9 Simple DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Kitchen Cabinets

Bad cabinetry is like bad pizza: it has no place in anyone's kitchen. Dark, dingy, and outdated cabinetry can age an otherwise attractive kitchen. And because cabinets are so expensive to replace, many homeowners simply make due rather than attempt a remodel. Luckily, you can transform old and unattractive cabinets rather than replace them. Here are 9 ideas to inspire your next kitchen upgrade.

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  1. Hand in the Hardware


    New hardware can go a long way to making old cabinets look new, and at almost no cost. For a timeless look, choose knobs and pulls with clean lines, in contemporary finishes such as brushed stainless or pewter.

    Related: Knobs of Note—16 Ideas for a Cool Cabinet


  2. Open the Doors


    You may not want to fully commit to open storage (why showcase the mismatched Tupperware?), but a few open cabinets will add texture and interest to your kitchen. Make your own by removing cabinet doors and hinges, then giving everything a fresh coat of paint. Consider adding a contrasting paint color inside the cabinets to set off white dishes.

    Related: 16 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities 


  3. Painted Perfection


    A fresh coat of paint is sure to revive tired cabinets—no heavy machinery required. And don't be afraid to go dark; this set of deep navy blue cabinetry is absolutely striking against its all-white surroundings.

    Related: Painted Cabinets—14 Reasons to Transform Yours Now


  4. Stick to It


    If you can't afford new cabinet doors, fake them. This blogger created classic Shaker-style cabinets by adding trim to the existing doors. The secret to this DIY is an unexpected—and inexpensive—material: yardsticks!

    Related: 10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen


  5. Stand on Your Own Feet


    Give your kitchen cabinets a more upscale feel with the addition of some custom-fit feet. All it takes is some plywood scraps, screws, and a bit of paint. Inspired to try this at home? Visit Gus and Lulu for more, including a handy printable template.

    Related: Buy or DIY—8 Clever Solutions for Storing Pots and Pans


  6. Fun with Fabric


    Here's a cabinet transformation you can turn around on a dime. Liven up a set of dreary cabinets in just a few hours, by pushing fabric-covered foam board in place at the back of the cabinets. When you need a change, simply swap them out for a new look.


  7. Create Contrast


    Break up the blah by using opposite colors to create a beautifully bold design statement. Bright white cabinetry, shelving, and painted subway tiles elegantly set off a row of sleek black drawers below.

    Related: 12 Bite-Size Projects to Rescue Your Tiny Kitchen


  8. Inspired by Wire


    If you like the look of open shelving but want an extra barrier between your dishes and the outside world, here's a happy compromise. Chicken wire can be used as a stand in for inset panels or glass. With a few strategically placed staples, this wire stays locked in place.


  9. Add an Unexpected Element


    Add an element of surprise to the kitchen by jazzing up a most unlikely spot—the toe-kick! Created with contact paper and tape, this lively design is fun, decorative, and 100% noncommittal.

    Related: 7 Ways to Skimp on a Kitchen Remodel

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