Can You Reface Really Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Can you Reface Really Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Question: Can you reface really old kitchen cabinets?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to reface really old kitchen cabinets, but the condition and structure of the cabinets should be assessed by professionals.

Can You Reface Really Old Kitchen Cabinets? Refacing Your Vintage Kitchen Cabinets

In an era where the vintage charm has gained significant appeal, many homeowners find themselves asking if they can keep their old kitchen cabinets and simply update their look. Cabinet refacing is a technique that has been around for a while, but can it breathe new life into truly old kitchen cabinets? Let’s dive into this matter and find out.

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The Basics: Understanding Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is a process that primarily focuses on changing the aesthetics of your kitchen cabinets while preserving their original structure. The procedure involves removing the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts, covering the exposed frames with a veneer to match the new design, and installing new doors and drawer fronts. The process essentially gives your cabinets a fresh, updated look without the hassle of tearing out and replacing the entire cabinet. [ 1 ]

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The Potential: Old Cabinets and Refacing

The question that naturally arises is whether or not it’s possible to reface really old kitchen cabinets. The straightforward answer is, yes, you can. However, there are certain conditions that these old cabinets need to meet for the refacing to be successful.

Structural Integrity

The primary prerequisite for refacing is that the cabinets must be structurally sound. Despite their age, if your cabinets are solidly built and free from significant damage, they are prime candidates for refacing.

Quality of Original Materials

Old cabinets, especially those made from high-quality materials like solid wood, often boast superior construction compared to some modern counterparts. If the quality of the original materials is high, your old cabinets might just need a facelift rather than a complete replacement.

The Process: Refacing Really Old Kitchen Cabinets

Refacing really old kitchen cabinets doesn’t differ significantly from refacing newer ones. However, due to their age, extra care might be necessary during the process.

First, you’ll need to select new doors and drawer fronts. When dealing with vintage cabinets, consider a design that complements the overall character of your kitchen.

Following repairs, the chosen veneer is applied to the cabinet boxes. It’s essential to select a veneer that matches your new doors and drawer fronts for a uniform look.

Finally, your new doors and drawer fronts are installed, and new hardware is put in place. With these steps, your old cabinets have a new life and a fresh look, without losing their vintage charm.

The Outcome: Benefits and Drawbacks of Refacing Old Cabinets

Refacing old cabinets presents homeowners with several benefits, but also comes with some potential drawbacks.


The primary benefit is cost savings. Refacing is generally less expensive than total cabinet replacement. It’s a way to maintain the vintage charm while updating the look of your kitchen.

Additionally, refacing is a quicker process compared to complete cabinet replacement, causing less disruption to your daily life.

Lastly, refacing old cabinets is an environmentally friendly choice as it reduces waste going into the landfill.


On the downside, not all old cabinets can be refaced. If they’re not structurally sound or have extensive damage, they may need to be replaced.

Additionally, even if your cabinets are in good condition, you’re still working with an old structure. Even with new faces, the cabinets may still show their age in certain areas.

Conclusion: Embracing the Vintage with Cabinet Refacing

In conclusion, yes, you can reface really old kitchen cabinets, provided they’re in good condition. The process can give your vintage kitchen a fresh look while maintaining the charm and character of your home. As with any renovation decision, it’s vital to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks. If your cabinets are structurally sound and you love their vintage charm, refacing can be a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing solution for your kitchen.



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