How To Update Kitchen Cabinet Doors On A Dime!

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Good morning and happy Monday, lovely people! I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week. Ours was a little on the insane side, but it ended perfectly. We moved to our new house {Memaw’s house} a little over a week ago. It was crazy getting settled just in time to host our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was hard without Memaw. Tears came easily and our family time was just really sweet. I’m very thankful.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this cost effective way to update your kitchen cabinets. It’s simple and if I can do it, anyone can do it!

How to Update Kitchen Cabinets On A Dime |[pinit count=”horizontal”]

How awesome is that?!

First, I removed all the doors and drawers and then I removed the hardware – hinges, pulls and screws.

Kitchen Reno Hardware

How gorgeous is that copper hardware?! I had no idea it was copper until after the hardware sat in de-greaser overnight. I noticed the green and knew there was copper under there. Amazing! I scrubbed hinges, pulls and screws. All 208 screws. With a wire brush.

I sanded and de-greased the doors and drawers. I started out with coarse sand paper. Next, I used Goof-Off and steel wool to remove the grease residue. I rinsed the doors and drawers with water and let them dry completely. Then, I sanded with a fine sand paper until the wood was as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Kitchen Reno 14

I decided to trim the doors out to cover part of the old-fashioned hinge that extended onto the cabinet door. There wasn’t anything wrong with the hardware. I just felt like that poke-y part was a bit too dated. I screwed the hinges back onto the doors and made a trip to Lowe’s.

I bought a sheet of 1/4″ plywood and I had the guys at Lowe’s cut it into 3″ strips. I brought the strips home, cut them to length and attached them around the edges of the cabinet doors with a brad nailer. Very simple.

Ladies, if you’ve never used a saw and a nail gun, you must. It is incredibly empowering! 🙂

Kitchen Reno 15

This is how the doors looked after the trim was added. So pretty and sleek! Of course, I took a day and caulked the cracks and holes and prepped the doors and drawers for painting.

Cabinet Doors

Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet Door

I wanted to preserve the beautiful copper hardware, so I used painter’s tape to cover up the hinges before I painted.

Kitchen Reno 12

On the very last warm-ish day of the year, I laid out all the drawers and doors and got my painting on with my paint sprayer. That thing is the bomb! I had them all primed with Zinsser oil based primer within 15 minutes. Then I waited a couple of hours before painting the final coats. I used Sherwin Williams oil based ProEnamel in Alabaster for the upper cabinets and Sherwin Williams contractor grade oil based paint color matched to Benjamin Moore’s Huntington Green.

I let the cabinet doors and drawers dry/cure for almost a week. If you can wait longer, do it. Let the finish get very hard. Also, if you spray your doors and drawers outside bring them in right away to dry to avoid bugs getting stuck on them. 🙂

Th fabric is a temporary fix for the appliance garage. I am modifying the doors from where the cooktop used to be to go in this spot.

Kitchen Renovation |

These are the same exact doors with the exact same hardware…just spiffied up a little bit with trim and paint. I love the new look! And I hope to share more of the kitchen update soon! 🙂

How to Update Kitchen Cabinets On A Dime |

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If you have a dated kitchen and a small budget, I’m your girl! We’ll figure out some neat ways to update on a dime! 🙂




  1. I love my wet tile saw! My husband has never used it. It has a laser light on it to help line up the cuts. My first tile project was an almost 400 sq ft room with 18″ tile set on the diagonal. I had a lot of wierd cuts to make but it was so much fun! Your cabinets look so good! I love Sherwin Williams oil based paint.

  2. Great job and I love the way you kept the old, little clock and the trivet tiles above the new stove as reminders of your mee-maw.

  3. All I can say Myra, is wow!! Your hard work paid off!!! I love blog posts like this where I can relate too… That you didn’t run out and get a brandnew kitchen but worked with what you had. We updated our kitchen when we moved into our home and the transformation is amazing and we kept the cost amazingly low! Can’t wait to see more :))

  4. Oh, it turned out so beautifully!! Just out of curiousity, would the doors from the cabinet you removed for the stove work where the curtain is? I only ask because I know a curtain wouldn’t work in my home. 😉 I love the geometric design you used!

      1. What can I do with cabinet framing that is crumbling plywood? The outside frame has no place to nail it to?

  5. You did a great job, Myra! I need to paint “things” around here, but haven’t attempted it yet.

  6. Looks amazing. We have a very similar kitchen and we just repainted too. I have the same hardware and decided to keep it instead of replacing it. We did paint our with ORB though. I wish we had taken more time when painting the cabinets but were in a time crunch and also painting the paneled walls at the same time.
    stephanie @ Housewife Mama´s last blog post ..Cyber Monday Cloth Diaper Sales

  7. Your updated kitchen looks great! I live in an RV full time. Our kitchen is very dated. I would love some help updating and organizing in this small space!

