Last week I revealed the kitchen makeover we’d been working on. One of the most drastic changes we made was to update old kitchen cabinets for our kitchen remodel on a budget. We would have loved to gut the entire kitchen and start from scratch with brand new kitchen cabinets, but like a lot of people out there, a project on that scale just isn’t in the budget. Instead, we used wood filler and less than $100 on wood trim to completely transform these dated kitchen cabinets.
How To Update Old Kitchen Cabinets
The first thing we did was sand down the cabinet doors.
I read a lot about painting kitchen cabinets and there are all kinds of recommendations. Instead of cleaning and using a deglosser, we used an electric buffer with 80 grit sandpaper to cut through EVERYTHING. That saved a bit of time, and got us to the bare wood with no problems.
After the doors were sanded, we used wood filler to fill in the 1970’s decorative design on the cabinet fronts. My brother does auto body work and he filled in like 10 doors in the time it took my mom and I to do two!
This took two rounds. You fill in the design with the putty (thickly) and let dry. Then you sand off the excess and fill in a second time. After the second round is dry, sand again. Be sure you allow it to dry between rounds, otherwise you just move the putty around.
After the last of the wood putty had been sanded, we primed the cabinets and moved on to one last step. We wanted to add something to our now flat/smooth front cabinets so we trimmed them out for a faux shaker style or a craftsman style cabinet doors.
After adding the trim board, we used wood filler to fill in the cracks and also the nail holes.
This step right here is what made all the difference! By redoing these cabinet door fronts, we were able to update old kitchen cabinets and completely changed the look of this kitchen! Preparing the doors in this way probably added an extra day to our work load but it was worth it! The trim cost around $100 but compared to the price of brand new cabinets – I think this is a great alternative!
Check out the full kitchen makeover reveal HERE.