Remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets [2023]

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If your house kitchen looks a little tired and dated, it may be time to consider remodeling. But remodeling your kitchen is a big job. It takes time, effort, and money. Not to mention it’s one of the most labor-intensive projects you can undertake in your home.

remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets

Here are six key points to consider when remodeling your kitchen cabinets:

  1. Why remodel instead of replace: Remodeling your kitchen cabinets is less expensive, less disruptive, and requires less time than replacing them, and it is also more environmentally friendly.
  2. Change the hardware: Replacing cabinet hardware is a low-cost DIY job that can be done in just a few minutes.
  3. Add crown molding: Adding crown molding to your kitchen cabinets makes them look more elegant and can add to the room’s decor.
  4. Glass doors: Adding glass doors to a few cabinets is a great way to showcase your favorite kitchen items while still having easy access to them.
  5. Replace the cabinet doors: Replacing the cabinet doors is an option for those who want a different look but still want to keep their existing cabinets.
  6. Custom borders and open shelves: Adding custom borders or open shelves can add some pizzazz to plain wood cabinets, and open shelves provide more storage space without taking up floor space.

Whether you choose to add new hardware, crown molding, glass doors, replace the cabinet doors, add a custom border, or open shelves, updating your kitchen cabinets can make a big difference in the look and feel of your kitchen without a complete overhaul.

You might decide to revamp the whole thing to ease the stress and cut costs. If that is the case, then remodeling your kitchen cabinets may be the perfect solution. Here are some great ideas for updating your kitchen without a complete overhaul that will make such a difference.

Why remodel kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them

There comes a time when you need a change in your kitchen. Maybe when moving from your old house to a new one. Or you have had the same design for a few years, which is outdated, or maybe you want to add some new features to the room.

remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets removing

Whatever the reason, there’s no need to start from scratch and replace everything in your kitchen. A remodel can be as simple as changing cabinet doors and drawer fronts, updating hardware, or adding new countertops.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to remodel your kitchen, here are some reasons why it may be worth it:

  • Remodeling kitchen cabinets is a great way to update your kitchen without replacing existing ones.
  • Remodeling is less expensive than replacement, less disruptive, and requires significantly less time.
  • Remodeling also has the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly because there are no scraps or waste from new materials that can’t be re-purposed.

If you’re like me, you’re tired of how your kitchen looks. You can remodel your kitchen for a fraction of the cost with these tips and tricks:

Change the hardware on your existing cabinets.

If you’re looking at a quick DIY job that’s low-cost, replacing cabinet hardware is a great option. It can be done in just a few minutes and requires nothing more than screwdrivers, pliers, and the new cabinet pulls or knobs of your choice.

If you want to add a new piece of hardware to each cabinet:

  1. Remove the existing handles from their hinges (if they aren’t already removed). You’ll probably need to use pliers for this step—squeeze them firmly between your thumb and forefinger until they pop off!
  2. Mark where each hole goes on the new hardware with an awl or punch tool (or even just by making an indentation with your fingernail). This is so that when you attach it, everything will be lined up correctly later!
  3. Drill out each hole using either an electric drill or hand drill, depending on your available time today (I figured out that drilling by hand takes longer but gives more control over depth). Don’t forget safety glasses while doing this step—you’ll thank yourself later if something falls into those newly drilled holes! If drilling isn’t possible due to a lack of power source nearby, try using scissors instead—they work just as well at cutting through cardboard boxes.

Add crown molding to your base cabinets.

Sometimes, the remodel is in the little details. Adding crown molding to your kitchen cabinets is a great way to make them look more elegant and will do wonders for the room’s decor. Crown molding can be added in just about any color you want, so you can match it to the rest of the kitchen or choose something that contrasts with it.

remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets elegant

Add glass doors to your kitchen cabinets.

