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Kitchen Cabinet Makeovers

Writer Meg Fox

How to give aging cabinets a brand-new look

Looking to upgrade your kitchen without embarking on a full-scale remodel? Refacing or repainting your kitchen cabinets could be the most cost-effective, sustainable solution, says Michael Markese, director of operations for N-Hance of Central Jersey, a company that specializes in cabinet restoration, including painting, refinishing and refacing.

“Due to the current high-interest-rate environment, we notice our clients are making the decision to stay in their homes and tailor them to be more fitting to their style,” Markese says. And because a kitchen remodel is usually one of the most expensive, invasive and time-consuming home improvements you can make, he says, many homeowners are opting to give existing cabinets a makeover instead.

Cabinet color change with Cream Silk on upper cabinets and Appalachian Brown on lower, both by Benjamin Moore & Co.

Markese sheds light on kitchen cabinet trends and services that provide all the “bells and whistles of a new kitchen” without the costs associated with a gut renovation. The custom colors in the following kitchen cabinetry photos were developed and offered by N-Hance.

The major benefits of repainting kitchen cabinetry are its convenience and cost-effectiveness, Markese says. The refinishing (or staining) process is also convenient, he says, but it takes a few more days and costs slightly more than cabinet painting. “Both processes will enhance the look and feel of your kitchen, so the choice is generally a matter of preference,” Markese says.

Cabinet color change in custom two-tone finishes: Winter Cape and Navy Stone.

Oftentimes, homeowners want a more updated look than can be achieved by simply painting cabinets. In those cases, they opt for refacing — or cabinet door replacement, which can completely revamp the look of their space. While refacing is a bit higher in cost compared with painting, refacing still comes at a fraction of the cost of a typical kitchen renovation, Markese notes. Clients’ tastes vary, he adds, but a popular option might involve increasing the overlay of the new doors for a more “European” appearance.

Cabinet door replacement in Bridal Train, a custom finish.

Customers are starting to drift away from Shaker style, Markese says. They’re choosing styles similar to Shaker but with slight modifications that give the door a more timeless look that complements any style.

Cabinet door replacement in Hearthstone, a custom finish.

White is definitely the most popular painted finish, he says, but requests for blues, greens and creams are increasing.

Cabinet color change in a custom Gravel Gray finish.

Some companies, including N-Hance, offer custom colors to simplify the color selection and also have the ability to match colors from dozens of paint manufacturers, including popular options such as Benjamin Moore & Co., Behr, Farrow & Ball and Sherwin-Williams. Top coats are also available in a variety of sheens.