How Much Does Cabinet Refinishing Cost?

Closeup of Woman Holding Paint Brush and Painting Kitchen Cabinets

How Much Does Cabinet Refinishing Cost?

How much does cabinet refinishing cost? Here’s what you can expect price-wise when it comes to refinishing your cabinets.

If you’d like to give your cabinets a face-lift without having them replaced, you’ve got options that don’t involve a tear-out. Refinishing your cabinets is one of them. The cabinet refinishing cost is much lower than a complete remodel.

During the cabinet refinishing process, we fully contain the work area (your kitchen or bathroom) and make sure our paint will not travel throughout the home.

Your cabinets might be good candidates for refinishing. Read on to learn more about cabinet refinishing cost and the process itself.

What is the Process of Cabinet Refinishing?

Refinishing usually involves stripping the existing finish off the surface of your old cabinets. This can be a messy, time consuming task that we like to avoid at Rise Painting. If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, we have options to refinish right over your existing finish! The coatings we apply are durable, yet flexible, factory grade finishes that look and feel amazing and save a ton of time and money.

During the process, the faces of the cabinets and any hardware are removed so that the new finish covers the full cabinet frame.

Any nicks, dents, scratches, or other damage is then repaired. The surface is then prepared for a new finish.

After repairs and preparation, the cabinets are repainted or stained. When they’re repainted, a primer and then paint are used. This is no ordinary paint though! We use an imported Italian lacquer with an added hardener so you get the most protection possible for your cabinets. We have researched the best products to use on your kitchen and this is it!

If you desire a natural finish, we have a unique process for coloring the wood to a darker tone through various spray and hand applied techniques. The distinct look you’re after may require multiple steps and a combination of hand applied and spray applied finishes.

Easier on the Pocketbook

Refinishing is great choice on a tight budget. It costs far less than other cabinet repairs and replacements because there’s no change to the actual structure of the cabinet boxes or doors. If you don’t like the look of your current doors, you may want to consider having new custom doors built for your kitchen. This is something we can help you with.

You can choose an entirely new color of paint or stain for your cabinets. This transforms the look of your kitchen without draining your bank account.

Though it’s a fairly straightforward process, a professional cabinet refinisher will be able to do the best job from start to finish. They’ll be able to thoroughly prepare the old finish, fix damage correctly, and apply the new finish so that it adheres and lasts a lifetime.

When Should Cabinet Refinishing Be Avoided?

If your cabinets are very old, have structural damage, or were poorly installed in the first place, a replacement may be a better choice than a refinish.

Refinishing can’t cover issues in the actual placement, shape, and stability of your cabinetry.

Different Factors Affect Cabinet Refinishing Cost

If you’re considering refinishing your cabinets, there will be several factors that will affect the final cost of the job.

A professional can assess cabinet condition and can usually give you a price estimate based on the job size, job complexity, cost per hour, and cost of preferred refinishing materials.

Size and Number of Cabinets

The size and number of cabinets you’ll be refinishing will be an important factor when cost is determined.

Larger areas with more cabinets will naturally require a larger investment. The actual size of the cabinets is relevant as well since more cabinets or those with larger surface areas will take longer to refinish.

You can save some money, however, by choosing to paint all of the cabinets with the same type of new finish. You’ll generally be charged more if several cabinets will receive a different finish. This includes accent pieces like an island or the ever popular duo-tone cabinets you see in all the magazines today. Duo-tone is when you have the upper cabinets a different color than the lower cabinets or a similar theme.

If you have an island or another feature that can be accentuated, an inexpensive option that can drastically improve the look and feel of your kitchen is to refinish those accent pieces alone.

Complexity of the Refinishing Job

The design and style of some cabinetry are more intricate than others. This will affect the cost, as more detailed or difficult to paint styles will require more time and possibly more materials.

Other cabinetry is less complicated to refinish, so the cabinet refinishing cost will most likely be lower. This is especially the case for cabinets with a smooth front. Oak takes some additional prep to get a smooth finish so you can expect to invest more into oak. 

