Repaint or Replace Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

From time to time we’re asked for an opinion on whether to replace an older kitchen or simply remove and repaint the cabinet doors. The obvious first thought is that the ‘remodel’ is being considered with a tight budget in mind, but as it turns out this isn’t always the case. We’ve come across some older kitchens where the cabinets are virtually one of a kind and possess a great deal of charm and style. Many professional or even DIY carpenters have built kitchen cabinets from scratch, which can never be matched or replicated. So for sure, in some instances you may want to retain the original doors but bring them to life with a coat (or several) of paint.

How you approach this can vary, but we generally recommend removing the doors and sending them off for a professional paint job. This invariably involves priming the surfaces, which always requires some preparation for the priming stage to be effective.
Firstly, with a ‘bespoke’ kitchen, it’s important to completely and thoroughly mark everything as it is removed. This is so doors can be rematched with specific cabinet frames, hinges and handles can be matched with specific doors, and so forth.
Thoroughly clean the surfaces to remove the build up of dirt, grime and grease which invariably accumulates in nooks and crannies over the years. Once cleaned, repair any dents or abrasions in the appropriate manner and make sure the surfaces are sanded to a smooth and even finish.
If you plan to paint the doors yourself, an oil based paint will provide you with a smoother and more durable finish. Latex paints may be more convenient and even less costly, but there’s a distinct benefit in using a quality oil based paint.
How you apply the paint will vary. We recommend spraying the paint to ensure a smooth and even finish, but this should always be done at a professional spray facility. Using brushes is a less favored option as they often leave behind streaks and marks in the finished surface. Often times these impurities cannot be seen on the paint bench but become visible when the cabinet doors are hung and catch the light in a certain way. If the initial goal is to preserve and retain the charm of a custom cabinet then the extra expense of having a professional paint job should be well worth it.
If your cabinets are a standard size and you’re not emotionally attached in any way to the doors, then we’d generally recommend replacing them with new doors. The cost difference between removing, repairing and repainting doors, versus replacing them with new kitchen cabinets, isn’t that great, and the end result is bound to be better.

People are often surprised at how inexpensive it can be to hang new doors on existing cabinets, for a quick restyle of their kitchen space. Contact us today, give as an outline of the doors you have, quantity, size etc, and we’ll come up with a great price that will be impossible to beat!