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The Ultimate Guide to Upgrading Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

Dec 11, 2023
The Ultimate Guide to Upgrading Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

You’ve been thinking about it for a while, trying to choose the right time to give your kitchen a facelift, and making sure you find the perfect cabinets. NOW is a great time, because honestly there’s no perfect time. 

Upgrading your kitchen cabinets can breathe new life into your kitchen and give it a fresh, updated look. However, the cost of a full cabinet replacement can be quite expensive. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the ultimate budget-friendly ways to upgrade your kitchen cabinets. With these tips and tricks, you can transform your kitchen without breaking the bank.

At iCabinetry Direct, we understand the importance of affordability when it comes to kitchen renovations. We specialize in providing high-quality, affordable kitchen cabinets that are perfect for any budget. With our expertise and cost-effective solutions, you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams without spending a fortune.

1. Evaluate and Plan

Before diving into your kitchen cabinet upgrade, it’s helpful to evaluate the current state of your cabinets and determine your budget. Take a close look at the condition of your cabinets and identify any areas that need improvement. Once you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, set a realistic budget for the project. This will help you prioritize your upgrades and make informed decisions along the way.

2. Refacing vs. Replacing

When it comes to upgrading your kitchen cabinets, you have two options: refacing or replacing. Refacing involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. This is a cost-effective alternative to a full cabinet replacement, yet will make your kitchen feel brand new. On the other hand, replacing your cabinets entirely may be necessary if they are in poor condition or if you want to change the layout of your kitchen. Consider the amount of time you plan to live in your current home as well. 

3. DIY Cabinet Painting

One of the most budget-friendly ways to upgrade your kitchen cabinets is by painting them yourself. This DIY project can save you a significant amount of money compared to hiring a professional painter. Start by thoroughly cleaning your cabinets to remove any grease or grime. Then, lightly sand the surfaces to create a smooth base for the paint. Choose a high-quality paint that is specifically designed for cabinets and apply it using a brush or roller. With a fresh coat of paint, your cabinets will look brand new without breaking the bank.

4. Cabinet Hardware Upgrade

Upgrading your cabinet hardware is arguably the most fun step in a kitchen refresh. Swapping out old, outdated hardware for new, stylish options can instantly modernize your kitchen. With colors and finishes, styles, animals (seriously), and other options that are practically endless, you can accessorize new or existing cabinets to express your unique style. 

Look for affordable hardware options that complement your kitchen’s style and color scheme. When installing the new hardware, make sure to measure carefully and use the appropriate tools. With this easy upgrade, your cabinets will have a fresh, updated look in no time.

5. Add Crown Molding

Crown molding is a classic addition that can elevate the look of your kitchen cabinets. It adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any kitchen. The best part? Crown molding is relatively inexpensive and easy to install yourself. Measure and cut the molding to fit your cabinets, then attach it using adhesive and finishing nails. With the addition of crown molding, your cabinets will have a refined and polished appearance.

Myth: Crown molding is only for high ceiling or more formal styles.

There are many simple styles of crown molding that look great in small spaces and with contemporary designs.

6. Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting not only enhances the functionality of your kitchen but also adds a warm and inviting ambiance. There are plenty of affordable options available, such as LED strip lights, that can be easily installed yourself. Before installing the lights, plan out the placement to ensure even lighting throughout your kitchen. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and make sure to prioritize safety by turning off the power before working with electrical components. With under cabinet lighting, your kitchen will have a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

7. Utilize Open Shelving

Open shelving has become a popular trend in kitchen design, and it’s also a budget-friendly alternative to traditional cabinets. By removing the doors from some of your upper cabinets, you can create open shelves that showcase your favorite dishes and accessories. This not only adds visual interest to your kitchen but also gives you easy access to frequently used items. When styling your open shelves, consider using a mix of decorative and functional items to create a balanced and organized look.

8. Cabinet Door Inserts

Cabinet door inserts are a great way to add personality and style to your kitchen cabinets. There are quite a few affordable insert options available, such as glass, mesh, or decorative panels. These inserts can be easily installed by removing the cabinet doors and replacing them with the desired inserts. This simple upgrade can transform your cabinets and give them a unique and customized look.

Take it to the next level and get uber fancy by adding lighting inside your cabinets. The suggestions above for under cabinet lighting can be used here, too.

9. Repurpose and Upcycle

If you’re looking for a creative and budget-friendly approach to upgrading your kitchen cabinets, consider repurposing and upcycling existing materials. You can give your cabinets a fresh new look by refinishing or repainting them. Additionally, you can repurpose old cabinets or cabinet parts for other purposes, such as creating a kitchen island or a storage unit. Let your imagination run wild and see what you come up with.

10. Seek Professional Advice

While there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to upgrade your kitchen cabinets on your own, sometimes it’s best to chat with the pros. Consulting with experts can help you make informed decisions and ensure that your upgrades are done correctly. At iCabinetry Direct, we have a team of knowledgeable professionals who can provide expert guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific needs and budget. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 877-969-3749 for all your affordable kitchen cabinet needs.

Upgrading your kitchen cabinets on a budget is doable with the right approach. We’re here to meet you where you are: DIY or working with a designer/contractor. A short discovery phone call will reveal if working with a virtual showroom is a good fit for you. Give us a call at 877-800-0420 and let us help you create the perfect kitchen within your budget.


1. How much does it cost to upgrade kitchen cabinets?

The cost of upgrading kitchen cabinets can vary depending on the extent of the upgrades and the materials used. Refacing cabinets is generally more affordable than replacing them entirely. DIY painting and hardware upgrades are also cost-effective options. Contact iCabinetry Direct for a personalized quote based on your specific needs.

2. Can I paint my kitchen cabinets myself?

Yes, painting your kitchen cabinets yourself is a budget-friendly option. Make sure to properly clean and prepare the surfaces before painting and use high-quality paint designed for cabinets. Follow the necessary steps and precautions for a successful DIY cabinet painting project.

3. How long does it take to upgrade kitchen cabinets?

The time it takes to upgrade kitchen cabinets depends on the scope of the project and the specific upgrades being done. Refacing cabinets and painting them yourself can typically be completed within a few days. More extensive projects, such as replacing cabinets or adding crown molding, may take longer. Plan accordingly and allow for sufficient time to complete the upgrades.

4. Can I upgrade my kitchen cabinets without replacing them?

Yes, there are several ways to upgrade kitchen cabinets without replacing them entirely. Refacing cabinets, painting them, upgrading hardware, adding crown molding, and incorporating cabinet door inserts are all budget-friendly options that can give your cabinets a fresh new look.

5. Why should I choose iCabinetry Direct for my kitchen cabinet needs?

iCabinetry Direct offers high-quality, affordable kitchen cabinets that are perfect for any budget. Our team of experts can provide personalized guidance and recommendations to help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us at 877-969-3749 for all your affordable kitchen cabinet needs.

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