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Transform Your Kitchen with These DIY Cabinet Upgrade Ideas

Transform Your Kitchen with These DIY Cabinet Upgrade Ideas

If you are looking to upgrade your kitchen but don’t want to spend a fortune, then upgrading your cabinets could be the perfect solution. Not only will upgrading your cabinets give your kitchen a fresh look, but it can also increase the value of your home. Here are some DIY cabinet upgrade ideas that can transform your kitchen.

1. Paint Your Cabinets

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to upgrade your cabinets is to paint them. You can choose a color that complements your kitchen’s decor and give your cabinets a fresh, new look. Painting your cabinets is also a great way to cover up any wear and tear they may have suffered over the years.

2. Replace Cabinet Handles and Knobs

Another simple upgrade you can make to your cabinets is by replacing the handles and knobs. Opt for handles and knobs that will complement the new color of your cabinets or go for a contrasting look to add some interest. This is a great way to update your cabinets without having to replace them.

3. Use Wallpaper or Contact Paper

If you’re not keen on painting, another way to update your cabinets is by using wallpaper or contact paper. This is a great way to add some pattern or texture to your cabinets. It’s also easy to change if you want to switch things up in the future.

4. Add Glass Inserts

Adding glass inserts to your cabinets is a stylish way to update them. Not only does it add some interest to your cabinets; it also gives you an opportunity to show off your dishware or glassware.

5. Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Installing under cabinet ( Revolutionize Your Kitchen with Genius Cabinet and Drawer Space Maximization Tips ) lighting is a great way to improve the functionality of your kitchen while also improving the look of your cabinets. There are many different options available to fit your style and budget.

6. Install Crown Molding

Crown molding adds a touch of elegance to your cabinets. It’s an easy DIY project that can quickly transform your cabinets from basic to stylish.

7. Install Open Shelving

If you’re feeling brave, you can remove cabinet doors and install open shelves instead. This is a great way to display your decor and dishware. Just make sure to keep it organized and tidy to avoid a cluttered appearance.


Upgrading your cabinets is a great way to transform your kitchen without spending a lot of money. Whether you choose to paint your cabinets, replace the hardware or even install new lighting, any of these ideas can add some interest and style to your kitchen. So pick one or more of these DIY cabinet upgrade ideas and get started transforming your kitchen today.

Kitchen Cabinet DIY Upgrades FAQ

What are some affordable DIY upgrades for kitchen cabinets?

There are numerous affordable DIY upgrades that can transform the look of kitchen cabinets without breaking the bank. Some of these upgrades include painting or staining the cabinets, replacing cabinet hardware, installing new cabinet doors or fronts, adding crown molding or trim, and installing lighting under-cabinet lighting.

How do I prepare my cabinets for painting?

To prepare cabinets for painting, first remove all cabinet doors and hardware. Then, use a degreaser to clean the cabinets thoroughly, making sure to remove any dirt, grime, or grease. Next, sand the cabinets using a fine-grit sandpaper to remove any rough areas and create a smooth surface for painting. Finally, use a wood filler to fill any holes or dents in the cabinets, and allow the filler to dry completely before sanding and painting.

What types of paint should I use for painting my kitchen cabinets?

There are several types of paint that work well for painting kitchen cabinets, including latex paint, oil-based paint, and chalk paint. Latex paint is affordable and easy to work with, but may require multiple coats. Oil-based paint is durable and long-lasting, but requires more time to dry and may have a strong odor. Chalk paint creates a matte finish and requires less prep work, but may require a topcoat for added durability.

How can I update my cabinet hardware without replacing it?

There are several ways to update cabinet hardware without replacing it, including painting it with a metallic or specialty paint, wrapping it with fabric or ribbon, or replacing the screws with decorative ones. Another option is to add decorative knobs or pulls to the cabinet doors or drawers, which can create a new look without changing the existing hardware.

What are the benefits of replacing cabinet doors or fronts?

Replacing cabinet doors or fronts can transform the look of cabinets without the expense of a full remodel. It can also make cabinets appear more modern, updated, and functional. New doors or fronts can also provide the opportunity to add new features, such as glass inserts, open shelving, or decorative accents.

How do I install crown molding or trim on my cabinets?

To install crown molding or trim on cabinets, first measure and mark the area where the molding will be installed. Then, use a saw to cut the molding to the correct size and angle. Next, apply adhesive to the back of the molding and press it into place on the cabinet. Finally, use a nail gun or hammer and nails to secure the molding in place.

What are the benefits of installing lighting under my cabinets?

Installing lighting under cabinets can provide additional task lighting in the kitchen, making it easier to prepare food and see what you are doing. It can also add a decorative element to the kitchen and highlight the beauty of the cabinets and countertop.

What tools and materials do I need for DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades?

The tools and materials needed for DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades will depend on the specific project. However, some of the basic tools needed include a drill, screwdriver, hammer, saw, sandpaper, wood filler, adhesive, nail gun, and paintbrushes. Some of the basic materials needed may include paint, stain, hardware, cabinet doors or fronts, crown molding or trim, and lighting fixtures.

Can I complete DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades myself?

Yes, many DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades can be completed by homeowners themselves with the right tools, materials, and instructions. However, it is important to assess your own skill level and comfort with DIY projects before beginning any work. It may be necessary to hire a professional if the project is beyond your abilities or if you are not comfortable working with power tools or electrical equipment.

