The Kitchen, New Cabinet Doors

You’ve seen the pictures. My cabinets are ugly, butt ugly.
Did I want to replace my cabinets? Of course! Did I get to replace my cabinets? I did not. Kitchen cabinets are expensive and I am in a committed relationship with my meager budget.

My dream was an HGTV style reno. It starts with me looking deranged, swinging on a cabinet door until it breaks, followed by a full on assault with a sledge hammer. After commercial break, we return to a magically clean and empty kitchen where a team of workers are installing pristine cabinets before measuring for countertops.
Then there’s reality. I was (and am) a 71 year old woman with an unsightly kitchen suffering a financial drought with no Property Brothers in sight. I had to take a different path. (Does anyone know a Celebrity who doesn’t have anyone to IOU? I’m available.)

Plan B: Can’t Replace? Update! I needed and ways to update my cabinets with a small investment.

I used a variety of techniques to make my kitchen cabinets wonderful.

I visited a friend who had what looked like a brand-new kitchen, giving me almost fatal kitchen envy.
Plot twist, she had not replaced her kitchen, but had painted the cabinets and replaced the doors. Light bulb moment. This was an obtainable solution for my visually offensive kitchen cabinets.

Cue the internet search. Replacement doors began at $17 a square foot-an acceptable price. I engaged my mental abacus- three hundred dollars for the lower cabinets? Acceptable. I measured a second time, entered my cabinets’ measurements and clicked add to cart. What? $650? Come again?
In a stunning turn of events, there were required add-ones, mortises (indentations for hinges), priming, shipping, taxes, hinges and other wallet vampires. That was my budget and it didn’t include the upper cabinets.
More internet surfing, this time to make sure I had the lowest price. Some sites had less pricey add-ons, but the doors were more. In some, it was the other way round. Most of the sites had even higher totals. I found the least expensive site and ordered.

With the higher than expected fees, I decided to treat the upper cabinets differently. (I am financially challenged but I’m rich in creativity.)

My initial order was for half the kitchen, a test to make sure I liked the results. It was unnecessary paranoia, the new doors looked great. I ordered for the remainder of kitchen.

I used my original doors on my upper cabinets. This gave me the opportunity to compare the installation of the old style hinges with the new, hidden soft close hinges that came with the new doors. No contest, the new hinges are so much easier to install. If you have the opportunity to update your cabinet doors, do it. Not only is the look so much better, but the installation is much easier.

A note for anyone replacing cabinet doors. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to measure, especially for 2 door cabinets. For the first order, I didn’t. Measuring is measuring, right? It isn’t. Those doors didn’t fit. They were close but not close enough. We sanded the center opening edges to make them close. Before the second order, I read the instructions. Surprise, surprise, when you measure correctly, the doors, open and close perfectly, no sanding required.

Installing Cabinet Doors

New and Improved Doors

4 responses to “The Kitchen, New Cabinet Doors”

  1. Juli Avatar

    You and Randy did as amazing job!
    What did you use to enhance the upper doors? My memory says fabric, your fabric, am I correct? They look beautiful, no matter how you did it!

    1. admin Avatar

      I see you’ve already figured it out- wallpaper in the upper cabinet doors. Thank you for the good words.

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