Is it Cheaper to Have Cabinets Painted or Replaced?

Is it Cheaper to Have Cabinets Painted or Replaced?

Question: Is it Cheaper to Have Cabinets Painted or Replaced?
Answer: Having cabinets painted is typically cheaper than replacing them entirely, offering a cost-effective way to refresh the look of your kitchen.

Is it Cheaper to Have Cabinets Painted or Replaced? The Cost-Effective Choice for Your Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the cabinets play a significant role in both functionality and aesthetics. However, worn-out or outdated cabinets can drag down the entire space. When faced with tired cabinets, the question arises: is it cheaper to paint them or replace them entirely? The answer depends on several factors, and this guide will help you weigh the costs and benefits of each approach. [ 1 ]

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Considering Painting: A Budget-Friendly Refresh

Painting your cabinets is a budget-friendly option for updating their appearance. Here’s a breakdown of the associated costs:

  • Paint and Supplies:

    The cost of paint and supplies can vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the quality of paint chosen, and the number of coats required. Generally, expect to spend between $100 and $300 on paint and supplies for a typical kitchen.

  • Labor Costs (Optional):

    If you’re comfortable tackling the project yourself, you can save on labor costs. However, if you prefer professional painting, expect to pay an average of $1,000 to $3,000 for labor, depending on your location and the complexity of the job.

While painting offers significant cost savings, there are limitations to consider. Here’s a closer look at the factors influencing the suitability of painting your cabinets.

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Related Article: When Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Do You Stain or Paint?

Evaluating Suitability for Painting: A Matter of Condition and Material

Painting is a viable option for cabinets in good structural condition. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Cabinet Material:

    Solid wood cabinets generally respond well to painting. However, painting laminate cabinets can be trickier, and the results might not be as durable.

  • Extent of Damage:

    Deep scratches, dents, or warping might not be fully concealed by paint. Extensive damage might necessitate replacement.

  • Existing Finish:

    Heavily lacquered or previously painted cabinets might require more prep work for successful painting.

On the other hand, replacing your cabinets offers a more comprehensive solution, but comes with a higher price tag.

The Cost of Replacing Cabinets: A Fresh Start but a Higher Price Tag

Replacing your cabinets entirely offers a more comprehensive solution, but naturally comes with a higher cost. Here’s a breakdown of the expenses involved:

  • Cabinet Cost:

    The price of cabinets varies significantly depending on the material, style, and size. Expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per linear foot of cabinets. Solid wood cabinets are the most expensive, while laminate or MDF (medium-density fibreboard) offer more affordable options.

  • Installation Costs:

    Professional cabinet installation is typically priced per linear foot, ranging from $100 to $200. The complexity of the job and your location can also influence the final cost.

  • Additional Considerations:

    Factor in the cost of removing your existing cabinets, which might involve disposal fees. You might also need to adjust your countertops or backsplash to fit the new cabinets, leading to additional expenses.

While replacing cabinets is a significant investment, it offers several advantages over painting. Here’s a closer look at the benefits to consider.

Advantages of Replacing Cabinets: Beyond a Fresh Coat of Paint

Replacing your cabinets provides a more comprehensive upgrade and comes with several benefits:

  • Improved Functionality:

    New cabinets often offer better storage solutions and features like soft-close drawers and pull-out shelves.

  • Durability and Longevity:

    New cabinets, especially those made from high-quality materials, are more durable and can withstand years of wear and tear.

  • Increased Home Value:

    Upgrading your kitchen cabinets can significantly improve your home’s resale value.

  • Wider Design Options:

    Replacing cabinets allows you to explore a wider range of styles, materials, and finishes to achieve your desired kitchen aesthetic.


Ultimately, the decision to paint or replace your cabinets hinges on your budget, the condition of your existing cabinets, and your desired outcome. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option to determine the most cost-effective solution for your kitchen.



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