How to Reuse & Remodel Kitchen Cabinets

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Add glass fronts to several of the cabinets you recycle.
Add glass fronts to several of the cabinets you recycle. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Planning a kitchen renovation to recycle cabinets is a great way to create visual interest and save money. Solid cabinets can be reworked and integrated with upgrades for a look that is more pleasing than adding all new cabinets. Older cabinets give a kitchen a warm feeling and more personality, if they are properly refinished. Look at all of the possible options in kitchen design books and magazines before planning the makeover. Color choice and finish will be very important. But, look at various ways to use the whole cabinet space more creatively.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Sketch pad
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Graph paper
  • Sandpaper
  • Hardwood
  • Wire-front doors
  • Glass-front doors
  • Counter top material
  • Wood trim material
  • Crown molding

Measure the kitchen layout and wall spaces. Draw a detailed plan of how the cabinets are presently arranged. Look for additional space to incorporate newly purchased cabinets to fit with the old. Sketch various layouts with counter space and a kitchen island.

Plan the look of refinished cabinets and how they will fit into the plan. Create a design to use a combination of black and white painted cabinets, for example. Choose to stain lower cabinets dark walnut and paint upper cabinets a cream color, as another option. Consider creating antique finishes on cabinets using a glazing technique. Use graph paper and colored pencils to draw the exact footprint and color of reinstalled cabinets.

Take down wall cabinets and remove floor cabinets. Store them in a garage space, so you can refinish them in sections. Remove all hardware and cabinet doors. Sand cabinet finishes and paint or stain them. Use a different style of hardware to give them a brand-new look when they are reinstalled in kitchen space.

Reattach the refinished cabinets and install any new cabinets. Use shims of wood to level them. Add new doors to some of the cabinets for visual appeal. Install wire-front or glass-front doors over a few of the upper cabinets or pantry cabinets, for example.

Add new countertop material over base cabinets. Use a gold or black countertop material as an option -- most important, pick a countertop that is totally different from the old material if you're seeking a significantly new look. Use wood trim or crown molding to tie old and new cabinets together. Use crown molding stained dark walnut on the top of cream colored cabinets to match dark walnut base cabinets, for example.

References

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