How to Upgrade Dated Honey Oak Cabinets

Montross Made
by Montross Made
3 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We needed to update the outdated kitchen in our cabin.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!

Resources for this project:
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  • Susan Grekso Susan Grekso on Dec 17, 2023


  • Faye Faye on Dec 30, 2023

    I say wait. All these will come back in style one day. LOL I don't know it darker made them any better.

    • Mac9375814 Mac9375814 on Jan 15, 2024

      Then change the stain again when back in style .Do what feels good now and should not worry about trends . I think the technique is great esp for yellowed cabinets