Update cabinets to create a different look in your kitchen.

How to Decorate Ugly Cabinets

by Diann Cabler

Give the cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room a completely new look by updating them with paint, molding, inserts or new hardware. Updating your existing cabinets is much less expensive than purchasing new cabinets. As long as your cabinet framework is structurally sound, updating allows you to incorporate your style and personality into the decor.


Spruce up your cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. Painting cabinets in lighter tones makes a small kitchen look larger. Distress around the edges of the cabinet doors and across the front with fine-grit sandpaper to create a shabby chic look. After a fresh coat of paint, stencil a design on cabinet doors in a bright color that complements your kitchen decor. Painting the inside of your cabinets in a bold color is ideal for glass-front cabinets.


Adding strips of molding to cabinet doors in a geometric pattern adds texture and interest. For a vintage look, add wood molding blocks in the corners of cabinet doors and connect the blocks with strips of flat decorative molding. Decoupage wallpaper or scrapbook paper onto cabinet doors. Cover the seams with decorative molding for an interesting look.


Remove the center panel from cabinet doors with a jig saw and replace with an insert to add interest and texture to your decor. Beadboard adds country charm to cabinet doors. Create a dramatic effect on cabinet doors by adding a fabric panel of lace, burlap, gingham or any fabric that complements your decor. Add country charm to your cabinet doors by hot gluing dried, pressed flowers to the center panel and covering with a glass insert. Tin ceiling tile inserts add a vintage look to cabinet doors.

Other Options

Add interest to glass-front cabinets with a bold print wallpaper on the back walls of the cabinet. Cover the panels of cabinet doors with mosaic tiles. Mosaic tiles come on a mesh background to hold the tiles together. To create a farmhouse look, remove lower cabinet doors and replace with a gingham curtain. Add new decorative knobs and drawer pulls to finish off the new look of your cabinets.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Diann Cabler was co-owner of a home remodeling and construction company for 25 years. She is experienced in all areas of new home construction and remodeling. She is currently working on a non-fiction novel.

Photo Credits

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