Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost

How Much Does Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost?

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing – Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and the cabinets are the backbone of this essential space. Over time, cabinets can become worn, faded, or outdated, and homeowners often face the choice of replacing them entirely or refinishing them to give them a new lease on life. Cabinet refinishing, such as cabinet refacing, can be a cost-effective way to transform your kitchen and update the look of your cabinetry.

Refacing cabinets involves removing the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts and installing new ones. If a different type of wood is used, a matching veneer is installed on the cabinet boxes to match the new cabinet doors and drawers. While your kitchen or bathroom is out of order during cabinet refinishing, it’s a good time to make other updates to your space. We recommend hiring a local painting pro, replacing your faucet, switching out cabinet hinges, updating appliances, or installing a tile backsplash.

Kitchen Cabinet Installation Cost

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What is the average cost of refinishing kitchen cabinets?

The average cost of refinishing kitchen cabinets can vary depending on factors such as the size of the kitchen, the materials used, and the extent of the refinishing work. However, on average, homeowners can expect to spend between $2,500 to $5,000 for kitchen cabinet refinishing.

This option is popular for homeowners who like the current layout of the cabinets, or for kitchens where the doors and drawer fronts aren’t in the best condition but the cabinet boxes are damage-free. In most cases, the signs of water damage on cabinets can be repaired, and the cabinets can be updated with new paint or stain. If you take this route, you do not want to drill extra holes that detract from the look, so make sure new doors marry up to your existing perfectly.

After refinishing the cabinets, you’ll install the new faces and, if you want, add fresh hardware to match the new design aesthetic. Refacing cabinets can give them a fresh, clean look that will make it easier to sell your home. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the cost of kitchen cabinet refinishing, including the cost of cabinet doors and the additional project upgrades associated with cabinet refacing, such as installing a new backsplash.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Does A Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost

1. How much does kitchen cabinet refinishing typically cost?

  • The cost of cabinet refinishing can vary significantly depending on factors like the cabinet material, size, condition, and design choices. On average, a professional cabinet refinishing project can cost between $1,500 and $5,000 for a standard-sized kitchen.

2. What factors influence the cost of cabinet refinishing?

  • Several factors affect the cost, including the cabinet material, the current condition, the refinishing method (staining or painting), the number of cabinets, labor costs, the finish type, and your location. Additionally, the choice to hire professionals or tackle the project yourself can impact the cost.

3. Can I save money on cabinet refinishing without compromising quality?

  • Yes, you can save money on cabinet refinishing by considering options like DIY work where possible, choosing budget-friendly materials, obtaining multiple quotes, bundling repairs with refinishing, and reusing existing hardware. These cost-saving strategies can help you achieve a refreshed kitchen within your budget.

4. Does the choice of cabinet stain color affect the cost?

  • Yes, the choice of cabinet stain color can impact the cost. Going from a darker to a lighter color typically requires less labor, while changing to a darker color may involve extra work to completely remove the previous stain, including additional stripping and sanding.

5. How do I get accurate cost estimates for cabinet refinishing?

  • To get accurate cost estimates, it’s advisable to obtain quotes from at least three local cabinet refinishing professionals. They can assess your specific project, offer recommendations, and provide cost estimates based on the size and complexity of the job, as well as your location.

Understanding Cabinet Refinishing

Before delving into the cost details, it’s essential to understand what cabinet refinishing entails. Cabinet refinishing is a process that involves refreshing the appearance of your existing kitchen cabinets without replacing them. The key steps in cabinet refinishing typically include:


Cabinets are thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, grease, and grime that may have accumulated over the years.


The existing finish or paint is removed from the cabinets. This step is essential for achieving a smooth, even surface for the new finish.


The cabinet surfaces are sanded to smooth out imperfections and prepare them for the new finish.

Staining or Painting

Depending on your preference, the cabinets can be stained to enhance the natural wood grain or painted with the color of your choice.

Sealing or Coating

A protective finish is applied to the cabinets to provide durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

Factors Influencing Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cost

Cabinet Material

The type of material your cabinets are made from greatly influences the cost. Wooden cabinets, for instance, may require more extensive work than laminate or MDF cabinets. Additionally, the type of wood can affect the cost, with exotic hardwoods being more expensive to refinish.

Cabinet Size and Style

Larger cabinets or those with intricate designs and details may require more labor and materials, increasing the overall cost.

Current Condition

Cabinets in better condition may require less preparation work, reducing the overall cost. If your cabinets have significant damage or wear, they will need more attention, which can increase the cost.

Refinishing Method

The choice between staining and painting can impact the cost. Staining is generally less expensive than painting, as it preserves the natural wood grain and requires fewer coats.

Number of Cabinets

The number of cabinets in your kitchen is a straightforward cost determinant. More cabinets mean more work, materials, and, consequently, a higher cost.

