Low-Cost Cabinet Makeover Ideas

white kitchen pink curtains

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

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Dramatic Accent

kitchen white and dark wood cabinets

Add drama to your kitchen with a cabinet makeover. This space contrasts light-colored cabinetry with an espresso-stained unit. The glass front on the dark cabinet 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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Appliance Upgrade

kitchen white shelves white bowls

Some of the best kitchen makeover ideas include expanding your space's storage capabilities. Utilize every inch by adding shelves above the refrigerator. This open shelving not only adds storage, but is perfect for a simple display and gives the refrigerator a more custom and expensive appearance.

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Convertible Corner

white kitchen cabinets with lazy susan

Turn hard-to-reach areas into more accessible storage spaces with movable cabinetry. This kitchen cabinet makeover is both stylish and functional. 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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Style in Details

White Kitchen open shelves with patterned dishes

Crown molding and artful arrangements give simple cabinetry a polished and elegant look. In this inexpensive makeover, open shelving allows the mint-green beadboard paneling to show through, carries on the kitchen's style, and adds color to the black-and-white palette. Cabinets with glass doors frame the display.

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Dishes on Display

built-in cabinet drawers plate racks

Install a large plate rack to add a twist to traditional open shelving. This simple storage option is perfect for displaying sets of china 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

kitchen chalkboard drawer facades

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

kitchen cabinet with wallpaper backing

Create the look of a full-blown kitchen remodel with this super-easy idea: Hang wallpaper in the back of glass-front cabinets to elevate the contents into art. Here, wallpaper with a green and white geometric print adds subtle contrast to the nearly all-white scheme of the kitchen.

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Artful Enclosure

kitchen cabinet with painted canvas door

Create a unique style statement by transforming your cabinets into works of art—literally. For this inexpensive kitchen remodel, the doors were removed from a pair of spice enclosures and replaced by two prints. With their culinary-inspired motifs, the artworks blend easily into the hardworking kitchen space.

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Pop of Color

Kitchen with counter desk space

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

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Message Center

desk area cork board in faux cabinet

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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Open Options

close-up white kitchen shelves

Budget kitchens rely on open shelving for a lighter look. In this space, it helps draw more attention to the gorgeous gray tile backsplash. Use shelf brackets that fit the look of your kitchen. Curving brackets like these are in step with cottage style.

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Fresh Color

white kitchen red lower cabinets

The bold red hue on these cabinets adds interest to an otherwise neutral kitchen. Open shelving above the countertop ensures that the striking cabinet color doesn't overwhelm the small space.

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Interior Makeover

storage organization under kitchen sink

Inexpensive kitchen cabinets can still maximize storage potential. Once a haphazard jumble of cleaning supplies, this cabinet under a sink was refreshed with a simple slide-out drawer unit, which organizes cleaners, soaps, and sponges. A large metal bucket contains cleaning necessities and can be picked up and carried throughout the house.

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Less Is More

kitchen green cupboards

Planning a kitchen remodel on a budget? Removing the doors from some of the upper cabinets reveals the space inside, giving the kitchen the appearance of being larger. Paint the interiors a rich accent color to spice up the kitchen even more.

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Modern Update

modern kitchen wood cabinets stainless steel handles

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

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Pretty Practical


Cabinets work hard but need not be strictly functional. Here, with crisp white woodwork and stylish glass in the original doors, the top section stores dishes stylishly. A tasteful skirt puts a pretty face on the non-display items in the shelves below.

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Aged to Perfection

kitchen black backsplash white cabinets

Kitchen makeovers don't have to mean all-new fixtures. Distressed cabinets, such as these aged white ones, give off a casual, vintage quality. 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

small kitchen gray cabinets

Several new coats of paint can create the impression of a total renovation. The once boring and dated facades of brown cabinets were updated in several coats of gray paint. The doors were removed from a cabinet flanking the range and the frames painted blue, which gives the kitchen a more open feel and offers subtle contrast to the kitchen's gray-and-white color scheme.

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Elegant Makeover

Green lower cabinets white upper

A kitchen has an abundance of hard surfaces—appliances, flooring, faucets, and light fixtures, to name a few. To soften the look, 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.

Love blue? Browse other blue kitchens and get dozens of new ideas.

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Modern Transformation

Low-Cost Cabinet Makeovers

Kitchen makeovers on a budget can still include color. Here, existing cabinets get a dramatic makeover with modern orange paint. The color takes on a muted tone when paired with a dark wood backdrop and simple hardware.

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Country Cabinets

blue kitchen cabinets tile wall

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). Once the paint dries, do a bit of sanding around the door edges and across the cabinet fronts.

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Glass-Front Alternative

kitchen cabinet glass shelves opaque glass door

If you love the look of glass-front cabinets, but aren't sure you want the contents of your cabinets totally visible, try opaque or frosted glass instead. Both give off the same light look as transparent glass, but conceal the contents.

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Add Details

Blue cabinet door with cream wooden cutouts attached

For a kitchen with a vintage feel, glue gingerbread appliqués (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 details. To get the desired effect. wipe the glaze away while it's still wet.

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Red Renovation

kitchen cherry wood cabinets

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

Watch our straightforward tutorial to learn how to paint your kitchen cabinets.

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Rustic Look

kitchen rustic wood cabinets

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 to the cabinets' style.

Find more ideas for adding open storage in your kitchen.

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Cottage Charm

white kitchen pink curtains

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

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