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 Dark, dingy, and outdated cabinetry can age an otherwise attractive kitchen.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.

  1. Hand in the Hardware

    White Kitchen Cabinets

    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

    Open Kitchen Cabinets

    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. Stick to It

    DIY Kitchen Cabinets

    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


  4. Stand on Your Own Feet

    Custom Cabinetry

    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


  5. Fun with Fabric

    DIY Open Shelving

    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.


  6. Create Contrast

    Black and White Kitchen

    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


  7. Inspired by Wire

    DIY Cabinet Doors

    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.


  8. Add an Unexpected Element

    DIY Kitchen Kick Toe

    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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