Cabinets can make or break the appearance of a kitchen. After all, the nicest floors and all of the high-end stainless steel appliances in the world can not compensate for dingy and outdated cabinetry. It’s simple — if your cabinets are from the last century, then your entire kitchen will look like it is, too.
It’s no wonder, then, that cabinets are the single most expensive part of a kitchen renovation. And this is really saying something considering that a kitchen renovation is already an expensive undertaking to begin with.
The good news is that it actually isn’t difficult to give your kitchen cabinets a refresh on your own. In this article, we will show the best DIY kitchen cabinet ideas that are capable of transforming your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of commercial solutions.
If you know you want to change up the appearance of your cabinet doors but can’t decide on a paint or a stain color, why not consider installing glass doors? This is especially a great option for anyone who has a bowl or mug collection that they want to show off. Glass cabinets are also a wonderful option for smaller kitchens as they can successfully open up a space. Here’s a tutorial from HGTV.
Wallpaper has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, particularly for use in bedrooms, bathrooms, and accent walls. However, we believe that wallpaper also has a place in the kitchen — and on the cabinets, to be more exact. It may sound strange, but when implemented correctly, wallpaper can be the perfect way to rejuvenate any old or tired kitchen cabinet. See an example at Salt House Life.
Add Grey Paint
In recent years, grey has become the most popular colour choice for cabinets. While grey is a neutral enough color to contribute to a calming space, it still provides a touch of personality. It’s easy to paint your cabinets, but there are still a few things to know before you get started. Hometalk gives a good overview.
Try Some Trim
The trim of your cabinets goes a long way towards giving them their overall look. If your cabinet does not have any trim, you can easily add some on your own. All you will need is are supplies that can be easily found at a hardware store as well as an ability to take accurate measurements. Get the whole deal from Craving Some Creativity.
Change Your Cupboard Hardware
For some of us, it’s not necessarily out cupboards that are in rough shape — it’s the handles that open these cupboards! If you have beautiful wood cupboards that you do not want to cover with paint, you may be able to change up their look effectively just by changing their hardware. Here’s a tutorial that shows you how from Better Homes and Gardens.
Change Up Your Storage Situation
Sometimes, just like humans, the best way that a kitchen can change is from the inside! The inside of your drawers and cupboards, to be exact. If you find that you are always having trouble finding the goods in your pantry or the tupperware in your drawers, you may want to look into installing an organization system such as this example from Family Handyman. You may be surprised by the way it completely transforms the overall vibe of your kitchen.
For something different, why not add shutters to your existing cabinet doors? Or, even better, why not recycle old shutters so that they can be used as kitchen cabinets? This tutorial from Woman’s Day shows how you can do this for a storage cabinet, but it could easily be adapted to fit on a kitchen cabinet, as well.
Add a Chalkboard
Some of the best kitchen renovations are not just aesthetic — they also serve a practical purpose. Having a chalkboard on your kitchen cabinet is a wonderful way to keep track of your latest grocery lists, or to leave your family encouraging messages. Find out how from Diva of DIY.
Change the Backsplash
Sometimes, even if it may seem like it’s your cabinetry that is making your kitchen feel drab, it’s actually your backsplash that could use a refresh. While the backdrop possibilities are just about endless, for an easy timeless look go with something like a simple white or gray tile. We love this DIY example from Inspiration for Moms.
Chicken Wire Cabinet
While this particular design may not be to everyone’s taste, if you are putting together a farmhouse style kitchen this might just be the perfect look for you. The best way? It can be put together at a minimal cost and with minimal skills. Learn how from the Spruce.
Barn Door Kitchen Cabinets
Here is another farmhouse-inspired gem that is sure to transform plain, boring kitchen cabinets. We love the way that this tutorial from Four Generations One Roof takes inspiration from a rustic style while still staying subtle.
Two Toned Cabinet
Two toned cabinets occur when your top kitchen cabinets have a different finish than your bottom ones. It may seem like it would clash on paper, but in practice this style is a modern and stylish way to make your kitchen appear larger and more welcome. Here are some tips on how to successfully pull off a two toned cabinet set-up in your own kitchen from My Move.
Create Space for Plants
One of the best ways to change the overall appearance of your kitchen is to add greenery! If your current cabinet set up does not allow space for plants at the top, switching them out for shorter cabinetry can give you more space for turning your kitchen into a practical greenhouse. See some inspiration over at Pinterest.
This one does utilize a bit of artistic ability, but if those words don’t describe you, you could always entrust the help of somebody more inclined towards the visual arts. The best part about this DIY idea is that you can truly personalize it and make it your own. Of course, if you like somebody else’s idea, there is nothing saying that you can’t emulate that! We love this example from Home Talk.
If you find you are short on storage space, installing sliding shelves inside of your cabinetry can be a life changer! Not only does this have practical elements, but it will also give your kitchen a complete refresh without you having to change every small thing about it. Get the lowdown from Sawdust Girl.
Add a Crackle Effect
Sometimes, when it feels like we are completely out of ways that we can take our kitchen reno to the next level, it just means that we need to think further outside the box. A crackle effect may not be the first thing that you think of when you think about cupboard renovations, but for some spaces, it is sure to be the most appropriate fit. Check out instructions re: how to apply a crackle finish on DIY Network.
If you like the look of a crackle finish but would like to bring it to the next step, what you’re actually looking for may be distressed cabinets. The good news is that this look is easy (and cheap!) to achieve. Find out how from Our Fifth House.
Gloss Your Cabinets
You have heard of glossing nails, lips, and even photos, but what about cabinets? Even if you are not familiar with the term “glossy cabinets”, chances are that you have seen them around. It’s a tad complicated, but nothing that some primer and a can of spray paint can’t fix. This tutorial is easy to follow.
Add Task Lighting
Did you know that there are technically three types of lighting that exist in the rooms of your house? In general, there is ambient lighting (lighting that exists to light an entire room), accent lighting (lighting designed for a specific point within a room), and task lighting (lighting that exists to make an activity — or task —easier). The underside of your kitchen cabinets are a wonderful place for task lighting, as they can help bring light to the space where you prefer food and make meals. Learn how you can easily do this from the Home Depot.
Add a Plate Rack
Adding a plate rack to the interior of your kitchen cabinet is a great option for those with a small kitchen space or those without a dishwasher. Plus, not only does it free up counter space, but it also adds a touch of character to your kitchen! See more at This Old House.
So, there you have it — these simple cabinet ideas can single handedly transform the appearance of your kitchen. What is stopping you from taking one of them on as a fun weekend (or weeklong) project?