Why to Resurface Cabinets & Countertops vs Replacing Them

Tired of looking at your outdated kitchen every day in San Diego? Who isn’t? Those cabinets you loved when you first moved in are now feeling dreary. The countertops look dull. Everything just seems, well, old.

You start fantasizing about a total kitchen remodel–knocking down walls, ripping out cabinets, and installing gleaming new appliances. But then the reality hits of just how much time, effort, and money a full remodel entails in San Diego.

The good news? There’s an affordable way to give your kitchen a fresh new look – resurfacing your existing cabinets and counters. For a fraction of replacement costs, resurfacing can entirely transform the vibe. And the results may surprise you! Read on as we explore pros and cons of resurfacing versus replacing your worn-out kitchen components.  

Resurface Cabinets/Countertops vs Replacing Them

Cost Savings from Resurfacing

One of the biggest advantages of resurfacing over replacing is the significant cost savings. Replacing cabinets and countertops entirely means paying for brand-new materials and labor for removal and installation. In contrast, resurfacing utilizes your existing materials and requires minimal time and work to complete.

On average, resurfacing cabinets costs 10-50% less than new cabinet replacement. For countertops, resurfacing typically runs $40-100 per square foot, while replacement can be $80-150 per square foot. For the average kitchen, choosing to resurface could save thousands of dollars.

Environmental Benefits

Resurfacing is also a more eco-friendly solution. Reusing your existing materials avoids the waste and carbon emissions that come from manufacturing and transporting new materials. The resurfacing process uses minimal water and energy as well.

Preserving the Original Materials

In many cases, the original cabinetry and countertops in your kitchen are made of high-quality materials like wood or natural stone. With resurfacing, you can preserve these durable, natural materials while giving them a fresh, updated look.

Resurfacing solutions like new veneers, paints, or stains can give the same rejuvenating facelift as a replacement, allowing you to fall in love with your kitchen all over again.

Maintaining the Look and Feel

With replacement, there is often a risk that the new cabinets or countertops will not match the existing style you want to preserve. However, resurfacing allows you to maintain a consistent look and feel.

For example, you can match the stain, finish, or paint color of new cabinet veneers or countertop coatings to seamlessly integrate with your original materials. Resurfacing ensures your space keeps the cohesive aesthetic you want.

The Resurfacing Process

The resurfacing process consists of prep work, applying new finishes/veneers, and sealing/protection. For countertops, your installer will thoroughly clean the surface, lightly sand and patch divots or cracks, and then apply special resurfacing material in your choice of colors and designs.

For cabinets, doors and frames will be sanded, primed, and painted or re-stained. New veneers can be applied on top of existing cabinet boxes as well. The process takes 2-5 days, depending on the scope of work.

Making Your Decision

As you can see, there are trade-offs to consider when deciding whether to resurface versus replace your kitchen cabinets and countertops in San Diego. Factors like your budget, desired timeline, layout needs, and sustainability goals should be taken into account. If your goal is a fast and affordable refresh, resurfacing is likely the better choice. But for a total kitchen transformation with longer-lasting results, new custom cabinetry is the way to go.


Dreaming of a kitchen that looks fresh and new? Take the first step toward a kitchen makeover by contacting the experts at Tinker Houz in San Diego. Our talented designers will listen to your style preferences, budget, and goals for the space. Together, you’ll decide whether resurfacing or replacing your cabinets and counters is the right solution.

Don’t put off giving your kitchen the revamp it deserves. Contact us or call 858-201-3219 today to schedule your design consultation. We are excited to help you explore the possibilities!