There are very few items in a home that cannot be easily replaced when it comes time for an update. Bathtubs and cabinets are the two major things that come to mind when you face this issue. While the bathtub can be resurfaced, you would need to hire a professional to do so since I know of no do it yourself process available for a project such as this. However, refinishing cabinets is something that the average homeowner can do themselves at very little cost when compared to replacement of the cabinets.
Of course, the first question you must answer when considering cabinet refacing is whether or not you like the style of your existing cabinets. If your answer is yes, then your cabinets are a candidate for refinishing. However, there is one other thing you need to consider before you begin. Check to be sure the condition of your existing cabinets is such that they are worth keeping. Check all the corner joints for tightness, the doors and drawers for warping and smooth operation, and look beneath the sinks for water damage from leaking plumbing. If you locate any issues with these items, make a determination on whether or not repairing is an option or if you would be better off replacing the cabinets. Sometimes cabinets, like other items, reach a point where they are simply beyond repair.
If you determine that your cabinets are in good condition and you are happy with the style, your fun may now begin. Now would be a good time to take a trip to the local kitchen design center or home improvement store. There you will find the look and finishes that are available in modern cabinet design. No matter the look you choose, you should be able to duplicate it without having to replace any part of your cabinets. While you are there, check out the accessories that are available for the interior of cabinets. Now is a good time to upgrade your cabinet interiors with things such as trash or recycling drawers, a lazy Susan, pull out pot and pan racks or drawers, or the various other items available. You should also consider replacing all the cabinet hardware since this will aid in obtaining the fresh new look you are going for.
When you reach a decision about the look you want to achieve, take your idea and a cabinet door to a paint supply store. For the best results when refinishing cabinets, you will want to use the right finish materials and application methods. The best place for advice on these will be a paint supply store where the employees do nothing but deal with painting projects on a daily basis. Also, remember, you are likely saving thousands of dollars on this project by not having to replace your cabinets. Spend some of that savings on high quality primers, paints or stains, as well as, the tools needed to apply those finish products. By doing so, you will find that you will achieve a much better result that will provide you with a finish that will stand up to the day in and day out use that most cabinets must endure.