Tips for Finding the Best Cabinet Refinishing Contractor

Tips for Finding the Best Cabinet Refinishing Contractor

Cabinets and Countertops
How To
By Dikran Seferian June 28, 2022

If you've done any remodeling work in your kitchen, you may have taken into account that your old cabinets won't correspond with the new design. Budgets can sometimes be limited so you may not have the funds for a complete kitchen remodeling. Fortunately, there are options for updating those cabinets and making them look new again — without going through a complete remodeling project. One option involves reaching out to a refinishing contractor. A cabinet refinisher can work with you and your budget to make those cabinets look new again.

Of course, you may have concerns about hiring a contractor. This can be the case anytime you need work done in your home. However, considering a few important tips will save you time and money — and headaches — when looking for a cabinet contractor.

Hiring a Professional vs Handling the Project Yourself

While you may be tempted to take the renovation into your own hands, it’s probably not the best option. Refinishing a set of cabinets involves more than wiping down the wood and applying a fresh coat of paint. The project entails various details such as the cabinet design, the quality of paint and varnish, as well as accessories including slides and hinges.

Professional refinishing contractors have all the skills and expertise necessary to carry out the project. Another reason to opt for contractors is because of the special equipment you’d need to refinish wood cabinets. Professionals in the business usually have access to various tools and materials that aren’t always available to homeowners.

Although a DIY refinishing job is seemingly more budget-friendly, there’s often the risk of making costly mistakes. That being said, getting the help of a pro can allow the project to run as smoothly as possible. Keep in mind that refinishing your cabinets is a great way to increase home value, making it all the more important for the renovation to be successful.

Find the Contractor With the Right Services

The services that cabinet contractors provide include refinishing, refacing, redooring, and replacement.

The services that cabinet contractors provide include refinishing, refacing, redooring, and replacement.

Before reaching out to a professional, you may want to pinpoint the exact services you’re looking for. Kitchen cabinet contractors offer refacing, refinishing, redooring, and replacement services. Make sure that the contractor you consult specializes in the services you need. Now, what is cabinet refinishing exactly? It essentially involves cleaning the unit thoroughly and then applying a fresh coat of the original finish or a new color. Refacing and redooring, on the other hand, refer to upgrading the cabinets with new doors and drawer fronts without changing the rest of the unit. As for the replacement, it goes without saying that you get a whole new set of cabinetry.

It’s also not uncommon for a contractor to be a “jack of all trades”. Should your kitchen remodeling also involve other tasks like painting the walls or replacing the kitchen countertop, you may be able to find a professional who will handle the entire project. 

Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed and Bonded

It’s crucial that a refinishing contractor — or any contractor, for that matter — has all the necessary permits and credentials to provide their services. These include a surety bond as well as a business license. Besides qualifying the contractor for the job, these credentials help you feel assured that the work you’re expecting is of high quality. It’s also a good idea to go for a company with an insurance cover that protects you from liabilities in the event of an accident. Having said that, make sure to ask about these details to reduce the risk of any avoidable setbacks during the kitchen cabinet restoration

Ask About the Pricing Options

Make sure to compare pricing options when reaching out to cabinet contractors.

Make sure to compare pricing options when reaching out to cabinet contractors.

Refinishing cabinets is a budget-friendly option for giving your kitchen a fresh look. The total cost of the project is considerably less than replacing the units. However, you may still want to compare budget estimates from two or three different cabinet contractors to find the best pricing option. And while the price is a key factor, it’s also important to account for timing, process, quality, and customer service. The ideal contractor will offer a solution that meets both your budget and project expectations. Consider reaching out to a few professionals and go for the one that ticks all the boxes. 

Check for Skills and Experience

If you’re paying money to renew your cabinetry, it only makes sense for the end result to look the way you’re expecting. As with any kind of contractor, a kitchen cabinet contractor needs to have the necessary expertise to go about the renovation to the smallest detail. As mentioned previously, there’s more to refinishing wood cabinets than just cleaning and repainting. The project also involves altering the design, selecting the type and quality of the products, as well as replacing hinges and handles. Be sure to hire a licensed contractor who can make sure that your cabinets will look as good as new.

Browsing the contractor’s portfolio will give you an idea about the amount and type of experience the contractor has. You may also want to ask for samples of their previous work to learn about their quality and style. That way, you can determine whether they suit your taste.

Ensure That the Contractor Takes Precautions

The dust created from the sanding phase of a refinishing project can cause allergic reactions.

The dust created from the sanding phase of a refinishing project can cause allergic reactions.

The process of refinishing cabinets is known to produce a great deal of dust and fumes. The dust from the sanding phase may trigger allergies while fumes can be dangerous when inhaled. Besides the health hazard it poses, refinishing may also damage nearby appliances in the kitchen. Always make sure to ask the cabinet contractor about the safety measures that they take to avoid any sort of damage. Only hire trained and experienced professionals who provide a guarantee for their services. Not only will they know how to carry out the project smoothly, but also handle problems should anything go wrong.

Look into the Contractor’s Reputation

Customer reviews are great indicators of how good a cabinet contractor is at his job. If a large number of the customers are happy with the work, chances are that so will you. When you’re looking through reviews of contractors, make sure to account for factors such as safety measures and refinishing methods. Bear in mind that these factors will help you choose the right professional.

Another reason to check reviews is to have an idea of how seriously the refinisher will take your opinion. That being said, it’s important to be clear about the vision you have in mind; and it’s equally important for the contractor to ensure your satisfaction by listening to what you have to say. 

Be Sure the Contractor Uses High-Quality Products

The products that a contractor uses play a major role in determining the success of the project.

The products that a contractor uses play a major role in determining the success of the project.

Kitchen cabinets are known to last over 50 years, and a fresh coat of varnish can guarantee this by reinforcing their durability. Besides restoring the luster of your cabinets, the varnish acts as a protective layer against dirt, humidity, and sunlight. Using low-quality products, however, will limit the longevity of that luster as well as the protective capabilities. Bear in mind that each product has its own pros and cons so finding the one that best suits your project is key.

This is all the more reason to go for a cabinet refinishing service that makes use of high-quality materials — whether it’s solvent-based, water-based, single component, or multi-component. Doing so will provide you with better value for your money while increasing the durability of your cabinets.


Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian