Updated Builder Grade Cabinets

9 Materials
4 Hours

The cabinets surrounding the fridge in my kitchen lacked personality, and I knew there was so much we could do to improve the look of them. I didn’t want this project to look like an afterthought so we tried our best to make the look cohesive with the existing cabinets. Overall I am so happy with how this mini makeover turned out and I think it really elevated the look of our kitchen.

What we started with

This is what the cabinets looked like when we began our project. Not terrible, but could be much better. I won’t be including measurements as this will completely depend on the size of your cabinets and the finish trim you select.

Build a frame

The first thing that we did is build a frame to have something to secure the fronts and trim to. We framed out the top of the cabinets as well as the ceiling making sure the pieces were level and directly above each other. Something to note is that we built the frames about an inch smaller than the cabinets around the edges to accommodate the thickness of the trim we would be using.

To make the fronts of our built ins we ended up using an MDF shelf board we had. It was the perfect height and length that we needed and was made out of the same material our cabinets are made out of.

Trim it out

Here is the fun part where you can get creative and create the perfect custom look for you! We used a variety of different trim pieces and just built on until we were happy with the overall look.


Before you paint you want to make sure to fill all the nail holes and caulk any gaps. This will ensure you have a professional looking finish.

This is how it looks after painting. I wasn’t worried about taping of the edges as the wall will be getting a fresh coat of paint as well.

Here is a close up of the trim work. We took one of our existing cabinet doors to the hardware store and they were able to use that to mix us a paint colour that was an exact match, so everything looks completely seamless.

I’m so happy with how this project turned out, and it truly feels like a whole new kitchen. If you have basic woodworking skills and boring cabinets I highly recommend this project.

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4 of 37 comments
  • Janice
    on Sep 13, 2020

    I want to do something like this above my cabinets, but really need to figure how a way to include more storage space for seldom used items. I'm thinking of purchsing whort cabinets similar to those going over a microwave or refrigerator to place above all the cabinets already in place and can then use some of your "trim" ideas to make it look professionally done. Beautiful redo that you accomplished!

  • Tambra A Golden-Haidon
    Tambra A Golden-Haidon
    on Sep 19, 2020

    Where did you purchase your cabinets around your fridge? We are getting ready to renovate the kitchen, and I need to do this for some extra storage space!!!! Your project turned out amazing! ❤️

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