Today, we’ll take a look at the cost of cabinet refinishing, so you know what to expect when you begin your own kitchen renovation project. 

At Cerwood, we have over 40 years of experience helping homeowners get the cabinets they’ve always dreamed of. We understand the refinishing process, and what factors you should consider when budgeting. 

In this article, we’ll go over these factors, such as cabinetry materials, the size of your kitchen, and more. So, let’s get started now!

what is the cost of cabinet refinishing?

Note: The following estimates are based on the USD costs listed on ImproveNet. These numbers have been converted to CAD, based on the conversion rates on August 20, 2019. 


According to ImproveNet, the average cabinet refinishing cost is $3,200.00. Within the average range, you may spend somewhere between $2,800.00  – $3,700.00. 


This number varies as many factors can affect your final price, such as the materials you choose to work with, if you choose to go the DIY route, and the size and layout of your kitchen  – we’ll go over these in more detail below! 


On the lower end, you can spend as little as $200.00 – but that would only be the case if you simply do a DIY paint project. If your cabinets are in great condition and you just want to update the colour, than you can do a simple refinish by painting or staining your cabinets for $200.00 or less. 


On the higher end, your cabinet refinishing costs can go up to $7,000 or higher. You may see higher costs due to using the highest quality materials possible, or if you have a very large kitchen with many cabinets. 

What exactly is refinishing?

First, it’s important to understand exactly what cabinet refinishing is. Refinishing is a way to restore your existing cabinetry without replacing or refacing them. 

When you refinish your cabinets, you will strip the old paint, sand down the surface to remove any nicks or scratches and to smooth the surface out, repair minor damage, and then finally, apply new paint or stain – depending on your preference. 

Simply painting over your existing paint or stain is often called “refinishing” – but that is not really what refinishing is. 

Refinishing is a longer process, and helps restore your cabinets! If you still aren’t sure what refinishing is, check out the video below that shows the entire refinishing process!

Watch the refinishing process from start to finish

With that said, let’s take a look at what factors will affect your cabinet refinishing costs. 

factors affecting cabinet refinishing costs

The Materials/Method You Choose

Older cabinets may cost more to refinish due to increased wear and tear

For the full refinishing process, you will want to strip the old stain or paint, sand down your cabinets, fix any issues, and then stain or paint. 

The condition your current cabinets are in will affect the cost, as you will need more materials to fix damaged cabinets (or, you will pay more in labour costs as more damage = more work). 

If you choose to ignore existing damage, and want to go the simplest route, you can simply re-stain or repaint and skip the other steps. However, this is often not the best choice. 

It really only hides any existing problems, and does not fix them. However, if you need a quick solution to peeling paint or dated stain, this is often used as a temporary solution before a more major renovation/refinishing project.

The type of stain or paint you choose will affect the cost – the higher the quality, the more expensive the materials. 

Do-It-Yourself vs Working With The Pros

Most homeowners automatically assume that working with professionals is the more expensive option – and on the surface, it typically is. Labour fees can account for up to 50% (or more) of your total cabinet refinishing costs. 

When you choose to DIY, you have more control over the timeline, the materials you use, and you can purchase tools and items at your own pace.

However, there are many downsides to DIY – some that homeowners may not realize until they’ve already started the project. 

It may be tempting to DIY, but it can end up costing you more

DIY can actually end up costing you more than hiring a professional. If you don’t already have the tools you need, such as the tools to sand, strip, paint, and fix damage, then you will have to purchase all of that before you start your project. 


The average homeowner also does not have the experience or the know-how to complete a full refinishing project. This can lead to accidents or further damage on your cabinets. 


If you create a large scratch or damage the wood beyond repair, you may need to replace the cabinet altogether – which can end up costing you much more than if you had simply hired a professional.


It is up to you to decide if you feel comfortable completing a DIY refinishing project, or if you want the peace of mind that comes with working with a trained and experienced professional

cabinet size and design

Of course, it will cost more to refinish a kitchen with more cabinets than a smaller kitchen with just a few. But with that said, professionals will often provide homeowners with a “bulk deal” – so you won’t be paying per cabinet. 


The design of your cabinets will also affect the cost. For example, a completely smooth cabinet without any other details or grooves will be a lot easier, and faster to refinish. 


A custom-made cabinet with intricate details, grooves, or designs will be harder to refinish and will take more time – and therefore, will cost more.


If you do have more complex cabinetry, you will want to ensure you work with a professional who has the experience and know-how to properly refinish custom work. 


Make sure you ask your potential contractor if they have worked with cabinets like yours in the past. You may even want to ask for a portfolio to see the type of work they have done. 


why choose cabinet refinishing?

When it comes to your cabinets, you have a wide variety of options. Aside from refinishing, you could choose to: 

Replace your cabinets (fully and completely remove your old cabinets and install new ones) 

Reface your cabinets (keep the cabinet boxes but replace the cabinet doors with new ones) 

Paint your cabinets (skip all the refinishing steps and simply repaint over existing paint or stain)

custom cabinetry
Replacing cabinets is ideal when you do a full kitchen renovation

Replacing your cabinets is often a great choice when your existing cabinets are in poor condition, the original materials used were cheap or do not function well, or you are fully renovating your kitchen and you want a new design or layout.


Refacing your cabinets is a good choice if you don’t like the design of your existing cabinetry, the doors are in poor condition, but the actual box and structure of the cabinets are in good shape and you do not want to redesign your kitchen. 


Simply painting your cabinets is a cost-effective way to spruce up your kitchen, especially if your existing cabinets are already in great shape but you simply do not like the existing colour. 


Refinishing your cabinets may be right for you if you love your existing cabinetry and it’s in good condition, but you feel it needs an update as well as minor fixes.


If you aren’t sure which option is right for you, contact the professionals to learn more about your options. 

get your dream cabinets with cerwood!

kitchen cabinets toronto

You can rely on Cerwood’s 40+ years of experience to help you get the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. We offer free consultations with our professional designers, so you can look into all of your options with feeling any pressure! 


Whether you want to fully replace your cabinets or have a smaller job in mind, we can work with you to help you get the perfect cabinets for your space. 


We also offer custom-made cabinetry for the rest of your home, including bathrooms, living spaces, bedrooms, laundry rooms, and so much more.


Contact us now to get started!

“New kitchen looks great! You and your team have done a great job. My wife & I thank you.”