How do I update kitchen cabinets?


We just purchased a home that was built in the late 80's. The cabinets look like they might have been used then. I've taken all the doors off. I am torn about what to do, I cannot afford new cabinets. They are plain, just flat, so I'm thinking one of two things. Purchase 1/4 - 3/8" thick x 3-4 inch width pine and make the doors look like Shaker style. Second I would cut out a rectangle in the center of the doors and put either glass or small chicken wire in the opening. Opinions? Or other ideas? Thanks!

q how do i update kitchen cabinets

These are the cabinets.

  8 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 17, 2018

    My dad didn't want to loose the look of wood grain cabinets so he bought some very thin and pliable veneer sheets. He glued those to his kitchen cabinets and pantry door. It gave him a new finish and he still had the look of wood. This site explains how to do this:

  • on Dec 17, 2018

    I love your shaker idea! Then paint them and add some great hardware. :)

  • My vote is shaker style. The chicken wire will look cool for a bit, (Its a pain to clean if you have a real working kitchen), and when you get tired of the look you are stuck having to purchase glass inserts or new doors. Shaker is and always has been a classic. Jazz it up with choice of hardware and other design items, faucet, lighting fixtures, decor, etc.

  • Within the Grove Within the Grove on Dec 17, 2018

    You can easily add wood detail on the front of the doors, caulk them, and then give them a fresh coat of paint. Keep the same knobs/handles or switch those out as well!

  • William William on Dec 17, 2018

    Shaker style is the easiest. Chicken wire would make it look like they belong in a chicken coop. Cutting the center out for glass would take quite a bit of work. Would also need to route a groove on the back for the glass to be flush. Painting is another option. Would look great with the shaker.

    How to Paint Cabinets

    Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 100 grit sandpaper or a green Scotch Brite pad.. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like KILZ. Acrylic, or water base paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.

  • Reo33875684 Reo33875684 on Dec 18, 2018

    Here is an affordable alternative to building your own shaker cabinet doors. They never go out of style and you can save thousands by DIY. (It's all about the tools).

    It is part 1 of a 9 part series to do a complete kitchen makeover.

  • Pat Hubbard Pat Hubbard on Dec 18, 2018

    I would think twice about adding veneer to your cabinet doors. We have had it done twice by professionals and both times after a couple years the veneer look like its warped. I love the idea of turning the doors into shaker style and then painting them with a good kitchen cabinet paint.

  • BBB BBB on Feb 06, 2019

    I bought shaker doors and fronts at Unfinished maple cabinet doors with a plywood center. So all's made a real difference in the kitchen which was old 1980's laminate. So now I have white shaker cabinets. A lot easier than building your own and I paid under $400 including shipping for 17 doors and drawer fronts. You would probably want to buy new hardware and hinges too so consider that plus paint in your cost. It's a quick DIY project and will have a big impact on how you view your kitchen.