How to Upgrade Dated Honey Oak Cabinets

Montross Made
by Montross Made
2 Materials
3 Hours

We needed to update the outdated kitchen in our cabin. These honey oak cabinets and gold hardware needed to go! We didn’t want to spend a lot to money or time (aka didn’t want to have to replace the cabinets, or remove and paint all of the doors), so we decided to stain them. This was such a cheap and quick way to update the kitchen without breaking the bank!

What we used:

Wood stain

Steel wool

Updated hardware

Step 1: Remove hardware and “scuff”

After taking off the horrible hardware, we scuffed up the doors with steel wool. Again, we didn’t even take the doors off the hinges, which saved so much time and headache!

Step 2: Stain

Next we stained the doors with a darker wood stain. You could also choose to white wash them if you want! This was so much easier than painting because it didn’t need to be perfect, and it only took one coat!

Step 3: Replace hardware

Finally we replaced the gold hardware with some more modern silver pulls. It’s amazing what a difference hardware alone can make!

To finish off our updates in the kitchen, we painted the trim white, updated the light fixtures, and removed the dated window treatments.

We are SO happy with the results! It just took a little stain to remove that harsh yellow from our dated honey oak cabinets, and its a whole new kitchen!! We found this to be much easier and faster than painting the cabinets. Its amazing what some stain/paint can do for a space!

Suggested materials:
  • Wood stain   (Steel wool)
  • Cabinet Hardware
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 54 questions
  • R R on Sep 26, 2022

    Great idea! Those are the kind I like, fast , inexpensive and makes a big impact. They look brand new.

  • Jo Ann F Schweitzer Jo Ann F Schweitzer on Sep 26, 2022

    How do you do the white wash effectively? Any examples??

  • Sue Graskoski Audette Sue Graskoski Audette on Nov 27, 2022

    Gel stain information says it should be topcoated with a urethane of sorts. Did you do that?

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2 of 104 comments
  • Patty Patty on Sep 27, 2022

    Will this work for outdated cherry glossy cabinets

  • Johanne Palange Johanne Palange on Oct 01, 2022

    Just the paint on the trim between the ceiling and the upper wall transforms the shape of the kitchen. The dark trim made the whole thing look heavy and chopped up.