Update Boring Builder's Cabinets

Give your kitchen a low-cost makeover by upgrading your builder's cabinets with custom details starring paint, new hardware, and more surprising ideas.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Paint Plus

      Paint is a go-to option for cabinet makeovers. Take it to the next level by going two-tone: paint the lower cabinets a darker shade than the uppers. Keep your colors within the same family, but two or three shades different. Consider choosing one of the bottom colors on a paint strip and the very top color. 

    • 6 Easy Steps to Paint Your Cabinets

      Get a pro look when painting your cabinets by following these 6 steps.

    • Paint the Island

      If painting all of your cabinets sounds like too much, focus your effort on just your island. Paint the central figure a striking color and add in a few accents of the same hue for a fresh facelift.

    • Open Up

      Convert cabinets to open shelves and lighten the look of your kitchen, no remodeling required. Watch and see how easy it is.

    • Add Molding to the Soffit

      Give cabinets a custom look by adding molding to the soffit above the cabinets. Just be sure the new molding doesn't interfere with opening and closing the cabinet doors.

    • Hardware Help

      Swap out existing hardware or add hardware where there was none before and you'll give you kitchen a fresh face without much of an investment. 


      Go to the next slide to see how it's done.

    • How to Install New Hardware

      Watch and see how to install new hardware on your kitchen cabinets.

    • Back It Up

      Add a little visual interest to the back of open shelves or glass front cabinetry with beaded board or wood paneling, which will lend a rustic vibe. Or give wallpaper a go.

    • Add Glass Fronts

      Change up your cabinet game by retrofitting one or two sets of existing cabinets with new glass fronts. The owners of this kitchen swapped out two solid doors for glass doors to the tune of about $70.

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      Chalk It Up

      Paint the panels of cabinet doors with chalkboard paint and add an instant message center to your kitchen.

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      Retrofit Storage

      Customize the inside of your cabinets with after-market storage add-ons. Shop home centers and organization stores for options. Be sure to take good measurements to ensure you'll get add-ons that fit like a glove.

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      Pattern Play

      Bring a little pep to your cabinets with pattern. Watch and see how to stencil a design on your cabinet doors.

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      On Hand

      Add a strip of wood with cup hooks to the inside of a cabinet door and you'll never go looking for a measuring cup or spoon again. Include a conversion chart for quick reference too.

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      Lighten & Brighten

      Undercabinet lighting doesn't require a pro. Watch and see how you can easily add undercabinet lighting.

    • Next Slideshow Kitchen Cabinet Details that Wow

      Kitchen Cabinet Details that Wow

      Distinctive kitchen cabinet details--from layered finishes and hip hardware to architectural embellishments--stylishly boost interest in traditional, contemporary, vintage, and cottage kitchen designs.
      Begin Slideshow »
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