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7 Inexpensive Ways Of Updating Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets set the mood and vibe of the entire room, so having them perfectly match your desired lifestyle is crucial if you want to feel comfortable and be fully efficient in your kitchen.

But when your cabinets are slowly becoming dated and you don’t have the budget to buy new semi-custom or custom cabinets, updating kitchen cabinets might be your best option.

In this article, we’ll explore seven inexpensive yet fully functional ways of updating kitchen cabinets so you can enjoy a space that matches both your needs and and already existing kitchen cabinet colors.

Let’s begin.

White upper cabinets with blue base cabinets and golden hardware

1. Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Probably the best way to go about updating kitchen cabinets on a budget is by refinishing them. Refinishing kitchen cabinets will still cost you some money, it’s definitely a more affordable option than buying completely new ones regardless of what kitchen cabinet style you might already have.

Refinishing cabinets means sanding them down and reapplying a coat of stain or paint to make them look like new again. This won’t do much to their functionality, but it’ll definitely make your cabinets look better.

If you have hardwood cabinets, you’ll be able to refinish them several times without risking any damage. If the doors and faces are made of hardwood, you’ll want a fresh coat of stain on the cabinet instead of fresh paint. Painting cabinets works better if the cabinetry is made of MDF.

2. Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets

Resurfacing kitchen cabinets is a process that can give your old cabinets a brand new look (like refinishing) but also improve their functionality without having to replace them altogether.

Resurfacing means replacing the cabinet faces (cabinet doors and drawer fronts) while keeping the cabinet box intact. This method is great if you want to give a new vibe to your cabinets, change the style of your kitchen, or make them more spacious.

According to KCMA, resurfacing brings more ROI than replacing cabinets, but less ROI than refinishing kitchen cabinets. In other words, if you’re not happy with how your cabinets look, it’s best to refinish them. If, on the other hand, you want to change the style of your kitchen and the existing cabinets are an obstacle, make the better choice and replace cabinet doors only.

Make sure you check the state of the cabinet box before you install the cabinet doors again. Use wood glue and wood filler to fix any visible chips or cracks.

Resurfacing cabinets in an older kitchen

3. Updating Kitchen Cabinets With New Cabinet Hardware

Let’s move down to even more affordable ways of updating kitchen cabinets.

One of the quickest and easiest ways of updating kitchen cabinets is by replacing their hardware. This includes knobs, pulls, and hinges.

Replacing cabinet hardware is a great way to add a new look to your kitchen without spending too much money. You can find hardware in all different styles and colors, so it’s easy to find something that will match your existing cabinets.

But besides an improved aesthetic, new hardware will also function better and make your cabinets more accessible. For example, the soft-close hinges are a huge upgrade that most of our customers want to get. They’re ideal to keep your kitchen quiet and your cabinet boxes intact.

screwing hinges on a wood cabinet
Updating kitchen cabinets using a screwdriver to install new cabinet hardware

4. Adding Molding to Kitchen Cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are in good condition but you feel like something is missing, it might be the molding. The crown molding in a decorative piece that goes on top of your cabinets to cover the empty gap between the cabinets and the ceiling.

Molding is a great way to add detail, character, and depth to your cabinets without spending too much money. In short – a great way of updating kitchen cabinets if your existing cabinets only need a better look.

There are many different types of molding available, so you should be able to find something that will match the style of your kitchen. Be sure to measure your cabinets carefully before you buy any molding so you know that it will fit properly.

Kitchen cabinets with decorative crown molding

5. Add Corner Solutions For Tight Cabinet Spaces

If you’re having kitchen cabinets around your kitchen, you know the issues with corner cabinets. These spaces are hard to reach, inefficient, and a lot of the time they end up being under-used or not used at all.

Corner solutions are upgrades like a Lazy Susan that allows you more accessibility in these tight spaces. They work better than having doors knobs or handles hit the other cabinet door, and far better than not using the cabinet itself.

A corner solution to open the cabinet door without hitting the door

6. Under Cabinet Lights

In recent years, updating kitchen cabinets by adding under cabinet lights is a great kitchen cabinet feature to make your space look more modern and be more functional. Not only do they provide extra light in the kitchen, but they also make the countertops and cabinets look brighter and more inviting, especially at night.

There are many different types of undercabinet lights available, so you should be able to find something that will match the style of your kitchen. Our advice is simple: use low-voltage lights with a long lifespan so you won’t have to replace them every year.

Under cabinet light

7. Pull-out Shelves On Cabinets

Pull-out shelves are a great way to make your kitchen more accessible and efficient. They allow you to easily access the items that are stored in the back of your cabinets, which can be really helpful when you’re cooking.

Pull-out shelves are also a great way to organize your kitchen. Instead of having to search through all of your cabinets to find the item you’re looking for, everything will be right in front of you. Another great use of pull-out shelves is to store larger pans, bowls, and utensils, but also the recycling or the trash bin.

There are many different types of pull-out shelves available, so you should be able to find something that will match the style of your kitchen. Be sure to measure your cabinets carefully before you buy any pull-out shelves so you know that they will fit properly.

Updating kitchen cabinets with pull-out shelves on wooden cabinets
White cabinets with golden accents


There are several ways of updating kitchen cabinets, and each of them will bring something new to the table. While refinishing cabinets will improve their looks, replacing the hardware will greatly impact their functionality.

Your kitchen cabinet makeover will greatly depend on the rest of your kitchen as well. You’ll want to match dark cabinets with a complementary color, make the upper cabinets tall and wide enough, and even consider a glass panel to greatly improve their functionality.

Here at Pellak Construction, we’re bringing the most cost-effective options of updating kitchen cabinets right to your door. We offer professional kitchen remodeling services for homeowners in Springfield, Broomall, Havertown, and surrounding areas.

Call us today at (610) 543-2479 to find the best ways to update your cabinetry, or request a quote and we’ll reach back to you as soon as possible!