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A DIY Guide To Refacing a Cabinet With a New Cabinet Door

A DIY Guide To Refacing a Cabinet With a New Cabinet Door

2022-08-02

Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to update your home's look and add value, but kitchen revamping is often expensive. Homeowners spend an average of $30,000 on complete kitchen remodels, with the range of $25,000 to $40,000 being common. If you’re uncomfortable with that budget, you can look for ways to update your look without breaking the bank.

The cabinetry is one of the most noticeable parts of a kitchen, and its condition can make or break the overall appearance of the space. Installing a new cabinet door and refinishing a cabinet box rather than replacing an entire cabinet can save you substantial money, time, and frustration.


Why Should You DIY?

You can save a lot of money by tackling the project yourself rather than hiring a contractor. You can also work at your own pace instead of working with other people’s schedules.

Refacing cabinets doesn’t take much skill, so many homeowners can easily accomplish the task.


What Is Refacing?

natural finished kitchen cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinets can use a significant portion of your budget — about 29% of it. Although most people spend between $4,000 and $13,000 to replace their cabinetry, they can cost more or less depending on how many cabinets you need and the grade and materials you choose.

Unless you’re planning a new kitchen layout or your existing cabinets aren’t in good shape, refacing them is a budget-friendly and time-saving option. You can get a new look without as much effort and expense.

If you go with this route, you’ll simply remove cabinet doors, door fronts, and hardware. Your exposed cabinetry is now “faceless.” You will probably want to refinish the cabinet framework before installing new facings.

Removing existing cabinets and replacing them with new ones is a substantial undertaking. If you’re doing the work yourself, replacing doors is much easier than demolishing and installing complete cabinetry.


What Should You Do Before Ordering a Door Panel Set?

You first need to accomplish a few steps to develop a realistic working estimate of your refacing project.

Measure

Your first step is to measure your cabinet openings. It’s helpful to draw a kitchen layout to note your measurements. You’ll need the width and height of individual openings that your cabinet doors will cover. Measure twice to ensure accuracy.

Most doors extend beyond the cabinet opening, which is referred to as the overlay. You can choose from half overlay, full overlay, or an inset styles. Include the total overlap in your door dimensions, then count the number of each size door that you’ll need. Now, you can get quotes on how much the refacing project will cost.

Choose Your Door Panel Design

Modern Lancaster thermofoil cabinet door

This is your opportunity to express your style. Do you want your new kitchen to have an elegant appearance? Maybe you’d prefer a more traditional or contemporary look. Thoroughly browse through the styles and colors available to see which products can help accomplish your goal.

Not everyone can achieve the look they want without assistance. CabinetNow representatives can make suggestions and help you design your newly refaced kitchen cabinets. We want to satisfy our customers in every way, so we’ll do everything possible to ensure that you’re pleased with your finished project.

If you have trouble visualizing the finished look, you can order door samples from CabinetNow. A design app is another alternative. You’ll want matching or coordinating drawer fronts as well, so be sure to include those in your decision-making and budget.

You can choose what kind of outside edge, inside edge, and panel profile you’d prefer. Do you want raised or flat panel doors? Do you want all of your doors to match or coordinate squared panels with arched ones? Use your imagination to create your new look.

There are many colors, treatments, and designs to choose from. You’ll also want to replace hinges and door pulls to update your look fully. Popular cabinet door choices from CabinetNow include:

Glass

Artesia Cabinet Door

Glass cabinet doors offer a variety of finishes and looks. Choose from elegant French lites in high-quality wood or thermofoil materials. We can produce these doors in custom sizes to the 1/16 of an inch, which means no project is too unique for us.

CabinetNow will ship your glass cabinet door ready for you to insert 1/8-inch glass, but we don’t furnish the glass. You may need to order these panels early because they can require extended production times. Glass panel can be sourced for local hardware stores or from online retailers.

IKEA Cabinet Doors

Homeowners who have IKEA Sektion cabinets may need or want to reface them, so CabinetNow has developed a full line of door panels that make great replacements. We have door measurements on file, so all you need to do is measure your cabinet and choose a full-overlay door panel.

Allow for five extra production days for all IKEA products.

Laminate

Nashville thermofoil cabinet doors

Thermofoil is a vinyl laminate that is heated and pressurized onto an MDF core. MDF stands for medium density fiberboard and is one of the most sought after building materials. Its wide availability, versatility, and affordability have made it a staple in new construction and home products.

Laminate doors offer a wide range of color choices and textures and come in many styles that are easy to clean and scratch-resistant. Many people choose laminate because of its low maintenance needs and long-lasting properties, not to mention the exciting and trendy color options.

MDF

CabinetNow has a selection of cabinet doors made from high-quality MDF. You can choose from a variety of styles and designs. MDF doors are ideal for painting, as they have a smooth surface that takes paint extremely well. Plus, these doors are typically the most budget-friendly option.

Modern Thermofoil

Modern Aspen Thermofoil cabinet door

A modern thermofoil door panel combines the durability of laminate finishes with modern design styles. We've reinterpreted classic styles for those who want a more contemporary look without much maintenance.

You may experience a longer lead time depending on the materials and style you choose for your modern thermofoil door panels.

Painted

CabinetNow’s selection of painted cabinet doors features many colors and styles. We use a solvent-based paint because it provides a durable, high-quality finish.

If you choose painted doors, expect a longer processing time before we ship your order.

