How To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them

How To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them

Posted on October 3rd, 2023

The heart of any home lies in its kitchen. It's where meals are prepared, stories are shared, and memories are made. 

Yet, often, homeowners hesitate to give their kitchens the makeover they deserve, primarily due to the perceived high costs and inconvenience. 

One of the most dominant and noticeable elements of a kitchen is the cabinetry. While worn-out or outdated kitchen cabinets can dampen the space's appeal, a complete replacement isn't always necessary. 

Many are unaware that there's a middle ground—a way to refresh the look without the significant expense and disruption of a full overhaul. 

That's where redoing kitchen cabinets comes into play. This article delves deep into how you can achieve that coveted updated kitchen look without the need to replace your beloved cabinets entirely. Let's embark on this transformative journey together.

Understanding Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is the unsung hero of kitchen renovations. At its core, cabinet refacing involves replacing the visible parts of your cabinets—such as doors, drawer fronts, and external hardware—while keeping the main body or "boxes" intact. This process provides a fresh, new look akin to a complete cabinet replacement but at a fraction of the cost and time.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing, in essence, is giving your kitchen cabinets a makeover. It's about taking what's old and making it new again without the extensive work of tearing everything out and starting from scratch. By simply changing the fronts and hardware, you can radically transform the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

Why Choose Refacing Over Replacement?

One might wonder why go for a remodel when you can get brand new cabinets. The answers are many:

  • Cost-Effective: Refacing requires less material and labor than a full replacement. This means significant savings for homeowners.

  • Eco-Friendly: By reusing the main parts of the cabinets, there's a reduction in waste, making refacing a more sustainable choice.

  • Time-Saving: Unlike a complete overhaul that can leave your kitchen unusable for weeks, refacing can often be done in a matter of days.

  • Personalization: With refacing, homeowners get the freedom to choose from a myriad of styles, finishes, and hardware, ensuring the end result aligns with their vision.

For those in Metro Spokane and surrounding areas, Tramco Kitchen and Bath specializes in cabinet refacing, ensuring your kitchen cabinet remodel is executed to perfection.

Benefits of a Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Refreshing the look of your kitchen goes beyond mere aesthetics. A kitchen cabinet makeover can breathe new life into your space and offer benefits you might not have considered before.

Improving Visual Appeal and Home Value

The impact of well-maintained and stylish kitchen cabinets on the overall feel of a home cannot be overstated. Upgraded cabinets instantly elevate the space, making it more welcoming and appealing. More than just personal satisfaction, updated cabinets can also enhance the property's market value. Potential buyers often pay special attention to the kitchen, and remodeled cabinets can be a significant selling point.

Sustainability: Why Remodel Instead of Replace

Every decision we make has an environmental impact. Choosing to remodel kitchen cabinets rather than replace them entirely contributes to a more sustainable future. By keeping the main structures and updating the exteriors, we reduce waste and the demand for new raw materials. This decision not only saves trees but also reduces the energy and resources spent on manufacturing new cabinets.

Cost-Efficiency and Time-Saving Aspects

As touched upon in the earlier section, remodeling offers a quicker and more affordable solution than a full replacement. But there's more to it. With less disruption, you can have your kitchen back in operational mode in no time, avoiding the prolonged inconvenience that a complete renovation might bring. Moreover, the money saved can be allocated to other home improvement projects or luxurious additions to your kitchen space.

How to Update Cabinets with New Paint

Paint can work wonders, especially when it comes to kitchen cabinets. A fresh coat can completely transform dated cabinets, making them look chic and contemporary. Before diving into the painting process, however, it's essential to understand the steps and considerations involved.

Selecting the Right Paint Type and Color

The choice of paint can make or break the outcome. It's advisable to opt for semi-gloss or gloss finishes as they're easier to clean and reflect light better, enhancing the kitchen's brightness. When it comes to color, neutrals like whites, grays, or beiges remain timeless. However, for those feeling adventurous, muted greens, blues, or even black can give a sophisticated touch to the space.

