forgo the cost brand new cabinets, change up the color to ensure it matches.
Besides refinishing, some homeowners choose to paint their cabinets or just change out the hardware. While this won’t have the same effect as refinishing kitchen cabinets, it does provide a similar result.
Cabinet Refinishing Advantages
There’s no question plenty of advantages come with cabinet refinishing. Whether it’s saving a buck, transforming your kitchen or quickly changing a color or two, cabinet refinishing provides a cost-effective solution to your kitchen remodeling dilemma.
First and foremost, refinishing your cabinets is usually at least half the price of new cabinet installation. Simply put, refinishing uses the materials in place, but alters the design of what you can see. Since material costs are lower, it’s much cheaper than replacing kitchen cabinets.
Refinishing can also change the look and feel of your kitchen. If you want to add lighter colors to make your kitchen feel larger or you just replaced your countertop and need matching cabinets, refinishing is a cheap and fast solution.
Finally, refinishing can be done in two days and without a professional. While a pro is the safer choice, cabinet refinishing can certainly be a DIY job.
Cabinet Refinishing Disadvantages
Of course, almost every home decision comes with one or two drawbacks as well. Cabinet refinishing, despite popular opinion, can’t hide old or poorly-installed cabinets. If your cabinets are old or have had multiple repairs over the years, you may want to consider installing new cabinets. Refinishing, in this scenario, is just putting makeup on a pig.
Also, $2,400 can be a lot of money. If your cabinets are still working, you do not have to refinish them. After all, you may be better off saving the cash for a bigger kitchen update down the line.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
A DIY cabinet restaining job allows total control over every part of the process. You need to 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 your kitchen.
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 more sophisticated 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.
How To Refinish Cabinets
To save on any cabinet refinishing project, you must have a detailed list of all steps involved. If you’re considering a DIY project, follow the steps below. If you’re a more visual learner, watch the video below.
- Remove all doors from the cabinets.
- Remove all hardware and handles from the door.
- Put gloves and a mask on for protection.
- Apply paint remover to the cabinet doors.
- Take your scraper and just like removing snow from a car, scrap the entire door, moving along the grain.
- Clean the cabinet.
- Sand the cabinet.
- If you want to ensure a solid refinishing job, sand with lower grit sandpaper (or sander) first and move your way up.
- Some DIYers sand up to three times before applying new stain.
- Vacuum the dust.
- Apply new wood finisher or primer (if wood cabinets).
- Apply new stain.
- Let the stain dry for 20 minutes and then wipe off the excess.
- Apply a second coat if needed or desired.
- Buff and vacuum.
- Apply a clear coat if you wish, brushing with the grain.
- Buff and vacuum.
- Let it dry.
- Add cabinet hardware and handles.
- Attach the door back to the cabinet.
Find A Cabinet Refinishing Contractor
Refinishing your kitchen or bathroom cabinets is a budget-friendly and simple way to change the look and feel of the room. While you’re not replacing your worn down cabinets, you are offering a refreshing update to your existing cabinets.
If you’re thinking of doing the same to your kitchen or bathroom, let us help you get in touch with local cabinet refinishing contractors.
Get free estimates from local kitchen cabinet contractors
Last updated on Feb 28, 2019