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Renovations of any kind can be daunting, but Semihandmade is here to help. Whether you want to swap kitchen cabinet colors or are desiring an entirely new look, DIY cabinet refacing is a cost-effective option. Instead of demolishing structurally sound cabinets, you can dramatically change your home with cabinet refacing. So how is it done?

Interior designer Rachel Ortega tackled a renovation herself for a fraction of the price. After a decade in the home, she was able to take on the facelift using IKEA boxes, Semihandmade fronts, and floating shelves, all with the help of her husband and brother-in-law. 

 

Establish a Budget

Photography by Rachel Ortega

Kitchen cabinet refacing, which is described as the installation of new surfaces on existing cabinet boxes, replacing cabinet fronts and drawers, and installing new hardware, can cost as little as one third as much as fully replacing cabinets. The Ortega family, who already had an IKEA Akurum kitchen, spent under $5,000 and achieved an impressive, modern update. 

Cherry cabinets made way for IKEA boxes with Semihandmade Supermatte Desert Grey Slab fronts for a brighter space without opting for traditional white. With the help of the IKEA kitchen planner, she realized her minimal vision included knocking out the upper cabinets and keeping just lowers. 

 

Is Refacing Right For You?

Design and Photography by Rachel Ortega

Do you want to replace your cabinets or reface them? There are many factors to consider, including the state of your cabinet bases and if you are happy or not with your current kitchen layout. If you’re on a tight budget, refacing is the best option, while replacing is the best bet for a renewed floor plan. 

 

Cabinet Check

Design by Natalie Myers; Photography by Charlotte Lea Photography

Are your current cabinets worth refacing? It all comes down to construction. Replace crumbling bases, of course, but sturdy plywood, hardwood, or MDF bases in good condition are the perfect candidates for refacing.

Designer Natalie Myers refaced kitchen cabinets in an Austin home, exchanging dated fronts for Semihandmade’s DIY Slab fronts painted in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, a gray with warm undertones, which adds a “softness to the industrial vibes,” she says. The new kitchen is an elevated upgrade on the existing budget-friendly kitchen.

Refacing 101

Blue-green shaker kitchen cabinets

Design by Velinda Hellen; Photograhy by Sara Tramp

The first step is removing the doors, while the boxes remain intact. Next, the cabinet sides are skinned with veneer or laminate, while new hinges are added along with doors and drawers. From there, homeowners can install new hardware, panels, lighting, and storage inserts. 

Go Semi-Custom

Semihandmade Walnut Kitchen Cabinets with Graphic Backsplash

Design by A Vintage Splendor; Photography by Bethany Nauert

Once your fronts are installed, Ortega suggests adding side panels and toe kicks to match your cabinet color. Cut toe kicks with a table saw to fit your cabinets and reveal your semi-custom budget kitchen.

 

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