Making Your Cabinets Last: Maintenance Tips and Tricks


Erica Dean | Dean Cabinetry

By: Erica Dean

Purchasing new kitchen cabinets is a substantial investment. With the proper care, you can learn how to make your cabinetry last years into the future.

White Kitchen Cabinetry by The Spruce

How long do cabinets last?

The lifetime of your cabinets will depend on the construction, quality of materials, and continual care. In general, they have an average lifespan of 20 years. When they are well-maintained and of high-quality, they can even last up to 50 years. Surprisingly, this means that they are likely to outlast your appliances, such as your dishwasher and refrigerator.

How do I make my cabinets last?

A great way to care for your cabinets is to keep them clean. Dust them every few weeks with a duster or soft towel. When some food or drink spills or splatters, clean it up right away. This is especially important for white or light-colored cabinets, as they may stain if the food or drink sits on them for too long.

Remember that consistency is key. The more often you give your kitchen a quick refresh, the less often you will have to do a deep clean.

Read our article “How do I Clean My Cabinets” to learn more about how to properly care for and clean them.

It is best to keep your cabinets exposure to humidity and moisture to a minimum. If you live in a very humid environment, you may want to consider keeping a dehumidifier in your space. If you find any mold, and you catch it early enough, you can clean it up before it grows beyond repair.

Repair leaks as soon as you discover them, to prevent water damage, and make sure to let them dry out completely whenever you find wet areas.

Additionally, it may be a good idea to keep any appliances that produce large amounts of heat, such as toaster ovens or Instant Pots, away from them while in use. This will help to reduce exposure to any overabundance of heat or moisture that could damage your cabinets.

Light Grey Cabinets by Behr

How should I deal with wear and tear on my cabinets?

In cases of small nicks, dings, and chipping paint, you can use touch-up paint to keep your cabinets looking clean, smooth, and absolutely flawless. Make sure that the touch-up paint color and sheen match the cabinets exactly to avoid creating a dalmatian out of your kitchen!

In the case of major scratches or markings, you may consider refinishing an entire door. For major dents, you may need to replace the entire panel.

How do I know if I need to replace a door, or even an entire cabinet?

There are many signs that you may want to replace doors or entire cabinets. They include:

With the proper care, your cabinets should last many years. With this in mind, choose a timeless style, and a color palette that you and your family will love for years to come.

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