Are your kitchen cabinets in need of a fresh look, but the thought of tackling a paint project seems overwhelming? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll reveal a great way to update kitchen cabinets that doesn’t involve picking up a paintbrush. Whether you’re looking to revitalize worn-out wood cabinets or breathe new life into your cabinet doors, we’ve got you covered with innovative solutions that will transform your kitchen space. Discover how to achieve stunning results without the hassle, and let’s be honest the cost, of painting.
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Update Kitchen Cabinets Without Painting
When we first purchased our home one of my favorite features was the old kitchen cabinets that had not been updated since the house was originally built in the early 1980’s. The simple and traditional style of the kitchen just felt like home to me and before we closed on the house I was already envisioning all of the cooking, baking, holiday meals, and birthdays that would center around the beautiful large island and spacious old cabinets.
At that time the kitchen had been painted white but was clearly showing the signs of plenty use and love. The originally white cabinets had faded to have more of a yellow or orange tone and the cabinet hardware had clearly not been touched in a decade or more. It mattered not. I loved that kitchen and every thing about it all the way down to the old scratched and faded contact paper that lined every shelf and drawer. I was told by several people that I should just tear everything out and install new cabinets in a more modern style but to me that just sounded like the most cruel and devastating thing I could do to this wonderful piece of history.
You may not be as sentimental about your kitchen as I have been about mine and there is no harm in that. No matter how you are feeling about your kitchen cabinets I have some amazing, and affordable, changes that you can make to update your kitchen cabinets and the entire look of your kitchen without having to bother with adding a fresh coat of paint anywhere.
Adding New Hardware To Your Kitchen Cabinets
One of the best ways to update your kitchen cabinets that does not require new paint color or a ton of money is to add new hardware. Changing out the cabinets pulls is an easy way to get a fresh new look and will go a long way towards updating your kitchen cabinets at a fraction of the cost that painting kitchen cabinets would amount to.
Shortly after we closed on our home and moved in my husband and I hired painters to tackle the big project of painting every wall and piece of trim in the entire home. I was at the end of my third trimester with our second child in the middle of a Texas summer and the very last thing I wanted to do was climb up and down ladders or bend over to paint. At that time we did have the old paint on the kitchen cabinets updated. There was no major changes, just a cleaner white look from the orange tone, scratched, and scuffed look currently present on each old cabinet door. So the once white kitchen was still white. The most important thing at that time was just to freshen up the white cabinets and while it did make a big difference we were not looking at different colors or anything crazy. I was adamant that I wanted things to stay the same. That and I did not think making huge changed was a good idea that late in my pregnancy.
However, now that I have lived with the kitchen for about two years I was ready to add a fresh look to the kitchen design. Still I do not want to do anything drastic but just make a few small changes to bring out the beauty of my old kitchen and really let it shine. The first step for me was update the hardware on the kitchen cabinets. Adding new hardware is a great option when you are wanting to update your kitchen cabinets without painting.
Updating My Kitchen Cabinet Hardware
There are several ways that you can go when it comes to updating the hardware. After a few trips to Home Depot and a few hours on Pinterest I decided that I wanted to change both the pulls and the hinges from the stainless steel look they currently had to a flat black. I really wanted the pop of color that would come from the contrasting black and white in the updated look. As you can see from the photos my kitchen cabinets, unlike the more modern cabinets in newer built or renovated homes, have door hinges that are visible from the outside. That is why it was important that I change not only the cabinet and drawer pulls but also the hinges. If you have newer kitchen cabinets then you most likely will not need to worry about the color of your door hinges.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can choose either to purchase new hardware or to grab some paint from the hardware store and paint your existing hardware. For me, I knew that the best results would come from replacing my existing kitchen hardware with brand new hardware. I also did not want to spend the time it would take to scrape and clean the caked on paint and rust off of the existing hardware in order to paint it.
A quick note about kitchen hinges. If you are needing to replace your hinges, as I did, then you want to be sure that you purchase the correct type of hinge. I learned the hard way that there are several different types of hinges and getting the right kind is important.
