How to Make Over Oak Cabinets


While you may not be happy with the look of your cabinets, they can be expensive to replace. An alternative to costly replacement is to transform them with a do-it-yourself makeover. Applying a new finish and updated hardware can completely change the look of your oak cabinets. These changes may seem subtle but are high-impact.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Portable paint sprayer
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Cabinet handles, with screws
  • Drawer pulls, with screws
  • Remove the existing handles and drawer pulls from your cabinet doors and drawers with a screwdriver. Unscrew the doors from the hinges, leaving the hinges in place on the cabinet. Remove the drawers from the cabinets.

  • Sand the drawer fronts and all surfaces of the doors with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss in order for a primer coat to adhere. Sand with the grain of the wood. Wipe off the sanded cabinet parts with a rag.

  • Spray a coat of primer onto the draw fronts and doors using a portable paint sprayer. Allow the primer to dry.

  • Apply two coats of paint to the drawer fronts and doors using a sprayer. Allow the paint to dry in between coats.

  • Align the new drawer pulls and cabinet handles in place over the drawer fronts and doors. Drive the provided screws through the back of the drawer fronts and doors into the pulls and handles to fasten them in place.

  • Slide the drawers back into the cabinets. Align the doors with the hinges and drive the screws back into the door to fasten the doors in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Select a metal finish for the hardware to match your lighting and appliances for a contemporary look.
  • Apply primer and paint in a well-ventilated area.

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  • Photo Credit kitchen image by Rich Johnson from
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