  8. Could you please share more pictures of the kitchen. My kitchen is an exactly like your before picture.

  9. This is beautiful! The hardware is just like what was in the first house my parents owned (and is now torn down…boo!) and it brings back a lot of memories from that kitchen 🙂

    We also painted our kitchen cabinets white, and I love the crispness of white cabinets. We used latex paint since we ended up doing most of the work while I was pregnant/nursing a newborn and I didn’t want to deal with the oil-based chemicals and odors. It’s definitely not ideal–the hard, oil-based finish is much more practical for kitchens and cabinets. I’m not a perfectionist so it doesn’t bother me (too much!), but I would definitely recommend taking the time to do oil like you did–yours should last forever 🙂
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  10. Could you tell me more about the paint sprayer you liked so much. Like brand and ease of use for a first time painter with a machine.

  11. It looks like a refreshing ideas,very much appreciated ideas.
    If you are looking for some awesome decor accessories i do have some great collection.

  12. You did a beautiful job! Your kitchen looks amazing now and I especially love the Copper hardware. I love anything Copper, my kitchen is done with everything Copper I could find! Sink, faucet, pot lights, etc…:)

  13. LOVE this !!! I have an older kitchen, w/ MANY cabinets and doors/drawers (not complaining! lol!) but wanted to update. The cabinet doors are the flat w/ rounded edges, very dated. This is a great inexpensive way to update!! Thanks for the instructions. Am bookmarking so I can come back often for inspiration!! Thank You!

    1. What kind of wood filler did you use to cover the rounded gaps/edges after applying the trim? Did you use nails or liquid nails on the trim? Love the look and hoping to do mine very soon!


    1. Julie, we removed the countertops, took out the cooktop and used a sawzaw to cut out the cabinet. It was quite a bit of labor to get the cabinet cut out. Crow bars and hammers were also used. 🙂 It wasn’t very pretty, so I did a lot of puttying and sanding.

  15. My son updated his kitchen cabinet doors with BASE BOARD MOLDING cut to fit (by him) and nailed on with the brad nailer. Then painted. Any gaps filled in with caulk. These look very custom and refreshed the kitchen and the island.

    I am thinking of doing similar here but can’t find the Harbor Freight Brad Nailer he used (electric as I am not gonna drag the huge air compressor to this house from our shop!) And some of the reviews I have seen on other brad nailers have been less than confidence inspiring! Any suggestions as to a decent plug-in nailer—don’t need the “staple” function JUST the nails!

    This looks great and I would surely have chucked all those screws right in the bushes! Has to be a better way—maybe one of those “rock tumbler” machines with the degreaser????

  16. I’ve always said that my mom was ahead of her time. In 1972 we bought a house with this exact same cabinetry & hardware (except ours was black). She painted the cabinets white and cleaned up the hardware with TSP to cut the years of grease-encrustation. Our kitchen looked so great!

    Last year, my Hubs and I did a very similar technique to our kitchen!
    It helped us sell our house in just 3 weeks!

  17. Hi Myra! What type of sandpaper did you use on your cabinets? It seems we have the same type of cabinets right down to the hardware!

  18. Can you give an update on how the cabinets look a year later? I’m concerned that painting won’t look as good over time.

  19. Did you add anything to the drawers to make them the same depth as the added trim on the cabinets?

  20. When you psinged the drawers did you have any problems with them sticking when trying to slide them in & out?
    If so how did you solve it??

  21. I came across this while googling “updating old cabinets.” I love the transformation! I want to do the same thing to mine and this is very inspiring.

  22. My husband and I just purchased an old 1898 farm house and the kitchen needs TLC. I’m hoping to do this to the cabinets! What paint do you suggest I buy?? Is there a specific type or just any kind will work?
    I’ve never done anything like this before and am terrified to try but am willing:-) thanks!

  23. Hey,

    My husband and I just bough a 1958 house with solid wood cabinets like yours. I was wondering what you did to hide the seam on the outside of the cabinets between the old wood and new wood?

    Thanks SO much,


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  25. Thank you for sharing. I have grooves in my doors and I want to cover them up. This is an awesome idea. Thank you.

  26. Such a great idea we are on a really tight budget and this will certainly help us!!! Can’t wait for it to warm up a bit!

  27. In putting the plywood over the hinges did you trim out any wood so the plywood would lay flat over the hinge? Your cabinets look amazing. I just bought a house with flat cabinets and so want todo this.

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