Tips on How To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

Nov 11, 2021 | Cabinets, Renovations

Updating cabinets is a smart and wallet-friendly way to give a kitchen a delightful new look. Cabinets add more than storage to a kitchen. Through different colors and hardware designs, they can be updated to provide new style, elegance, and functionality to a kitchen.

Unfortunately, kitchen remodeling can be costly. Hence, many homeowners are in search of affordable ways to update their cabinetry.

With this guide, anyone can have stylish and affordable kitchen cabinets.

Factors to Consider When Making Changes to Kitchen Cabinetry

Each individual has a unique taste and needs. Therefore, they must zero in on why their kitchens need new cabinetry. Here are a few questions for guidance.

  • Are the cabinets in good condition?
  • Is the color dull and faded?
  • Do you desire more functionality?
  • Is the style of the cabinets outdated?
  • Is there enough amount of storage?

How to update kitchen cabinets on a budget

The following solutions are great options for affordable kitchen cabinets.

1) Replace old cabinet hardware with new designs

Swapping out old hardware for modern trendy options is a fast and cheap way to upgrade kitchen cabinets. A simple alteration such as attaching knobs and handles at different spots can provide better functionality and a whole new look.

Matching the measurements of the new and old hardware will prevent the need for drilling new holes. If new holes are needed, then wood putty can be used to cover up the old holes. Touch up the cabinet’s paint around the new hardware before installation.

2) Try a fresh coat of paint

Painting cabinets is a simple and affordable way of adding new life to a kitchen. Opt for a color that blends in with the rest of the décor or choose contrasting hues for an impressive effect.

Here’s how to repaint cabinets:

  • Check cabinet condition
  • Remove the cabinet hardware and doors
  • Remove cabinet contents
  • Repair damages
  • Clean and sand the cabinet
  • Apply primer
  • Apply your paint
  • Let everything dry then reinstall the hardware

3) Install or upgrade molding

Adding or upgrading cabinet molding will give a kitchen a beautiful and elegant finished look. Through molding, you can add height, color, and style to look like professional-grade cabinets. It is important to remember molding must be supported by a sturdy frame.

Before installing molding, owners should carefully measure cabinet tops around the kitchen. If need be, the molding should be painted before installation. The molding should also extend beyond the edge of the cabinets. If you find yourself struggling with installing molding for your cabinets, the experts at R.H. Homes can walk you through the process. 

4) Glass inserts

Swap kitchen cabinet doors for customized glass inserts. HGTV has a great tutorial on how to install glass inserts. Refacing all cabinetry is not necessary. Using glass inserts on a few cabinets will provide a quick and cheap kitchen transformation.

5) Use removable wallpaper

The interior of cabinets matters especially if the owner opts for open shelving or installs glass-fronts. Removable wallpaper adds striking patterns and splashes of color to the back walls of cabinet interiors. Plus, peel-and-stick wallpaper is cheaper than the traditional types. For a smooth application process, use the tips below:

  • Pick out a pattern
  • Find out how much wallpaper is needed then buy a little extra as a buffer 
  • Get help. One person will hold up the wallpaper while the other peels off the backing and sticks the panel to the wall
  • Ensure the peel-and-stick panel designs align perfectly to achieve a great repeat pattern
  • Smooth out the wallpaper and remove air bubbles

6) Remove the cabinet doors

Open shelving is a cheap but trendy option for kitchen remodeling. For effective open shelving, utensils and cutlery must be kept nice and neat for a great visual effect. Owners can opt to open up a few cabinets that contain items they want to display.

Once doors are removed, the open cabinets should be emptied and rearranged following a preferred organizational scheme. Organization is key for eye-appealing cabinetry. Note: be aware of the dust buildup that kitchenware will be exposed to when open shelving.

7) Get Drawer Dividers

A drawer organizer or divider is a great idea to keep small cutlery organized. Organize your cutlery and kitchen gadgets using stylish all-purpose drawer organizers. You can adjust most modern dividers to fit your cabinet’s dimensions.

8) Install sliding shelves in the cabinets

Pull-out shelves in a base cabinet will improve functionality by providing easy access to utensils kept at the back of a drawer or cabinet. With a few tools, you can easily install sliding shelves into a cabinet. This guide from the This Old House website gives clear and detailed instructions on how to measure, build, and install a sliding shelf in a cabinet.

9) Change cabinet doors

New doors can really spruce up aging cabinetry. Replacing kitchen cabinet doors is much cheaper than renovating the whole cabinetry. Kitchen owners can choose from a variety of door designs ranging from modern to traditional styles. Here’s a simple guide to swapping cabinet doors:

  • Remove current doors by detaching hinges
  • Take out handles and any other hardware from the doors
  • Write down exact measurements of each door
  • Before ordering new doors, determine the overlay dimensions 
  • Add overlay and door dimensions to calculate the total measurements of your new doors
  • Install hinges
  • Mount and adjust your new doors

10) Try under-cabinet lighting

Under-cabinet lighting will give a relaxing ambiance to the room and reduce the shadows cast by overhead lighting. Using these smart lighting ideas will add a dash of elegance and functionality to kitchen cabinets.

Working with electricity can be tricky. Homeowners may want to consult a professional. If you are still determined to DIY, this article will walk you through cabinet light installation without damaging kitchen walls.

11) Under-cabinet baskets

The space beneath upper cabinetry can be used to store compact kitchen items. Under-shelf baskets don’t take up extra space and are great for storing cups, saucers, and spices.

12) Install an open shelf

For extra storage, add a shelf in your kitchen. Try installing shelves below the upper cabinetry or at corner spaces between cabinets. Kitchen shelves are not just for utensils. Potted plants or other decorative items can be placed on shelves to add color, style, and charm to a kitchen. Open shelves must be sturdy and secure before loading to prevent accidents.

13) Add beadboard to kitchen cabinets

Installing a beadboard is an affordable way of adding detail and texture to your cabinets. Adding a small amount to cabinet doors, sides, or end panels will make a great difference to their kitchen’s visual effect.

Beadboard is made of wood and can be painted to blend in with the colors of a kitchen. It runs vertically and comes in different sizes. Experts recommend installing beadboard in sheets. Sand the cabinets before installation. Work from the bottom corner of the cabinet and use wood glue to apply clean-cut beadboard.

When contemplating kitchen remodeling, most people find themselves scrolling through pictures of gorgeous kitchens designed by top designers and wondering how they can make their kitchen look like the ones in magazines. With this guide, anyone can have a gorgeous kitchen at an affordable price.