Q: Do you refinish doors?

A: Unfortunately, this is not a service we provide. The best value for your home is either to replace or renovate your cabinets. It is important to evaluate the integrity of your boxes before making this decision. For refinishing, all components must be in good condition, including the doors, drawer faces, and cabinets. For refacing, it’s okay if the doors and drawer faces are damaged or outdated because they’ll be replaced.

No matter which option you choose, the cabinets and drawer boxes will remain when refinishing or refacing, so they must be in sound condition and good working order. Use this checklist to determine if your cabinets are a good candidate for refinishing or refacing.

  • Inspect the inside of each cabinet for signs of structural damage, such as cracked side panels or loose joints. Poke around inside the cabinet with an awl or pocketknife. If you discover any soft, spongy areas, that could be an indication of wood rot or water damage.
  • Be sure the upper cabinets are securely fastened to the walls and to each other.
  • Check base cabinets for water damage, especially under the sink. The bottom of the cabinets should be firm and flat, not sagging or dislodged.
  • Be sure that all fixed shelves are securely attached and not cracked, loose, or warped.
  • Check each drawer to ensure it rolls smoothly, opens fully and closes completely. Remove the drawers from the cabinets and inspect the structural integrity of each one. The corner joints should be tight and strong. The drawer bottoms must be secured within the drawer box and not cracked or sagging badly.
  • The drawer slides—whether made of metal or wood—must be firmly attached and in sound condition. Check the slides for loose or missing fasteners, and damaged or worn-out parts.

Once you’ve assessed your cabinets and determined they’re in good shape, you can consider refacing or replacing your existing doors otherwise all your hard work will be wasted.