Labor Costs

Labor costs vary based on your location, the expertise of the refinishing professionals, and the complexity of the job. Skilled labor can come at a higher price.

Finish Type

The type of finish you choose, such as varnish, lacquer, or paint, can affect the cost. High-quality finishes tend to be more expensive but offer better durability and a more polished appearance.

Color and Design Choices

If you opt for a more complex color or design scheme, it may require additional time and materials, driving up the cost.

Additional Features

Any additional features like new cabinet hardware, glass inserts, or decorative molding can add to the cost.

DIY vs. Professional Refinishing

While DIY refinishing can save on labor costs, it requires purchasing the necessary tools and materials. Professional refinishing ensures high-quality results but comes with labor costs.


The cost of cabinet refinishing can vary significantly depending on your location. Urban areas and regions with a higher cost of living tend to have higher labor and material costs.

Cost Breakdown

Now, let’s break down the potential costs associated with cabinet refinishing:


Materials such as sandpaper, paint or stain, primer, sealant, and brushes or sprayers can range from $100 to $500, depending on the size of your kitchen and the quality of materials you choose.


Labor costs are a significant portion of the overall cost. Labor costs can vary widely, but on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour for skilled cabinet refinishing professionals. The number of hours needed will depend on the size and condition of your cabinets.

Additional Features

If you choose to add features like new hardware, glass inserts, or decorative elements, expect to pay extra for these upgrades. Costs can vary greatly depending on the specific items you choose.


As mentioned earlier, the cost of living in your area plays a role. In some regions, labor and material costs can be significantly higher than the national average.

DIY vs. Professional

If you opt for DIY refinishing, you can save on labor costs but will need to invest in tools and materials. DIY costs can range from $200 to $600, depending on the quality of tools and materials you choose.

In summary, for the best results, the average pricing of kitchen cabinet refinishing, also known as a kitchen remodel, can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 for a professional cabinet refinishing job in a standard-sized kitchen. However, if your cabinets are in good shape and made of sturdy wood, then refinishing is a great option.

Average Cost Per Square Foot

The national average cost for cabinet refinishing is $2,975 per square foot. This pricing can increase if you have a larger kitchen, exotic wood office cabinets, or if you choose high-end materials and finishes. An average kitchen requires 150 square feet of materials and labor. The cost to paint cabinets is $30 to $70 per linear foot or $2,000 to $6,500 total for an average kitchen.

Painting adds durability, hides the wood grain, and gives cabinets a smooth finish and contemporary look. Cabinets can be painted in any color, though white is the most popular. Bathroom cabinets are subjected to extra moisture, so it is important to confirm there is no water damage before refinishing. Choose a darker color than the original coat for the best results.

Saving Money on Cabinet Refinishing

While cabinet refinishing can be a cost-effective way to update your kitchen, there are ways to save money without compromising on quality:

DIY Where Possible

If you’re handy and have some DIY experience, consider doing some of the work yourself, such as cleaning, sanding, or painting. This can significantly reduce labor costs.

Choose Affordable Materials

Opt for budget-friendly materials that still meet your desired aesthetic. You can often find good-quality paints and stains that don’t break the bank.

Obtain Multiple Quotes

Get quotes from multiple cabinet refinishing professionals in your area to ensure you’re getting a competitive price.

Bundle Repairs

If your cabinets require any repairs, consider bundling these with the refinishing project to save on labor costs.

Consider Partial Refinishing

Instead of refinishing all your cabinets, you could choose to refinish only the most visible or worn ones. This can save on both time and materials.

Reuse Hardware

Reusing your existing cabinet hardware can save on replacement costs. If your hardware is in good condition, a fresh coat of paint can refresh its appearance.

Shop for Deals

Keep an eye out for sales and discounts on materials and tools. You might find promotions on paint, sandpaper, or brushes that can help you save.


Kitchen cabinet refinishing is a cost-effective and good DIY project that can breathe new life into your kitchen without the expense of cabinet replacement. The total cost varies based on factors like material, size, condition, and design choices. To budget accurately, allow enough time for each cabinet, as the process involves stripping old paint or stain, repairing, sanding, and fixing cabinet issues with precision.

Staining cabinets a different color increases the labor time because the previous stain must be completely removed, requiring extra stripping and sanding. Going from a lighter to a darker color requires less labor than going from a darker to a lighter color. Refinishing cabinets made from solid wood is a time-intensive project, taking anywhere from three to five full days of work or 30 to 50 hours.

Consider additional costs, such as prep work, repairs, customizations, and other concurrent projects. Changing cabinet stain colors may increase labor, especially if going from dark to light, but the opposite is less labor-intensive. To get accurate estimates, obtain quotes from at least three local cabinet refinishing professionals

Kitchen Cabinet Installation Cost

Need Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing? Compare Contractors and Save!

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