Renter's Cabinet Cover Up

5 Materials
$50
5 Hours
Medium

If you rent, you know there are limited with options at times to make a space your own. If you happen to hate your kitchen cabinets, but can't paint or replace them, this may be an option for you! My cabinets weren't all that bad, just your standard simple oak, but I thought I would test this out and share my results. With the fabric of your choice you can "paint" your rental cabinets to customize your space!

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SUPPLIES:

- Liquid Starch

- Scotchgard Fabric Protector against liquid and stains

- Drill

- Staple Gun - I know a hammer and pins are pictured above, however I found that using a staple gun was much more efficient and just as removable!

- 6 yds. fabric

STEP 1: Remove your cabinets Using your drill, remove your cabinet doors and their hinges from the cabinets.

STEP 2: Measure your fabric Lay your door onto your fabric and cut out a piece of fabric with a good 1.5" excess on each side.

STEP 3: Staple the fabric Grab your staple gun and staple the fabric down to the back side of the doors. You will start by stapling one side and then the other making sure the fabric is nice and taut. If you are worried about the staples you can also use mod-podge or just extra starch on the edges to secure it in place

STEP 4: Fold the fabric for the corners For the corners of the door you will need to fold each side over one another and then staple it in place. It helps to pull up the corner of the fabric over the edge and then fold one side over and then the other over that and then stapling through all 3 layers.

STEP 5: Seal with liquid starch Once all your sides are stapled down seal the fabric border in place by spraying it with some liquid starch. It serves as a temporary glue and will keep your fabric in place.

STEP 6: Prepare the cabinet frame Cut pieces for each section of the cabinet that lies behind the doors with some excess on each side to fold over and around the edges. For each section spray the surface with the liquid starch.

STEP 7: Add fabric to the frame Grab your fabric piece fold over one edge so it is clean.

Stick your fabric to the surface and spray it down with more starch making sure it is nice and smooth. I found it helped to go with the seams of the wood as a guide for where the strips of fabric will meet.

STEP 8: Get rid of the excess fabric Wrap the excess edges of the fabric around the edges of the cabinet and staple them in place (again if you don't want to staple you can use extra starch or mod-podge to seal the edges in place) making sure the fabric on the front surface is lying nice and smooth. Add more liquid starch to help smooth it out and keep it in place. Repeat steps 6-8 for all uncovered sections of your cabinets. *For drawers you will use a combination of how you cover both the doors and the back surface.

STEP 9: Spray down every crevice with a liberal amount of fabric protector. This will help to keep the cabinets water and stain resistant. Since kitchens get dirty this is a MUST! When you are ready to remove the coverings you just remove all the staples with a flathead screwdriver and wash away the starch with a wet sponge and some soap.

Here is a before and after of the cabinets! Such a transformation! I must say I do love an emerald green color in the kitchen. I may have to add some hardware!

Though I would prefer to just paint them, this is a nice option for those who aren't able to paint and want something different from what they have got going on in their rental!

I did take an iron and press out the folded creases to help make the seams nice and tight!

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 35 questions
  • The49402482 The49402482 on Aug 28, 2020

    The thought of fabric covering kitchen Units would be a nightmare to keep clean.how can you wipe off drips and stains. I'm sure some people think up novel ideas to fill an article but living with this....have you?

  • Kevin Kevin on Jun 29, 2021

    You did a nice job I like your kitchen.


    I covered my 1980s White formicia cabinets with black contact paper and for the cost of $40 in contact paper i LOVE my budget kitchen redo.


    K

  • Ban16480610 Ban16480610 on Aug 06, 2021

    Interesting idea but I don’t think I would do it because I am always wiping my cabinets. How would I clean the doors?

Comments

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4 of 427 comments
  • P P on Feb 24, 2021

    As a landlord, I would deduct from the damage deposit of a departing tenant if I found holes such as staples would leave in cabinet doors. Bella's suggestion to use tape would be better but plan to remove the tape residue with wd-40 or gunk remover & wash that off & re-polish cabinets if you try tape. Might have to do same to remove starch anyway.

  • Kevin Kevin on Jun 29, 2021

    @ Lori,


    Often the "improvement" is questionable.


    Renters often NOT pay the last months rent have the landlord keep the security deposit


    K

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