How To Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen Cabinets

How To Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets


How To Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets: If you’ve ever dreamed of having a designated home office but lack the space, repurposing kitchen cabinets can be a game-changer. Simply remove the doors, add a fresh coat of paint, and mount the cabinets on the wall. The shelves can store books, files, and office supplies, while the countertop can serve as a functional workspace for your computer and paperwork.

Transform your old kitchen cabinets into an eye-catching bookshelf for your living room or study. With a bit of sanding and painting, the cabinets can be made to match your desired interior style. Arrange your favorite books, decorative items, and family heirlooms on the shelves to create an inviting focal point. Organize your garage by repurposing kitchen cabinets as a storage solution for tools, gardening equipment, and DIY supplies. The cabinets’ sturdy construction kitchen pantry will hold up well in the garage environment, and the added benefit of doors will keep your items protected from dust and debris.

Give your kitchen cabinets a new purpose by transforming them into a stylish mini bar or beverage station. Install glass shelves inside the cabinets to showcase your collection of glasses, and add a wine rack and wine glass holders for added convenience. Paint the cabinets in a color that complements your decor and install a countertop to create a functional serving area.

How To Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets

What is the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets?

3 Budget-Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Ideas

  • Paint your cabinets. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. 
  • Strip paint from wood cabinets. Another option that costs even less than painting your cabinets is to strip and sand them. 
  • Get rid of the doors entirely.

Painting kitchen cabinets is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to breathe new life into your kitchen. Choose a paint color that complements your existing décor or go for a bold and modern statement. Sand the cabinets thoroughly, apply a good-quality primer, and then add your chosen paint color. A fresh coat of paint can instantly refresh the appearance of your cabinets and make a significant impact on the overall look of your kitchen.

Refinishing cabinets involves removing the existing finish and applying a new stain or varnish. If your cabinets are made of solid wood and in good condition, this method can be an economical option. Sand the cabinets to remove the old finish, apply the new stain or varnish, and finish with a protective sealant. Refinishing can give your cabinets a natural and classic look, enhancing the beauty of the wood grain.

Veneering is a cost-effective alternative to completely replacing cabinet doors. It involves covering the existing cabinet doors with a thin layer of real wood or laminate. Veneering can be an excellent choice if your cabinet doors are in good condition but need a cosmetic update. This method provides a fresh surface for painting or staining, giving your cabinets a brand-new appearance.

Sometimes, a simple change in cabinet hardware can work wonders in updating the look of your kitchen cabinets. Replace outdated knobs and handles with modern and stylish options. Choose hardware that complements your kitchen’s theme and color scheme. This inexpensive update can make a significant difference in the overall aesthetics of your cabinets.

What material is used to cover kitchen cabinets?

The most widely used kinds for cabinet boxes are constructed from medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, particleboard with melamine and sometimes stainless steel. MDF is a high-grade composite material made from recycled wood fibers and resin.

Wood veneer is a popular choice for covering kitchen cabinets, especially for those seeking a natural and timeless appearance. Veneer is a thin layer of real wood that is applied to the cabinet surface. It is available in various wood species, allowing you to choose from a wide range of colors and grain patterns. Wood veneer provides the warmth and beauty of real wood while being more cost-effective than solid wood cabinets.

Authentic wood look, cost-effective, wide variety of choices, durable, and easy to maintain.Veneer may not be as resistant to moisture and humidity as some other materials, so proper sealing is essential. Laminate is a synthetic material made from layers of resin-saturated paper, creating a durable and versatile covering option for kitchen cabinets. 

It comes in an extensive range of colors, patterns, and textures, offering limitless design possibilities. Laminate cabinets are relatively easy to clean and maintain, making them an excellent choice for busy kitchens.

Thermofoil is a vinyl material that is heated and molded to the surface of the cabinet doors and drawers. This process creates a seamless, smooth finish with no visible seams or joints. Thermofoil cabinets are available in a wide range of colors and can mimic the look of wood grain or other materials.

Acrylic is a type of plastic material that offers a glossy and modern finish to kitchen cabinets. It is highly durable, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for contemporary kitchen designs.

What can I cover my kitchen cabinets with?

Temporary cabinet covers

Use contact paper or vinyl to create designs and patterns on your tired cabinets or make them look like a whole new different solid color with a larger piece of contact paper. Just make sure you’ll be able to remove whatever product you use without damaging the cabinet material.

One of the most common and budget-friendly options to cover kitchen cabinets is with paint. Painting your cabinets allows you to choose from an extensive range of colors and finishes, giving you the flexibility to match your kitchen’s theme or experiment with bold and vibrant shades. Whether you prefer a classic white, a soothing pastel, or a dramatic dark tone, a fresh coat of paint can instantly refresh and update your cabinets.

