10 DIY Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Brass Fixtures, Cream Kitchen Cabinets

 Tobi Fairley

Kitchen cabinets need updating? You're in luck. Kitchen cabinets are the perfect canvas for fast and fun-to-do DIY projects. You'll fall in love with your cabinets after you embark on one or more of these small projects, each designed to maximize your creativity with only moderate cost and effort.

  • 01 of 10

    "Tide-Line" Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

    Two-Toned Kitchen Paint With a Twist
    British Standard

    Two-toned kitchen cabinet paint schemes may be common, but can you believe this fantastic twist? Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock began their bespoke cupboard company British Standard with the aim of providing "understated elegance," as they say. They fail to mention, too, their talent for understated whimsy, as evidenced by this unique take on two-toned paint schemes.

    Most two-toned schemes go something like this: lower cabinets, dark color; upper cabinets, light color. British Standard's design includes the walls–and the bottom six inches of wall cabinets–in that dark, lower color. They call it a "tide line," and it's a fun DIY touch you may want to consider if you are painting your cabinets and want to elevate your kitchen beyond the ordinary.

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  • 02 of 10

    Satin-Finish Brass Fixtures

    Brass Fixtures, Cream Kitchen Cabinets
    Tobi Fairley

    For decades, brass fixtures have been excluded from homes. In a frenzy of brass-stripping, these fixtures were replaced by nickel, stainless steel, and matte black fixtures. Now, guess what? A new generation of brass is here, and it's better than before.

    Designer Tobi Fairley places elegant brass fixtures against cream-colored kitchen cabinets for a gentle contrast. Instead of 1980s-era mirror-finish brass, choose calm, friendly satin-sheen fixtures that let the warm color show through, rather than reflecting the room back at itself.

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  • 03 of 10

    Faux-Cycled Barnwood Cabinet Doors

    Faux Recycled Barnwood Kitchen Cabinet Doors
    Mountain Modern Life

    Score! Imagine the thrill experienced by Katie and Eric, over at the lifestyle blog Mountain Modern Life, when they discovered these charming reclaimed wood barn doors when wandering around the country back roads in their RV. 

    Except for one thing: this is not reclaimed wood. These are 100% new DIY-made cabinet doors, not recycled barnwood (though you cannot be faulted for thinking so!).

    Dumpster diving did produce those base cabinet boxes, though. Everything past that point is a clever replica of weathered barnwood. 

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  • 04 of 10

    DIY Slab-to-Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

    DIY Slab-to-Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinet Doors
    Cherished Bliss

    Shaker style cabinets are characterized by a raised picture-frame perimeter around the door and drawer fronts. Ashley, at the design blog Cherished Bliss, theorized that she could turn her flat (slab) cabinet doors into Shaker-style cabinets by running a thin frame around the doors. Would it work?

    Experiment... successful!

    She lightened her work by choosing 1/4-inch plywood for the frames and especially by having the lumber yard rip the wood to 2 1/2-inch wide strips.

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  • 05 of 10

    DIY Kitchen Cabinet Door Organizer

    Kitchen Cabinet Door Organizer
    Ana White

    So what are you going to do about your under-sink kitchen cabinet mess? You know: paper towel rolls swollen with leaky water and cleaning supplies impossible to find in the murk.

    How about this quick, simple and ultra-cheap DIY cabinet door organizer? Ana White sells plans for ambitious projects, like entire kitchen cabinets you can build from scratch. Whet your appetite for building with this extremely easy, free project, available on her site.

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  • 06 of 10

    Easy DIY LED Kitchen Cabinet Lighting

    DIY Easy LED Kitchen Cabinet Lighting
    Thrifty Decor Chick

    Admit it, you want kitchen cabinet lighting. But fear has held you back. Fear no more. Thrifty Decor Chick and interior decorator Sarah felt the same way until she discovered the power of LED tape lighting.

    Forget the bulky, heavy incandescent rope lighting of the past. The present and future belong to these rolls of light-weight LED lights that come with adhesive on the back. All you need to do is plug them in (no hard-wiring required!) and you can connect them all throughout your cabinets. Controlled with a standalone remote control or by your mobile device, literally millions of RGB (red-green-blue) color combinations are possible.

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  • 07 of 10

    Add Crown Molding & Elevate Kitchen Cabinets

    Add Crown Molding & Elevate Kitchen Cabinets
    The Yellow Cape Cod

    Those dead spaces at the top of your kitchen cabinets are good for collecting dust and little else. Sarah Macklem at the design blog The Yellow Cape Cod wanted kitchen grandeur, and her short, plain builder-grade wall cabinets refused to cooperate with those visions of grandeur.

    Adding crown molding across the top of the cabinets visually elevates the cabinets. With taller-looking cabinets, Sarah was "able to fake a custom look with my 'real-person's' budget," as she says. The trick is not to install the molding directly on the cabinets. Instead, create a framework from 1 x 1 boards, attach the molding to the frame, then attach the frame to the top of the cabinets. 

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  • 08 of 10

    DIY Faux Freestanding Kitchen Cabinets

    Faux Freestanding Kitchen Cabinets
    Gus & Lula

    Get the retro look of freestanding kitchen base cabinets on the cheap. Before the advent of continuous kitchen base cabinets–the kind your kitchen probably has now–cabinets had exposed legs. Then toe kicks came along in the 1950s and 1960s and hid the legs. Toe kicks do make sense–they keep your kitchen cleaner by preventing the migration of dust and debris under the cabinets. But something was lost with progress. Feet give your cabinets a lighter, airier feeling, a sense that these large units are slightly elevated. 

    Britt, from the design blog Gus & Lula, wanted feet on her cabinets. So she and her husband added faux feet, made from a few scraps of MDF (medium density fiberboard), screws and paint. It is an entirely DIY-able, cheap and fast project. Download and print faux feet templates from their site.

    Fancy Feet from Gus & Lula

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  • 09 of 10

    Suspend Storage Jars With Magnetic Strip

    Suspend Jars Under Cabinets With Magnetic Strip
    Two Men and a Little Farm

    Suspending glass storage jars under cabinets from their lids is hardly a novel idea. But this concept is cooler, safer and more flexible than the traditional method of screwing the lids to the underside of the wall cabinets.

    Mount a powerful magnetic knife strip under the cabinets, then attach the jars to the strip.

    For added safety, store only light-weight kitchen goods such as dried fruit, candies, chocolates, marshmallows, nuts and coffee.

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  • 10 of 10

    Trompe-l'œil Beadboard Cabinets

    Faux Beadboard Cabinets With Wallpaper
    Brandi Sawyer

    Your eye says, "Beadboard," but it's smooth when you touch it. What's going on here? Beadboard is supposed to have distinctive vertical grooves. 

    This is beadboard that fools the eye–trompe l'oeil, in French–made from wallpaper and trim board. Brandi Sawyer ingeniously applied beadboard wallpaper to her kitchen cabinet doors. To cover up the edges of the wallpaper, she constructed frames from trim board and glued the frames to the doors.