Kitchen Cabinet Doors

These are the factors to consider when giving your kitchen cabinet doors a facelift.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Photo: Teri Turan

Don’t miss Cabinet Door Styles: What’s Yours?

Whether you’re buying new or upgrading the kitchen cabinet doors you already have, there are a few things to consider before you start your project.

New or Re-faced
Perhaps the least expensive option in a remodel is to replace existing kitchen cabinet doors. This means the boxes that contain the shelves and drawers remain in place, saving demolition, construction, and purchase costs. Only the fronts of the cabinets are replaced, which usually involves new doors, face frames, and hardware. If you’re happy with the layout and the number of cabinets you currently have but want to give them a new look, this may be the right way to go.

Material Choices
You’ll need to decide whether you want all-wood, wood veneer, or laminate doors and face fronts. With veneer cabinets, a thin ply of wood is applied to a substrate of plywood or a composite material like particle board (plywood is better, but more expensive). Laminate kitchen cabinet doors are often fabricated of polyvinyl chloride sheets that are heated, molded, and applied to a substrate to give a seamless appearance.

If the cabinets are still in good shape, you can change the look of your kitchen just by changing the color of the walls and re-surfacing or re-painting the cabinets. Cabinet re-facing, which involves replacing the veneers, is more expensive but still saves 50 percent over a complete remodel. As long as your cabinets aren’t laminate or melamine, you can re-paint them yourself. De-grease them with a citrus oil-based household cleaner, remove the doors and hardware, and apply a primer-sealer first though you might still have to sand them down before painting. New drawer and door pulls will make a huge difference as well.