9 DIY Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

DIY kitchen white cabinets with decorated black countertop and mint-colored wall

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

Do your kitchen cabinets need updating? You're in luck. Kitchen cabinets are the perfect canvas for fast and fun 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. Take a look at nine kitchen cabinet ideas to not only spruce up your cabinets but your entire kitchen.

  • 01 of 09

    "Tide-Line" Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

    Two-Toned Kitchen Paint With a Twist
    British Standard

    Two-toned kitchen cabinet paint schemes are becoming a common trend. Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock began their bespoke cupboard company, British Standard, intending to provide "understated elegance" to cabinetry. They have a talent for understated whimsy, as evidenced by this unique take on two-toned paint schemes.

    Most two-toned schemes make the lower cabinets a dark color and the upper cabinets a light color. British Standard's design includes the walls—and the bottom six inches of wall cabinets—in a darker, lower color. They call it the "tide line." It's a fun do-it-yourself touch you can consider if you are painting your cabinets and want to elevate your kitchen beyond the ordinary.

    Ideal Home Design ​from British Standard

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  • 02 of 09

    Satin-Finish Brass Fixtures

    Brass Fixtures, Cream Kitchen Cabinets
    Tobi Fairley

    For decades, brass fixtures have been considered passe in homes. After the 1990s, there was a frenzy of brass-stripping from homes, replacing fixtures with nickel, stainless steel, and matte black fixtures. And, just like that, everything old is new again. 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, satin-sheen brass fixtures have a warm, classic look.

    Riverside Penthouse from Tobi Fairley

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  • 03 of 09

    Faux-Cycled Barnwood Cabinet Doors

    Faux Recycled Barnwood Kitchen Cabinet Doors
    Mountain Modern Life

    Katie and Eric from the lifestyle blog Mountain Modern Life discovered these charming reclaimed wood barn doors when wandering around the country back roads in their RV. Even though these cabinet doors look like reclaimed wood or recycled barn wood, they're not. They are 100-percent new, DIY-made cabinet doors. Dumpster diving did produce the base cabinet boxes, but everything else is a clever replica of weathered barn wood. 

    Note the exposed crossbars on these cabinet doors. While necessary for the construction of the cabinet doors, Katie and Eric could have reversed the doors to hide the crossbars. Instead, they left the crossbars exposed for more of a rustic look.

    Upcycled Barnwood Style Sideboard from Mountain Modern Life

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  • 04 of 09

    DIY Slab-to-Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

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

    Shaker-style cabinets have a raised picture-frame perimeter around the door and drawer fronts. Ashley, at the design blog Cherished Bliss, turned her flat (or slab) cabinet doors into Shaker-style cabinets by running a thin frame around the doors. She lightened her work by choosing 1/4-inch plywood for the frames, and the lumber yard cut the wood to 2 1/2-inch wide strips. It's amazing how this slight but deft touch completely changes the look of her cabinets.

    DIY Shaker Style Cabinets from Cherished Bliss

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  • 05 of 09

    DIY Kitchen Cabinet Door Organizer

    Kitchen Cabinet Door Organizer
    Ana White

    If you have an under-sink kitchen cabinet mess, you might benefit from a 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 simple project that you can find for free on her site.

    To organize on a much faster basis than building your own organizer, look for wire-frame or plastic units that screw onto the back of the door.

    Kitchen Cabinet Door Organizer from Ana White

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  • 06 of 09

    Easy DIY LED Kitchen Cabinet Lighting

    DIY Easy LED Kitchen Cabinet Lighting
    Thrifty Decor Chick

    If you want kitchen cabinet lighting, follow the lead of Thrifty Decor Chick and interior decorator Sarah, who discovered the power of LED tape lighting. Forget the bulky, heavy incandescent rope lighting of the past. Light-weight LED lights have an adhesive on the back. Plug them in (no hard-wiring required) and connect them throughout your cabinets. You can control them with a standalone remote control or with your mobile device. Millions of RGB (red-green-blue) color combinations are possible.

    DIY Upper and Lower Cabinet Lighting from Thrifty Decor Chick

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  • 07 of 09

    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 collect 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 were not cutting it. She added crown molding across the top of the cabinets, which visually elevated them and made them look taller and custom-made.

    The trick: Do not install the molding directly on the cabinets. Instead, create a framework from 1-inch by 1-inch boards, attach the molding to the frame, then attach the frame to the top of the cabinets. For adding light to the top of cabinets, crown molding is perfect. The molding hides the lights, wires, and transformer boxes. You can run the cord down to a wall or countertop outlet or, if you want the lights to be permanent, have an electrician install an outlet located closer to the ceiling.

    Custom Cabinet Molding DIY from The Yellow Cape Cod

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  • 08 of 09

    Suspend Storage Jars With Magnetic Strip

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

    Mount a powerful magnetic knife strip under kitchen cabinets, then attach the glass storage jars with metal lids to the strip. This concept is cooler, safer, and more flexible than the traditional method of screwing the lids to the underside of the wall cabinets.

    For added safety, store only light-weight kitchen goods such as dried fruit, candies, chocolates, marshmallows, nuts, and coffee. Or add a second, parallel strip for added safety. Look for Ball-type pickle jars made of high-impact polystyrene instead of glass. This not only saves weight but the jars won't break if they happen to fall.

    Under Cabinet Jar Mounting from Two Men and a Little Farm

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  • 09 of 09

    Faux Beadboard Cabinets

    Faux Beadboard Cabinets With Wallpaper
    Brandi Sawyer

    It may look like vertically grooved beadboard, but it's smooth when you touch it. This "beadboard" fools the eye. It is made from wallpaper and trim board. Brandi Sawyer ingeniously applied beadboard-looking wallpaper to her kitchen cabinet doors. To cover up the edges of the wallpaper, she constructed frames from trim boards and glued the frames to the doors. If you want the real thing, you can usually switch out your kitchen cabinet doors on a one-for-one basis.

    DIY Beadboard Wallpaper Cabinets ​from Brandi Sawyer