How Can I Update my Old Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them?

How Can I Update my Old Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them?

Question: How Can I Update my Old Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them?
Answer: You can update your old kitchen cabinets without replacing them by refinishing, painting, refacing, adding new hardware, or installing new doors.

How Can I Update my Old Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them? A Budget-Friendly Makeover

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the cabinets play a significant role in shaping its aesthetics and functionality. However, replacing outdated cabinets can be a costly endeavor. Fortunately, there are several creative and budget-conscious ways to revamp your existing cabinets, giving your kitchen a fresh look without a complete overhaul. [ 1 ]

For more information

Reimagine with Paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and most impactful ways to transform your cabinets. Paint can conceal blemishes, update colours, and completely alter the style of your kitchen. Here’s how to get started:

  • Choosing the Right Paint:

    Opt for a high-quality, cabinet-specific paint that can withstand frequent cleaning and wear-and-tear. Consider factors like sheen (matte, satin, or semi-gloss) and colour (bold contrasts, two-toned options, or timeless neutrals) to achieve your desired look.

  • Prep Work is Key:

    For a flawless finish, meticulous preparation is crucial. Remove cabinet doors and drawers, clean surfaces thoroughly to remove grease and grime, and lightly sand to create a smooth base for the paint.

  • Application Techniques:

    Apply painter’s tape to protect surrounding areas and use a brush for detailed work, followed by a roller for larger surfaces. Depending on the chosen paint and desired coverage, multiple coats might be necessary. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next.

Learn more here about Blue Kitchen Refacing
Related Article: How Can I Make my Outdated Kitchen Look Better?
Related Article: How Do You Prepare Cabinets for Refacing?

Refresh with Hardware

Cabinet hardware, including knobs, pulls, and handles, plays a surprisingly significant role in the overall look and feel. Replacing outdated hardware with a modern or classic style can instantly elevate the aesthetic of your cabinets.

  • Style Selection:

    Consider the existing cabinet style and desired outcome. For a contemporary touch, sleek, clean-lined pulls or knobs might be ideal. Classic kitchens can benefit from decorative knobs or handles with intricate details.

  • Material Matters:

    Hardware comes in various materials like brushed nickel, chrome, brass, or even wood. Choose a material that complements the finish of your cabinets and other kitchen elements.

  • Installation:

    Replacing hardware is a straightforward process. Unscrew the existing hardware and install the new pieces using the provided mounting screws. Ensure proper alignment and spacing for a cohesive look.

Embrace the Power of Doors

Swapping out cabinet doors is an excellent way to create a dramatic change. Prefabricated doors are readily available in various styles, materials, and finishes. Alternatively, consider custom-made doors for a truly unique look.

  • Style Options:

    Shaker-style doors offer a clean and timeless aesthetic, while raised panel doors add a touch of elegance. Glass-front doors showcase your dishes and create a more open feel.

  • Material Considerations:

    Solid wood doors provide a luxurious feel, while laminate offers a budget-friendly option. Consider MDF (medium-density fibreboard) for a balance between affordability and durability.

  • Installation:

    Removing existing doors and installing new ones requires some basic carpentry skills. If you’re not comfortable with DIY installation, consider hiring a professional to ensure a seamless fit and finish.

Add Pizazz with Decorative Accents

Beyond paint, hardware, and doors, you can incorporate additional elements to enhance the visual appeal of your cabinets.

  • Molding Magic:

    Apply decorative molding to the cabinet frames or along the edges of doors for a touch of architectural detail. Molding comes in various styles and can be painted to match or contrast the cabinet colour.

  • Backsplash Flair:

    Spruce up the space behind your sink or cooktop with a stylish backsplash. Consider classic options like ceramic tiles or explore modern choices like glass mosaics or stainless steel panels.

  • Lighting Upgrade:

    Under-cabinet lighting adds a touch of sophistication and improves task visibility on countertops. Choose from LED strip lights, puck lights, or under-cabinet light bars.

Embrace Open Shelving

Open shelving offers a trendy and functional alternative to traditional cabinets. It creates a more airy feel in the kitchen and allows you to showcase your favourite dishes or decorative items.

  • Planning is Paramount:

    Carefully consider the items you plan to display on open shelves and ensure they are visually appealing and well-maintained. Open shelving also requires more frequent dusting and cleaning.

  • Installation Considerations:

    Depending on the layout of your cabinets, removing some doors and adding support brackets might be necessary to create open shelving.

  • Accessorize Wisely:

    Arrange your displayed items thoughtfully. Use containers for a more organized look and incorporate decorative elements like small plants or artwork to add personality.


By implementing these budget-friendly strategies, you can transform your kitchen cabinets and create a space that reflects your style and enhances the functionality of your kitchen. Remember, a little creativity and effort can go a long way in breathing new life into your cabinets and your kitchen as a whole.



Blue Kitchens Logo

Get in touch with Blue here.

Call Now!