Regardless of the size, style, or age of your kitchen, there’s no better way to breathe new life into it than through repainted cabinetry. Refinishing kitchen cabinets is no small project, and it’s important to consider both the labour and financial costs that will be incurred throughout the process.
In this article, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of kitchen cabinet repainting, explaining the various project approaches and the values offered by each. On top of that, we’ll discuss the cost estimates that you should work into your plan budgeting!
Challenges of Painting Kitchen Cabinets
If it were easy, everyone would do it. Thankfully, with the right preparation and toolkit, you will be able to successfully approach your cabinet repainting project. Before diving in, it’s important to consider the following challenges and plan accordingly:
- Dismantling Your Kitchen: If the objective is to make your kitchen beautiful, it’s important that you take time to dismantle the cabinets so that each nook and cranny can be successfully painted. Although tedious, this step will ensure that the job gets done correctly the first time.
- Removing… Everything: Painting cabinets with as few errors as possible will require that you remove anything in their way, including appliances, food, and more. Not only will you need to spend time removing all of these items, but you’ll also need to find a safe space to store them for the entirety of the project.
- Your Paint Shop: Cabinets are best painted in separate pieces, and as such, you’ll need to find a home for the cabinet doors during the painting process. It will need to be a space large enough to hold them for both the painting and drying stages.
- Paint and Painting Differences: Compared to the items you may be familiar with painting – walls and other flat surfaces – cabinets will prevent a challenge. The intricate cuts and corners, especially on panelled cabinets, will mean that you need to focus some extra time and money on getting it right.
Repainting vs. Refacing Cabinets
Refinishing kitchen cupboards is as simple as deconstructing, applying layers of primer and paint, and reconstructing. Although certainly common, repainting your cabinets isn’t the only approach you can take to modernizing the aesthetic of your kitchen, with refacing recently becoming a popular option in the space. Cabinet refacing (otherwise known as resurfacing) involves the process of replacing the outer material of the cabinetry with new laminate or wood veneer while leaving the actual cabinet box untouched.
In addition to the cabinet faces, you can also reface the frames, side panels, moulding, and anything else needed to create a cohesive appearance. Whereas painting will see your current cabinet style get a fresh colour, refacing will provide an entire new texture and outlay.
If refacing sounds closer to the type of project you’re looking to take on, there are a few important items you’ll need to consider when comparing it to repainting:
- Cost: Refacing cabinets will cost more than a repainting project, however, it will still be cheaper than the installation price of an entirely new cabinet set. The price will also vary greatly depending on the quality of the new doors, hinges, and knobs you select.
- Labour: Refacing cabinets will be much less work than tearing out old cabinets and going through the repainting process. In addition to that, you’ll be able to use your cabinets throughout the entire project, avoiding the storage issues that repainting presents.
- Space: Refacing cabinets will only work if you’re happy with the current layout of your kitchen. Because you aren’t actually removing anything from the walls, you’ll be forced to leave the layout as it is.
Cost of Repainting Cabinets vs. Refacing
When deciding whether to reface or repaint your kitchen cabinets, design and price will often be the primary deciding factors. On the topic of price, there are some rather clear differences that should be considered between the options available:
Cabinet Repainting: For a complete kitchen cabinet repainting project, you should budget anywhere from $1,200 to $6,500. The main cost contributors to the project are paint, primer, supplies, and labour. You’ll be able to take cheaper or more expensive routes in each domain to dictate the total project cost.
Cabinet Refacing: For a complete kitchen cabinet refacing project, you should budget anywhere from $1,000 to $9,000. The main cost contributors to the project are quality of wood, quality of new hardware, supplies, and labour. You’ll be able to dictate the price point of many of these options and therefore control how much or little the project ends up costing.
Is It Worth It to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable way to rejuvenate your kitchen, refinishing kitchen cabinets may just be the project you need. A proper repaint can provide your cabinets with 5-to-10 years of additional life, which for some homeowners may be longer than you even plan on spending in the home. Due to its relatively low cost – when compared to a complete renovation project – repainting will allow you to modernize your kitchen, increase resale value, and improve your living experience with little downside.
Should I D.I.Y Paint My Cabinets?
