Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Replacing, Refacing or Painting Kitchen Cabinets: What Should I Do?

Your kitchen no longer “sparks joy” à la Marie Kondo. Your cabinets feel outdated, disconnected from your style, and simply uninspiring. It’s finally time to give your kitchen a brand-new look— exciting times! But, before you can even head to Pinterest to scroll through kitchen island colors or two-tone kitchens, you must tackle an important question: “should I replace, reface, or paint my kitchen cabinets?”

Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and it all depends on your budget and goals. In this guide, we’ll explore these choices in depth, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision and budget.

Replacing kitchen cabinets

If you’re yearning for a complete transformation of design and layout, completely replacing your kitchen cabinets is the answer. This option gives you the freedom to rethink your kitchen from scratch, making it the sensible choice if your current layout and materials just aren’t cutting it anymore.

The pros of replacing kitchen cabinets

  • You can completely change the layout and structure of your kitchen.
  • Brand-new materials.

The cons of replacing kitchen cabinets

  • High price tag: the average kitchen renovation costs between $20,000 to $50,000 (and sometimes even more). Cabinets and countertops gobble up a significant chunk of your budget, and you’ll need to factor in the costs for gutting your kitchen and designing it. Plus, the unexpected always likes to make an appearance during renovations, and guess what? It often demands more cash.
  • It can take weeks to completely replace your kitchen cabinets, leaving you without a functional kitchen for a very long time.
  • Not environmentally conscious.

When replacing kitchen cabinets makes sense

If your kitchen layout is frustrating you every time you cook and you want to change the materials in your kitchen (countertops, backsplash, cabinets, etc.) replacement is the best option. Perhaps your kitchen layout isn’t necessarily a pain point for you, but your cabinet doors and boxes are no longer structurally sound and/or are pretty banged up (water damage, large cracks, warping, etc.). Then, forking over the hefty sum to replace makes more sense in the long run.

When replacing kitchen cabinets isn’t a good option

If you’re not necessarily bothered by your kitchen’s layout and your kitchen cabinets are showing only minimal signs of wear and tear, it’s simply not necessary to pay the high price tag to completely replace your kitchen cabinets. Refacing and painting your cabinets are cost-effective options that can give your kitchen that modern update you’re looking for.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

So, you’ve been eyeing those kitchen cabinets of yours, thinking it’s high time for a change. But here’s the thing, a full-on replacement might not be in the cards, considering your time and budget constraints. Plus, your cabinet frames are still in pretty good condition, and only your doors and drawer fronts are looking like they need some TLC. That’s where cabinet refacing comes into play. Think of it like giving your cabinets a makeover without ditching them entirely.

Cabinet refacing, also known as resurfacing or refinishing, involves adding a fresh layer of veneer to your tired and damaged cabinet doors and drawer fronts, while leaving the frames and boxes untouched. Think of it as a blend of old charm and new swag and giving your kitchen a fresh look without the drama of tearing everything down.

The pros of kitchen cabinet refacing

  • More cost-effective than completely replacing your kitchen cabinets.
  • More environmentally conscious compared to gutting your entire kitchen.
  • The result is a durable, factory-quality finish.
  • You’re able to update cabinet color and style.

The cons of kitchen cabinet refacing

  • Doesn’t allow for a change in kitchen layout.
  • Depending on kitchen size and the extent of the makeover, refacing can take up to 1-2 weeks, leaving you without a functional kitchen for a considerable amount of time.
  • While more cost-effective than new kitchen cabinets, refacing can still cost upwards of $10,000. On average, a refacing project can cost anywhere between 60-70% of the cost of new cabinets.

When kitchen cabinet refacing makes sense:

Refacing is a sensible solution if you don’t want to alter the layout of your kitchen, but your cabinet doors and drawer fronts are showing signs of severe damage (deep cracks, chipped corners, etc.). It’s also the way to go if you’re not bothered by your kitchen layout, but you want to change the style of your cabinets (from double arch to shaker, for example).

When kitchen cabinet refacing isn’t a good option:

There’s some damage that even refacing can’t handle, such as warped or deteriorating cabinet frames, water damage, improperly installed and/or aligned cabinet frames. Termites throwing a party in your cabinets? That’s a hard pass too. Basically, if your cabinets are beyond a touch-up and need serious rehab, refacing isn’t the cure and replacement just makes more sense. Think of it this way: you can’t put a fresh face on something that’s on the brink of collapse.

