Our favorite how-to guides to assist inspire your next kitchen cabinet makeover without replacing her existing cabinets while staying within budget.


How can I update my kitchen cabinets without replacing them?

If you’re looking come reface, refurbish, or refresh her kitchen cabinets without a significant overhaul, this list is for you. We’ve rounded increase 10 methods you can do this v some conventional tools, straightforward installations, pre-made kits, and more.

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1. Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Your cavelike kitchen feels that means because the dark cabinets have sucked all the light out of the room. But a brighter makeover doesn"t necessarily average replacing those gloomy boxes v all-new ones. As lengthy as the frames and also doors space structurally sound, you can clean lock up and brush on a new coat the paint—and within a weekend take the kitchen from dreary come sunny.

For complete step-by-step instructions, purchase list, and tools list, see just how to paint Kitchen Cabinets.

Here space some various techniques to provide your kitchen cabinets an ext personality:


photograph by Brad Simmons/Beateworks/Corbis Color alters everything. However color v a tiny flair can readjust the style of your cabinets from plain and straightforward to shabby chic, rustic, provincial, or modern. Right here are a few of our favorite faux finishes that have the right to spice up your kitchen’s style.

This weathered finish comes from a special “crackling glaze” accessible at repaint stores. Apply the glaze end a dry base coat, to brush in just one direction (thick for large cracks and also thin for fine cracks). Let it dry, then finish with a flat top cloak of the base color, brushed ~ above perpendicular to the glaze. The paint will begin to type cracks together it dries, a process that takes about an hour.


photograph by william Geddes/Beateworks/Corbis even if it is it’s simply worn or important beat up, this rustic end up is made up of layered colors and also spattered dark paint (to mimic paris specks). When the repaint is dry, you can “distress” the complete by hitting it through a chain and lightly sanding in the spots where cabinets acquire the many use to expose the color underneath.


picture by Ted Dayton Photography/Beateworks/Corbis This provincial look at evokes a gradually aged surface. Rate the aging process by dipping the tips of a paintbrush in a shade lighter 보다 the cabinets, dabbing the excess onto a towel until the brush is practically dry and lightly grazing the surface ar of detail trim, corners, or seams.

High Gloss

photo by David Papazian/Beateworks/Corbis Not just will a high-gloss complete repel dirty fingerprints far better than any matte (and it’s easier to wipe clean), the will also simulate the look of steel or glass in a modern setting. To shine up your smooth cabinets, repaint a high-gloss clean acrylic varnish end your last coat to include depth and effect a glassy finish

2. Reface Kitchen Cabinets

picture by David Carmack the sweet old mrs you to buy your home from is truly wonderful—really, she is—especially the way she offered out homemade cookies throughout the holidays. But, the kitchen wherein she small them—it"s ugly. What"s old might be new again, but those grease-caked, kid-scratched cabinets have to go.

We"re no saying you have to gut and rebuild. Rather of spending, say, $5,000 on brand-new cabinets, conserve some major cash and reface the persons you have actually for under $1,000. It"s exceptional what a tiny veneer and also some new doors deserve to do come brighten an aging space. Both are easily accessible through woodworking companies, and some manufactures offer peel-and-stick veneer to make the task simpler. Simply be sure to measure twice and cut once. Work-related carefully, and also your kitchen will certainly look brand-new in no time.

For full step-by-step instructions, purchase list, and also tools list, see how to Reface Kitchen Cabinets.

3. Install a Pull-Out cabinet Shelf

picture by Kolin smith do the many of her kitchen"s currently storage space by installing a pull-out shelf in one—or all—of the basic cabinets. The shelf each other a shallow drawer the glides out for easy access to items stored in the earlier of the cabinet.

Our shelf was constructed for a conventional 24-inch-deep by 33-inch-wide basic cabinet, however its style is adaptable come virtually any size cabinet. It has a 1x4 pine frame and also ¾-inch birch plywood bottom. If you"re only structure one or 2 shelves, you have the right to save part money through going come a home facility or lumberyard the sells 4 minutes 1 or fifty percent sheets the plywood. And also in many cases, they"ll even reduced the plywood to your dimensions.

If you"ve never ever attempted a woodworking project as seemingly complicated as this one, don"t worry. TOH understand Carpenter norm Abram created a simplified, straightforward architecture that can be easily constructed with simple tools.

For complete step-by-step instructions, purchase list, and also tools list, see exactly how to download a Pull-Out cabinet Shelf.

4. Put in Undercabinet Lighting

photograph by Kolin blacksmith There"s a missing element in most American kitchens, and it"s no a $7,500 variety or a 4-acre refrigerator. No, it"s simply good lighting. The concealed fixtures of undercabinet task lighting, which are relatively easy come retrofit beneath upper wall surface cabinets, bathe the countertop in bright white light—a boon for every little thing from dicing veggies to analysis recipes.