How much does it cost to upgrade kitchen cabinets?

The cost of upgrading kitchen cabinets will depend on the scope of the project and the materials used. Painting cabinets or adding new hardware can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while replacing cabinet doors or fronts may cost several thousand dollars depending on the size and number of cabinets. Adding lighting or molding will also increase the overall cost of the project.

Kitchen Cabinet DIY Upgrades: Recommended Resources and Products

  • Cabinet Paint: The first step in upgrading your kitchen cabinet is by painting it. A highly recommended cabinet paint is the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations Kit. It comes with a deglossing solution, bond coat, glaze, and a protective topcoat. This kit has easy to follow instructions, and it can cover up to 100 square feet of cabinet surface.
  • Paint Sprayer: For those who prefer using a spray gun over a paintbrush, the Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP paint sprayer is a good option. It can be used for painting cabinets, furniture, and other surfaces. This device also features adjustable spray patterns, variable trigger control, and a 20-foot air hose.
  • Cabinet Handles: Installing new handles or knobs can instantly upgrade your kitchen cabinet’s look. The homdiy Brushed Nickel Cabinet Pulls is a great option for modernizing kitchen cabinets. The handles are made of high-quality stainless steel, and it comes with screws of different sizes for convenience.
  • Cabinet Lighting: Adding lights to your kitchen cabinet can make it look more elegant and cozy. The Albrillo LED Under Cabinet Lighting kit is a popular choice for many DIYers. This kit has six LED light bars, a power adapter, and various connectors for easy installation. The lights have three color temperatures and two brightness levels to choose from.
  • Cabinet Shelves: If you need more storage space, adding shelves to your kitchen cabinet is the solution. The Seville Classics Expandable Kitchen Counter and Cabinet Shelf is a versatile product that can be adjusted to fit your needs. This shelf is made of chrome-plated steel wire, and it can extend from 15.75 inches to 30 inches wide.
  • Cabinet Drawer Slides: Upgrading your kitchen cabinet’s drawer slides can improve its functionality and durability. The LONTAN Soft Close Drawer Slides is a popular choice for DIYers. These drawer slides are made of high-quality cold-rolled steel, and they have a soft close mechanism to prevent slamming. They come in various sizes to fit different cabinet dimensions.
  • Cabinet Hinges: Replacing old or broken cabinet hinges can improve your kitchen cabinet’s appearance and function. The DecoBasics Overlay Cabinet Hinges is a budget-friendly option that comes in a pack of 50. These hinges are made of steel and have a nickel-plated finish for corrosion resistance. They also have a self-closing mechanism for convenience.
  • Cabinet Organizers: If you have a cluttered kitchen cabinet, adding organizers can help you maximize space ( Uncover genius ways to maximize space with a kitchen island ) and improve organization. The SimpleHouseware Stackable Cabinet Organizer is a versatile product that can be used for storing plates, cups, and other kitchen items. It has two tiers and can hold up to eight plates.
  • Cabinet Refacing: For those who want a more drastic change, the VEVOR Woodworking Lathe allows you to completely change the look of your kitchen cabinet. This device can be used for refacing cabinets by adding decorative moldings, carvings, or engraved designs. It is made of high-quality cast iron and can handle various types of wood.
  • Cabinet Cleaner: Before starting your kitchen cabinet upgrade, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly. The Therapy Wood Cleaner and Polish Kit is a natural, non-toxic product that can clean and restore your cabinet’s finish. It comes with a microfiber cloth for easy application, and it doesn’t leave any sticky residue.

Pros&Cons of Kitchen Cabinet DIY Upgrades


  • Cost-effective: One of the biggest advantages of DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades is that it can save a lot of money compared to hiring a professional. You can shop around for affordable materials and tools to stay within your budget.
  • Customization: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades give you the freedom to choose your own style, colors, and finishes. You can create a unique look that matches your personal taste and reflects your personality.
  • Control: With DIY upgrades, you have total control over the project, from start to finish. You can take your time and work on it at your own pace, without the pressure of meeting someone else’s expectations.
  • Learning experience: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades can be an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, such as painting, tiling, and woodworking. You can develop your confidence and creativity, which can be applied to other DIY projects in the future.
  • Pride: Completing a DIY kitchen cabinet upgrade can be incredibly satisfying and fulfilling. You can take pride in your hard work and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with it.


  • Time-consuming: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades can take a lot of time, especially if you’re inexperienced or don’t have the right tools. It can be frustrating when it takes longer than expected, disrupting your daily routine.
  • Mistakes: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades can be risky, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can make costly mistakes that require professional help to fix, ultimately leading to spending more money than desired.
  • Unforeseen problems: When working on DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades, you might come across unexpected issues, such as rotten wood or uneven surfaces. These can add to the overall time and cost of the project.
  • Quality: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades can produce good results, but it’s unlikely they will look as professional as work done by an experienced craftsman. Poorly executed work could even reduce the overall value of your home.
  • Safety hazards: DIY kitchen cabinet upgrades may include work with power tools or hazardous materials. This increases the risk of injuries and accidents, especially if you don’t have proper training or protective gear.

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