3 Budget-Friendly Ways To Update Kitchen Cabinets

Posted on Jul 8 2015 - 12:43pm by Ave

Ronit has already talked about her kitchen remodeling ideas and how to choose flooring and what to do with the walls, so I’ll share my ideas about ways to update kitchen cabinets on a budget.

Perhaps you’ve grown tired of those old kitchen cabinets and you’d like to replace them, but it’s so costly. Or maybe you’re going to sell your home and you need an updated look. Either way, you’re in need of a budget-friendly solution.

Updating your kitchen cabinetry is actually much easier than you thought and there are several frugal ideas to help you to achieve the aspect you are looking for.

Keep in mind that in most of the homes, kitchen is not just a place to prepare the meals – it’s also a command center, homework area and sometimes it might be used as a family room. So when renovating your kitchen, keep in mind all the uses that kitchen really has.


Here are 3 of our favorite frugal ways to upgrade kitchen cabinets:

Give the Doors a Fresh Coat of Paint

It does take some elbow grease, but it’s an economic way to give your kitchen a fresh look. You just need to get some sandpaper, cleaner, paintbrushes and paint of your choice and you are ready to transform those tired cabinet doors.

Small cavelike kitchens without much light benefit from light colors to make the space look bigger and brighter. Bigger kitchens with plenty of light get a sleek and luxurious finish with dark cabinetry.

You can also go for bold and different! Vibrant colors make your kitchen pop or use chalkboard paint to give a playful feel to the room.

My co-worker and his girlfriend chose to paint their kitchen cabinetry to keep within the budget they had for the apartment renovation. They chose dark colors for the doors and painted the walls white. They haven’t finished with the renovations yet, but you can see the difference a fresh coat of paint gives!

Kitchen renovation

Aythami’s and Eneida’s Kitchen Renovation (photos taken by Aythami & Eneida)

Replace the cabinet doors

A lot of people mistakenly believe that they must replace entire kitchen cabinets in order to get a more modern updated look. This simply isn’t true.

The easiest way to give your kitchen a trendy and rejuvenated look is to replace the old cabinet doors with modern kitchen cabinet doors.
It is a quick and easy way to enhance your kitchen, and it’s also very affordable. There are many great options to choose from; starting with glass doors to show off your fancy dinnerware and ending with simple flat doors.

Before & After Photos by Sunnyvale Architects & Building Designers Jon+Aud Design


Add Crown Molding

When buying custom cabinets is out of your budget, make your cabinets look like they were specially designed for your kitchen. How? Add crown molding to convert your kitchen into a harmonious design.
Crown molding adds personality to your kitchen storage and at the same time adds visual height and finished appearance. There is a wide array of materials and designs to choose from: favor paintable or lightweight plastic molding when you are repainting your cabinets or matching wood molding if you want to keep your old cabinets as they are.
Do you prefer to change all the cabinets or give them a little makeover?
Unedited kitchen after image by Alex Ansley (CC BY-SA 2.0)
WordPress Author Box

Estonian living in Canary Islands. A science teacher turned to stay at home mom.

Like us on Facebook
on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Follow @homelifeabroad on Twitter
Add me on Google+
on Google+

  • We’ve considered painting ours, but it is such a daunting task. And to do it right, you really should take them down first.

  • I especially love the crown molding idea! And I have plenty of room to do that in my kitchen, too! Hmmm…

  • Great ideas! And so budget friendly. I think our next move will also be replacing hardware pieces.

  • Robin Rue

    These are awesome ideas. My mom had dark wood cabinets in her kitchen & painted them white with little flowers. It took her forever to finish, but the end result was awesome and it brightened up the room SO much.

  • Michele

    I would prefer to change all my cabinets but since there is no way I could afford it–some DIY renovation is in order here. Thank you for the ideas.

  • I need to do something to mine, but they’re so small so I might be stuck replacing them entirely. Love the crown molding though!

  • Jen

    Omgosh those look amazing. Great after pics! I love how much brighter they look. Really cool.

  • The kitchens all look great with the updates. Nice to have suggestions that go with a budget.

  • I definitely need to consider these budget friendly tips because my kitchen cabinets are in terrible shape. I would like to save a little money, if at all possible.

  • Deborah Williamson

    Wow! they all look great! Love the painted cabinets some great tips here if you need to update your Kitchen,and so much cheaper than a new Kitchen.

  • Katherine Bartlett

    I love the new paint one with the vibrant colors!

    • Peggy

      If you want extra money averaging 50 bucks to 300 bucks every day for doing an online job from your couch at home for several hours each day then try this…

  • mail4rosey

    II used a wood color paint, it was made for the cupboards, to update mine. It worked out nicely, I really liked it. I was scared for how it would look when it came time to peel though.

  • Lesley Stevens

    I would definitely use paint. I have seen a lot of new shabby chic designs with staining that I like too. There are a lot of ways to dress up those cabinets without replacing them.