Painting projects always appear exciting at the onset, however, it’s important that you consider both the pros and cons before getting started. This will ensure that you don’t overcommit and find yourself dreading the work ahead. Here are a few key items to keep in mind:
- Cost. A kitchen cabinet refinishing job will cost significantly less than the price of a professional painter
- Control. D.I.Y cabinet refinishing will mean that you have complete control over every aspect of the project. From design to workflow and more, you’ll be able to repaint your kitchen cabinets in your ideal image.
- Time. Because you’ll be required to complete every step of the project – from disassembling to painting and beyond – you’ll need to set aside quite a bit of time. For busier individuals, it may just be easier to pay someone for theirs.
- Difficulty. Unlike walls, cabinet repainting isn’t as easy as applying some tape and rolling. You should expect to run into complications and minor difficulties along the way, especially if this is your first cabinet repainting project.
On top of those, you should also consider items that may have an impact on your home and quality of life that aren’t directly related to the D.I.Y cabinet painting project, such as family stress, house cleaning, and more.
Is It Cheaper to Paint or Replace Kitchen Cabinets?
It is much cheaper to repaint kitchen cabinets than it is to replace them. This is because a repainting project only requires the cost of paint and labour, whereas a replacement project requires the cost of new wood – which is quite expensive – and labour. Although you’ll have a greater ability to customize a kitchen replacement project than you will a kitchen repainting one, there is a severe cost difference that must be considered.
How Much Does Kitchen Cabinet Painting Cost?
A kitchen cabinet painting job will depend heavily on the size of your kitchen and the materials and paints used. As a general range, you can expect your kitchen cabinet painting cost to start between $1,200 – $3,500. The average cost per cabinet door or drawer painted is between $85-$125, and the average kitchen has between 20-30 of these doors and drawers. For larger kitchens with more cabinet doors and drawers, expect the cost to paint kitchen cabinets to range as high as $4,000-$6,500.
For reference, the cost of a complete kitchen replacement ranges from $10,000-$40,000, significantly more than the average kitchen cabinet painting cost.
Cost to D.I.Y Paint Cabinets
When going the D.I.Y route, the cost to paint kitchen cabinets will average $700, but can range anywhere from $400-$1,100 depending on the materials and supplies you elect to use. If you don’t have kitchen repainting supplies readily available, you should expect to spend another $200-$600 so that you have the tools needed to complete the project correctly.
Price Difference Between A Kitchen Renovation and Cabinet Repainting or Refinishing
When comparing the costs of a complete kitchen renovation with that of a cabinet refinishing or repainting project, there are several important items to consider. Although a full renovation will allow you to adjust the layout of the room, replace any old cabinetry, flooring, and appliances, and completely alter the aesthetic, it will certainly come at a price. You can expect a complete kitchen renovation to cost in the range of $25,000-50,000, more than 10 times the amount of an average repainting or refacing project.
If you’re content with the layout of your kitchen and are simply looking to breathe new life into the space, there may be no need to overspend on a complete kitchen renovation. When done correctly, refacing and repainting projects can do an incredible job of modernizing the focal point of your home, and they’ll do so at a fraction of the cost.
Other Advantages of Painting Kitchen Cabinets
In addition to the kitchen cabinet repainting benefits we’ve already discussed, there are a few other key benefits that have yet to be mentioned, including:
- Customizable colours. A cabinet repainting project presents endless colour options to create a kitchen experience that you truly love. As opposed to being stuck with traditional wood grain or black and white cabinetry, you can add a unique sense of style and flavour to the space.
- Cupboard cleaning. A kitchen cabinet repainting project provides a wonderful opportunity to thoroughly clean out your kitchen cupboards, reducing clutter and improving the experience.
- Return on investment. Kitchens are one of the main selling points for homes. With painted kitchen cabinets, you’ll be able to breathe new life into your kitchen and have a tangible impact on the market value of your home.
Should I Have My Cabinets Professionally Painted?
Deciding whether or not to have professional cabinet painting depends on two things – your budget and confidence in craftsmanship. If your budget allows for the additional cost of a professional painter, it may be worth paying the money to ensure the job gets done right. Professional cabinet painting offers the following benefits:
- Quality results, guaranteed.
- Safety training, reducing the likelihood of in-home accidents or mishaps.
- Stress reduction for you and your family, as the professionals will be responsible for all project elements.
- Efficient work and a heightened level of expertise.
Prestige Painting and Contracting is a trusted source for professional paintwork throughout the GTA and surrounding areas. If you would like to learn more about our services or get a free project consultation, contact our team!