Cabinets can look new

Mark Brown explains the benefits of refinishing old furniture.

Have you ever wanted to wave a magic wand and give your old kitchen and bathroom a sleek, modern look?

Well you can, usually in less than three days and for a lot less than you think. If your kitchen layout is basically fine and the cases structurally sound, you should consider refacing instead of replacing and save yourself a ton of money.

For a third of the cost of starting over from scratch, you can transform your kitchen with zero fuss and minimal downtime. Refacing means keeping what’s good and changing only the exterior components — the doors, drawer fronts, side panels and trim. Everything else stays just as it is.

From an environmental perspective it’s the green thing to do. The old doors are recycled and nothing goes to the landfill.

Makeover magic

The difference is dramatic. And with the money you save, other projects can suddenly become much more affordable.

You can select from B.C. hardwoods or man-made polymers in any style and colour — elegant raised centre panel, traditional Shaker or cool contemporary.

Once you’ve decided on the look, exact measurements are taken and new doors, drawer fronts and end panels custom-sized to your kitchen’s specifications. Standard manufacturer warranties are five years.

Even older-style face frame cabinets can be magically transformed by changing to concealed European hinges and ordering larger doors for that sleek seamless look.

The creative touches needn’t stop there:  With the money left over you can opt for a vertical pantry, roll-out shelves or pot drawers that won’t have you bending like a pretzel to access those lower shelves.

Buying & selling

Realtors agree that kitchens and bathrooms can make or break a sale.  If you’re buying or selling, refacing pays for itself several times over. Just get everything in writing to avoid any costly surprises after the fact. Remember though, working with existing cabinets can be especially challenging so deal with refacing specialists who know what’s required and have the experience to do the job properly.

Mark Brown is a cabinetmaker from Courtenay. He can be reached at mark@nicabinets.com.