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Should you Refinish or Reface your Kitchen Cabinets?

December 8th, 2023 | 2 min read

By Kaylea Kuhlman

2 guys measure upper cabinet doors.

Do you want to refresh your cabinets, but don’t know the route to take? You’ve come to the right place. 

Both refinishing and refacing cabinets will add value to your home, and you. Any choice that is best for you can be customized to what you are looking for and to fit the style of your home. 

At Brush & Roll Painting, we have been refinishing cabinets in the Omaha area since 1996. We take pride in our process providing homeowners with durable results every time. We work with refacing companies when necessary to adapt to what is needed for your kitchen transformation.

In this article, we will discuss when you should choose to refinish, when to choose to reface, and when to do both. By reading this, you can apply your situation with your cabinets to these options to help you choose the best path for your cabinets.

When to Refinish Cabinets Only

Refinishing cabinets transforms cabinet boxes, doors, and drawers from an old finish to a new, protective finish. 

If you do not love your cabinets' color or shade, refinishing is a great option.

If you have minor damages affecting your finish, that can be repaired by refinishing. With refinishing, you can keep the previous finish on your cabinets and get a clear protectant coat, or you can switch up the style completely.

Refinishing is a less expensive option than refacing your cabinets. The cost will vary by the size of your kitchen and the finish you are going for but is still a more affordable option than completely refacing your cabinets. 

No matter the cause for refinishing, if you choose a professional painter for the project, refinishing cabinets will prolong the life of the wood. 

Depending on the product that is used, refinished cabinets can also resist cracking, peeling, blistering, chemicals, and moisture. 

When to Reface Cabinets Only

Refacing cabinets is completely replacing doors and drawers with new manufactured wood.

Typically people choose to only reface their cabinet doors and drawers when they like the color or finish of the wood but do not like any grooves or designs that may be engraved into the wood.

These designs can be a little outdated. By refacing the cabinets, you can opt for a flat door, square frames, or unique designs.

If you still like the color or finish of the wood, but the doors and drawers are extremely damaged, the best option would be to reface

If only a few doors need to be refaced, rather than all of them, that can be done as well and is more affordable than completely refacing all of them.

When to Refinish & Reface Your Cabinets


  • If you do not like the look of the grooves or engraving on doors and drawers and you want to choose another color or finish
  • If the cabinets are extremely damaged and you want to choose a different color or finish.
  • If you don't like the look of oak and you want them to be maple or cherry wood then refacing is a better option. Just make sure that it is the wood and not just the color that you don't like.

… refacing the doors and then refinishing the cabinets will be your best option.

This will be the most expensive option, but it is an investment into your home that may be more modern and exactly fit your style.

What are you looking for?

No matter the route, your kitchen cabinet transformation can be completely customized for what you need and are looking for. Whether you need a few doors refaced, a whole kitchen, or a few imperfections fixed, there are options to fit exactly what you need.

To have your cabinets refinished by a professional, value-based company in Omaha, NE, schedule an estimate with Brush & Roll Painting. Our proven process, professional products, and 9-year warranty are guaranteed to provide a lasting finish.


The learning doesn’t stop there. Read about 4 steps that will make or break any cabinet refinishing process. This article will give you the standard prep work steps to help you find a painting company that will make sure these are done. 

Kaylea Kuhlman

Kaylea is the Brush & Roll Painting Content Manager.