What is the cheapest way to refinish cabinets in Hillsboro, OR?

Looking to spruce up your cabinets in Hillsboro, OR, without breaking the bank? The cheapest way to refinish them is often a mix of DIY effort and smart budgeting. Start by considering Top Refinish, a local company known for its cost-effective services. You could opt for a DIY approach involving sanding and painting, which can save on labor costs. Alternatively, hiring a local handyman can be affordable, especially if you provide the materials. Whichever route you choose, careful planning and research can lead to a beautifully refreshed cabinet look without draining your wallet.

Assessing Your Cabinets

Before diving into any refinishing project, it’s essential to assess the condition of your cabinets. Determine if they’re structurally sound and worth refinishing. If the cabinets are in good shape but just need a facelift, then refinishing is a great option. However, if they’re damaged or deteriorating significantly, you might want to consider replacing them instead.

DIY Sanding and Painting

DIY sanding and painting are cost-effective methods for cabinet refinishing. Start by cleaning, sanding, and priming the cabinets before applying a fresh coat of paint or stain. For those preferring professional assistance, many companies offer cabinet refinishing services, handling the entire process from preparation to finishing touches. These services often include cleaning, sanding, repairing any imperfections, applying new finishes, and installing new hardware for a complete cabinet makeover.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need:

  • Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)
  • Wood filler (if there are any holes or dents)
  • Primer
  • Paint (choose a high-quality paint for durability)
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths

Step 2: Remove Cabinet Hardware and Clean

Start by removing all the hardware from the cabinets—handles, knobs, hinges, etc. Then, thoroughly clean the cabinets to remove any dirt, grease, or grime. A mixture of warm water and mild detergent works well for this.

Step 3: Sand the Surfaces

Using medium-grit sandpaper, sand the surfaces of the cabinets to remove the existing finish and create a rough surface for the new paint to adhere to. Once done with the medium grit, switch to fine-grit sandpaper for a smoother finish.

Step 4: Fill in Holes and Imperfections

Inspect the cabinets for any holes, dents, or imperfections. Use wood filler to fill in these areas, then sand them smooth once the filler is dry.

Step 5: Apply Primer

Apply a coat of primer to the cabinets. Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides a more durable finish. Allow the primer to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6: Paint the Cabinets

Now comes the fun part—painting! Use a high-quality paint in your desired color and apply it evenly to the cabinets. You may need multiple coats for full coverage, so be patient and allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Step 7: Reattach Hardware and Reinstall

Once the paint is dry and you’re happy with the results, reattach the hardware to the cabinets and reinstall them in their original locations.

Hiring a Local Handyman

When hiring a local handyman for cabinet work, inquire about their cabinet refacing services. Many handymen offer affordable cabinet refacing options, which involve replacing doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. This approach can give your cabinets a fresh look without the cost of full replacement. Handyman services often include measuring, ordering materials, installation, and finishing touches, making it a convenient and budget-friendly choice for cabinet updates.

Get Multiple Quotes:

Reach out to several handymen in your area and compare their quotes. Look for someone who offers quality work at a reasonable price.

Check Reviews: 

Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge the handyman’s reputation and reliability.

Ask for References: 

Don’t hesitate to ask for references or examples of past cabinet refinishing projects they’ve completed.

Provide Your Own Materials: 

To save on costs, consider providing your own paint and other materials. Some handymen may offer a labor-only rate if you supply the materials.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective method of updating kitchen cabinets. It involves replacing the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while keeping the existing cabinet frames intact. This approach can give your cabinets a fresh look without the expense of full replacement. In Hillsboro, OR, the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets is often to opt for a DIY approach. You can purchase affordable replacement doors and drawer fronts, along with new hardware, and install them yourself to save on labor costs.

Removing old doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.

Applying a veneer or laminate to the cabinet boxes to match the new doors.

Installing new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.

Adding any additional features or accessories, such as molding or trim, for a finished look.

Why Choose Cabinet Refacing?

Cost Savings

One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for cabinet refacing is the significant cost savings compared to a full cabinet replacement. Since you’re only replacing the external components of the cabinets, the materials and labor costs are generally lower.

