Some before and after photos from a recent kitchen cabinet refacing, where we left the existing cabinet carcases and replaced the doors, hinges, drawer boxes, drawer fronts, and guides. Disadvantages to this approach: you’re stuck with your original layout and can’t do much to change the functionality. Advantages: you save a bunch of money, between cabinet carcases, materials, and installation, as well as avoid many of the headaches that generally accompany a full kitchen remodel.
We started with a standard, early-70s 3/8″ face frame overlay of pattern-routed plywood fronts with copper hardware. The cabinets, like the rest of the house, had been well-maintained by the previous owners, but the new occupants were looking for an update, but with a minimal environmental footprint.
In the past, I’d been less than totally happy with refacing projects I’d completed and others I’d seen, as the new doors/drawer fronts never fully covered the old face frames and, in particular, the finished ends. But the clients were committed, largely for environmental reasons, to refacing and, with some particularly good collaboration, we were found what I think is a very happy solution.
By using bamboo (Teragren’s three-ply caramelized vertical grain), I was able to miter the cabinet corners to cover both the finished ends as well as the wide corner stiles. We even managed this around the oven surround and under the range hood. Between this technique and using a variety of door hinge overlays, we achieved a nearly seamless, true full overlay look. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a new kitchen. And if bamboo isn’t your thing, there’s no reason you couldn’t easily achieve similar results substituting with ApplePly, laminate, or any other flat slab material.