8 Easy Ways To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

Design: Neptune

A beautiful kitchen is one of those things that is at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to what they want in a home or apartment. Some even have called it the “heart of the home”. But, remodeling a kitchen can be costly and take quite a bit of time. So, today we are rounding up 8 ways that you can give your kitchen a brand new look just by giving a refresh to your cabinets. And for those of you looking to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty this weekend, a few of these can be DIYed in just a few hours. 


It’s the first on our list because it’s the most transformative and also one of the easiest to do. If you have dated or older cabinets, then give them a good coat of primer and then you can paint them. We suggest either a semi-gloss or gloss sheen for the paint as it will hold up best over time and also allows for easy cleaning. Whether you go with a simple white or a color, the paint will give a fresh look to any kitchen.


A few of our favorites colors:

  • Simply White by Benjamin Moore – a bright and happy white
  • Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball – a deep and inky blue if you are looking for something dramatic
  • Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore – a medium toned gray that is soft and neutral
  • Rosemary by Sherwin Williams – a mossy warm green



Design: Neptune

Replace Hardware

Swapping out the hardware on your cabinets is something that you can easily do yourself and can be done in under an hour with just a screwdriver. Most cabinet hardware is a standard size which means that you just have to measure the current handle and get the same specs for your replacement. Try mixing up the types of hardware – pulls on your drawers and knobs on your doors – to give it a custom look.

rip out uppers

This one involves a bit more construction but if you have enough storage in your current setup then taking out your uppers can make your kitchen look much bigger and more open. You can either leave the walls bare or if you want some decorative storage then you can install a few brackets on the wall for a floating shelf. It’s a practical use of space but still leaves your kitchen feeling much more open.

Photo: Reform
Design: Lendager Group


If you have quality cabinets (meaning solid wood doors) and you like the style and shape but aren’t a fan of the tone then you can always have them refinished and stained a different color. It is a bit more laborious than some of the other options but if you prefer a wood look then it is something that can be done and will make your cabinets look brand new.


We talked earlier about the transformative power a can of paint can have on your cabinets, but you can take it one step further by painting the uppers and lowers a different color. Our tip – go with white for one section and then you can use an accent color on the other. By painting your uppers white you can also visually extend the vertical lines in your kitchen making the space feel a little bit bigger than it was before.

remove doors

If you love the open shelving look but aren’t ready to rip out all your uppers then instead remove the doors of your cabinets to create an open shelving look. It can open up the space visually and also allows you to show off some of your prettier items. We suggest patching the holes where the door hardware was and then giving everything a fresh coat of paint to help it feel updated and intentional. You can take it one step further by painting the inside of your cabinets a contrasting color or installing wallpaper or tile on the back of the cabinets.

Design: Wade Muller

add trim to doors

If you have flat front cabinets and like the look of shaker style then you can have a woodworker (or yourself if you are feeling handy) add trim to the edges of your doors to give it a shaker style door. It’s a small detail that can give the cabinets a totally different look. The trim should be a thin piece of wood, maybe 1/4″ or 1/8″ and about 1-2″ wide. Once you add it onto the doors you’ll want to give everything a good coat of paint.



While this one might not be as aesthetically transformative as the others, adding under cabinet lighting or plugs can improve functionality overall in your kitchen. There are a handful of undercabinet lights that are battery-powered which means you don’t even have to have them hardwired, just add the batteries and install. Or you can have an electrician come in and wire up the under cabinet lights and plugs in an afternoon.



  1. I am in love with this article! Gonna try it son!

  2. Love your designs!!! Would you PLEEEAASE advise on how to update kitchens with terracotta tiles. We can’t replace them, so how can you update that look,while painting the cabinets as well?
    Thank you in advance!

  3. I love the ideas. I can’t wait to try some. Do you have any ideas for a long narrow galley kitchen?