We all love the look of newly finished cabinets, but there’s a lot to consider before you can say, “It’s time to refinish my cabinets.”
Usually, by the time people are Googling ‘refinish my cabinets’ they’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Either they are seeing how badly their cabinets need to be refinished and dreading the cost and inconvenience, or they’re envisioning a beautiful new look in their kitchen and hoping they can justify it with everything else that needs to be considered.
We understand both mindsets, and we’re here for you. Refinishing cabinets has many benefits, but it’s an investment.
If you have more money than you know what to do with and spending it is a kind of therapy for you, then you may as well refinish them every month and eat out while the work is getting done. For most of us, we have to weigh competing priorities.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding if it’s the right time to refinish your cabinets.
When were your cabinets last updated?
If you tend to be frugal, or you’ve been through some stuff, or you tend to think about other people before yourself, there’s a good chance you’ve put off refinishing your cabinets for longer than they were intended to go.
Go take some inventory of your kitchen cabinets. How many handles are missing or broken? How much paint is peeling? Are there any drawers or doors you have a particular way of opening so they don’t get stuck or fall apart? Are they painted in an earth tone that hasn’t been available since 1981?
Be honest with yourself and let your answers tell if it’s time to repair and refinish.
Are you planning to sell your house anytime soon?
Not all renovations are worthwhile when trying to increase your home’s value. But restaining or repainting your kitchen cabinets is one thing that can make a massive difference in the feel of your home without breaking the bank. This is most true if it’s been a while since you updated your kitchen. Refer back to the previous question.
If your kitchen looks reasonably up-to-date, don’t worry too much about it. Replace and repair missing or broken pieces, but don’t invest too much time or expense. There’s a good chance the new owners will want to personalize the kitchen to their own tastes anyway.
Are you planning to live in your home for a while?
Now, suppose you’re interested in updating your cabinets because you want to be a little more comfortable and would like to reflect your personal style in your home. In that case, that’s a great reason to consider refinishing. Your kitchen should be one of the places where you feel most yourself.
So if you intend to stay in your home for at least six more years, refinishing is an investment you’ll get a great return on. But don’t do it just because it feels like it’s due for an update. Think carefully about what would feel right to you for years to come.
Take your time and come up with a look that feels effortlessly like “home.” Browse through magazines to find looks you like, and ask your painter to see samples in your kitchen and pictures of past jobs.
Jonathan Scott from HGTV’s “Property Brothers” put it this way:
“It’s like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry — it’s a bad idea. You don’t want to just jump in and start renovating your house because you know that there’s a need. You’ve got to plan.”
How do you feel when you walk into your kitchen?
If every time you walk into your kitchen, you notice how much you dislike how it looks, that’s a problem. It means you’re not focusing on what your kitchen is there to help you do. You’re not enjoying cooking as you should be. You may obsess about cleaning because the surfaces look perpetually dirty, or worse, you may not keep things as clean because…what’s the point.
Your surroundings indeed affect your mood and everything you do. Think of how you feel when you’re outdoors in nature or watching a beautiful sunset. Think of how you feel when you’re in a dirty kitchen versus a clean one. Your cabinets can trigger one of those feelings, depending on how well maintained they are.
Be kind to yourself and pay attention to your emotional response to your space. It matters.
How would your spouse feel if they came home to newly refinished cabinets?
We’re not suggesting you make a significant financial decision without consulting your spouse. But if you know it would make them wildly happy to change the way the kitchen looks, it may be worth it. You’ll have to decide the best way to approach it – maybe you do it as a birthday gift (even if it’s six months away).
On the other hand, if you could see your spouse’s mind immediately start adding up the costs and stressing out over it, that also might mean it would be better to wait and give yourselves some time to save and get used to the idea.
Will refinishing be enough?
Refinishing cabinets can change the feel of your kitchen and is one of the more economical ways to update your space. But if you know deep down that your kitchen needs a complete overhaul, don’t fool yourself.
This is where it really gets important to weigh the different options. Replacing tiles, adding granite countertops, updating appliances, and installing new cabinets will give you a brand new kitchen. But you’ll probably have to start looking at a home equity loan to do it.
If that’s where you are, it may be a pointless diversion to refinish your cabinets. You’ll probably feel the same way in a few months. So plan ahead and make the decision that will make you happiest long term.
Allen Brothers Cabinet Painting can help
If you’ve found yourself asking, “Should I refinish my cabinets?” for a long time, we can help you make that final call. If you live in Draper, Sandy, South Jordan, West Jordan, or Salt Lake City, we can give you a free estimate, we can offer suggestions of colors, and answer questions you have about paint vs. stain and other options.
Updating your kitchen should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you. Contact us today to ensure your cabinet refinishing is done well and in a way that you’ll enjoy for years to come.