30 Low-Cost Cabinet Makeovers

Save thousands of dollars by using paint and new hardware to update your existing kitchen cabinets instead of buying new ones. These 30 colorful, budget-friendly examples will help you get started.


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Low-Cost Cabinet Makeovers
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Bright & Cheery

    Kitchens awash in white look neat and tidy, but color is the key to keeping the space fresh and fun. If you opt to paint your kitchen cabinets white, choose one or two favorite hues to use as accents. Touches of bright red and sky blue set off pristine white cabinets in this kitchen. Paint the soffit or wall above your cabinets with one of your accent colors for a polished look.

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Open Options

    Open shelving will give your kitchen a lighter look. In this space, it also helps draw more attention to the gorgeous gray tile backsplash. Use shelf brackets that fit the look of your kitchen. Curvy brackets, like these ones, are in-step with cottage style.

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Fresh Color

    Bring color and interest into your kitchen with scarlet cabinetry. A wooden surface functions as a small workstation above this range for display. Tie together your color scheme using small, bright objects, such as a teakettle and checkered boxes to create a cohesive look.

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Cabinet Message Board

    Grab a can of chalkboard paint and apply it to a few cabinet panels for a new look and a new message board. Pick cabinets that are easy to reach, to make jotting down a grocery list a cinch.

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High-Contrast Cabinets

    Can't decide on just one cabinet color? Mix and match finishes for a unique look. Here, high-gloss lower cabinets stylishly contrast upper white cabinets. Use a darker color on the lower cabinets and a lighter color on the upper cabinets. The reverse (dark on top, light on bottom) can weigh down the space and make it feel cramped.

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Interior Makeover

    Give the inside of your cabinets a boost with clever storage solutions. Once a haphazard jumble of cleaning supplies, this under-sink cabinet was refreshed with a simple slide-out shelving unit, which corrals cleaners, soaps, and sponges for an orderly storage solution.

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Bright Blue

    Glass-front cabinets create a gorgeous look. To give the style a new look, paint the interiors of your cabinets a bold hue. Consider coordinating the color with the dishes displayed in the cabinet for a cohesive and chic look.

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Less is More

    Removing the doors from some of the upper cabinets reveals the space inside, making the kitchen look larger. Paint the interior a rich accent color to spice up the kitchen even more.

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Modern Update

    For a small change with big effect, add stylish hardware to your cabinets. Replacing traditional cabinet door knobs with modern tubular handles is an affordable hardware update that offers a trendy touch for your kitchen.

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Pretty Practical

    Cabinets work hard, but need not be used for function only. With crisp white woodwork and stylish glass in the original doors, the top section of this wall set stores an abundance of dishes. A tasteful skirt puts a pretty face on non-display items on the shelves below.

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Aged to Perfection

    Distressed cabinets, such as these aged black ones, give off a beautiful vintage vibe. A granite countertop, exposed brick walls, and slate flooring make a dramatic statement by playing off the dark cabinet finish.

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Sparkling White

    Once-boring brown cabinets now offer streamline style with several coats of white paint over their dated facade. Removing cabinet doors also provides visual interest. Say good-bye to the cabinet doors below your sink and replace then with a soft curtain, or eliminate doors on the upper cabinets and use the open shelves for display.

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Elegant Makeover

    A kitchen has an abundance of hard surfaces -- appliances, flooring, faucets, and light fixtures, to name a few. To soften the look of your kitchen, refresh your cabinets with a few coats of a soothing paint color. An inviting powder blue does the trick on these cabinets. Light blue walls, white trim, and open shelving also boost the room?s bright and airy look.

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Modern Transformation

    Existing cabinets get a dramatic makeover with modern orange paint. The color used here takes on a muted tone when paired with a dark wood backdrop and simple hardware.

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Country Cabinets

    Go country chic with distressed cabinets. Paint wood cabinets in your choice of color (a bolder hue, such as this vibrant robin?s egg blue, will lend a more modern look) and once dry, do a little bit of sanding around the door edges and across the cabinet fronts.

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Sunny Yellow

    Two coats of buttery yellow enamel paint catapult white Plain Jane builder's cabinets into the spotlight. Wrapping the island with beaded-board paneling turns it into a focal point.

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Vintage Inspiration

    Light green high-gloss enamel paint on old, dinged-up cabinet doors refreshes the look of an older kitchen. (The paint color was inspired by vintage Jadeite.) Dated hardware was swapped for brushed-nickel knobs and hinges.

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Glass-Front Alternative

    Love the look of glass-front cabinets, but aren?t so sure you want your cabinet?s contents completely visible? Try opaque or frosted glass instead, which gives off the same light look as transparent glass, but still conceals the interior.

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Easy Molding Update

    For a kitchen with a vintage vibe, glue gingerbread appliques (available at home centers) on door panels. These affordable wood pieces come in many styles and are easy to adhere to cabinet doors using wood glue. Kick up the vintage look by applying a thin coat of burnt umber glaze to the doors and gingerbread. Wipe off while wet to get desired effect.

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Red Renovation

    Two layers of paint transform plain wood cabinets: a red latex base coat coupled with a top coat of oil-base paint (black and raw umber) mixed with oil-base glazing liquid and paint thinner. Basket-style metal hardware suits the decorative paint finish.

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Rustic Look

    This casual, gently distressed look is the perfect theme for a country kitchen. Open shelving allows ample storage and display space without being overtaken by clutter. Unconventional wooden bars serve as door handles while keeping with the cabinet?s style.

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Mellow Yellow

    Painting old cabinets crisp white (plus polishing existing hardware) saves them for another decade of use. Repeating the beaded-board backsplash on a new island gives everything the same old-time flavor.

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Hot Stuff

    Once stuck in neutral, this kitchen gets its kicks from newly painted yellow cabinets and deep red walls distressed with a crackle medium. Hefty black hardware holds its own against the vibrant colors.

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Storage on Display

    Take ordinary cabinets to the next level by swapping out a few solid door panels for glass-front ones. This setup doubles as storage and a showcase for glasses, plates, serving bowls, and tea pots.

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Cottage Charm

    Fresh white paint unifies cabinets that once combined wood-tone bases with uppers sporting silvery metal door inserts. Doors and drawer fronts were professionally sprayed with lacquer; cabinet boxes were painted by the homeowners.

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Metallic Makeover

    Seeking an industrial, modern look for your cabinets? Take a lesson from these revamped cabinets. Thick coats of paint once covered these 1940s wall-hung cabinets, which were sandblasted to expose the bare metal, then varnished to protect their gleaming beauty. Beaded board, applied like a skin to the base cabinets, was painted graphite gray to harmonize with the steel.

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Retro Redo

    Revive a retro room with a monochromatic color scheme. Here, bright green paint coats the kitchen with an eye-catching charm. White appliances offer a welcome contrast to the color burst while keeping the theme light and bright.

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Feeling Groovy

    Vertical grooves and horizontal supports create texture that adds interest to basic doors. Soft green paint, a butcher-block countertop, and new hardware, including bin pulls in a weathered iron finish, continue the rustic look.

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Green Space

    Creamy white paint on formerly dark cabinets can make a kitchen feel larger; such was the case for this kitchen. To add a dose of color, paint your island a bright hue. This island was painted a darker shade of green than the walls to help it stand out. Faux wrought-iron knobs tie in the updated cabinets with the black light fixture/pot rack.

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Woody Shades

    Natural-looking stains in assorted colors spruce up plain-front wooden cabinets. Sleek metal pulls with simple styling echo stainless-steel appliances while complementing the earth-tone tints.

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