Kitchen: Cabinet Resurface – Pennies per Door

 DIY Kitchen Makeover: Cabinet Resurface for Pennies per Door
When we first walked through this house, I quickly noticed the tall cabinets and that totally impressed me.  Very uncommon for this age home.  So many homes in this neighbor have a fur down instead, which is totally useless space!  I’m all about a GREAT update without totally breaking the bank!  Especially since we don’t have a SUPER HUGE bank to break!
I tend to be drawn to modern country decor, but the basic lines of mission style cabinetry always intrigues me.  Here’s a little inspiration!
My kitchen cabinets although as boring and drab as they come are very solid and gutting them seemed like a waste!  This was one of the selling features for us.  Kitchen remodels can be crazy expensive and the thought of reaching awesome for not too much intrigued me!  We decided to keep them and give them some LOVE, aka, dimension!  We bought “under layment” intended for under hardwood floors.  This board is about an 1/8 of an inch thick and is found near the plywood.  It runs around $20 for a large sheet.  We totally lucked out and the guy working when we went in didn’t know the rules {neither did we}!  Thankfully the machine did all the work and it never seemed one bit of dangerous.  He cut a huge board down into two inch strips for us!  And he was TOTALLY happy to help!  Don’t you love it when you come across someone thrilled about working!  Totally energizes me!  One board cut took a good 20 minutes, but it was plenty for our entire kitchen and WAY cheaper than refacing the cabinets with new doors.
The doors had holes from the hardware and hinges, but it was not big deal….no need to add wood filler and sand and such…the holes were covered!  Oh, and out of curiosity, I had Stud “rip” another board into strips and it was painless.  We set up another board to guide our under layment through the table saw evenly.  Setting up the guide took the longest part…cutting was a breeze!

With the long strips cut, we first, measured the length of each cabinet and using a brad gun we secured the strips with two brads at the top, two brads at the bottom, and one in the middle.  After ALL the vertical trim pieces were secure, we measured between the vertical strips to determine the length needed for the horizontal trim pieces.  Once those were measured and cut, we secured them with more brads.
We used paintable silicone sealant to fill any gap along the inside perimeter of the trim.  And followed with paint {tutorial coming soon}.
Above Stud’s working on filling the huge rectangle hole from the old style previous stove top!  Yes…we did a little sanding to get that baby flush!!!  Don’t you totally feel for those poor brand new hardwood floors!!!?!

Progress…Can you see it?!?!  Oh, and yes…I know I’m a tacky mommy with a totally chaotic refrigerator!  My new trick {beginning today} is I’m going to use the other side and try to leave this side bare!  I totally want to put a board there to make the fridge more built in, but that’s going to take a crazy amount of imagination and skill because there isn’t enough space!  Where’s your favorite clutter space!?!  What do you do with random pictures that friends give you!?!?  Tips!?!?  Suggestions!?!?

More Rancher Kitchen Updates.

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  1. Barbm1712 says:

    This is exactly the fix I was looking for two years ago when we DIY’d our kitchen with new wall paint, cabinet pull and knobs/hinges and vintage style new light fixtures. We have flat doors with minor rounding at the edges and I wanted them square with this trim. After $100.00 of mistakes (molding wasn’t mitered correctly, pulled from the cabinetry before we could get the paint on and other disasters, I gave up, sanded them down and just painted them white. We have since acquired a finishing nailer so hopefully this time we can get it done the way I envisioned it! It means repainting the doors again, but I’m ok with a little paint just for the doors, at least I don’t have to empty the cabinets of all the kitchen stuff again! THANK YOU! Here’s hoping we can get HD to do the ‘ripping’ for us, we don’t own a saw! We aren’t adding to the drawers either, the 2 inch trim would add too much ‘boxy’ to the kitchen, just the doors. Really great and I can’t wait til Easter break to get started ‘finishing’ our kitchen! Thank you again.

  2. Ken says:

    Hi Aimee,
    I love what you did with your kitchen cabinets, we’re doing the same thing. Subway tile and nice granite looking top. I’m adding the thin trim to the doors but I’m thinking NOT to add to the drawer surface. I can’t really tell from your photos, but I’m thinking between the doors and drawers there’s a depth difference. By adding a 1/4″ trim around the doors does that look alright? Do you have a close up of the two. Looks like that would be just to the right of your cook top. I have one area where a drawer is above a door I just want it to look right. Please let me know what you think or send more pics. Thank you!

  3. Nicole says:

    Hi Aimee!
    I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done to your cabinets! My kitchen cabinets are just like your “before” and I’m currently in the process of repainting them, but I’d like to add some dimention like yours! I know this post is a few years old, but I have searched & can’t find what you did with those darned rounded edges so the strips sat flush against them! Wood filler? Backer rod then caulk?
    This is new territory for me, but this post is so inspiring & fingers crossed, will be easy enough for a newbie like myself!

