Cabinet Makeover on a Budget

Our rental home is sold! Score! We close at the end of the month and I’m beyond excited to end that chapter and move on to new adventures.

I want to share the changes I made to the kitchen as we wish farewell to the old house. The updates I made to the kitchen were so simple, but made a huge impact on the overall style of the kitchen. The cabinets were original to the home that was built in 1915 and they were still in decent condition. Unfortunately, they lacked style and design. The doors of the cabinets were flat and plain, but the size of the cabinets were the size of custom cabinets and worth keeping! All they needed was a little love…




To add some dimension to the cabinets, I used pieces of trim around the edges of the doors and cabinets. I also changed the hardware to include some pretty knobs and pulls. Here’s how you can try it in your home.


Miter Saw

1/4″ x 2″ x 3 ft  or 1/4″ x 3″ x 3 ft Poplar Wood trim

Nail Gun

1/2″ Trim Nails

Wood Filler

Sand Paper


Step 1

Measure the outside edges of the cabinet doors to get the length of the trim wood. The 3 foot length worked perfect for the height of my cupboards so the only wood that needed to be cut was the width of the cupboard door.

Once all the cabinet doors are measured start attaching the wood to the doors using a nail gun and trim nails in 1/2″ or 3/4″ size depending on your cabinet.




Step 2

If the hardware needs to be moved, fill the existing holes and use a knob template to move it to a new position over the framing that was just added. I could not move the hardware without the template and I don’t suggest eyeballing it because your eyes will lie to you, trust me. 🙂


Step 3

Use wood putty on the corners of the cabinets to fill any cracks or seams where the wood connects.


Step 4

Lightly sand the trim and then apply your coats of paint. 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Oxford White in Satin covered the wood, but make your own judgement depending on how well it’s covering. Semi-gloss is also a great finish for cupboards to make cleaning a tad easier.



We also changed out the countertops, appliances, and added moulding along the ceiling. If you have soffits above the cabinets, paint it the same color as the cabinets so it makes the cabinets look taller and the ceiling higher!


The original cabinets now have personality and we didn’t have to spend thousands to achieve it! Always consider keeping the existing cabinets first and try to work with them by adding hardware or trim. The cost of the trim is very small compared to new cabinets with labor costs and we were able to keep these tall cabinets that we couldn’t afford otherwise.

The new countertops are from Home Depot and the knobs and pulls are from Menards. The wall color is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (my favorite neutral!) and the cabinet color is Benjamin Moore Oxford White.




I hope you enjoyed reading about the rental kitchen cabinet makeover and comment below with any questions! Thanks for stopping by!



Disclosure: some of the links above are “affiliate links” that when clicked and purchased, I will receive an affiliate commission. The opinions are still mine and truthful about the product recommendation for your project


    Susan says:

    I love the look of the “new” doors and kitchen update. Just wondering if the added trim made the doors really heavy & bulky? (Not seeing bulky in the pics) Was the board actually 1 inch thick? I have similar cabinet doors that I am trying to update. Thanks

    • Chrissy says:

      Hi Susan! They aren’t bulky at all and they are not 1″ thick.. they are actually about an 1/8-1/4″ thick so very thin. I think you’re thinking of the width. Post pics, I would love to see it!

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