Preparation Time

Preparation involves quite a few steps, so it’s not always a quick process.

We decide our prep steps based on the current condition and material of your cabinets. Depending on what we find, any previous coats of paint, varnish, or stain may need to be stripped off of the cabinets. Surface imperfections and damage will need to be repaired next. This includes any splintered or broken wood, dents, scratches, and gouges.

Surface Preparation

After damage repair, the entire surface must then be sanded until it’s very smooth and clean. All of this surface preparation ensures that the new finish will adhere to or absorb correctly when applied.


Protecting surroundings and prepping kitchen surfaces for cabinet painting

Kitchen Cabinets Being Prepared for Refinishing

Failing to properly prepare a surface can be problematic. A few issues that can arise from improper surface preparation are:

  • An uneven or bumpy look to the newly applied finish
  • A finish that peels off quickly
  • A new color that will not look right over areas where the old color comes through

If your cabinets have more extensive damage, the preparation time may take longer and cost a bit extra. It’s worth the investment of time and money to get a clean, even surface for your new finish.

Refinishing Materials

There are many refinishing materials to choose from when you’re refreshing your cabinetry.

You’ll be able to choose from:

  • Many colors of paint
  • Paint sheen, such as flat, matte, eggshell, satin, and gloss
  • Different types of paint, such as oil or latex
  • Different types and colors of stains
  • Different clear coats
  • Specialty finishes like distressing, antiquing, glazing, and rub through’s

If you decide to hire Rise Painting, we only use a few different products because we have come to trust the results. Our italian lacquer is water based and eco-friendly. As a 2-part finish, it allows us to get in and out of your home with minimal interruption to your daily schedule and provides a rock hard finish that will last.

Depending on your lifestyle, you may opt to have an additional clear coat added to the fronts of the doors and drawers. This added protection will protect the color coat below and facilitate easier repairs down the road if something were to happen to your cabinets. Scratches that would require a door to be removed and re-sprayed in a shop setting can be fixed on-site if it doesn’t scratch through the clear coat.

All of these finishes will vary in price depending on brand, finish, and color.

While most of these choices are aesthetic in nature, some involve finish quality. If you choose to save money by using less expensive refinishing materials, it’s likely the finished product will reflect this lack of quality.

Quality Is Worth the Cost

If you’re taking the time and effort to refinish your cabinets, it’s worth investing in the best product possible for durability and visual appeal.

Higher quality finishes can generally withstand exposure to sunlight, water, and wear and tear better than lower quality ones. This is important because you’ll want your new finish to last.

The Final Cabinet Refinishing Cost

After all factors are considered and materials are chosen, you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll be paying for a cabinet refinishing. Most homeowners pay between $3,300 and $5,000 for a refinish job.

This is quite low compared to installing new cabinets, which can run between $15,000 and $45,000 on average.

It’s a money-saver you might consider if you like your cabinetry but would like a bit of an update or a change of color.

There are many “cabinet painters” out there who can beat Rise Painting on price, but none of them can beat us on “cost.” Consider this — if you have an inexperienced cabinet painter tackle your project, it might be half as much as we charge. If 80% of the project is in preparation for new finishes, where do you think they cut corners ot deliver you their product at their price? You’re right — they cut out very important prep steps or use products that were never intended for fine furniture like your cabinetry. When you call us to come fix what the cheap painter did, it may cost you three times as much to get to a suitable surface for refinishing. Old coatings will need to be completely removed if there is an issue with adhesion.

Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when considering a professional service.

Budget Friendly and Immediately Rewarding

Refinishing cabinets can help you improve the look of your home without spending a ton of money.

In a short time, your cabinets will look updated and beautiful.


Updated Kitchen With White Painted Cabinets

If you’re interested in professional painting and refinishing, do yourself a favor and contact us today. For more information on painting services, feel free to explore our blog!