Conventionally Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets the conventional way involves using acrylic or enamel paints, both of which are latex-based. These coatings can be applied with a brush, roller, or depending on the specific coating, spray equipment. When professionally sprayed, the finish achieved by a professional will undoubtedly beat the average homeowner with a brush and roller. Most professionals, however, still use the same off-the-shelf, commercially available paints that are available to homeowners. So, in large part, you’re purchasing convenience and time when it comes to hiring a professional conventional painter (which still means a lot, because it’s an extremely tedious, messy, and time-consuming process to prep, repair, prime, and paint kitchen cabinets).

Most kitchen cabinet painting services involve removing all kitchen cabinet doors and transporting them off-site for the actual painting and curing process.

The pros of conventionally painting kitchen cabinets

  • Quicker than replacement and refacing. Depending on the size of the kitchen and the contractor’s specific process, it can take anywhere between 1 and 7 days.
  • A quicker turn-around means minimal disruption to your kitchen.
  • Much more affordable than replacing and refacing.
  • An environmentally friendly renovation that involves renewing existing materials.

The cons of conventionally painting kitchen cabinets

  • Doesn’t allow for a change in kitchen layout or cabinet style.
  • Not a durable, long-lasting factory finish (even when professionally applied, conventional latex/acrylic/enamel coatings can result in on-going maintenance such as peeling, chipping, cracking, and scratches; and overtime, the paint film cannot sustain frequent washing and scrubbing). Learn more about the performance of different kitchen cabinet paints on the market by viewing the results of our kitchen cabinet paint lab tests.

When conventionally painting kitchen cabinets isn’t a good option

If repairs are required on more than 35% of your cabinet doors, it may make more sense financially to consider refacing or replacement.

When conventionally painting kitchen cabinets makes sense

If you don’t want to change your kitchen’s layout or cabinet style, and your cabinets are in relatively good condition with only minor imperfections that can easily be repaired, then painting your kitchen cabinets is a viable and cost-effective option to give your kitchen a new look.


If you’ve determined that painting your kitchen cabinets is the right solution for you, then listen up.

As a long-term investment, it makes even more sense to consider the 4th option you didn’t know existed (until now): Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets.

Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets

Thanks to our proprietary and first-of-its-kind kitchen cabinet paint and on-site process, there’s now a fourth category for you to consider when thinking about revamping and updating the look of your kitchen cabinets.

Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets is the innovative option that bridges the gap between painting and replacing your cabinets. Instead of using off-the-shelf kitchen cabinet paint, we’ve formulated a powerful, two-component polyurethane kitchen cabinet coating. Applied with our professional spray equipment, our coating results in a smooth, streak-free factory finish that looks like-new and won’t peel or chip. With its scratch-resistant and washable properties that exceed KCMA standards, it’s more like you refinished your cabinets back to their original state.

And one of the best parts? From prep to curing,  our kitchen cabinet spray painting process is done on-site at your home. We set up a fully ventilated spray-booth equipped with infrared lamps that allows us to paint and cure all cabinet doors on-site for a quick and clean kitchen cabinet renovation.

Spray-Netting your cabinets is like bringing together the best parts of replacement (the durable, factory quality finish) and conventional painting (quick and cost-effective).

The pros of Spray-Netting kitchen cabinets

  • Done in no more than a day or two.
  • A quick turn-around means minimal disruption to your kitchen.
  • Much more affordable than refacing and replacing. The average Spray-Net revamp is about 30-35% of the cost of cabinet replacement, with projects starting as low as $4250.
  • The final product is a factory-quality finish that provides all the benefits of new kitchen cabinets: looks like new, won’t peel, and can be safely washed time and time again using chemical detergents.

The cons of Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets:

  • Doesn’t allow for a change in kitchen layout or cabinet style.

When Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets makes sense

If you like your kitchen’s layout and your cabinets are in good condition with minimal wear and tear, Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinet is the most cost-effective, maintenance-free option, and the smarter long-term investment for updating the look of your kitchen.

When Spray-Netting your kitchen cabinets isn’t a good option

Same as conventional painting. If repairs are required on more than 35% of your cabinet doors, stick to refacing or replacement.

Long Story Short: It Comes Down to Your Goals, Budget & State of Your Kitchen Cabinets

The decision to replace, reface, or paint your cabinets is a significant one, and it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons against your vision and budget.

In a nutshell, a desire to completely overhaul your kitchen’s layout and design requires replacement, significant cabinet damage with no layout change would require refacing, and if your kitchen cabinets are in good shape and you just want a fresh new look, Spray-Net’s kitchen cabinet refinishing solution is by far the most sensible long-term investment. Want to find out more? Just book a free, no-obligations consultation!

Subscribe to our blog & newsletter.

This is the advantage of subscribing to our blog.