Modernizing Old Cabinet Fronts

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Our house is full of these country-style 80's cabinets, but I didn't want to have to replace all of them, since they work fine, they just weren't pretty at all.

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To start, I carefully measured the fronts of the doors at wherever was the thickest part of the door. The nice people at Home Depot cut down very thin, but super sturdy 1/8" hardboard to the exact sizes I needed. This is the same material I used to add paneling to the mudroom. It takes paint very well (on the brown side, not the slick white side) and is an easy product to work with because it's so lightweight.

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I used a bit of Liquid Nails Paneling to adhere the hardboard to the cabinet door. I didn't use too much because I wanted the hardboard to sit really flush and tight against the old door.

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I thought I might have to throw in a few finishing nails to keep everything together, but the Liquid Nails ended up being enough and there was a really tight seal on the edges. It worked surprisingly well!

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After everything had dried for a full day, we caulked the edges and gave everything a coat of primer and two coats of paint before installing the doors again and adding the hardware from Anthropologie.

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It's not perfectly perfect, but it was like $10 of hardboard to update these cabinets and I like them a million times more now!

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Some of you noticed that my kitchen cabinet door fronts had a similar old style. I used this exact process in our kitchen too before adding the corner moulding! It's so easy and cheap and really doesn't change the weight or the thickness of the doors in a major way.

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I'm eyeing my laundry room cabinets now. :)

27 comments:

Jess rey said...

You are so creative! I love it!

Laura said...

Those cabinets must have been the main stock ones in Phoenix during the 80s because we have the exact same ones in our kitchen here in Tempe.

We have been trying to come up with a way to update them and this is a great idea!

ZoeB said...

Ha ha . Had a chuckle! I wonder how many years it will be until some one prises off the board and says ' I can t believe someone covered over these original 1980 s doors , sacrilege !'

Joanna @ TheNestbook.com said...

What a great idea Jenny! I always look forward to your DIYs!

Lisa said...

I had thought this up on my own for my similar kitchen cabinets, but didn't know if it would really work. Seeing that you executed it, I think I will go ahead now! Thanks for being a trailblazer! My doors are high-quality milled doors and I do feel a little bit sacrilegious covering them with cheap wood, but I just can't stand the cathedral arch. I guess someone can pry it off and sand them down someday if it means that much to them. :-)

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vesna (HOME CHIC CLUB) said...

Great idea Jenny!Love it!
Have a lovely week!
Hugs,
Vesna

SMS said...

Lovely! I bet the old ones would have looked pretty good even just painted, but I'm pretty lazy when it comes to things like that. :)

bella said...

I think they look more 80s now than before. Exactly like the water heater cabinet in our house. ha! I would have just painted the originals, which are a very nice form. But, style is a very personal thing, right?

Nina Leung said...

Love this idea! Totally brilliant and it looks amazing! It's especially great because of the cost. Nice work! Looks great!

Shauna said...

I am a super fan of your style ( I just bought a new home and am excited to bring some ideas to life), so I am not sure why I just have a really hard time looking at this room. Mayne I am just not into the 80s vibe- haha.

OSr Group said...

All cabinets are really looking very nice.
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Terry said...

I agree with Shauna...I find this room to be extremely hard to look at. However, I am a huge fan of yours and visit your blog daily because I love your style. This room just is just....VERY hard to look at to put it nicely.

Terry said...

I agree with Shauna...I find this room to be extremely hard to look at. However, I am a huge fan of yours and visit your blog daily because I love your style. This room just is just....VERY hard to look at to put it nicely.

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laura Madalene said...

Your modern interior design has considered that the kitchen with stools are also the dining area. The design of the kitchen is adjusted by the kitchen interior theme. Starts from the traditional design until the contemporary style, the color is also various starts from the neutral color, the soft tone color, until the bright color. Thank you for your beautiful design.
Exclusive Kitchen

suerita said...

I agree that this is one of my least favorite of your rooms. I think I might like those doors more if they were black like the wainscoting tile...

suerita said...

I agree that this is one of my least favorite of your rooms. I think I might like those doors more if they were black like the wainscoting tile...

Serapina said...

What are the dimensions on that corner molding? I can't seem to find anything that wide at my Lowes.

Lynne Millar said...

That is genius! What a resourceful idea. I think the bathroom looks really great.

Muoi said...

I like the bathroom! It's fun and girly.

SF Whitaker said...

Genius! I love the ideas I get from reading your blog.

SF Whitaker said...

Genius! I love the ideas I get from reading your blog.

A&E's mom said...

I second Serapina, where did you find the cool corner molding?

Katerina said...

Jenny, I adore you! But I have to agree with some other comments. I just don't adore this bathroom. My main problem with it is that I would rather do something once and do it right, and until then I can live with the "original look." Those cabinets don't have a more modern look than before, in my opinion. I'm sorry to be critical because you are so lovely and talented but I just think that sometimes it's OK to leave something as it is until you can fix it properly. Maybe this is why only half my house is furnished ;-)

Julia Konya said...

I'm obsessed with liquid nails. Works awesome for so many things. Your cabinets look great.

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