Bigger, better, faster, newer… Sometimes I feel like I must have those things. That I must get rid of all the old things and start over. And don’t get me wrong, new is sometimes nice. Even wonderful. But if all we ever did was start over, we’d miss the beauty of restoration. Of revival. And that can be beautiful, indeed.
Now I realize that some people might not see this as restoration. And I get that. I’ve restored a stunningly worn Swedish workbench, refreshed my great grandmother’s antique dining set, and breathed new life into a 100+ year old farmhouse dresser… I know what restoration can look like. And even though this is definitely a different kind of beast, I think there’s some beauty in working with what you have to create something beautiful once again. So in an effort to save a little money and redeem some of the original kitchen cabinetry, we decided to reface our cabinets instead of replacing them. Remember how they started (you can see the full before here):
And here they are now (you can see the full new kitchen tour here):
So what is “refacing” cabinets versus replacing them? Refacing cabinets essentially includes new doors, new paint, possibly new trim, and new hardware. Taking something dated…
And giving it a face lift, if you will.
The truth is, barring gutting the entire kitchen and butler’s pantry area and opening it to the dining room (which was a consideration before we found out we were moving), there was no better place for cabinets than the existing layout. So we saved our cabinets (and a lot of money) by refacing them. We started by removing all the old doors and having new trim installed.
We did have a new cabinet built to enclose the refrigerator and a couple of awkward and non-functional drawers rebuilt.
Then new doors (which had to be custom made because there are no standard sizes in this 75 year old house) were built and installed.
And it all was carefully caulked and painted.
This gorgeous new hardware finished it off with a classic look.
Due to our necessary timeline (since my husband had already started his job in another city and we needed to get the house on the market so we could join him!), we hired out much of the work, but I do believe that most of this could be tackled by weekend warriors with great success. We did all the demo, and we installed the hardware, but the rest was done by professionals.
Even so, it was a much more affordable option than having new custom cabinets built and even significantly less expensive than ordering pre-made cabinets to fit the space. If I ever have the option again, I would definitely make the same choice.
What do you think? Do you have any questions about refacing cabinets? Don’t hesitate to ask!
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