For a natural and timeless appearance, wood veneer is an excellent choice to cover your kitchen cabinets. Veneer is a thin layer of real wood that is applied to the cabinet surface, providing the warmth and beauty of natural wood. It comes in various wood species, grain patterns, and finishes, allowing you to achieve the desired look that complements your kitchen’s style.

Laminate is a synthetic material made from layers of resin-saturated paper, offering a vast array of colors, patterns, and textures. It provides a smooth and durable surface, making it ideal for high-traffic kitchens. Laminate cabinets are relatively easy to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice for busy households.

Thermofoil is a vinyl material that is heated and molded to the cabinet doors and drawers, creating a seamless and smooth finish. It is available in a variety of colors and can mimic the appearance of wood grain or other materials. Thermofoil cabinets are easy to clean and resistant to moisture, making them suitable for humid kitchen environments.

Can old kitchen cabinets be refaced?

Give your kitchen a new look by refacing cabinets. Not only is it a quick and easy makeover, but it is also cost-effective compared to remodeling. Refacing cabinets does require you to pay attention to details and have some experience working with tools.

Old kitchen cabinets that are structurally sound and in good condition are excellent candidates for refacing. If the cabinet boxes are sturdy and well-maintained, refacing can be an efficient way to update their appearance and extend their lifespan. Refacing works best when the cabinets are made of solid wood or have a sturdy plywood construction.

Refacing old kitchen cabinets offers several advantages. First and foremost, it is much more affordable compared to completely replacing the cabinets, making it an attractive option for homeowners on a budget. Refacing also saves time, as the process is generally quicker and less disruptive than a full kitchen remodel. Moreover, it is a sustainable choice, as it reduces waste by reusing the existing cabinet framework.

The refacing process involves several steps. The old cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware are removed and replaced with new ones. Depending on the chosen refacing material (e.g., veneer, laminate, paint), the cabinet surfaces may be sanded and prepared for the application of the new material. The new doors and drawer fronts are then installed, and the cabinet hardware is updated for a fresh and cohesive look.

When refacing old kitchen cabinets, you have various options to customize the appearance of your cabinets. You can choose from different materials, such as wood veneer, laminate, or acrylic, to achieve the desired style. Additionally, you can select from a wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes to match your kitchen’s theme and décor.

Can you refurbish old cabinets?

Refinishing cabinets is one of the best ways to give your old, ho-hum kitchen a fresh new look, and it can make a big difference in the way you feel about a space. After all, having expensive cabinets hanging on your kitchen walls doesn’t mean much if you don’t like the color.

The first step in refurbishing old cabinets is to clean them thoroughly. Remove any dust, grime, and grease from the surfaces using a gentle cleaner. Inspect the cabinets for any damage, such as loose hinges, broken handles, or chipped edges, and make necessary repairs. Tighten loose screws, replace broken hardware, and fix any visible imperfections.

Refinishing is a crucial aspect of refurbishing old cabinets. Depending on the cabinet’s material (e.g., wood, laminate), you can sand down the existing finish and apply a new stain, paint, or varnish to give the cabinets a fresh look. Refinishing also helps protect the cabinets from further damage and enhances their appearance.

If your cabinets are made of wood or a suitable material for painting, repainting is an excellent option for refurbishing. A fresh coat of paint in a color that complements your kitchen’s theme or your desired interior style can significantly transform the appearance of old cabinets.

Upgrading cabinet hardware is a simple yet effective way to refurbish old cabinets. Replacing outdated knobs, handles, and hinges with modern and stylish options can give the cabinets a fresh and updated look. This small change can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetics of your cabinets.

To improve the functionality of your cabinets, consider adding organizational elements. Installing pull-out shelves, drawer dividers, and other storage accessories can make it easier to access and organize your kitchen items effectively.

Is it cheaper to paint cabinets or reface them?

While painting tends to be the cheaper of the two, painted cabinets build up grease and dust more easily than refaced cabinets, so they’ll require more maintenance.

Painting cabinets and refacing them are two cost-effective ways to update the appearance of your kitchen cabinets without the high expense of a complete replacement. However, the cost difference between painting and refacing can vary depending on various factors. 

The costs of painting cabinets and refacing them to help you make an informed decision based on your budget and preferences.

Painting cabinets is generally the most budget-friendly option for updating the look of your kitchen cabinets. The cost of painting cabinets mainly depends on the following factors:

If you choose to hire a professional painter, labor costs will be a significant portion of the total expense. DIY painting can save on labor costs, but it requires time, effort, and skill.

