If you have an outdated, tired-looking kitchen, one of
the simplest and most rewarding fixes is refacing your
cabinets with veneer and adding new door and drawer fronts.
By also adding new hardware and painting the kitchen walls,
you can literally transform your entire kitchen without a
lot of hassle and expense.
“The vast majority of today’s homeowners can update their
kitchens with a few simple procedures, such as adding some
hinges and hardware, new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, or
by refacing existing cabinetry and casework,” says Stacy
Lemmer, a product manager at Rockler Woodworking and
Hardware. She adds that homeowners should first decide on
the scope and magnitude of the update they want.
“If you decide to reconfigure existing cabinetry to a new
layout, the best solution is often replacement. However, if
you are happy with your existing cabinet layout, refacing
your cabinetry is a time- and cost-saving solution. Either
way, you’ll have a new, updated look,” she said.
“Cabinetry is typically the most expensive
component of a kitchen,” says Herrick Kimball,
author of “Refacing Cabinets: Making an Old Kitchen
New.” “By making some simple changes to improve the
efficiency of your existing cabinet layout and then refacing those cabinets, you can have a
beautiful new kitchen for a fraction of the cost of ripping
everything out and replacing it,” he says.
Kimball added that with some basic woodworking tools and
skills, homeowners can easily reface their own cabinets.
According to Kimball there are four basic steps to
1. Remove and discard existing door and drawer fronts.
They will be replaced with new custom-made and sized door
and drawer fronts.
2. Resurface cabinet sides with hardwood or veneered
plywood in the same species as the new doors that will be
3. After the face frames are properly prepped, apply a
flexible peel-and-stick wood veneer and wrap it around the
front and edges of the face-frame rails and stiles.
4. Install new doors, hinges and knobs and pulls.
Refacing your cabinetry can give you any look you want
thanks to the countless wood species, door and drawer
styles, and hardware options available.
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, for example, offers a
custom door and drawer front program that lets you choose
the size and style in red oak, maple, ash, cherry, hickory
or white laminate. You can also match those species or
laminate in custom cut-to-fit cabinet end panels and veneer
“The best part about our program is you don’t have to
build your own door,” says Lemmer. Simply choose your style,
width and length and wood species, and you’ll receive the
door in two weeks.
To make the installation of veneer a snap, Lemmer
recommends Rockler’s 3-in-1 laminate pressure tool and
veneer trimming guide. The laminate pressure tool helps you
smooth out, roll flat and apply edging, while the veneer
trimming guide is designed for trimming off excess veneer so
that it is flush with the face frame.
To add the finishing touches to your cabinet project,
selecting new hardware will further personalize and add
distinction to your kitchen space. Knobs and pulls are
available in a wide variety of finishes and styles, from
cast copper Mission style to contemporary polished chrome.
You may also want to add brass grille or textured and leaded
glass panels to your cabinetry. These accent pieces are
typically custom made and sized, and are available in
Whatever design you decide on, updating your kitchen
doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. For a small
kitchen (eight doors and six drawers), the price of custom
door and drawer fronts, cabinet end panels and veneer sheets
in oak should be around $500.
For additional information on how to makeover your
kitchen, call Rockler Woodworking and Hardware toll-free at
(800) 279-4441, or visit rockler.com.