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8 Low-Cost DIY Ways to Give Your Kitchen Cabinets a Makeover

Wish you could do something about your dated and dingy kitchen cabinets? Since they make up one of the largest visible surfaces in your home, updating the cabinet doors in your kitchen is one of the most effective things you can do to revive and refresh your decor. It’s also one of the priciest, but luckily, there’s no need to shell out your whole life’s savings for new cabinets. Instead, read on for eight creative and low-cost DIY ways to reface and refurbish your pre-existing cabinetry for a new look that won’t cost you everything plus the kitchen sink.

Classic and Rustic

Chicken wire may not sound like the most glamorous material but look at how it elevated these plain Jane cabinets by making them much more open and airy. And because of its lightweight and forgiving nature, it’s the perfect material for a do-it-yoursef project.

It’s hard to believe that this ultra-dated kitchen’s yellow wood cabinets were transformed with just a bit of trim, some white paint and some open shelving. Notice how the DIY molding on the bottom doors adds a much more expensive feel, while the black hardware creates a nice contrast with the newly painted white cabinets. Hardware was also added to the cabinets which help give it a polished look. Check out ManMadeDIY’s tutorial on installing cabinet handles and hardware for an easy DIY guide. See how the whole project unfolded at Beautiful Matters.

Quick and Easy Solutions

For those of us who are a bit DIY-challenged, Rustoleum makes Cabinet Transformation Kits in various colors. These all-in-one packs require no stripping, sanding, or priming, and they even come with optional glazing materials for you to achieve a custom look. To see the kit in action, check out this before and after from Decorating Cents.

Converting your opaque cabinets to ones with glass centers is an effective way to infuse your kitchen with a light and airy aesthetic. Follow this thorough DIY tutorial from the Family Handyman to see how it’s done, or for a most cost-effective alternative, try this plexiglass alternative idea from Confessions of a Serial DIYer.

If you’ve already got glass or other transparent cabinet doors, how about simply sprucing up the inside surfaces with some inexpensive heavy-duty wrapping paper. Yes, wrapping paper! Not only will the resurfaced interiors provide a custom look, they’re also quite easy to update if you ever tire of the pattern and need an easy facelift.

Cool, Contemporary Alternatives

Or for a slightly more futuristic take on traditional glass cabinets, how about replacing the solid center panels of your kitchen cabinets with some sleek, perforated steel? You can also vary up the aesthetic quite easily by opting for different patterns such as Clover Leaf, Grecian, etc.

One of the easiest ways to create a much more pricey feel in your kitchen is by adding molding to your existing cabinets. Follow Nate and Michelle of Decor and the Dog’s tutorial to see how you can achieve this look with inexpensive molding ($50 worth) purchased at Lowe’s.

And if refinishing your existing cabinets seems like too much work, sometimes all it takes for a fresh look is to remove your cabinet doors completely. Take a tip from Tater Tots and Jello’s aqua and white kitchen makeover to see how eliminating some of the doors created the illusion of more space and a nice excuse to display pretty tableware too.

We hope these ideas give you the creative spark you need to start giving your kitchen a makeover today!

Yuka Yoneda

Yuka Yoneda is a reporter, cheese fanatic and self-proclaimed JeDIY master from Queens, New York. She is the founder of Clossette.com and an editor at sustainable design website Inhabitat.com. Yuka also writes for Edible Magazine and Ecouterre.com, and has written for The Daily Green and The New York Times.

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