How To Update Kitchen Cabinets Without Painting
Sometimes, updating kitchen cabinets doesn’t necessarily mean reaching for a paintbrush or replacing the hardware. If you’re looking for alternative ways to give your cabinets a fresh new look, we’ve got you covered.
Decorative Details In Your Kitchen
It’s the little details that can make a big impact. Add decorative elements to your kitchen cabinets to create a unique and personalized look. Consider applying decorative trim or molding along the edges of the cabinet doors. This simple addition can instantly elevate the overall appearance of your cabinets, giving them a custom-made feel. Additionally, you can replace the center panels of your cabinet doors with glass or patterned inserts, allowing you to showcase your favorite dishware or add a touch of visual interest.
Open Shelf Kitchen Cabinets
Open shelving is a trendy and practical alternative to traditional closed cabinets. Removing the cabinet doors and opting for open shelves creates a sense of openness and accessibility in your kitchen. It also provides an opportunity to display your favorite kitchenware, adding a decorative element to the space.
This is one option that I personally went back and forth on for a long time. I have considered off and on removing the cabinets on either side of the window above my kitchen sink to have that space dedicated to open shelving. I like the idea of it but so far I have not fully committed to the change.
Undercabinet Lighting On Upper Cabinets
Consider adding undercabinet lighting. Installing discreet LED lights beneath the cabinets not only enhances visibility for your countertop tasks but also adds a touch of sophistication and warmth to the entire space. With various lighting options available, such as puck lights or LED light strips, you can choose the intensity and color temperature that best complements your kitchen’s overall aesthetic. The gentle glow of undercabinet lighting highlights the texture and depth of your wood cabinets, making them stand out and infusing your kitchen with a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
I added simple battery operated lights under the cabinets in our last home. I wanted an easy diy that brighten up the space but did not require having an electric come out. I really only used the lights when I was prepping food but I was surprised at home much the new light made such a big impact not just visually but for practical use as well.
How Do You Refresh Cabinets Without Paint?
The first step to refreshing your cabinets is to consider the overall theme of your kitchen. Is it modern, traditional, farmhouse, or eclectic? Next, you will want to look at what decorative elements you can make that will both match and enhance the current design theme.
You might also consider adding contrast in your colors. Even without painting you can add contrast. An example of this is choosing dark hardware for light colored cabinets or visa versa.
More Ways To Redo Your Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Or Painting Them
- Replace Cabinet Inserts: Instead of replacing the entire cabinet door, consider updating the inserts. Swap out solid panels with glass or frosted glass inserts to create an open and airy feel. This allows you to showcase your favorite dishware or add a subtle touch of visual interest.
- Apply Removable Wallpaper or Contact Paper: Give your cabinets a new look by applying removable wallpaper or contact paper to the interior or back of the cabinet doors. Choose patterns, textures, or colors that complement your kitchen style. This technique adds a pop of personality and can be easily changed or removed if desired.
- Install Cabinet Backsplash: Consider installing a backsplash on the back wall of the cabinets. This could be a tile backsplash, beadboard, or even a stylish peel-and-stick option. Adding a backsplash behind the cabinets can create depth, texture, and visual interest, transforming the overall look of your kitchen.
- Introduce Decorative Accents: Enhance the visual appeal of your cabinets by incorporating decorative accents. This could include adding adhesive decals or vinyl patterns to the cabinet doors, attaching decorative trim or appliques, or even affixing magnetic chalkboards or corkboards to create functional and stylish areas.
- Showcase Art or Decorative Plates: Make use of the space on top of your cabinets by displaying artwork, decorative plates, or other eye-catching items. This draws attention upward and adds an artistic touch to your kitchen while diverting attention from the cabinet surfaces.
Refreshing Old Kitchen Cabinets
Refreshing your old kitchen cabinets can bring a whole new look to your kitchen with gorgeous end results. With a few simple steps you can give your existing cabinet a more custom feel that will change the whole kitchen feel and vibe.
Let me know if you try any of these suggestions. I always love to see before and after photos as well.