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Dramatic changes with a small budget

You see them every day, and they’re in your line of sight when you’re cooking, doing dishes and cleaning. If you’ve become blind to your boring kitchen cabinet doors or they’re in dire need of a refresh, there are many things you can do that won’t break your budget. With a little money and some inspiration, your cabinets can become a focal point you’ll be glad to see and maybe even a conversation piece for your guests. Here are some ideas to freshen up your cabinet doors and make them a bright spot in your kitchen.

  • Paint – Nothing says your cabinets have to exactly match anything else in your kitchen. Consider choosing a hue in the same color family as your other décor to create some contrast. Depending on how many cabinets you have, this update might only require a gallon or two of paint, making it very cost effective. As far as color choice, the sky’s the limit, especially with such a great selection of paint and wood stains from Behr.
  • Chalk and cork – If you’re always looking for a scratch pad to write your grocery list, consider adding a few coats of chalkboard paint to your cabinets. As you run out of supplies, write them down on the cabinet. Before you head to the grocery store, just snap a photo of the cabinet with your phone and you’ll know exactly what you need! Chalk or cork especially works well if your kitchen only has a few cabinet doors, or if you want to use a door to post menus or family messages.
  • Wallpaper – Want to add some pattern and texture to your kitchen? Pick a wallpaper that easily wipes clean and you’ve got an update that can be refreshed over and over again without much effort.
  • Trim – Another way to add texture is by selecting a patterned trim. These wood pieces come in many designs and patterns, from geometric to floral, and can be painted to match your cabinet doors. Measure your doors to determine how much you’ll need, and attach the trim with wood glue. The result will look like a framed work of art!
  • Embellishments – An easy and inexpensive way to change up the look of your cabinet doors is to add trim or cutouts. These wooden appliques can be shaped and painted to your specifications and then attached with wood glue. The more ornate cutouts look adorable in a farmhouse kitchen and add a bit of cozy chic to your kitchen.
  • Glass – If you’ve got pretty dishes to display, consider cutting out the center section of your cabinets and replacing it with glass. You can create a vibrant look by painting the inside of the cabinets or the shelves with a pretty hue, and you could even add a few curio lights to really make it pop. Choose frosted glass if you want to conceal the insides of your cabinets. 
  • Metal – Using the same process as for the glass cutouts, you can fill the center of your cabinet doors with patterned sheet metal from a home improvement store. Depending on the density of the pattern, you might be able to see a peek of the inside of the cabinet, so plan to keep things tidy if you go this route.
  • Knobs – Perhaps you already love the look of your kitchen cabinets, but the knobs haven’t been in style for a few decades. Consider blown glass if you’d like to add a pop of color, or crystal for a bit of elegance. Mix and match knobs, such as these from Liberty Hardware, create a unique look.

With so many options for updating your kitchen cabinets, you could feasibly update them every few years. These inexpensive updates will create a whole new look, and perhaps provide some new function to your cabinet doors. Feel free to experiment with styles and colors, and share your DIY success with us on social media!