Easy Ways To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably think about your kitchen cabinets more often than necessary.

The fact is, cabinetry has a huge visual impact on your kitchen, so not paying attention to them is quite difficult.

From replacing your cabinets to just refinishing them with new paint and hardware, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about quickly and efficiently updating your kitchen cabinets.

So if you’re looking for ways to improve the vibe and functionality of your cabinetry without breaking the bank, here are a few ideas to consider.

An organic style kitchen with white cabinets and butcher block counter

Refinish Your Cabinets

Refinishing is the best kitchen cabinet makeover. Having them painted with a new coat of color, or applying a new finish to the surface is a cost-effective way of updating your cabinets.

The process of refinishing cabinets will ensure your kitchen appears fresh, and it will seem like you got new cabinets.

It’s recommended to hire a professional to paint kitchen cabinets as they are the focal point of your kitchen and need to look impressive. An expert painter will surely give your cabinets the look they deserve.

If you choose to do it yourself, be sure to use a high-quality paint or finish that will withstand wear and tear.

Updating Kitchen Cabinets with Different Finishes

There are four main types of finishes that can be used on cabinets: paint, wood veneer, laminate film, and hardware.
White cabinets in a kitchen with wood flooring and marble countertops


A fresh coat of paint for your base cabinets is a great option because it will give them a newer look for little money. Cabinets that are already in good condition don’t require any preparation work, so they can be painted right away.

Before you paint anything, remove all of the doors and hardware from the cabinet. Tape off any areas that you don’t want painted.

Fresh paint is great to elevate this important room and offer it the appeal needed. White paint for cabinets will ensure a timeless look for any kitchen cabinet, and dark cabinets will emphasize a strong contrast with other elements in the room.

If you’re not interested in painting your cabinets the same color, there are other finishes you can apply as well. For example, you could apply a wood veneer, or a laminate film that gives your cabinets the appearance of real wood.

Wood Veneer

Unlike paint, wood veneer requires special tools and techniques to install. Because of that, it is not easy to install by homeowners.

Wood veneer is a bit outdated. One of the main disadvantages is that the door and drawer edge banding tends to crack and chip with heavy use and constant contact with oils and cleaning products. It is much less durable than a high-quality spray finish.

Laminate Film

Laminate film is a great choice for homeowners who want a very durable finish that will never crack or peel.

This is a factory process and cannot be done in-home. That means only the doors can be laminated while the cabinet boxes must be painted to match.

This option mimics the appearance of wood or paint, but at a much higher cost. It can be applied to any type of cabinet door and comes in any color or wood grain finish. It’s durable and easy to clean as well.


Hardware is a great way to add personality to your cabinets without spending a lot of money. There are many different styles available for any type of kitchen décor.

For example, you could use vintage-looking hardware with rustic cabinets or sleek, modern hardware with contemporary cabinets. The options are endless.

Reface Your Cabinet Doors

Refacing your cabinets simply means replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, while keeping the existing cabinet boxes.

This is a great option if you want to update your cabinets without replacing them. This works especially well if the cabinet boxes are still in good condition

There are many different types of materials that can be used for cabinet doors and drawer fronts, including wood, plastic, metal, and glass.

When choosing a material, be sure to consider the style of your kitchen, as well as the type of finish you want.

A multitude of different door styles for cabinets upgrade

Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are a popular choice for kitchen cabinetry because they’re durable and can be stained to match any décor.

There are many different types of wood that can be used for cabinets, including: oak, maple, cherry, and mahogany.

When choosing wood cabinets, be sure to consider the style of your kitchen and the type of finish you want.

Medium-Density Fiberboard Cabinets

MDF (medium density fiberboard) is an engineered wood product that is made by combining wood fibers with a resin. The resulting product is then compressed and molded into boards.

MDF is a popular choice for cabinet construction because it’s affordable and durable. It also comes in a variety of colors and styles, so it’s easy to find one that will match your kitchen décor.

MDF is much more stable than real hardwood, and is just as strong when finished properly. It is HIGHLY recommended for cabinet doors.

Replace Your Cabinets

If your cabinets are outdated or in poor condition, a paint job might not do any magic.

If that’s the case, you may want to consider replacing the entire cabinet box. This is a more expensive option, but it’s a great way to give your kitchen a fresh, new look.

Replacing existing cabinets can be a great way to update the look of your kitchen without undertaking a full renovation. As door style, consider shaker doors or glass panel doors to keep your room trendy and stylish.

When choosing cabinets, be sure to consider the style of your kitchen and the right sizes for your cabinetry.

There are many different styles and colors available, so finding one that matches your kitchen décor shouldn’t be too difficult with the help of an expert.

Contractor updating kitchen cabinets

Ready-To-Assemble Cabinets

Ready-to-assemble cabinets, also known as RTA cabinets, are a popular choice for homeowners because they’re affordable and easy to install.

They’re made from particle board or medium-density fiberboard and come in a variety of styles and colors.