The quality of paint you choose can impact the cost. High-quality paints may be more expensive but can provide better coverage and durability.

Properly preparing the cabinet surfaces by cleaning, sanding, and priming is essential for a smooth and long-lasting finish.

The number of coats of paint required depends on the original cabinet color, the new color, and the paint quality.

The size and number of cabinets in your kitchen will affect the overall cost of painting.

How to make Ikea kitchen cabinets look expensive?

If you are considering a traditional or transitional style IKEA kitchen, you can make it look more polished and finished by adding stock molding like crown molding, light rail, and baseboard from your local big box store. Crown or cove molding can help build your cabinetry up to the ceiling for a fully built-in look.

Upgrade the cabinet hardware to high-quality options, such as brass, brushed nickel, or polished chrome. Elegant and well-crafted handles, knobs, and pulls can instantly elevate the look of your Ikea cabinets, giving them a more upscale appearance.

Consider replacing the standard Ikea cabinet fronts and panels with custom-made or designer options. You can choose premium materials like solid wood, natural stone, or glass to add a luxurious touch. Custom fronts can fit perfectly and provide a bespoke look to your kitchen.

Install crown molding along the top of your kitchen cabinets to create a polished and refined finish. Crown molding adds a touch of elegance and sophistication, making your Ikea cabinets look more expensive and custom-built.

Add under-cabinet lighting to illuminate your countertops and create a warm and inviting ambiance in your kitchen. LED strip lights or puck lights can add a touch of luxury, and they also make your kitchen more functional for meal preparation.

Incorporate decorative end panels on the exposed sides of your cabinets for a seamless and cohesive look. These panels can match the cabinet doors and add a high-end finish to your kitchen design.

Can I paint my kitchen cabinets?

Wood cabinets are ideal for painting, but any surface that can be scuffed with sandpaper can be painted. Laminate cabinets require a special bonding primer. The laminate must be in good condition for best results. A gloss finish will make your cabinets sheen, but it may show a lot of dings or mistakes.

Before starting the painting process, assess the condition of your cabinets. Make sure they are structurally sound and free from significant damage. If there are any issues like loose hinges, chipped edges, or water damage, address them before proceeding with painting.

Proper planning and preparation are crucial for a successful cabinet painting project. Remove all cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware. Clean the surfaces thoroughly to remove grease, grime, and dirt. Sand the cabinet surfaces to create a smooth and paintable base. Apply a primer to help the paint adhere better and ensure a more durable finish.

Selecting the right paint is essential for a professional and long-lasting result. Choose a paint that is specifically formulated for kitchen cabinets and is durable, washable, and resistant to stains and moisture. Satin or semi-gloss finishes are commonly used for cabinets as they are easy to clean and provide a subtle sheen.

When choosing the paint color for your cabinets, consider the overall theme and style of your kitchen. Neutral colors like white, gray, or beige are timeless and versatile choices that work well in various kitchen designs. However, bolder colors can add personality and make a statement if you want to create a more unique and vibrant kitchen.

Use a high-quality brush or foam roller to apply the paint to the cabinet surfaces. Work in thin and even coats to prevent drips and achieve a smooth finish. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. Depending on the paint and desired coverage, you may need two or more coats for optimal results.

How To Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets


With a little imagination and creativity, you can transform these cabinets into versatile elements that add style, organization, and functionality to various areas of your home. Moreover, repurposing kitchen cabinets aligns with the principles of sustainability, as it reduces waste and promotes the concept of upcycling. The possibilities for repurposing kitchen cabinets are vast, limited only by your imagination and needs. 

Whether you choose to create a home office workspace, a stylish bookshelf, a practical garage storage system, a charming mini bar, or a playroom storage unit, the end result will be a unique and personalized addition to your living space. Beyond their original life in the kitchen, these kitchen cabinets repurposed cabinets can serve as eye-catching focal points, providing an opportunity to showcase your design flair and resourcefulness. Additionally, the process of repurposing allows you to experiment with various colors, finishes, and arrangements, making it a fun and rewarding DIY project.

Embracing the idea of repurposing also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing waste and minimizing the need for new furniture purchases. By giving these kitchen cabinets a new lease on life, you are making a positive impact on the environment and promoting a culture of responsible consumption. So, the next time you consider renovating your kitchen or upgrading your furniture, take a moment to explore the possibility of repurposing your kitchen cabinets. Whether you’re looking to add functionality to another room or simply infuse your living spaces with a touch of creativity, repurposing kitchen cabinets is a smart and eco-friendly way to achieve your goals.