Should I Paint or Refinish My Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets can be a game changer for your kitchen. But they can also take up a chunk of your budget. It’s natural to ask whether it’s a good idea to paint or refinish your kitchen cabinets instead of getting new ones.

Whatever you decide, doing something different with your kitchen cabinets during your remodel is a must. The best way to go about doing that is up for debate. So should you paint or refinish your kitchen cabinets? Here are a few things to consider before you make the decision.


Refinishing your cabinets can save you money and time. But in some cases, it’s better to go a different route. Here’s what you need to know.

Refinishing means that you sand the finishes and stains off your wooden cabinets then restrain and finish them. If you don’t have wood cabinets, refinishing isn’t an option obviously.

Wood cabinets really don’t need replacing unless they are more than 10 years old, even then, as long as the style is still relevant, you can successfully refinish them.


Painting cabinets offers you some additional options for updating your cabinets without complete replacement. You can paint cabinets whether they are wood, MDF, or metal.

You’ll prep wood cabinets the same way you do wood cabinets: sanding off all existing paint, stain, and finishes. MDF requires a special solvent-based primer before painting. Metal requires thorough cleaning then sanding before painting.

Kitchen with refinished wood cabinets.
Shop similar cabinets.


One great way to give the kitchen cabinets a refresh but still save some money is to reface your cabinets. Essentially, this means that you’ll replace the doors and drawer fronts but keep the existing cabinet box.

If you are changing cabinet colors, you can paint or refinish your existing cabinet frames (the part that shows). Or you could select frameless cabinet doors and drawer fronts. These completely cover the cabinet frame (when the door is closed) so the frame won’t show.

Replacing the cabinet handles along with the doors can make your kitchen feel completely new.


If you really need or want to replace your cabinets but still worry about the budget, there’s an alternative you should consider. Ready-to-assemble cabinets let you replace your cabinets at a more affordable price.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets are more affordable because they don’t include the extra cost of assembly in the factory. If you have some DIY know-how, you can easily assemble and install the cabinets yourself. We have a library of resources and videos to help you every step of the way.

The ready-to-assemble cabinets at RTA Cabinet Store are high quality and offer a wider range of options than you’ll ever see at your local big box store.

You can also save money on cabinets by buying them online. We save money by not having to maintain or stock brick and mortar stores and we pass those savings on to you. More on that here.

Should you paint or refinish your cabinets? There are many options to save money on cabinets. Whichever you choose, you can give your whole kitchen a refresh with a cabinet update. Take a closer look at your options.

Want more remodeling tips? Read on.

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