Updated September 8, 2022
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor. Written by HomeAdvisor.
The cost to refinish cabinets can range between $1,828 and $4,161, with an average cost of $2,994. The overall price depends on several factors, including the type of refinishing you choose and the cabinet’s location within your home.
In this article
- Cabinet Refinishing Cost Calculator
- Cost to Refinish Cabinets by Finishing Type
- Average Cost to Refinish Cabinets by Location
- Cabinet Refinishing Cost Factors
- DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
Cabinet Refinishing Cost Calculator
Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?
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|Typical Range||$1,828 - $4,161|
|Low End - High End||$700 - $6,705|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,772 HomeAdvisor members.
Cost to Refinish Cabinets by Finishing Type
The cost to refinish cabinets varies depending on the specific finishing type. All refinishing projects start the same, with removing the old paint or stain and some sanding to get down to the bare wood. But beyond that, your choice of the finish type impacts your overall cost.
Cabinet staining costs around $100 to $200 per project or $4 to $8 per square foot. This is a great way to redo the look of natural wood with affordable materials. However, staining only works with solid wood, so if you have veneers, go for another type of finish. Choose a darker color than the original coat for the best results.
The cost to paint cabinets is around $200 to $300 per project or $6 to $14 per square foot. When painting cabinets, make sure your pro chooses paints specifically made for kitchens to minimize premature chipping.
Glazing cabinets cost approximately $300 to $1,000 per project or $10 to $25 per square foot. This semi-transparent coating goes on after paint, giving the wood an antique or retro look. Glazing typically alters the color of the wood, so carefully choose the correct glaze for your cabinets.
Varnishing cabinets cost around $200 to $400 per project or $6 to $16 per square foot. Varnishing comes in several different types, such as polyurethane and conversion, and homeowners choose it because they want to retain the wood cabinets to keep their natural look.
Shellacking cabinets cost about $200 to $400 per project or $6 to $16 per square foot. Shellac does a great job at both sealing the wood and creating a warm and natural semi-transparent finish.
Average Cost to Refinish Cabinets by Location
Where your cabinets are located can also affect the cost. Kitchen cabinets tend to be larger and more expensive to finish, while bathroom and office cabinet refinishing is typically less costly.
The cost to refinish kitchen cabinets is about $1,500 to $5,000 per project. Kitchen cabinets are the largest by size and the most common cabinet refinishing job due to the kitchen's moisture and heat, which can warp wood. An average kitchen requires 150 square feet of materials and labor.
Refinishing bathroom cabinets cost about $200 to $2,000 per project. The bathroom is another prime source of moisture and heat, leading to more refinishing jobs. But since bathrooms are often much smaller than kitchens, the cost is generally less.
Refinishing office cabinets cost around $500 to $2,000 per project. Home offices are typically medium-size and don't come into contact with moisture or heat, minimizing refinishing needs.
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Cabinet Refinishing Cost Factors
Many local cabinet refinishing pros charge per project for cabinet refinishing, which averages $2,700, but this price fluctuates depending on various factors. Pricing changes slightly by the finish type, design complexity, and number of cabinets. Refinishing allows color changes to match your new design. It also makes worn surfaces with scuffs, scratches, and old paint look brand-new.
Size and Number of Cabinets
The size and number of cabinets are two of the most significant factors that affect the total cost. For example, refinishing kitchen cabinets—which tend to be larger and more numerous—cost about $1,500 to $5,000 per project, while refinishing office cabinets—which tend to be smaller and fewer—cost around $500 to $2,000 per project.
Cabinet refinishing laborers charge around $55 per hour, though this price fluctuates according to their experience level and job complexity. When gathering price options, you’ll run into estimates for the completed project and others that take materials and the hourly rate into account.
Preparation and Repair
The cost to repair cabinets is about $300 and generally isn’t included in the total project cost. Consider going with a new installation if your cabinets require massive amounts of repair.
Wood cabinets also need significant prep before applying any refinishing materials. A cabinet repair pro can wrap up much of this prep work into the overall project cost, including removing old paint, repairing splits, patching up holes, sanding surfaces, and fixing minor breaks.
The cost to reface cabinets is approximately $4,000 to $9,500, about three to four times the cost of refinishing. If your wood requires a lot of work to get it shipshape, some pros recommend refacing as an alternative to refinishing. Refacing keeps the overall structure of your cabinets, but replaces drawers, door fronts, knobs, and other aesthetic flourishes, in addition to placing veneers over the wood.
If you have the budget, there are plenty of custom refinishing options for your cabinets, with the most expensive jobs costing about $5,000. For example, installing under-cabinet lighting costs between $230 and $300 per light.
