It can be challenging to choose the right maintenance service for your cabinets and other wooden furniture around your home. There are so many different options, and not knowing enough about any of them can get quite frustrating.

You don’t want to settle for the wrong choice simply because of misinformation or confusion. That’s why it’s important to develop an understanding of services such as refacing and refinishing when choosing the right furniture and cabinet restoration services.

Are refinishing and refacing the same?

Essentially, both services work toward creating newer looking cabinets through a variety of methods and several steps. They both use your existing cabinets and cabinet boxes to change the exteriors—and sometimes interiors—to deliver results that you want.

The difference comes in the aims and purposes of each surface, as well as the process. One, i.e., refacing, is significantly more thorough than the other.

What is refinishing?

The act of refinishing a cabinet or surface is done so to change the color and/or finishing. This means you can go from a darker to a lighter color or vice versa and change textures from matte to glossy, for instance.

This is typically done through sanding and a combination or choice of physical sanding and abrasion, or chemical stripping, so that paints, pigments, stains, and polishes can be applied.

What is refacing?

Refacing, on the other hand, is a more elaborate service. Used interchangeably with resurfacing, the surface works by replacing all existing external components of your cabinets.


This includes all the exterior surfaces, knobs, handless, sometimes replacing the original exteriors with other laminates and veneers. This is an incredibly detailed and thorough transformation, leaving very little of your original design and model intact. Apart from the cabinet box, nearly everything is changed.

 Choosing which service is right for you

For homeowners confused about deciding on the right service, think about this: how bad is the damage or wear and tear to your cabinets, and what are you eventually hoping to accomplish?

Do you want to completely revamp the appearance of your cabinets to look either more modern and contemporary? Or are you looking for that vintage charm? Do you want a matte finish, or do you love that glossy exterior?

If it’s just a simple change in color and texture you’re after, refinishing is perfect. For more elaborate transformations, choose to reface.


If you’re based in Pleasanton, CA, reach out to On Site Wood Wizard for some of the best modern and antique furniture restoration and maintenance services!