Monday, March 6, 2017


GOODWIN MILL AND CABINETS was recently asked on Facebook how much it would cost to change the color of a set of cabinets.  First off, let me say I think this is a super smart decision on your part.  Improving cabinetry is one of the best ways to improve the value of your home.  And now I'd like to explain why that's not a simple question and why I can't guess at a price.

When it comes to changing the color of cabinets one of the first things you have to do is determine what type of exposed material you have on your cabinets.  Are your doors and drawer fronts made of wood or a composite material?

Wood doors and drawer fronts are most common with stain finishes.  These types of finishes accentuate the wood grain and use it to create character in the final product.  If you can see the gain in the wood, chances are, it's a solid wood door or front.

Changing the color on a wood door or front can be a time consuming and expensive process.  Mainly because of the work it takes to strip the existing finish away and sand the material down to where you can add a new color without the old color showing through.  When a cabinet is finished, the final coat is a protective layer used to help protect the wood from warping if it gets wet and to maintain its appearance.  This finish coat is what will initially be the hard substance to strip away.  It requires the use of some potent chemicals that need to be applied directly on the door or front to break down the coating.  Then the material must be wiped or sanded as leaving the thinner/stripper on the wood will cause it to warp.  Depending on the wood and finish type, multiple applications may be required to remove the stain and protective topcoat.

Once you've done that, you have to sand the material to remove traces of the previous color and prepare the wood to take on a new color.  This process can also take a fair amount of time as depending on how ornate the door or front, smaller edges and details will have to be sanded by hand.

There are two types of composite material you could also run into.  Most painted cabinetry will use composite material for the doors and fronts as they allow the paint to sit flatly and have a better sheen.  There's no wood grain detail usually, but it will have a protective coat. 

It's usually cheaper than wood and is popular because it has so many more color options and can be coordinated with other color choices in the home.  Plus, the color is consistent across the surface of your cabinetry.  If you have doors and drawers of this type, you have to sand them in order to scuff them up before you can cover them with a new coat of paint.

The second type of composite material is similar to melamine.  It comes with a veneer surface.  This material is covered on all sides with a plastic veneer often mimicking the appearance of wood that can be textured or flat depending on your aesthetic choice. 

Changing the color on this type of product is pointless.  You would simply remove the doors and fronts and proceed to my final option as this material is simply produced in the color originally chosen for the job.  It comes in large sheets we cut down to individual size.  The front and back are already covered with the veneer so the only thing we do to finish the door or front is band the edges with the same color veneer material.

The other option is to scrap the doors and drawer fronts and make new ones to replace them.  In the case of the veneer composite material, this would be the option.  With the paint grade composite, this wouldn't be cheaper.  As for stained wood, this is potentially cheaper, but depends on the type of finish and style you change to.  

Keep in mind, changing colors also requires changing the exposed surfaces of your cabinetry that are in place.  Finished ends can be covered with panels.  We call this procedure a re-surfacing job.  And we do offer it.  The price largely depends on exactly what's necessary to transition your current cabinetry to the color you want.

So without knowing what material your cabinets and doors/fronts are made of, the type of finish already on them, what you want to change them to and the quantity of cabinets, doors and fronts...  I can't accurately give you a price or even begin to guess.

My suggestion is taking pics of the cabinets you want to change.  If you're not sure what the material your cabinets are made from, take off a small door and bring it into our shop.  We can check it out first hand and tell you what would need to be done.  Also, if you haven't decided what you want to change it to, it would be great to come in and check out the options we have!

Our show room is located at 1009 N. 1100 West off of Sunset.  We're near Dixie Lumber and the Texaco Oil Change center, and close to Papa Murphy's.  Feel free to stop in. 

Whatever you decide to do, we wish you the best of luck and I want to say this again...  Upgrades to cabinetry improve the value of your home!  You're making an excellent decision by sprucing up your cabinetry!