Connect the fixtures come a dimmer switch, and you additionally have the an essential to dramatic interval lighting or a night light because that midnight snackers. If you"re a little bit tentative about working with electricity, don"t worry. This surroundings is simple and shock-free, as lengthy as you reduced the juice at the breaker box first.

For full step-by-step instructions, purchase list, and tools list, see how to download Undercabinet Lighting.

5. Build a Butcher Block Island

photograph by David Carmack If you"re going because that homey and also cozy in her kitchen, skip the built-in cabinet-base island and also instead do the central work area a furniture-like table with a butcher-block counter. Because these special wood-slab tops have actually their edge or finish grain exposed, they are stronger than hardwood laid ~ above the flat. That method they withstand warping and nicks better than laminate and virtually as well together stone.

Butcher-block islands mimicking 19th-century worktables room perfect because that toning down the coldness of rock counters and also metal appliances in contemporary cook spaces. Friend can bring this standard aesthetic to your kitchen by creating a prepare island indigenous easy-to-buy materials or selecting one that the dozens that styles obtainable through retailers and also furniture makers.

For complete step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and also tools list, see just how to develop a Butcher Block Island.

6. Construct a Sideboard

photo by Wendall Weber Dishware, serving pieces, table linens—a sideboard packs a totality lot of storage an are into a reasonably small footprint, making that a handy enhancement to any kind of household. A sturdy, high-quality one can leave a thousand-dollar dent in your finances, however as TOH general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates, you can enhance a couple of stock kitchen basic cabinets with molding, furniture feet, and knobs to produce a handcrafted piece for a fraction of the cost of buying one ready-made.

Opt because that unfinished 15- or 18-inch cabinets fitted through doors and operable drawers (not the fake drawer fronts used for sink cabinets) and also take a job to placed all the pieces together. Her handsome creation will revolve heads at dinner parties for years to come.

For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see exactly how to build a Sideboard from share Cabinets.

7. Develop a home window Seat

photograph by Thomas-Rouchard Studios as attractive as window seats are, just a couple of older residences with deep dormers seem to have actually them. And adding a home window seat has constantly been taken into consideration impractical. First, you require a niche that functions a window. Then, the seat has to be custom-built through a cabinetmaker or trim carpenter to fit the exact width and sill height of the window. Not surprisingly, this strategy is expensive and time-consuming.

This simple, do-it-yourself approach provides both the "niche" and the home window seat, and wealth of storage space. This chair was developed under a 6-foot-wide kitchen window, but its style can conveniently be adjusted for any size window in almost any room. The chair is comprised of 6 kitchen wall surface cabinets and two 48-inch-tall bookcase units, which are trimmed v decorative crown molding. The window seat chin is composed of 2 15-inch-tall, over-the-refrigerator cabinets set side-by-side.

For full step-by-step instructions, to buy list, and also tools list, see exactly how to build a window Seat.

8. Include a bowl Rack

photo by Stephen Karlisch You might leave your dishes tucked away behind closed doors. Or, if they"re interesting and vibrant, you might create a ar to display them, freeing up priceless storage space and including a splash of color to your kitchen.

See how to make straightforward slotted warehouse from a kit, in Stylish Kitchen Upgrades from DIY Kits.

9. Add Cabinet Crown Molding

photo by Wendell T. Webber naught screams, "I spent many money on practice cabinets!" favor crown molding. The trim transforms your kitchen storage right into a smooth design.

Make including extra personality to her cabinets much easier by mounting molding on a hardwood frame that sits above cabinets. Making use of a frame allows for doing the information work on a bench—much less complicated than from a ladder—then friend can affix the crown native the ago side, so there are no nail holes to fill. When the frame and also crown are attached, you download the entirety assembly in one go.

See how to nail the clever trick, in exactly how to install Kitchen cabinet Crown Molding.

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10. Include Storage With much more Kitchen cabinets

picture by David Carmack when This Old House contractor Tom Silva began his carpentry career over 35 year ago, that often built the kitchen cabinet he mounted for his customers. “Back then, it to be still cost-effective for small shops to construct them,” he recalls. “Today, manufacturers assemble them quicker and more economically than we can.”

The goal is to take it this repertoire of boxes and bring them with each other to make a beautiful piece of built-in furniture. The simple installation sequence is straightforward: You desire to get whatever straight, plumb, and level. But an ext often 보다 not, the room itself lacks those attributes. No to worry! we can assist you get the task done right.

For complete step-by-step instructions, purchase list, and tools list, see just how to hang Kitchen Cabinets.