All You Need to Know About Cabinet Repair, Refacing, and Replacement

Whether they’re in the kitchen, basement, living room, or elsewhere in our homes, cabinets tend to get a lot of use. They’re a must-have if you value a tidy home, as they keep small items out of sight but easily accessible.

Since cabinets are a part of our daily lives, it stands to reason that sooner or later, cabinet repair will also be a part of our lives. Whether you choose to tackle repairs yourself or call on your local handyman, such as the friendly faces at Mr. Handyman of Keller, Flower Mound, and Alliance, it’s helpful to do some research first.

This guide will answer some of the most common questions about repair, refacing, and replacement to give you the info you need to get your cabinetry looking like new again.

What is a cabinet and what are the parts of it called?

Simply put, a cabinet (also commonly called a cupboard) is a box with either a hinged door on the front and shelves inside or a series of drawers inside. It is generally permanently affixed to the wall and/or floor.

The parts of a cabinet are:

  • Doors or drawer fronts
  • Door hinges
  • Shelves or drawer interiors
  • Boxes (the “walls”)
  • Door handles or drawer knobs
  • Veneers, thin decorative layers of fine wood on the visible parts of the exterior

What’s the difference between repair, refacing, and replacement?

It’s important to clarify the difference between the three R’s: repair, refacing, and replacement. They are the three key methods of improving your cabinetry. The one that you should choose will depend on a number of factors such as:

  • The extent of the damage to your existing cabinets
  • The material they are made of
  • What you are using or intend to use the cabinets for
  • The shape and size of the available space
  • Your design and style preferences
  • Your budget


When you love the look, size, and location of your cabinets, but they’ve suffered moderate damage from an accident or just normal wear and tear, the repair is a good option to restore functionality and get them looking good again. Of course, the exact type of repair will depend on the damage, but it could involve tasks such as:

  • Stabilizing shelves
  • Fixing stuck drawers
  • Filling in small cracks or holes
  • Rehanging doors
  • Replacing door handles and drawer knobs


If you don’t want to change the layout of your cabinets but they look worn out or the appearance doesn’t match the look of the rest of the room, check into refacing for your cabinetry.

Refacing is a way to completely change the look and feel of your cabinets without having to actually replace them. This is accomplished by replacing the doors and drawer fronts, changing out the door handles and drawer pulls, and applying new veneers to the visible exterior parts of the boxes.

It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how dramatically the look of the room and even the vibe of the entire house can change when you reface your cabinetry.


As you would expect, replacement involves removing your existing cabinets altogether and putting in new ones, from the cabinet boxes to the drawer pulls and everything in between. Cabinets need to be replaced when they suffer damage that is too extensive to be reasonably repaired. You may also choose to replace it when you want to change the layout, size, shape, or location of the cabinets.

Is it cheaper to reface or replace?

Generally speaking, it’s going to be less expensive to reface cabinets because it requires a lot less material, planning, and time than a full replacement. If you’re satisfied with the layout and design of your cabinets but simply want a new look for them, refacing is a great solution that will save money.

Don’t forget that repair is likely the least expensive option, so if you’re just interested in getting your cabinets looking as good as they did when they were first installed or restoring functionality to broken parts, the repair is the way to go. And, you don’t have to get your hands dirty with cabinet repair yourself — handymen such as the experts at Mr. Handyman of Keller, Flower Mound, and Alliance can get the job done right so you can get back to enjoying your home.

Can you replace just the doors?

Absolutely! Replacing just the doors or drawer fronts is basically refacing. If it’s important to you that the visible parts of the cabinet boxes match the doors exactly, you may choose to also add or change veneers on the outside of the boxes.

If you only want to change the doors and you can’t get doors that are the same color and material as the boxes, there are still options. You could either choose a complementary but contrasting color and texture for the new doors or paint the boxes a contrasting color.

It may sound strange to have doors and cabinet boxes that don’t technically “match” in color, texture, or both. But imagine, for example, white boxes with dark walnut wood doors for a modern look, or boxes painted a matte cream with glossy cream doors for an elegant texture contrast. The possibilities are endless, and it’s an opportunity to really infuse your home with your own personal style.

The other thing you need to consider when replacing just the cabinet doors is getting the correct size, especially if you’re choosing prefabricated doors. If they are prefabricated, the best option will be to get doors from the same manufacturer and cabinet series as your old doors and cabinets, but if that’s not possible, make sure to measure the old doors carefully and get the exact same size.

If you can’t find the exact same size in a prefabricated door, custom doors will be necessary — and in any case, the custom is generally preferable because you can be sure you’re getting a perfect fit and exactly the material you want.

