How Much Does it Cost to Refinish Cabinets?

Typical Range:

$1,793 - $4,102

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,448 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
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Updated March 6, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cabinet Refinish Costs

Refinishing cabinets costs $2,936 on average with a typical range of $1,793 and $4,102. It’s far cheaper than a new installation or refacing. Expect to pay between $4 to $10 per square foot including labor and materials for stain, lacquer, varnish, paint or shellac. Glaze for a vintage look runs between $10 and $25 per square foot. Labor alone costs anywhere from $35 to $75 per hour.

The process of refinishing includes removing old paint or stain, sanding and repairing the surface, and applying new, paint, stain, or varnish to the bare wood. By refinishing them, you can completely change the look and feel of your entire kitchen. Remodelers often replace cabinet hardware - such as handles, pulls and knobs - to further enhance the final look. The process requires experience and precision for a professional finish. Hire a local cabinet professional for guaranteed results.

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National Average $2,936
Typical Range $1,793 - $4,102
Low End - High End $700 - $6,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,448 HomeAdvisor members.

Cabinets Refinishing Costs

the average cost to refinish cabinets is $4 to $10 per square foot.

Most professionals charge per project or per hour with an average of $2,700 per project or $55 per hour. Pricing changes slightly by material type, complexity of design and most importantly number.

Refinishing is more affordable than replacing them. Refinishing allows color changes to match your new design. It also makes old worn surfaces with scuffs, scratches and old paint look brand new.

Quality of Materials

The quality of construction and material determines the best method of refinishing. You can sand down and paint or stain solid wood. Veneers require simply stripping the clear coat of varnish or shellac and reapplying a clear, tinted or colored coat. With cheaper materials or damaged boxes, replacement may make more sense.

Number of Cabinets

Though professionals generally charge per project or by the hour, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4 to $10 per square foot. Because setup times, material costs, overhead and travel expenses remain constant whether you have 1 or 50 units, expect to pay slightly less per cabinet on larger projects.

Complexity, Design or Detailing

Though the complexity of the design may affect pricing slightly, it only makes a small impact during preparation. Cabinetry without detailing, carving, or trim requires less sanding and refinishing time than ornately carved and detailed types. Evenly refinishing complex carved, or detailed boxes and doors can take more time and skill and is therefore often slightly more expensive.

Preparation & Repair

Surface preparation is key to revitalizing to a factory finish. Remove old paint, stain and varnish. Repair splits, holes or breaks, and sand all surfaces until they are clean and smooth before applying a new finish. Without adequate preparation, the new finish will not adhere evenly and smoothly to the old surface.

Note: Repairing cabinets costs an average of $300 and generally isn’t included in the price of refinishing.

Lengthy repairs or prep time can push your costs closer to replacement pricing. Consider going with a new installation if your cabinets have:

  • Extensive damage.

  • Multiple coats of paint or stain.

  • Veneers on low-quality wood.

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Kitchen Cabinets Renewal Cost vs. Bathroom or Office

Average Cabinetry Renewal Costs by Room*
Average RoomSquare FeetTotal Cost
Kitchen150$1,500 - $5,000
Office100$500 - $2,000
Bathroom>40$200 - $2,000

*Estimated costs based on average ranges. Custom work may exceed $5,000.

There is little difference between kitchen, bathroom and office cabinets besides how quickly they may need updating. Kitchens needs updating sooner than most due to constant use, heat and moisture. They usually have identical finishes, appearance and construction. In this case, your costs will depend entirely on number and size of units you’ll install.

Average Cost to Stain or Paint Cabinets

Staining or painting cabinets costs from $1,500 to $5,000 or more for the average kitchen. These are the main two methods to refinishing, though always be sure to use cabinet-grade stains and paints. Not all materials can take stain, and paint isn’t always the best option. Always have an inspection done by a professional to find the best refinishing method for your kitchen.

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Staining Cabinet Doors Darker

Stain is a great option to redo the look and feel of high-end, real wood. Stain itself only runs $100 to $200 for materials. For stain to work, all finishing materials need to be sanded off or you’ll need to pick a darker stain than is already applied.

Stain will not work over any type of sealant or topcoat – proper preparation is key. Staining only works well with solid wood. If you have veneers or any other type of box, try painting instead.

Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Repainting kitchen cabinets costs $1,200 to $5,000 or more depending on the number you have. Materials alone run $200 to $300.

Painting is the cheapest way to update your kitchen. Without proper preparation and painting experience, you may end up with premature chipping and an amateur look. Hire a professional and always use paints made specifically for kitchens.


Glazing costs $10 to $25 per square foot or $1,500 to $3,500 for a professional installation in the average 150 square foot kitchen. It’s a great DIY finishing project that can save you $700 to $1,500 in labor. Glaze is typically a semi-transparent coating that gives your painted wood an antiqued look.

Lacquer Kitchen Cabinets Cost

Lacquering costs vary by professional. It’s a cheap and easy spray on top coat that leaves boxes with a factory-like finish. However, many pros recommend against using it as it can quickly crack, discolors over time and cannot be touched up like a painted surface.

Cost of Refinishing Cabinets vs. Refacing

Refacing cabinets costs $4,000 to $9,500, about three to four times the cost of refinishing. Refacing uses current boxes and installs new drawer and door fronts, hardware and pulls.

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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 large garage or nice weather with a large backyard to strip and refinish the doors. Plus, it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 full days or about 30 to 50 hours to complete. For the DIYer, that translates into roughly two weeks of afterhours work, all without a functional kitchen.

A professional can get have your kitchen up and running in as little as a day though most jobs average 2 to 3 days. For a professional finish that brings your kitchen to a brand-new look, contact a local cabinet refinishing professional.


How much does Nhance cost per square foot for wood refinishing?

Nhance is an independent company that offers refinishing services that take 1 to 3 days with square foot pricing varying depending on the project and location. Contact your local Nhance professional for a personalized quote.

What is the price to refinish cabinets white?

Refinishing cabinets white costs between $1,200 to $5,000 using paints and a topcoat. Most of that is labor with materials only running about $200.

What's cheaper? Painted vs. stained cabinets.

It’s slightly cheaper to stain your cabinets rather than paint them, though the price difference is small. Staining vs. painting costs $500 to $1,000 less. Staining is also a more DIY-friendly activity.

What's the cost of refinishing cupboards vs. replacing?

It’ll cost an average of $2,500 to refinish while it runs $5,000 to $18,000 or more to replace a full set.

In the United States, the terms "cupboards" and "cabinets" are used interchangeably though "cupboard" is classically, and in the United Kingdom, used to refer to something more like a clothes closet. Here, we use the term in reference to kitchen cupboards or cabinets.

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