10 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

One of the most prominent fixtures in your kitchen—the cabinets—can be your quickest path to creating a whole new room. If you’re looking for a change in kitchen scenery but don’t have the time or budget to commit to a complete overhaul, your best bet is giving your cabinets a facelift. From the obvious to the obscure, there are myriad ways to upgrade your current cabinets without pulling out the hard hats. We’ve rounded up 10 options that you can implement with nothing more than a trip to the home improvement store, some careful decision making, and a weekend's work.

  1. Put on Some Paint

    1/11
    Ea1f0faa123dd00be0af532cf946a9a2

    southernliving.com

    If you're on the fence (or on a budget), there’s always the old standby—paint. A change in color can have a huge impact on your kitchen and the payoff far exceeds the effort (although removing all the doors and hardware may prove a little tedious). Get out the sandpaper and pick some paint swatches, and you’re halfway there.

  2. Wallpaper the Interior

    2/11
    De1aa0e0bcfad982ac50082818851ca6

    thecrossinteriordesign.com

    Take the wallpaper off the wall and put some on the inside of your cabinets instead. The application process may be a little tricky, but the peek-a-boo effect will give you a reason to smile every time you reach for a glass.


    Related: Wallpaper Basics

  3. Remove the Doors

    3/11
    24b2b84235776000913410c9ea2e4004

    thelovelycupboard.com

    Quite possibly the easiest change doesn’t require adding anything at all. Simply removing the doors will give your kitchen an airy feeling, but be forewarned that this look requires more maintenance than you'd think. With everything on display, you’ll want to be sure the contents of your cabinets are in order—all the time.


    Related: 11 Clever Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinets

  4. Do a Complete Overhaul

    4/11
    4a2ab947e1ce9f999434fe6739c33e0a

    jpmdesign.blog spot.com

    Combining one or more of these suggested changes can give the appearance of a complete overhaul. Here, the insides of the cabinets were wallpapered, the shelves painted, and doors removed—leaving behind a kitchen that's both modern and cozy.


    Related: Planning Guide – Kitchen Remodeling

  5. Add Knobs or Hardware

    5/11
    De36fcd70cded107f5a2eac8770b2606

    thepaintedhive.net

    If your cabinets lack hardware, you’ll appreciate this fix. The addition not only creates a whole new appearance, but also makes getting things in and out of the cabinets easier than before. Take some precise measurements, spend some quality time with the drill, and voilà—a whole new kitchen.


    Related: Cabinet Hardware – 10 Styles to Invigorate Your Kitchen

  6. Apply Molding

    6/11
    9578372b8b48234f0a332c9326cf07eb

    younghouselove.com

    Adding crown molding to your cabinets will give them—and the kitchen—an entirely new look. The upgrade will visually add height to the room and give the cabinets a more finished appearance. While it’s always important to measure twice, it's particularly vital with this project.


    Related: Get Trim! 9 Ways to Dress Up a Room With Molding

  7. Get Out the Chalkboard Paint

    7/11
    588d36fb35644b7515bb179aed4f22e1

    artisticdesignsforliving.com

    No room benefits from chalkboard paint quite like the kitchen. You can use the upper cabinets to keep track of needed grocery items and important dates, while your children can go to town on the lower cabinets—and leave your walls alone.


    Related: How To Make Chalkboard Paint

  8. Use Paint as an Accent

    8/11
    2fc876a3e09b25f85c9af49bceef0a23

    designconnectioninc.com

    Use your cabinets’ built-in details to your advantage by emphasizing them with paint. Whether you're painting the whole cabinet or just the recessed areas, the contrasting colors will add depth and striking visual drama.


    Related: A Glassy-Smooth Enamel Finish for Old Kitchen Cabinets

  9. Construct a Plate Rack

    9/11
    F09b2f4a260a94f6eb08f9c6a41caa55

    studio-k-b.com

    No longer a common kitchen element, a plate rack makes often-used dishes easily accessible. Replace an existing cabinet or find a rack that will fit below your current cabinets for an upgrade that's both visually pleasing and functional.


    Related: Get the Look—Country Kitchen

  10. Install Task Lighting

    10/11
    F24d8f0ed07067c90f67027271009a10

    i-love-kitchens.com

    Adding task lighting beneath cabinets can dramatically alter the look—and efficiency—of any kitchen. In addition to making countertop chores easier to tackle, the added illumination will showcase tile backsplashes and make dark cabinets appear lighter.  


    Related: How To Add Under-Cabinet Lighting

  11. For More...

    11/11
  12. See the House of the Week

    Hotw600x450

    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!