Pros regularly turn cabinets into works of art, with ornate carvings and unique types of finishing materials. These complex and custom jobs take more time, expertise, and work, so you'll pay extra.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Cabinet Refinisher
Refinishing is a good DIY project if you have the time, tools, experience, patience, and space to do it correctly. You’ll need a work area like a large garage or backyard to strip and refinish the various pieces of cabinet.
This time-intensive project takes anywhere from three to five full days of work or 30 to 50 hours. For the DIY-er, that translates into roughly two weeks of after-hours work. And remember, you won't have a functioning kitchen during this time frame. In other words, you'll save money but lose time, as pros take just one to three days to finish most projects.
While refinishing your cabinets, also consider other remodeling tasks at the same time. The cost to remodel a kitchen is $26,000 on average, but homeowners can save costs on many smaller remodeling projects by handling it themselves.
Get Estimates for Painting or Staining Your Cabinets
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you choose the best cabinet refinishing expert?
You can choose the best cabinet refinishing expert by doing your research before hiring a pro. There are many contractors out there adept at refinishing cabinets, so choosing one can feel overwhelming. Contact a cabinet refinishing pro to discuss pricing options, the size of your cabinets, their overall condition, and anything else relevant to the project. Ask for contact information on previous clients and reach out to them to discuss their experience with the pro in question.
What questions should I ask my pro about cabinet refinishing?
There are many relevant questions to ask any potential cabinet contractor near you beyond the pricing, schedule availability, and job size, such as the following:
Is your work guaranteed?
Do you perform custom work?
Can you produce any custom colors?
Do you have samples of your work?
Can you match the finish to other cabinets throughout my home?
How long will the project take?
How do you care for refinished cabinets?
You care for refinished cabinets by practicing these maintenance tips to keep them looking great:
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or chemicals since they strip away the refinishing agent over time.
Use a gentle cleaning solution, like 2 parts warm water and 1 part dish soap.
Avoid spraying any cleaning solution directly onto the cabinets. Instead, spray a small amount onto a microfiber cloth, and wipe down the cabinets slowly and carefully.
Limit the amount of heat and moisture that comes in contact with the cabinets.
Is it cheaper to refinish or replace cabinets?
It's typically less costly to refinish cabinets than to replace them. Refinishing cabinets cost an average of $3,000 while replacing cabinets is about $5,000 or more. When deciding to refinish or replace cabinets, consider several factors, including how old your cabinets are, your budget, and whether you need to complete any other renovation projects at the same time.
Is it worth it to resurface cabinets?
It may be worth resurfacing (also known as refacing) your cabinets if they’re in good shape but you’re interested in a different look. This is often less expensive than replacing cabinets outright and can allow you to update the look of your cabinets to reflect your kitchen’s current style without having to get rid of them entirely. The cost to reface cabinets is around $7,100, and you can hire a local cabinet refacing pro to handle this work.
What is the average cost of refinishing cabinets? ›
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the average cost to refinish cabinets runs from $1,500 to $5,000, with many homeowners spending $2,975 on average. The overall cost to refinish kitchen cabinets per square foot runs from $4 to $25, including labor and materials for painting, varnishing, shellacking, and glazing.How much does it cost to sand and Restain cabinets? ›
Staining requires stripping, cleaning, and sanding your cabinet doors and drawers before applying the stain in the color of your choice. You can expect to pay between $4 and $10 per square foot for this method. The total cost of staining kitchen cabinets will run between $1,500 and $5,000.
Average cost of painting kitchen cabinets professionally. The average cost of painting kitchen cabinets is $100 per drawer face and $175 per cabinet door. This usually averages out to a cost of $5,000 for a medium-sized kitchen.How much does it cost to sand and repaint kitchen cabinets? ›
For kitchen cabinet stripping, sanding, and painting typically costs $5 to $10 per square foot. Depending on the existing condition of the cabinets and the degree of the damage, paint stripping, sanding, and adding putty will add a labor cost of $2 to $3 per square foot to your total cost.How many coats of paint do I need to refinish cabinets? ›
Two coats of paint are essential for cabinets—you're building a surface. By the way, to get the nicest finish, use a brush, a 2- to 2 1/2-inch fine bristle brush.Is it cheaper to paint or refinish cabinets? ›
It's always less expensive if you apply new paint instead of replacing or resurfacing. Let's look at some of the reasons you might consider repainting your kitchen cabinets. Typically homeowners consider repainting cabinets because they are outdated and ready for a new look.