Does cabinet refacing look cheap?

In a word, no. There’s nothing inherently cheap-looking or unattractive about refacing. As long as quality materials and workmanship are used, no one will even be able to tell that your cabinets have been refaced, and in fact, they will probably look a lot more expensive than they actually are once they’re complete.

Of course, it’s crucial to have the repair and refacing done by an experienced handyman who knows all the ins and outs of the process — fortunately, the team at Mr. Handyman has the know-how to get the job done right.

Can you repair damaged laminate cabinets?

If you’ve got damaged or worn-looking laminate cabinets and a replacement isn’t in the budget, don’t worry! It’s definitely possible to repair and refinish your laminate cabinets, so don’t let them hold your home back from looking its best.

Depending on the extent of the damage, it can be as simple as sanding and painting your cabinets to transform them from drab to fab. However, the doors and drawers do need to be removed from their hinges or drawer rollers in order to get the repair done correctly, so if you’re not totally confident in removing the doors and rehanging them afterward, your local handyman will be happy to help with the entire process.

What are the different types of cabinet door hinges?

Allow us to answer a question with a question: would it surprise you to learn that there are actually well over a dozen different types of cabinet door hinges? You’ve been around door hinges your entire life, but unless you’ve gotten up close and personal with them, you probably assumed they’re more or less the same. Not so.

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to figure out which kind of hinge you need determines the type of cabinet you have: framed or frameless. When the door is open, is there a frame around the opening that sticks out an inch or two? Or no frame, just the edges of the box?

Second, you’ll need to figure out how many overlays your doors have. Overlay refers to the amount that your cabinet doors extend out over the edges of the framed or frameless boxes.

Third, think about how you want your cabinet hinges to look and function. For example, should the hinges be visible on the interior, the exterior, or not at all? Do you want some slowing or cushioning to stop cabinet doors from slamming shut?

Once you’ve investigated these three points, you’ll be ready to look into the many, many different types of cabinet hinges.

What is the simplest way to change the look of my cabinets?

If you’re looking for an easy way to change the look and feel of your cabinets, there’s a simple repair you can try: changing the door handles and drawer knobs. You might be skeptical that such a small change can have any impact, but it really can give your room a new vibe and help your cabinets better match the room.

There’s also a vast selection of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes available, from fun and quirky to classic and refined. Does it change the look of your cabinets as dramatically as refacing or replacement? Well, no… but it is relatively inexpensive and you can likely handle it yourself with a little elbow grease.

What do I do if I’m starting from scratch?

Repair, refacing, and replacement are all well and good, but what if you don’t have any existing cabinets to work with? If you’re starting fresh with a room that desperately requires cabinets, you’ll need to decide between custom and prefabricated.

Whether you choose custom or prefabricated cabinets will depend on two main factors: the layout — based on the available space, the requirements of the room, and your personal preferences — and your budget.

Prefabricated Cabinets

The main advantage of prefabricated options is that they’re generally less expensive. However, they’re also usually made of less durable materials that don’t look as nice and are more susceptible to damage, meaning you’ll be back to check out cabinet repair before long.

The other downfall to prefabricated cabinets is that you’re very limited in your layout options. When it comes to rooms that are not a standard shape, or have ambitious layout designs, working with prefabricated cabinets will be difficult.

Custom Cabinets

The best thing about custom cabinets is, well, they’re custom! The layout, materials, appearance, and functionality are all up to you, so you can shoot for the stars and get a set of beautiful, durable, highly functioning cabinets that are perfectly suited to your taste.

And, while it’s true that custom cabinets can be more expensive than prefabricated ones, remember that you’re the one calling the shots. This means you can be judicious in your choices of materials and so on, therefore keeping the cost under control and still getting the layout you need and want.

How do I find a handyman near me for cabinet repair?

We’re so glad you asked! The team at Mr. Handyman of Keller, Flower Mound, and Alliance takes great pride in the high quality of our work. We are experienced in cabinet repair, refacing, and replacement, and we can solve any layout or repair problem with our custom carpentry. Our locally owned and operated business is committed to the highest standards, and that’s why we stand behind our work.

Rely on Mr. Handyman for Your Cabinet Repair, Refacing, and Replacements!

When your cabinets are in disrepair it not only looks bad, it impairs the functioning of your home. Don’t suffer from malfunctioning, unattractive cabinets any longer. Call Mr. Handyman today or fill out the request service form on our website to find out why our customers say we are Keller and the area’s most trusted handyman service!