How much does it cost to reface kitchen cabinets? Ballpark figures according to the experts

Looking to refresh your kitchen without the hassle of an entire renovation? Here's how much you can expect to pay to reface your cabinets

A modern kitchen with gold gloss kitchen cabinets on a kitchen island, and dark navy cabinets on the walls
(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Just how much does it cost to reface your kitchen cabinets? As summer draws to a close and we welcome the cooler months of the year, you might be looking to refresh and update your cabinetry without committing to an entire renovation. 

You'll be pleased to hear that as far as kitchen ideas go, refacing your cabinets will leave a much smaller dent in your pocket than a complete design overhaul, while still allowing you to shake up the style of your kitchen to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. And let's face it, your kitchen also endures a lot of wear and tear. 

However, estimating how much cabinet refacing will cost isn't an easier than predicting the cost of an entirely new kitchen. As is the case with most design jobs there are a multitude of factors than can affect the price of your new look, from materials and hardware replacement to the cost of the labor. 

And yet, we know how important it is to budget for your new kitchen. If you're considering updating your tired looking cupboard doors, draws and brassware, you'll be happy to know that we've compiled some expert insight from those in the know to help break down the costs, as well as some ballpark figures of what you can most likely expect to pay. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interiors. She's committed to helping readers make the best design choices through writing practical tips and guides that allow them to budget for their beautiful homes. For this article she spoke with those in the know to break down the costs of refacing your kitchen cabinets. 

What is cabinet refacing? 

A small kitchen area with bright blue cabinets with slim gold coloured handles, and marbled tiled walls and worktops

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

You may have found yourself here because you're looking to update your modern kitchen idea, but there's a chance you've never even heard of cabinet refacing. Essentially, the process involves replacing cabinet skin panels which are the decorative, aesthetic part of your cabinets that gives your kitchen its beautiful design. 

Refacing is one of the easiest - and cheapest - ways to give your kitchen an entirely new look. Overtime, cabinets become scratched, cracked or stained resulting in a tired looking kitchen that needs elevating. There's no better way to do so than removing the existing drawer fronts and doors and refacing them by applying a new veneer on the surface. Other elements like of the hardware - comprising the hinges, handles and drawer pulls - will also be replaced in the process.

A kitchen with a concrete flour and oak fronted cabinets, shelves and a grey marbled splashback, with raw pink plaster walls

(Image credit: James Merrell)

How much does it cost to reface your kitchen cabinets? 

Pinning down a precise figure for a renovation project is never easy, but, in general, for a modern kitchen cabinet idea you can expect to pay somewhere in the thousands to have your cabinets refaced professionally. 

'Ideally, you should budget between $1,200 and $3,000 to reface your cabinets,' says Steven Hill, founder of DIY Gazette.  'This range will cover most cabinet sizes and door styles, as well as the cost of veneer, trim, molding, and hardware.'

Of course, this figure will heavily depend on the number of cabinets you have and the size of your kitchen. For a simpler break down, it's useful to know the average price you'd pay to reface a single cabinet, multiplying it by the number of cabinets in your kitchen. According to Eyal Pasternak, real estate agent and owner of Liberty House Buying Group, 'It usually costs around $150 to $400 to reface per kitchen cabinet.'

A bright modern kitchen with red cabinets and a black dining table with yellow metal chairs

(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

What factors affect the cost? 

There are a plethora of factors that affect the cost of refacing kitchen cabinets, ranging from the quality of materials you use to the area you live in. 

'The cost of refacing will mainly depend on the size of your kitchen,' says Shaun Martin, owner and CEO of The Home Buying Company. 'A smaller kitchen will require less material and labor, resulting in a lower overall cost whereas, if you have a larger kitchen, you can expect to pay more for the project.'

The type of material you choose for your new cabinet draw and door fronts will also have a large influence on the price, while choosing to customize your hardware, paint colors or other design elements (rather than settling for stock options) will also come into play. 

As Shaun explains: 'Higher-end materials, such as solid wood, will cost more than lower-end materials, such as laminate.' According to kitchen remodelling company, Mr Cabinet Care, plastic laminate is likely to cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000, while solid wooden kitchen cabinets will probably set you back $5,000 or more. 

As for labor, those costs will be determined by the expertise of your fitters and again, the size of your kitchen and the materials involved. Shaun advises getting estimates from several companies before making your decision.

A kitchen with grey panelled cabinets and white countertops

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Can you reface kitchen cabinets yourself?

If money is tight, you might be tempted to reface your cabinets yourself. Fans of DIY will be pleased to know it's perfectly possible, but it doesn't come without its challenges. 

Firstly, consider cutting costs through your materials, rather than attempting the project alone. 'If you're not comfortable taking on a DIY project, go for lower-cost materials like laminate veneer instead of wood,' says Steven. Laminate or plywood are both good options that often have an expensive looking effect without the cost. 'When it comes to hardware,' says Steve, 'opt for simple knobs and pulls instead of ornate ones.'

Otherwise, you can attempt to do the work yourself to help you save on labor costs. As long as you know your way around some basic tools, you should be capable of refacing your cabinets yourself, but you should set aside several days to complete the job (factoring in that you might be sacrificing other paid opportunities to do so). 'In terms of materials, you can find DIY kits at most home improvement stores, and they usually come with everything you need to complete the project,' Steven adds. 

An even easier way to spruce up your kitchen space without the need for refacing is to opt for painted kitchen cabinets which can give you a fresher look for a fraction of the cost. 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.