How to Make Cheap Kitchen Cabinets Look Better

by Shelley Frost ; Updated July 27, 2017

Items you will need

  • Paint
  • Drawer pulls
  • Handles
  • Vinyl clings
  • Stencils

Cheap cabinets drain the kitchen of style and detract from other more stylish features in the room. Replacing cabinets is a pricey endeavor that many homeowners cannot afford. If you're stuck with a case of the cheap cabinet syndrome, consider the following options for dressing them up and adding a little personality to the kitchen. Most of these options require only a small degree of home improvement knowledge to complete. Consider the overall style of the kitchen before going to work on the cabinets. Many changes are difficult to undo, so be sure you make the right move. before starting.

Step 1

Change the look of the wood on the cheap kitchen cabinets. Staining the wood a different color or adding a coat of paint are the two primary options. Sand the surfaces very well to allow the stain or paint to adhere evenly. Apply the stain or paint in thin, even layers.

Step 2

Remove the old drawer pulls and door handles from the cabinets. Replace them with decorative replacements that fit your style and the overall style of the kitchen. The price and style options for cabinet hardware varies greatly, allowing you to find an option that fits your specific needs.

Step 3

Add images to the door panels of the cabinets. Use the popular removable vinyl stickers for home interiors. Apply the vinyl stickers to the doors, choosing words or pictures that fit the theme of the kitchen. Stenciling images or words onto the door with paint is another option.

Step 4

Cut out the center of the door panels for a drastic change to the look of the cabinets. Cover the opening with a material that fits your style. Possibilities include glass, fabric applied to a thin sheet of wood, chicken wire, metal panels or lattice. Attach the new panel material to the back side of the door.

Step 5

Remove some of the doors completely to create an open shelf feeling. Stack cookbooks, baskets, decorative jars and other attractive items on the open shelves.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.