If you have a few kitchen cabinets that don’t require much storage but would be better suited to something visually appealing, glass doors are the perfect solution. You can use them for easy access to the content and showcase your favorite kitchen gadgets and pottery without taking up any additional space in your cabinet.

Replace kitchen cabinet doors

If your cabinets are in good shape but you want something different, you can replace just the doors. Some cabinet makers will do this for you. If not, you can reface them yourself with new plywood or solid wood.

The only drawback is that it’s not as economical as replacing all the cabinets at once. But if it’s done right, refacing should be virtually indistinguishable from an entirely new set of cabinets (and much nicer than simply repainting). Refacing kitchen cabinets is also a whole lot cheaper since it involves less labor and material costs—and most people don’t like working with old wood anyway.

Add a custom border

Adding some pizzazz to plain wood cabinets with a custom border is easy. You can buy pre-cut edging during your visit to a home improvement store, paint it to match your walls, or leave it natural wood for a rustic look. If you’re feeling ambitious, add a fresh coat of paint on the entire door frame with one color and add contrasting edging on top or below to create a border effect.

Add open shelves to upper cabinets

Take out those lower cabinets and put open shelves in their place instead of upper cabinets. This will give you more space for storage without taking up more room on the floor than you need. You’ll also get more light and find it easier to get to things on the open shelves than if they were in the upper cabinets.

Interior painting

One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is by painting it. Add one coat of paint and watch how it enhances the way the space looks and feels. Don’t be afraid to play around with colors on a spare wall or chair before you commit to painting everything.

For instance, white cabinets can make your kitchen look bigger, brighter, cozier, or more formal, depending on what you’re going for. By refinishing the old cabinets with a fresh coat of white enamel paint and adding some decorative trim pieces, as well as some custom cabinet decor made by a local cabinetmaker, you’ll save money and get a look that’s unique to your home.

Painting your cabinets can be an easy and affordable way to give your kitchen a facelift. You can paint your cabinets with a brush or rollers, but if you do this often or want a professional-looking finish, it’s worth investing in a high volume, low pressure(HVLP) sprayer.

Revamp countertop

If you want to update your kitchen without replacing the kitchen cabinets, you can replace the countertops with new ones that are the same color as your old countertops or a different color.

Using darker-colored granite or quartzite will give your kitchen a more modern look; if you prefer something more traditional, consider using lighter-hued materials like marble or soapstone.

If you’re going for a total overhaul, consider replacing all of your cabinets rather than just adding new doors to existing ones. This will help ensure that everything is working well together aesthetically and functionally.

Large tiles – backsplash

The backsplash is the most important part of the kitchen and can either make or break the whole look. When choosing a backsplash, you want to consider what makes sense for your space and can enhance it. A great way to do this is by using large tiles—from my experience, I have seen that they’re bold and striking!

remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets backsplash

Everyone needs durability from their backsplash; large tiles retain moisture better and won’t chip away over time. Tiles are easier than ever because they come pre-cut into specific shapes, so all you have left after installation is clean-up (and maybe some grout).

Update appliances

Changing out old appliances with new ones is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a facelift. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on new appliances; simply upgrading outdated ones will give you a fresh look at a fraction of the cost. A new stovetop or refrigerator will instantly improve your kitchen’s appearance and functionality.

Lighting update

Another simple way to update your kitchen is by changing the lighting fixtures. This can be done in a matter of minutes and with very little money, but it will make a huge difference in your kitchen’s appearance and overall feel.

remodel kitchen without replacing cabinets lighting

Remove old lighting fixtures and replace them with new ones that match your style. If you like contemporary designs, then choose modern lighting fixtures or sleek pendants.

If you prefer a more traditional look, choose classic chandeliers or recessed ceiling lights; if you have an industrial-style home, flameless metal candles are an excellent choice for adding ambiance without sacrificing safety (and they’re much less expensive than candles!).