  4. sarracenia says:

    Thanks for all the details. I’ve wanted to do this but had no clue about procedures material & those rounded edges. You’re great. Now let’s see if I can find how to handle ugly hinges.

  5. Stefani says:

    Would love to see how these cabinets turned out! There’s no link so I can’t figure out how to get there….

  6. Jen perkins says:

    I found your link on Pinterest and I am inspired!!!
    We recently bought a 1929 Tudor style cottage, with a late 80’s kitchen remodel.
    The kitchen is livable..but your cabinetry idea is awesome! I think it will
    Really help revitalize the look and make it a touch more traditional. We have vinyl covered composite
    Cabinetry , it’s white and was very modern looking 25+ yrs ago! I’m going to take it grey with chalk paint.
    Thanks again for posting your photos!

  7. Juju says:

    Aimee ~

    We are DONE with our kitchen and I wanted you to see the results!

    WE LOVE IT! Thanks to you for all your inspiration, advice and enjouragement!

    Hugs ~ Juju

  8. Caryn S. (Scrapnsing) says:

    Oh I think I trump you all on the tacky mom thing! I ran out of room on my fridge and now it’s also on the metal clad door leading to my garage too!

    • Aimee says:

      Only a mommy would understand…I totally get it! 🙂 XO, Aimee

  9. Rachel says:

    I was going to try this in my kitchen also. we have flat boring doors but they are routed on the edges. I am worried about adding the underlayment strips and having to fill in all the outside edges. Were your outside edges routed (beveled out) or were the doors squared. I couldn’t quite tell in your first door image.

  10. Jackie says:

    I also would really like to see a close up of your doors from the side so that I can see how they look. My doors are similiar to your doors with a rounded edge. Thank you!

  11. Juju says:

    This week was Spring Break and my Hubs and I were able to knock out so much work on the kitchen cabinets. Your advice really helped. We are following almost all of the steps you outlined in your makeover.
    The underlayment was genius!!! The nice guy at HD cut 1/2 of the sheet into 2-inch strips for us, and we cut the rest of it with a couple of borrowed saws, and hubby’s miter box & saw.
    We are using our existing hinges, knobs and drawer pulls, and so far we’ve spent less than $100.00. (We have to wait until the weather up here in North Idaho warms up, but we’ll be purchasing it on sale next week.)
    I’ll be posting some progress photos on my blog, so hop on over for a sneek-peek!
    ~ Juju

  12. Courtney J says:

    We have started this process with our cabinets after seeing your post, since we bought a 50’s rancher in January. The interior is finished, but our doors are currently stacked in the garage. My husband wants to build a “frame” for the corners, so they’re all even and 90 degrees. How did you keep your corners straight? Thanks!

    • Aimee says:

      I wish I could say their was a science to it…we cut two pieces for the width and two pieces for the length and then attached one by one using our nail gun! They all look VERY even and strategically planned thankfully! XO, Aimee

  13. Sophia says:

    Love the look and it’s even more beautiful because it was done on the cheap. Did you do the drawer fronts too or just the doors?

    • Aimee says:

      We opted to just do the cabinet fronts although the drawer fronts would have worked as well! Is this project on your list for 2013!?! XO, Aimee

  14. Bree says:

    My question is the same as Sandy’s above. My mid-century ranch has painted flat doors with rounded edges. And I am trying to figure out how to apply molding to the edge without a weird line around the edge. Can you put up some close-up corner and edge shots of your doors?

    • Aimee says:

      Definitely! I’ll try to get to that really soon! XO, Aimee

  15. Sandy says:

    Great job! I have been trying it myself, but am struggling with the edges. My cabinet doors area bit rounded so there is slight gap between the cabinet edge and trim piece. Did you have to fill that, or did yours line up flush? Any advice would be appreciated!

  16. Anonymous says:

    My cabinets look just like your “Before.” It looks like you had the old hammered metal hinges on the outside of the door. If so, Are you going to show how you fixed this. We haven’t found a solution for ours. Yours looks great!

  17. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia says:

    Fabulous, it is so pretty and I love the trim, looks custom!!!
    Thanks for linking, it will be featured on Tuesday 🙂

  19. D says:

    Oh very clever! Love this! I’m following.

  20. Lisa @ Flour Me With Love says:

    I can’t wait to show my husband this! We are doing our kitchen this summer and had no idea what we were going to do with the cabinets…now we do! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday 🙂

  21. Mariaelena says:

    Oh wow…this was a great idea…love it…can’t wait to see the finished project…and funny…we just painted our cabinets right before Thanksgiving (come over and check it out if you haven’t)…buy anyway, I repainted a big pin board with a beautiful frame to hang on the side of my fridge on the cabinet wall we have, but haven’t been able to do it…I love the way it looks with nothing, but I’m sure at some point I will cave and hang it…i like how it looks with nothing on the pin board, but you know how it will look as soon as I put a million papers on there…haha…enjoy your new project!!…Mariaelena

  22. the J in PJs Til Noon says:

    Create a big chalkboard, just a bit smaller than the fridge. If you like chalkboards, that is. Framed and everything, I think it would look great right on the fridge. Are there heavy duty magnets, that would hold it? I don’t know, just some thoughts.

