5 Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen Cabinets If You Hate How They Look

Swap Out The Hardware

One thing that makes your cabinets look dated is the hardware, especially if you have the builder-grade hardware they likely came with in a newer home. A fresh set hardware can instantly change the look of your cabinets. There are many ways to go about this. If your style leans more eclectic and vintage, you can visit a local flea market or estate sale to find unique pulls and knobs. Or, head to Wayfair or Amazon and browse different modern options to outfit your cabinets. Even renters can make this swap. Just make sure to keep the old hardware and change it back when you move out.

Repaint The Cabinets

If your cabinetry is in good shape and you like overall style but just hate the color or stain—you can fix that. Repainting or staining is completely possible. However, you will need to carve out a decent chunk of time for this project. Repainting your cabinets requires time for cleaning, sanding, priming, painting, and drying in between coats—so it's important to plan ahead before taking on the task. But, once you're done, your kitchen will be fully transformed. There’s a myriad of colors, finishes, and options out there to paint your kitchen cabinets. You can even create contrast in the space by painting the upper and lower cabinets in different colors.

Try Peel And Stick Wallpaper

Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be magical in any room, so why not try it in your kitchen? This works best for flat panel cabinets—but if you're going for a more playful look, you can also try applying wallpaper to the inset panel of Shaker-style cabinets. Use a solid-colored wallpaper to mimic the look of paint without all the mess, or create a bold, retro look with a fun print. This is also a great way to refresh cabinets that can't be easily painted, like those made from laminate or non-wood materials. Renters can also try this cabinet makeover, but just be sure to test the wallpaper first to make sure it won't affect the cabinets once removed.

Replace The Doors

One of the biggest cabinetry trends right now is keeping the frame and shelves but replacing the doors. It’s a far less expensive option than something entirely new. It also doesn’t require major construction. Semihandmade has beautiful options designed to work with Ikea systems and other brands. This can change the aesthetic of your entire kitchen and it doesn't require a full demolition.

Replace Your Cabinets With Open Shelving

Now if you really hate your cabinets and don't want to salvage any part of them, you can remove them entirely. But the cost of replacing them with new cabinetry can be rather steep. So, a more affordable alternative is to replace them with open shelving instead. This can make your kitchen look instantly more modern and fresh. Just make sure the shelving is the right size and sturdy enough for heavier items like dishes and platters. Keep in mind that you probably only want to do this with the upper cabinets and keep the lowers closed for stashing away less aesthetically pleasing items, like pots, pans, and small appliances.

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