Kitchen Cabinet Options: Install, Reface or Refinish | Kitchen Cabinet Options: Install, Reface or Refinish | Replacing or refurbishing a kitchen is potentially the most expensive renovation you’ll undertake inside your home. Unfortunately, as the kitchen is still the heart of the home, it is important to get the right look and feel.

But, if you’re planning on keeping the existing kitchen layout then it is possible that you’re better off refacing or refinishing them instead of replacing the entire kitchen.

It’s time to understand a little more.

Replacing The Kitchen

As the title suggests, this option means ripping everything out of the kitchen and replacing it. It can be a disruptive task and an expensive one. However, you will end up with a kitchen exactly how you imagined it and you can take advantage of all the recent gadgets that are available to improve storage and ease of access in the kitchen.

If you choose this option you can always use the old kitchen outside, alfresco kitchens are becoming very popular.


Refacing means that you’re going to keep what is there but remove the existing cupboard doors. You can then choose a new style and color of cupboard doors and add your choice of accessories, including handles if you’re having them.

It’s also common to lift the countertops of during this stage and replace them with new ones. However, it should be noted that removing countertops can damage the wall in your kitchen, depending on how they have been fastened and where the splashback is positioned.


The final options is to keep everything you have and simply refinish it. This means cleaning the doors and even the countertop and then having the re-stained. It is important to note that you need a specialist product to re-stain kitchen cupboard doors. If you use standard paint it will simply peel off. 

You’ll also need to seal the new finish.

All three options are viable and will transform your kitchen, your decision will depend on the budget you have and what you actually want to do with your kitchen.

Other Considerations

If you have any interest in moving appliances around to improve the flow of your kitchen you’re almost certainly going to need to replace the kitchen. Pipes and electrics will be hidden behind the units and not easy to get to, but you will need to access them in order to move your appliances and transform the kitchen space.

Replacing doors and countertops is definitely the simplest solution and potentially the most budget-friendly. The good news is that you can actually replace cupboard doors and then go on to replace the kitchen at a later date, the cupboard doors can be moved onto your new kitchen easily.  

Before considering the right way to address your current kitchen it’s a good idea to think about where the electrical sockets are. If the current choice is not practical you’ll need to move them, that could affect your decision regarding whether to replace, refinish, or simply reface your units. 

Don’t forget there isn’t a right and wrong decision, it’s what works best for you, your home and your budget. You are the one that will spend the most time in there!