  23. Kristen Turner says:

    That is so genius, Aimee! Love this idea and I cannot wait to see the final product!

  24. April says:

    It looks incredible! Love the inspiration kitchen…if only my cabinets were so messy…and most of my dishes weren’t plastic kids plates, lol, I would love to have those cabinet doors! I would love for you to stop by and link to my Sew Crafty Saturday Party!

  25. At The Picket Fence says:

    So super clever Aimee!!! It really is so amazing seeing how your kitchen unfolded into the beautiful space it is now and I love all of these great tips and tricks. Thanks so much for sharing them with us at Inspiration Friday! 🙂

  26. (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    What an amazing job you are doing. I can’t wait to see more progress. ~Kelly

  27. Janette - The2Seasons says:

    That makes a huge difference. You are very patient.

  28. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says:

    This is going to be a beautiful transformation! I can’t wait to see the final results.
    Hugs, Sherry

  29. Patricia C says:

    I am new to your site and have the exact same cabinets and have wondering what to do with them. I’m dying to see your finished product.

    • Aimee - says:

      It’s been really easy Patrica…just a little time consuming, of course!!! LOL! I’m going to finish my kitchen updates over the next couple days…I hope you’ll stop back by again and see the final results!!!! So glad to “meet” you!!! XO, Aimee

  30. Maury Kilgo says:

    OK, so you’re kinda brilliant. This is going to look so great!!!

  31. Suzan says:

    What caught my eye was the wall mounted microwave! Great idea!!

  32. Hildie says:

    I don’t think it’s tacky to have things hanging all over your fridge! I love funny magnets and cute pictures kids have drawn. It’s one of the few spaces in a house where you can just do whatever and it’s not a big deal. You can tell a lot about someone’s personality by the things people put on their fridges. When I see somebody who has a totally naked fridge I think, “guess she’s an OCD control freak.”

  33. kt says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished reveal. I tape pix on the INSIDE of my cabinet doors! So I can see all their lovely faces when I open the doors BUT it looks nice & neat when the doors are shut. 😉

  34. Wild Oak Designs says:

    Wow…bloggers like you are such inspiration…..

  35. Donna says:

    Wow! I never would guess that this is the same kitchen! It is gorgeous! I love your “new” cabinets, and the floor is beautiful! Enjoy:)

  36. Aimee - says:

    Gwen…Thanks SO SO SO Much!! XO, Aimee

  37. Ashley says:

    Great job on the kitchen!!

    I also have a stainless fridge that I cant hang anything on, so I took one of these

    Cleaned it up, spray painted it to match my kitchen and attached it with super strong Velcro (used velcro so I wouldnt have holes in my wall) to my wall…and I now I can hang all kinda of stuff! Its such a great idea, and I credit Pinterest!

    • Aimee - says:

      That’s AWESOME!!! Love it!!! Gotta LOVE Pinterest!!! XO, Aimee



  39. Aimee - says:

    That’s SUPER CUTE Karen!!! You, my friends make me feel tons better about my sentimental clutter!!!

    XO, Aimee

  40. Crafty Mischief says:

    I love seeing the progress of your home posts! And I love that your fridge looks as “tacky” as mine! 🙂

  41. Nicole @ Blessings and Bling says:

    Genius! I can’t wait to see it all painted!

  42. Aimee - says:

    Embarrassed to admit it, but I do that with some of my sweet b’s artwork! Duh! I’m going that route with important pics and cards, too! Thanks Brooke! XO, Aimee

  43. Brooke @ Inside-Out Design says:

    Oh wow it looks amazing!! What a difference adding the detailing to the cabinet doors made! (and of course the paint- that stuff is a life-saver.) Your kitchen is so gorgeous!
    When friends give me family pictures (like on a Christmas card or something) I snap a picture of it with my cell phone so that I have their cute pic, and then I instantly throw the card in the trash. I feel a little guilty but if I saved the hard copy of every friend’s photo I wouldn’t be able to see my refrigerator. So by snapping a pic of it I save it in a spot that takes up considerably less room. 🙂

  44. Anonymous says:

    Very clever idea. Something I would like to do too.

  45. Jen Naus says:

    Love your kitchen! I, myself have the 70’s kitchen in a 1930 something house, it drives me crazy & I’m ready to redo it also. I have really dark cabinetry & would love to go lighter & brighter & change the hardware. I’m a “tacky” Mom myself. The bad thing is if I take anything down, pics, drawings, etc, my son notices it & lets me know. Plus, I have the front & the one side covered, lol. 🙂

    • Aimee - says:

      Mine are the same way!! It never seems tacky to me until I photograph and share it…but since I’m amongst friends maybe I just shouldn’t worry about it!!! XO, Aimee