Minimal Disruption

Cabinet refacing is a less invasive process than full replacement, resulting in minimal disruption to your kitchen or bathroom. There’s no need to dismantle and remove the entire cabinet structure, which can save time and hassle during the renovation.

Eco-Friendly Option

By reusing the existing cabinet boxes and only replacing the doors and drawer fronts, cabinet refacing is a more environmentally friendly option compared to disposal and replacement.

Customization Opportunities

Despite the cost savings, cabinet refacing allows for customization. You can choose from a wide range of door styles, finishes, and hardware options to create a personalized look that suits your taste and complements your space.

Faster Turnaround Time

Since cabinet refacing involves less extensive work than a full cabinet replacement, the turnaround time is typically shorter. You can enjoy your refreshed cabinets sooner without a prolonged renovation timeline.

Factors to Consider

When considering cabinet updates, factors to ponder include cabinet resurfacing services. Cabinet resurfacing involves applying new veneers or laminates to the cabinet boxes while replacing doors and drawer fronts. Consider the cost-effectiveness, visual impact, and durability of resurfacing compared to other options like refinishing or full replacement. Additionally, evaluate the expertise and reputation of companies offering cabinet resurfacing services to ensure quality results that align with your budget and aesthetic preferences.

Condition of Existing Cabinets: 

Cabinet refacing works best when the existing cabinet boxes are in good condition structurally. If there are significant structural issues or damage, a full replacement may be necessary.

Design Compatibility: 

Ensure that the new doors, finishes, and hardware you choose for refacing complement the overall design and style of your kitchen or bathroom.

Budget Allocation: 

While cabinet refacing is cost-effective, it still requires a budget. Compare the costs of refacing versus full replacement to determine the most suitable option for your financial situation.


What is the least expensive way to redo kitchen cabinets?

The least expensive way to redo kitchen cabinets is by opting for a DIY approach. Start by thoroughly cleaning and sanding the cabinets to remove old finishes. Then, apply a fresh coat of paint or stain and update hardware for a budget-friendly transformation.

How to refinish kitchen cabinets for cheap?

To refinish kitchen cabinets on a budget, begin by thoroughly cleaning and sanding the surfaces to remove old finishes. Consider using a paint primer combo to save on product costs, and choose a durable paint or stain for long-lasting results. Finally, update the hardware with affordable options for a refreshed look without breaking the bank.

How much does it cost to refinish built in cabinets?

The cost to refinish built-in cabinets can vary widely based on factors such as the size of the cabinets, their condition, and the chosen refinishing method. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for professional cabinet refinishing services. DIY refinishing can be more affordable, typically ranging from $200 to $500 for materials and tools.

Is it cheaper to resurface cabinets?

Generally, resurfacing cabinets is cheaper than completely replacing them but can be more expensive than refinishing. Resurfacing involves applying a new veneer or laminate to the cabinet boxes and replacing doors and drawer fronts, which can still incur significant material and labor costs. However, compared to the cost of brand-new cabinets, resurfacing offers a more budget-friendly option while providing a refreshed look.

What is the difference between resurfacing and refinishing cabinets?

Resurfacing cabinets involves replacing the visible components such as doors, drawer fronts, and veneers, while keeping the existing cabinet boxes intact. This process can change the appearance and style of cabinets significantly. Refinishing cabinets, on the other hand, involves sanding down the existing finish and applying a new stain, paint, or finish directly to the cabinet surfaces without replacing any components.


In conclusion, refinishing cabinets in Hillsboro, OR, can be done affordably with a bit of strategic planning and effort. Whether you opt for a DIY approach involving sanding, priming, and painting or decide to hire a local handyman, there are cost-effective options available to give your cabinets a fresh, updated look. Additionally, considering alternatives like cabinet refacing can provide a budget-friendly way to achieve a new aesthetic without replacing the entire cabinetry.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, such as assessing your cabinets’ condition, gathering supplies wisely, and utilizing cost-saving techniques, you can successfully complete a cabinet refinishing project within your budget. With patience and attention to detail, you’ll be enjoying your revamped cabinets in no time without draining your wallet.

Refinishing your cabinets in Hillsboro, OR, doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. Whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a local handyman, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. With a bit of planning, smart shopping, and elbow grease, you can achieve a beautifully refreshed look for your cabinets without breaking the bank.

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