The most important thing about lighting is that it’s bright enough so you can see what you’re doing when you’re cooking and cleaning up after dinner. If your kitchen doesn’t have enough overhead light, install some recessed lights in the ceiling or use track lights on either side of the sink area for better illumination during cleanup time. If you have a dimmer switch for existing lights, turn them up a notch so they’re brighter during dinner prep time.

Update the sink & faucet

A new sink can make all the difference in your space—especially if you have an older one with scratches or stains on it. A new sink will instantly give your kitchen a more modern look and feel, plus it’ll be easier to clean!

Even if you love your current sink and don’t plan to replace it anytime soon, consider updating the faucet. It’s easy to add some flair without having to replace anything else in your space!

Change the flooring

One of the biggest expenses of a kitchen remodel is the flooring. Installing new flooring is expensive and requires removing everything from the room—including cabinets and appliances—to install a new floor. Remodeling without replacing cabinets allows you to keep your cabinets in place while providing a new look with new floors.

If your kitchen cabinets aren’t in bad shape and you want them to feel like new again, swapping out old linoleum or vinyl flooring for carpet tile is a great way to make an immediate impact without spending too much time or money.

Install New Flooring

If your flooring needs an upgrade, consider replacing it rather than refinishing the existing flooring. New flooring can add value to your home and make it more comfortable. It’s also easier to install than cabinetry.

The first step of installing a laminate floor is to measure the room and determine how many boards will be needed based on the size of each plank. Next, cut plywood boards down to size, so they fit snugly into place between each cabinet leg or toe kick (the bottom portion of each cabinet).

Mark where each board should be placed and use nails or screws to secure them to the wall studs behind each cabinet leg or toe kick. Once all boards are secured, fill any holes with wood putty and sand smooth before applying two coats of primer, followed by two coats.

Add A Kitchen Runner

A kitchen runner is a beautiful piece that adds color and style to your kitchen without breaking the bank. An inexpensive runner can instantly change the look of your entire room and make it feel fresh again. Depending on your chosen color and design, it can also be used as a tablecloth or placemats.

What is the cost of a kitchen cabinet makeover?

The cost of a kitchen cabinet makeover varies depending on the extent of the project. If you’re looking for minor updates, like replacing cabinet hardware or adding new drawer pulls, expect to spend between $50 and $200. However, if you want to replace all the doors or drawers or re-do your base cabinets, expect to spend between $800 and $2,000.

Kitchen cabinet makeover: DIY or hire a guy?

If your kitchen needs a makeover, you can do it yourself or hire a professional. Hiring a carpenter or cabinet maker service is more expensive than DIYing the project, but pros have years of experience and can save time on tasks such as installing cabinets. Hiring a contractor might be the best option if you’re looking for ideas but need help with actual construction.

But, with DIY, you get exactly what you want because you’re in charge of every decision. A DIY approach also gives you more control over how much money you spend—especially if you hire contractors hourly.

Revamp Your Kitchen with These Simple Cabinet Remodeling Tips

Remodeling without new kitchen cabinets is a big undertaking, and if you can dodge that bullet by simply remodeling your existing cabinets, why wouldn’t you? With these tips, you can update your kitchen without worrying about replacing the cabinets. It’s a great way to save money and make a big impact on your home simultaneously!

Save money on materials. You won’t need to buy entirely new cabinets if you’re updating them, so you may be able to reuse some old ones in the process. And if you want an updated look, you can search for plenty of options out there for kitchen cabinet design—including quality modern styles that will catch the eye of anyone who sees them!

Save money on labor costs by doing some of the work yourself or enlisting help from friends and family members who have skills in construction or home improvement (or both). This can also save time because instead of waiting for someone else’s schedule, now everyone has a say in what goes into making this project happen quickly!

Improve efficiency and reduce waste by recycling items such as discarded materials from previous projects into something useful again, instead of throwing away things just because they’re no longer needed elsewhere; plus, recycle any leftover paint or stain after finishing each step, so nothing gets wasted unnecessarily.


Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

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