Painting vs. Replacing

We all know how many choices there are out there for cabinets. Shaker style, flat face cabinets, glass doors, gray, blue, pink. Whatever your fancy is, you can find the combination with cabinets. But, we sometimes run into the situation where we don't know whether to replace or simply update with a fresh coat of paint. 

Lets take for instance the Park Ave. Palace. The kitchen had a good layout for a smaller home but definitely needed some updates. Countertops had cuts, nicks and showed it's age so replacing that was a no brainer. Surprisingly, the cabinets were old but still in good condition. Of course, it was older construction without the soft close hinges and didn't have the modern touch like newer shaker style cabinets would provide. Deciding if we should replace or not weighed heavily on a few questions needing answered. 

  1. What was the primary goal of the renovation?
  2. What was the cost of both options? Paint vs. replace
  3. Would replacing add value to the home?

These questions can be easy to answer in some cases but difficult in others. So, take a trip in my mind to figure out how we handled it.

  1. What was the primary goal of the renovation? - The goal of our renovation was to get the home looking as best as it could. We understood it wasn't the prettiest home on the block or the one with the most character but changing the cabinets would give it an advantage over other homes. We didn't want to pour a bunch of money into it because we knew we wouldn't get it back if we would resell the property. Therefore, we leaned towards painting the cabinets over new ones all together. 
  2. What was the cost of both options? Paint vs. replace - New cabinets can get pricey. From lower cost cabinets at Ikea to custom made cabinets from specialized cabinet makers the cost can vary anywhere between $400 - $40,000. Based on the home, the location and the goal of our renovation, we would have been willing to spend $3,000 - $4,000 for well made high quality cabinets. Painting the cabinets would cost $300-$400 and would wouldn't require removing the cabinets. Makes more sense than replacing; another point for repaint.
  3. Would replacing add value to the home? - As we mentioned above, cabinets can be a costly renovation. Think about it for a second. You get new cabinets then most likely you'll need to get new countertops - add $3000. New countertops mean a new sink, fixtures, plumbing lines, etc... - add $600. Put all that on old paint? No, fresh coat of paint, maybe even backsplash $800. See how things can add up? With that said, kitchen remodels yield 92.9% of the cost spent which out performs a lot of other renovation investments. Sounds like it's a bust on this one. 

When all is said and done, we looked at these three questions and went with repainting the existing cabinets and adding countertops. Out of the three questions, two of them pushed us to repaint more so than replace. Given the fact that we are keeping the home as a rental and didn't want to invest heavily upfront on a full kitchen remodel we were very comfortable going through with repaint. We are currently in the process or repainting and would love to show you some progress pictures. Countertop goes in next week and this home is ready for some new tenants!