One downside to RTA cabinets is that they may not be as strong as solid wood, and you’ll find them in limited sizes, styles, and colors.

If you’re looking for an affordable option for more kitchen storage, RTA cabinetry is the best way to go.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Updating kitchen cabinets with semi-custom cabinetry is a great option to improve the flexibility of your room.

Choose your own style, color, and size without being limited by anything. They’re also a great option if you want to save money because they’re more affordable than fully personalized cabinets.

There are many different types of semi-custom cabinets available, including painted or stained hardwoods and laminates, all with a variety of door styles. When choosing a material for your semi-custom cabinets, be sure to consider the style of your kitchen and the type of finish you want.

One downside to semi-custom cabinets is that they may require a more extensive installation process than other types of kitchen cabinets.

Custom Cabinets

When it comes to stock cabints vs custom cabinets, the custom ones are a great option if you want full flexibility to choose your own style, color, and size. They’re more expensive than other types of kitchen cabinets, but the value they bring to your kitchen is unmatched.

When choosing a material for this type of cabinets, the style of your kitchen and the finish you want will make a significant impact on the final look of your cabinets.

One downside to fully custom cabinets is that they may require a more extensive installation process than other types of kitchen cabinets. You’ll also need to consider your kitchen layout and even your kitchen island when buying new cabinets.

Hire a professional to take care of the manufacturing and installation of your cabinets as this project requires skill and special tools.

Install New Hardware

Replacing your cabinet hardware is an easy way to update the look of your kitchen without undertaking a full renovation. There are many different types of cabinet hardware available, including knobs, pulls, and hinges.

When choosing cabinet hardware consider the style, size, and design of your kitchen and your kitchen doors.

Hardware that matches your cabinetry and kitchen style will make your kitchen unique and bring a new, better vibe to it.

You can find multiple hardware options at your home improvement store. If you want to DIY this project, be careful with the nail holes on your new doors, as they can ruin the center panel.

An expert from Mortise & Miter can help you with your shopping list for new hardware.

Cabinets with open drawers and doors


Pulls are the most popular choice because they’re easy to install and add a touch of elegance to your kitchen. They’re more of a statement piece and can elevate your kitchen’s appearance from day one.

One downside to pulls is that their size needs to be measured correctly, otherwise it won’t be a good fit for your cabinets.

Pulls are recommended for anyone with limited hand mobility because they are easier to use in many different ways.


Knobs are round and people use their fingers to twist them to open the cabinet door. They provide worse accessibility than pulls and are becoming outdated. They work great for a minimalist approach in a kitchen design.

Knobs should not be used in areas that are already difficult to access.

Updating Kitchen Cabinets With Crown Molding

Adding trim and using little paint to match it with the kitchen is an effective way of updating your cabinetry.

Crown molding is the trim adornment that you put on the top of your cabinet. Ideally it should match the trim and proportions of the rest of the rooms. It connects your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling, hiding any extra space.

Wood island with hardwood cabinets

Updating Kitchen Cabinets With Extra Features

Extra features are a great way to customize your kitchen cabinets and make them more functional.

Under Cabinet Lights

Under cabinet lights are a great way to make your kitchen look more elegant and sophisticated. They add a touch of mood lighting to the space and create a cozy atmosphere for your kitchen.

LED lights are the most popular type of under cabinet light because they’re long lasting and energy efficient.

When choosing under cabinet lights, be sure to consider the size and shape of the lightbulbs. You may also want to choose a light that has a dimmer switch so that you can control the amount of light that’s emitted.

Corner Solutions - Lazy Susan

A lazy Susan (or Lazy Susie) is a turntable that is used to make it easier to access the contents of cabinets, especially those with multiple shelves. The lazy Susan is placed in the cabinet above or below the shelves and allows you to easily rotate it to access the items on the other side.

Lazy Susans are a great way to organize your cabinets and make them more functional. They’re perfect for small kitchens or cabinets with limited space.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchen design because it allows you to show off your beautiful dishes and glasses. It also provides easy access to the items that you use most often.

There are many different ways to incorporate open shelving into your kitchen. You can use open shelves above your countertops, or install cabinets with open shelves instead of doors.

If you’re worried about dust and dirt accumulating on your dishes, be sure to choose a type of open shelving that is easy to clean. Glass shelves are a good option because you can easily wipe them down with a wet cloth.


If you’ve just moved into an old house and you’re looking to update your cabinets for the first time in years, refinishing or refacing kitchen cabinets is the easiest update they can get.

The right hardware will also make all the difference, but is crucial to match it with the rest of your kitchen. Crown molding really helps provide some grandeur and warmth to your kitchen, completing the entire design. Add trim to really finish the look and make your kitchen impressive.

If you’re interested in updating your kitchen cabinets but aren’t sure where to start, Mortise & Miter provides the best insights into any home project!

Get in touch or call us directly at (913) 214- 6211 to enjoy the easiest process of updating kitchen cabinets!