How To Modify Old Kitchen Cabinets

  • 4-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-250
What You'll Need
Masking Tape
Drop Cloths
Wood Oil

If you've been in your home for some time, or have just moved into a dated home, it may be time to think about modifying your old kitchen cabinets. Modifications can include everything from simply cleaning the cabinets up for a fresh sparkle to placing glass in the cabinet doors to restaining or painting them.

Modifying old kitchen cabinets can be a relatively easy, albeit labor-intensive activity. Here are some of the steps involved in modifying your old kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Obtain Design Plans for the Cabinets

A home improvement center or kitchen and bath décor showroom are good places to explore ideas for your cabinets. Before you begin the modification of the cabinets, review different design options and have a computer model created. This will give you a visual representation of different ideas and allow you to choose the best style for your modification. From these different design ideas, choose the one that best fits your décor.

Step 2: Mark and Remove the Cabinet Doors

Use masking tape to number the cabinet doors so that can be matched with their proper cabinet. Use a screwdriver to remove each of the cabinet doors from the cabinets. Place the cabinet doors in a dry area free from dust and dirt.

Remove the hardware from the cabinet door fronts and soak them with detergent and water to remove any built up dirt and grime. Wash the cabinet doors with detergent and dry them thoroughly.

Step 3: Prepare the Doors

Sand the doors lightly to remove any blemishes or marks that are in the door. The doors can be prepared further for paint or stain, depending on your style choice.

Use a wood oil or soap to bring out the luster in the wood and restore it. If you choose to alter the doors, you can perform this task at the end.

Step 4: Sand and Stain or Paint the Cabinets

Sand the cabinets using sandpaper to remove existing stain. You can use a commercial paint stripper to remove paint, following the instructions for the product closely. This process will prepare the cabinets to be restained or painted to match a new design style.

You may decide to change brown stained cabinets by sanding them completely and applying a coat of white paint. You can use a brush to apply the paint and take time to avoid splashing or uneven coats. Allow the paint to dry overnight before handling the cabinets.

Step 5: Reinstall Hardware and Doors

Use the screwdriver to reattach all of the hardware for the cabinet doors and drawers. If necessary, purchase replacement hardware to further change the look of your drawers.

After you have reinstalled the hardware to the doors and drawers, reattach them to the cabinet frame using a screwdriver to attach the doors.