Shaker

Shaker cabinet doors

Shaker cabinet doors have a clean, symmetrical appearance. Squared edges enclose a recessed center panel. This style usually doesn’t have any ornamentation.

Shaker door panels are versatile because they offer many options. You can choose a clear coat, painted, pre-primed, or unfinished Shaker door panel. You can also select the kind of wood you prefer.

Wood

CabinetNow offers a wide variety of solid wood doors. Our selection includes several types of wood doors in custom sizes. You can select clear coat, painted, or unfinished doors with arched or squared and raised or flat panels.

Customize Your Hardware

Cabinet door hinges and drawer and cabinet pulls come in an almost unending variety of materials, styles, shapes, sizes, and finishes. Before you order new door panels and drawer fronts, you’ll want to choose your hardware.

This is because some vendors will drill holes for you to install your hardware. Since the size and spacing of these holes need to precisely match your hinges and pulls, you should double check the hardware requirements and the boring options available.

Decide on a hardware style that will complement your cabinets. Although it can be pricey, the right hardware can dramatically enhance your cabinets. You might prefer to use hidden hinges and omit door pulls. There’s no right or wrong choice; select hardware that you like and that fits with your kitchen’s overall style.

Place Your Order

When you’re satisfied with your choice of refacing and overall budget for your project, it’s time to order your door panels. CabinetNow offers timely shipping in well-protected containers. Remember you are saving a lot of money by not replacing the entire cabinets. You’re also making an investment that will improve your home’s resale value and the kitchen aesthetics, so don’t cut corners when ordering your refacing materials.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of your order, it’s best to ask questions first. It is not possible to change your order once it goes into production.


How Do You Install a Door Panel?

When you’re ready to install your new doors, you’ll need to gather a few tools and supplies:

  • Denatured alcohol and medium-grit sandpaper
  • Circular saw (if you’re installing new end panels)
  • Drill, bits, and screwdriver
  • Finishing nails and construction adhesive
  • Laminate cutter or sharp razor knife
  • Level
  • Stain pen
  • Veneer, veneer edge trimmer, and applicator tool

If your cabinets are exposed on the ends, you’ll need 1/8-inch-thick plywood for new end panels. You’ll also use veneer to cover the end panels and face frames.

Prepare the Cabinets

You’ll need to do a little work before you can start installing your new door panels:

  1. Remove existing doors, drawer fronts, and hardware
  2. Empty cabinets and drawers
  3. Clean exterior surfaces with denatured alcohol
  4. Use medium-grit sandpaper to scuff the surfaces, then clean them again using denatured alcohol

Install End Panels

Measure and cut plywood to make an end panel. The front edge needs to be flush with your cabinets’ face framing. Be sure to cut a toe-kick. Use construction adhesive and finishing nails to attach it to your cabinet ends.

Attach Veneer

Carefully measure the veneer dimensions you’ll need before cutting it using a laminate cutter or razor knife. Align the veneer with the cabinet face, then gently push it into place. Use a veneer applicator tool to secure the bond. Trim the edges if needed, and use a stain pen to touch them up.

You can purchase laminate sheets that match your cabinet door panel finish and a variety of other coordinating laminate products from CabinetNow.

Hang Door Panels

Mount your new hinges to the cabinet doors first. Drill pilot holes into the cabinet frame before attaching the hinges. Use a level to be sure that your new door panel is straight. This project is much easier with two people: one to hold the door in place and another to attach the hinges to the frame.

Many people use cup hinges. They are fully adjustable and invisible when your cabinet doors are closed. If you’ve chosen to use door pulls, install them.

Add Drawer Fronts

Be sure that you center your new drawer front on the drawer box so you’ll have an even overlap. Attach the drawer front using a screwdriver or drill. Add your new drawer pulls.

Add Trim

Your kitchen will have a more professional appearance if your trim matches or coordinates with your new door panels. CabinetNow offers several laminate and wood accessories:

Enjoy Your New Cabinets

Corpus christi thermofoil cabinet doors

Since you emptied your cabinets before refacing them, now is an excellent time to clean the interior and replace shelf liners. You can also use this opportunity to reorganize your cabinets.


How Long Will It Take To Reface Your Cabinets?

Generally speaking, you can usually complete a refacing project in two to four days. However, several factors affect this estimate:

  • Your skill level
  • Your speed
  • The size of your kitchen
  • The number of cabinets you have
  • Your readiness — if you have all the supplies and tools on hand or if you have to stop working to get them
  • The number of people helping you
  • Unexpected problems

Have You Found a Good Door Panel Source?

If you’re searching for high-quality cabinet door panels at reasonable prices, look no further than CabinetNow. We are a family-owned company and one of the nation’s top online manufacturers and retailers of cabinet door panels, drawer fronts, cabinet and drawer boxes, and accessories.


Finishing Up

Bel Air Cabinet Doors

We have satisfied customers since 2008, and we’d like to earn your business, too. U.S. manufacturers make each door panel to our exacting specifications. You can choose from our listed styles, or we can also fill custom orders.

Most orders ship within 10 days, and we’ll ship qualifying orders over $1,500 for free. We carefully package all of our products to reduce the chance of shipping damage.

If you need help designing your new kitchen, we’ll do that and provide a quote for free. We also have “how-to” articles to help DIYers. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable sales team today. We can help you choose the right door panel style, color, and more.

If you are ready to get going on your home improvement project or if you need assistance getting started, please feel free to call us at 1-855-669-5222 or an email to [email protected]. Our well-trained sales staff can help you with everything from measuring to ordering.