Prepping the Cabinets for Painting

Proper preparation ensures the paint adheres well and lasts longer. Begin by removing all hardware and doors. Clean the surfaces thoroughly to remove any grease or grime. Lightly sanding the cabinets can help in achieving a smoother finish. Remember to apply a primer before the actual paint, as it helps in creating an even base and enhances paint durability.

Best Practices for Painting

Always start with thin coats and give ample time for each layer to dry before applying the next. This ensures an even finish and reduces the chances of drips. For best results, use a combination of rollers (for larger surfaces) and brushes (for detailed areas). Once the painting is done and everything's dried, reattach the hardware and doors, and voila! Your kitchen cabinets makeover is complete.

Tips on How to Update Old Cabinets

Reviving the charm of old cabinets doesn't always require a significant overhaul. Sometimes, a few strategic tweaks can bring about a world of difference. Here's how you can breathe new life into those aged yet sturdy kitchen cabinets.

Cleaning and Maintenance for Long-Lasting Beauty

Over the years, cabinets accumulate a layer of grease, dirt, and dust that can dull their appearance. Begin with a thorough cleaning using a mild detergent solution. For wooden cabinets, occasional polishing can restore their original shine. Maintaining the cleanliness and promptly addressing any spills or stains ensures that your cabinets remain in top-notch condition for years.

Hardware Updates: Changing Handles and Knobs

One of the simplest ways to update old cabinets is by replacing outdated handles and knobs. The market today is flooded with a plethora of designs, from sleek modern handles to vintage ornate knobs. These small changes can dramatically alter the cabinet's look, making them seem more contemporary and in line with current design trends.

Adding Molding or Trim for a Fresh Look

For those looking to add an extra touch of sophistication, consider adding molding or trim to the cabinet doors. This gives them a more structured and polished appearance. With a bit of paint to match, this can transform your old cabinets into something that looks custom-made.

Making Kitchen Cabinets Look Clean and Modern

While updating the exteriors of your cabinets plays a crucial role, the interiors, too, can't be neglected. A clean, organized, and modern cabinet interior can significantly uplift the overall vibe of your kitchen.

Decluttering and Organizing the Interior

Start by removing everything from your cabinets. Dispose of outdated or rarely used items. Investing in organizers or dividers can make a huge difference. Group items by type, ensuring that frequently used things are easily accessible. The aim is to have a space where everything has its place, making daily kitchen tasks more efficient.

Modern Trends in Kitchen Cabinets

Incorporating current design trends can infuse a dose of modernity into your space. Open shelving, for instance, is a trend that's been gaining traction. It allows for easy access and offers an opportunity to display beautiful dishes and glassware. Glass front panels can also replace solid doors, letting you showcase your organized interiors while making the space feel more open.

The Role of Good Lighting

Never underestimate the power of good lighting. Adding under-cabinet lighting can dramatically change the ambiance of your kitchen, making tasks easier and highlighting your cabinet's features. Dimmable lights offer flexibility, allowing you to adjust the brightness according to your needs and mood.

With these tips in hand, achieving that clean, organized, and modern kitchen cabinet look becomes an attainable dream. The beauty lies in the details, and often, it's these small changes that leave the most significant impact.


An updated kitchen can breathe new life into a home, making it more inviting and functional. The misconception that this requires a complete overhaul often deters homeowners from taking the first step. As we've outlined in this guide, there are numerous ways to refresh your kitchen cabinets without the hassle and cost of total replacement. From the wonders of cabinet refacing to the transformative power of paint, and even the smallest details like new hardware, there's a myriad of methods to give your space a facelift. 

By incorporating these tips and embracing current trends, homeowners can achieve a modern and clean aesthetic. Choosing to update instead of replacing is not only cost-effective but also environmentally responsible. So, before you consider tearing down those cabinets, explore these options. And if professional guidance is what you seek, Tramco Kitchen and Bath is always here to help. Reach out to us at (509) 255 3904 or via email at [email protected] for expert advice and services tailored to your needs.

Message Us

Send the team a message; we will get back to you as soon as possible.