I've been a designer and a quality-oriented remodeler for 28 years. Seven years ago, if any of my customers had suggested refacing rather than replacing their tired-looking kitchen cabinets, I would have discouraged them in no uncertain terms. Visions of cheesy, delaminating edge-banding and flush high-pressure­laminate overlay doors and drawers didn't fit my idea of a professional service or solution.

But I've changed my mind. The refinishing options — doors, drawers, hardware, and finishes — have undergone something of a revolution. There's virtually no look or style that can't be accomplished with today's refacing products. Perhaps the greatest benefit to my customers is that they not only enjoy considerable savings over the cost of...

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