Budget-Friendly DIY Kitchen Cabinet Ideas


Updating kitchen cabinets can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the budget! Instead of a complete overhaul, try one of these budget-friendly DIY kitchen cabinet ideas instead!

Are you all ready to talk about some kitchen cabinet ideas? If you have spent any amount of time on my blog, you know I love a good kitchen makeover!

I truly believe the kitchen is the heart of the home, so it’s only fair that I get to make it the place we all actually want to hang out in. However, kitchen remodels are not cheap … at all. If you are anything like me, there is always a fine line that has to be walked between style and budget.

6 Budget-Friendly DIY Kitchen Cabinet Decor Ideas

Thankfully, you really CAN have it all in this case! Creating the kitchen of your dreams while staying on budget can absolutely be done. The kitchen cabinets tend to be one of the most expensive thing to replace (outside of appliances), so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite DIY kitchen cabinet ideas.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

My personal favorite way to update cabinets is to paint them. If you think learning how to paint kitchen cabinets sounds impossible, I promise it isn’t! I know, since I painted my kitchen cabinets myself.

I might be biased, but don’t they look gorgeous? I painted them using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, which was a huge improvement over the dated wood look they used to have.

How my Painted Kitchen Cabinets are holding up 2 years later!

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

One of the reasons people always feel hesitant about figuring out how to paint kitchen cabinets is the prep work can seem overwhelming.

Who has time and energy to sand every crevice of each cabinet? Just think of all the time—and dust! With my method of painting cabinets, you don’t have to worry about that. I didn’t do any sanding. Instead, I used a deglosser…and a few years later my white cabinets still look amazing!

Learn How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets right here.

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

If painting still sounds overwhelming, or if it just isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Thanks to some creative bloggers and designers, there are a lot of fun ways homeowners can redo their cabinets outside of using a can of paint. Here are some of my favorite kitchen cabinet ideas that don’t require paint.

Add DIY Open Shelving for Cabinets

As you may have seen, open shelving in the kitchen is one of the most popular kitchen cabinet ideas lately. They can be extremely budget-friendly and make a great DIY project. I love that you can create virtually any look with these shelves depending on the stain or paint, brackets and what you put on the shelves to decorate with. You can add open shelving to your kitchen in two ways.

First, you can do what some of these incredibly talented bloggers have done and remove upper cabinets. As you can see, this can be an absolutely stunning replacement kitchen cabinet idea.

This kitchen shared by Cassandra LaValle is the perfect example. It is part decor, part functional. It makes the entire kitchen look so open and airy.

Styled Open Shelving in the Kitchen

The second way you can add open shelving to your kitchen is to do what I did in my old kitchn—simply add shelving to a wall as an accent, rather than a replacement for cabinets. In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds—all the style and fun of shelving plus all the perks of cabinetry. Beautiful, right?

Farmhouse Spring Decorating Ideas - Open Shelves in the Kitchen!

Replace the Cabinet Face

If you have cabinets that are in good condition, you can simply update the door style and make them look totally new. This is super easy if you have kitchen cabinets from Ikea or somewhere that is designed to do this, but if you are working with anything else, you will have to do a little woodworking or order custom doors.

I love what Refresh Living did with her cabinets in the image below. She ordered custom shaker-style cabinet doors and used them to update her old cabinetry for a fraction of the cost.

Remodel Kitchen on a Budget by Replacing the Door and Painting them with Alkyd Paint

Add New Hardware

This is the easiest idea on this list. In my opinion, adding new hardware to an older cabinet really does make a big impact! If you are looking for a kitchen cabinet makeover idea that can be done in an afternoon, this is the one.

Tray in corner for corralling Kitchen Counter Decor
My favorite knobs are these aged brass mushroom cabinet knobs.

I changed out the hardware in my current kitchen when I updated it when we moved it. Such a simple change made the space feel more like me, and it coordinated with my style and decor.

Aged brass appliance pull

I’ve also shared a whole post about cabinet hardware placement, with tips on when to use knobs vs. pulls or even when to use cabinet latches. There’s tons of helpful information there if you’re looking to change out the hardware on your cabinets!

I also give tips on installing and measuring for new cabinet hardware for kitchen doors and drawers.

Remove the Cabinet Doors

If you don’t want to pull down your cabinets, patch and paint the walls, then install open shelving, but you still want the look of it, here’s your solution. Simply remove the cabinet doors! This is another easy kitchen cabinet idea that can transform the look of your space. This kitchen was featured on Design Sponge and shows just how big of an impact this kitchen cabinet idea can be. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Remove the kitchen cabinet doors to give the kitchen an updated look!

Add a Glass Front to your Cabinet Doors

If you are looking for a happy medium between the closed storage of cabinets and a way to display your favorite dishes and kitchen pieces, this is one of my favorite kitchen cabinet ideas. You can have this done professionally, but it can also be a DIY, surprisingly!

This blog post from Confessions of a Serial DIYer makes this cabinet DIY project look totally doable.

Adding glass to kitchen cabinet doors

Which one of these ideas are your favorites? I’m still a bit partial to the cabinet painting method, but I really do like this all!

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  1. I like your tip to add new hardware to your cabinets to give it a new look. My wife wants to do a DIY remodel of our kitchen but we still need to buy supplies. I’ll be sure to look into replacing the hardware of our cabinets.

  2. Thank you for all of these ideas Laura! I am getting ready to give my cabinets a custom color finish to get rid of the dated wood look but I have been looking for a low cost way to add a bit of flare. The doorless shelves are beautiful, definitely a winner! Can’t wait to try this in my kitchen and maybe wallpaper the backs of the cabinets? Thank you!!

  3. I’ve been thinking about painting my kitchen cabinets for a while now. I have painted 2 pieces of furniture with latex paint and found that the drawers want to stick now. Do you have any issues like that? Maybe my home is too humid.

    1. I haven’t had that issue, but I used paint specifically for painting cabinets. It’s called Advance interior paint by Benjamin Moore. It’s a waterborne alkyd paint so that it’s super durable, but doesn’t stick at all. I’ve also used Ace HArdware’s Cabinet, Door & Trim Paint, which worked amazing as well. Never had any issues with either one!

  4. Hi Laura. Thank you for sharing your ideas about budget friendly kitchen cabinet. I also appreciate with you that kitchen is the heart of a home and it needs to decorated well. Your kitchen looks very charming.

  5. Love your ideas! How would you paint white cabinets that have laqured finish with has discoloured. Not ready to replace them.

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