How to Give Old Cabinets a New Look

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It can be tempting to rip out old cabinets, as they can drag the look of a room down quickly. However, not everyone can afford to purchase brand new cabinets when their old ones are still functional. Luckily, there are plenty of cost effective options out there that can give the look of all new cabinets without the cost and waste. Here are several ideas that you can use on your cabinetry.

Clean Them

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to give old cabinets a new look is to clean them. Dirt and grime will slowly accumulate on cabinets in even the cleanest of rooms. So before you do anything else, detail your kitchen cabinets and make them sparkle. You may find that the finish is better than you once thought after it is all said and done.

Replace the Hardware

If dated hardware is dragging your cabinets down, go head and replace it with something fresh and updated. All too often, cabinets have a timeless finish but because of outdated hardware it is obvious they are from another decade. A brushed nickel or an oil rubbed bronze can bring some of the oldest cabinets into the new millennium. If brand new hardware is not in the budget, you can always give get that same updated look with metallic spray paint.


Paint your cabinets. You have heard it time and time again but that is because it works. Paint covers blemishes, changes the overall look of the room and is very cheap when compared to other options. A clean white, neutral brown or sleek black are all safe choices if you decide to go this route. Just be sure you use the proper sanding, priming and painting techniques to insure your paint job withstands the test of time.

Add Molding

Another great option is to add molding to your flat panel doors. Some simple molding that has been stained or painted to match your kitchen cabinets can make it look like you got new cabinet doors and drawers. Not only is this an easy do-it-yourself job but it costs much less than completely refacing your old kitchen cabinets.

Refinish the Cabinets

This is a very time consuming way to give your old cabinets a new look, but it can be well worth the effort if you do not like the look of painted cabinets. You will need to remove any existing varnish and stain, sand down the cabinets, apply the new stain and then apply new varnish. This can take a few weeks if you are wanting to do it properly. However, to get look of brand new cabinets without the cost is worth it.

Reface the Cabinets

The final way to give your existing cabinets a new look is to completely reface them. This means that you will replace all of your old doors and drawers with new ones, as well as add a matching veneer to the outside of the cabinets. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the new finishes you choose. However, the final result can be nothing short of stunning.

Depending on your budget and the look your are trying to achieve, you can use just one of these ideas or several. For example, if your budget allows, why not clean, add molding and paint your kitchen cabinets. Experiment with different ideas and find the unique set that will work best for your cabinets. In the end, you will have the look of new cabinets without actually having to purchase new ones.


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