Kitchen Makeover Part 2 – Cabinet Refacing

A year ago, our kitchen looked like this:

Dark and Cramped Kitchen

We painted the cabinets and generally brightened up the kitchen:

Walls painted gray and white cabinets

This was a major improvement on what we previously had but it still wasn’t as functional as we wanted.  Six months later, our kitchen has once again been transformed (and for under 10k!):

A kitchen with a large window above a kitchen sink, white cabinets and dark countertops

We had no plans to completely re-do our kitchen, but thought it would be interesting to entertain a quote from a Home Depot representative to try to sell us on “refacing” our cabinets.For anyone who isn’t aware of kitchen cabinet refacing, it’s a much more cost effective solution than completely gutting a kitchen and starting from scratch.

From Home Depot:

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a whole new look by replacing cabinet door and drawer fronts and veneering the exterior of the cabinet boxes. Your kitchen layout stays the same and the cabinets stay in place, so you avoid the inconveniences associated with major renovation and demolition. Enhancements like organizers, shelving, moldings and other accessories add the finishing touches.


We couldn’t believe that the quote for our kitchen was less than what we had spent to overhaul our bathroom. AND with 0% interest for 24 months it was an offer we apparently couldn’t resist. We signed on the dotted line and had the measuring guy at our house 3 days later.

My main concern was making the kitchen more functional. You might remember the cabinets that (1) I couldn’t reach and (2) that wouldn’t even open:

Upper cabinets with a dark wood stain finish and a lower cabinet where the door is blocked by the nearby oven and cannot fully open

We decided to extend the length of the cabinets above the stove so that they matched the length of the other cabinets. We also decided to add a breakfast bar where we previously had the Ikea table and chairs.

The cabinet doors that we decided on were a white shaker style with a beadboard accent:

Shaker style cabinet with beadboard accent

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: The Process

Four weeks later, the construction company (actually one guy named John) was ready to begin work.  Before John could start, all the appliances had to be removed from the kitchen.

Day 1: Two hours after John began work….much to our surprise, we ended up getting an entire wall of new cabinets:

New wall of cabinets

I guess I didn’t listen very well when the blue prints were being explained to me! ha!

The breakfast bar was also quickly put in place:

A cabinet, unpainted and unstained, and missing doors


Breakfast bar storage

Day 2: Countertops arrived and were installed. The countertop we chose was Wilsonart’s Deepstar Slate:

A close up of grey, veneer countertops


The veneer was cut to fit the cabinet boxes and glued on:

Open cabinets with doors removed

Day 3: John attached the cabinet doors and hardware, and trimmed, caulked and siliconed until everything looked beautiful and finished!

A close up of a white drawer of a kitchen cabinet, with a silver handle

Day 4: We had a electrician come in to install our new stove and over-the-range microwave, and we put the fridge back into place:

The corner of a kitchen, with white cabinets, stainless steel stove and microwave and a white fridge

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: The Finished Product

The corner of a kitchen with white cabinets, wood floors, and two large windows nearby

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Home Depot

Breakfast bar storage
Tons of storage!
A closeup of an upgraded, white kitchen cabinet with silver hardware
Pretty hardware


Here’s the before and after:

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Before and After

I’m still amazed that it only took a total of 4 days for such an an amazing transformation.  We now have a fully functional kitchen that I actually enjoy cooking in!  I’m happy to entertain guests and no longer have to store the “good dinnerware set” in the linen closet!

We still need to get a pair of stools for the breakfast bar and EVENTUALLY replace the floors…but I’m exceptionally happy with what we have right now!

Have any of you refaced your cabinets? Maybe if you’ve been eager to update your kitchen this would be a good option for you!

**Update** The following additions have also been added! Check out the Home Tour page to see the FINISHED kitchen!

New Pendant Lights

instant mosaic backsplash

Peel & Stick Backsplash



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  1. Love your site with all the DIY’s and house proud projects, like this one refacing your cabinets.
    I had mine refaced By HD 1 week ago and still smelling the glue although it is slowly getting better. My question to you is how long until the smell is totally gone? We have a fan on them and keeping windows open. I’m thinking the glue needs to cure which I’m thinking will take about 30 days? Using that number in comparison to other paints and glues that need full curing time. Even though it is a bit smelly I absolutely love my kitchen and would recommend HD Refacing. I hope you are able to answer my question. Thanks, Nancy.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      We didn’t have any issues with residual smell after about 24 hours. I’m so happy your kitchen turned out well, though!

  2. If you didn’t get thermofoil, what did you get. I had an estimate on thermofoil which was not bad, but my gut was telling me they would not last.

    1. Ours were particleboard, I believe. That was 9 years ago, though, so I’m not sure exactly what they are offering these days.

  3. We bought thermofoil doors from Home Depot to replace the doors on our kitchen cabinets. They are peeling and cracked. Junk.

    1. Thermofoil is not a good product – they always peel and crack eventually! The ones we purchased were not Thermofoil.

  4. Wow! What a transformation! I’m in the cabinet door business and always like to peruse what others are doing with theirs. The clean, white cabinets really make the kitchen look beautiful. Very nice!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      We actually couldn’t add a deeper sink due to some weird plumbing issues. It would have been cost prohibitive. Honestly, we really never used the sink apart from rinsing things so it wasn’t an issue for us!

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