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 colorful, budget-friendly examples will help you get started.

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    Dramatic Accent

    Add drama to your kitchen by contrasting light-color cabinetry with a dark-stained cabinet. The glass front on the espresso cabinets keeps the section from feeling heavy and is a chic way to display glassware. The mix of cabinets complement the multicolor tile backsplash, giving the kitchen a dramatic, cohesive look.

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    Before You Start Your Makeover

    Watch and learn the secrets to cabinet makeover success.

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    Appliance Upgrade

    Utilize every space in your kitchen by adding shelves above the refrigerator. This open shelving not only adds storage, but is also perfect for a simple display and gives the refrigerator a more custom and expensive appearance.

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    Upgrade Your Hardware

    Swap out basic hardware for something with a little more style. Watch and see how it's done.

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    Convertible Corner

    Turn hard-to-reach areas into more accessible storage spaces with movable cabinetry. Pullout towel racks and a full-extension lazy Susan help make the most of a corner and provide more storage than standard spaces, but can be easily hidden by a retractable door.

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    Stencil the Cabinet Door

    See how easy it is to add a beautiful stencil treatment to your cabinet doors.

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    Style in Details

    Crown molding and picturesque arrangements make simple cabinetry look polished and elegant. Open shelving allows the mint green beaded-board paneling to show through, which carries on the kitchen's style and adds color to the black-and-white palette. Cabinets with mullioned doors frame the display.

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    Dishes on Display

    Install a large plate rack to add a twist to traditional open shelving. This simple storage option is perfect for displaying china sets in a stylish and sophisticated way, while still making practical use of space. Arrange extra pieces of the tableware set, such as glasses or saucers, above the plate rack to complete the look.

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    Personalized Cabinets

    Add extra space for food and drinks by installing refrigeration drawers near the main refrigerator. Chalkboard paint on the cabinet fronts adds a playful feel to the room and allows you to label the drawers or add your own personal accent to the space.

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    Subtle Pattern

    Hang wallpaper in the back of glass-front cabinets to elevate the contents to works of art. Here, geometric-print green-and-white wallpaper adds subtle contrast to the nearly all-white scheme of the kitchen.

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    How to Paint Cabinets

    Follow our easy, step-by-step tutorial and give your tired kitchen cabinets a quick facelfit!

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    Artful Enclosure

    Create a unique style statement by transforming your cabinets into a work of art -- literally! Here, the doors were removed from a pair of spice enclosures in favor of two artful prints. With a culinary-inspired motif, the artwork blends easily into the hardworking kitchen space.

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    Pop of Color

    Open and glass-front cabinets create an airy look. For a clever spin on the style, paint the interiors of your cabinetry a bold hue. Here, chartreuse contrasts crisp white dishware and complements turquoise accessories sprinkled throughout the kitchen.

    Go to the next slide to see how to convert cabinets to open shelves.

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    From Cabinets to Shelves

    See how easy it is to convert existing cabinets to open shelves. 

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    Message Center

    A cabinet door installed on the side of this pantry conceals a convenient message center. Enclosing the corkboard behind a cabinet door ensures everyday clutter doesn't disrupt the crisp, clean look of this all-white kitchen.

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    Cabinet Message Centers

    Watch how to turn your own cabinets into message boards.

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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 are in step with cottage style.

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    Fresh Color

    Bring color and interest into your kitchen with scarlet cabinetry. The bold red hue on these cabinets adds interest to this otherwise neutral kitchen. Open shelving used above the countertop ensures that the striking cabinet color doesn't overwhelm the small space.

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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 undersink cabinet was refreshed with a simple slide-out drawer unit, which corrals cleaners, soaps, and sponges for an orderly storage solution. A large metal bucket also corrals cleaning necessities and can be picked up and carried throughout the house.

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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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    Molding Upgrade

    Watch and learn how to refresh cabinets with molding.

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    Modern Update

    For a small change with big effect, add stylish hardware to your cabinets. Replacing traditional cabinetry 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 nondisplay items on the shelves below.

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    Aged to Perfection

    Distressed cabinets, such as these aged white ones, give off a casual, vintage vibe. The black granite countertop lends contrast to the cabinetry and buttery yellow walls. Stone flooring ties in well with the weathered texture of the cabinets.

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    Great Grays

    Once-boring brown cabinets now offer modern style with several coats of gray paint over their dated facade. The doors were removed from the cabinets flanking the range, and the exterior was painted blue, which helps the kitchen feel more open and offers subtle contrast to the kitchen's gray-and-white color scheme.

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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 bold hue, such as this vibrant robin's-egg blue, will lend a modern look) and once dry, do a little bit of sanding around the door edges and across the cabinet fronts.

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    Glass-Front Alternative

    Love the look of glass-front cabinets but aren't so sure you want the contents of your cabinets totally visible? Try opaque or frosted glass instead, which gives off the same light look as transparent glass but conceals the contents.

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    Add Details

    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 cabinets' style.

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    Cottage Charm

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

  • 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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