TikTok Shows You How To Save Big Bucks When Renovating Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen remodeling projects can be expensive, particularly if you are looking to replace or update your cabinets. While completely swapping out your cabinetry, whether custom or pre-fab, can cost thousands of dollars in labor and materials, there are a number of more budget-friendly ways of getting a fresh new look to your kitchen without complete demolition. TikTok user @thislittlelifewebuilt recently showed off her suggestion for a low-cost alternative to replacing the cabinets from the ground up. By simply replacing the cabinet doors and leaving the existing cabinet boxes, you can save hundreds of dollars per cabinet and spare yourself the chaos of complete demolition. 

Cabinet boxes, which house the contents of your cupboards, are often simple, many constructed full of wood and rather nondescript. This means that they have adaptability over time and will remain in good shape. Cabinet doors, however, often bear the brunt of damage, including built of dirt and grease, scratching, fading, and wearing from constant touching. They can also be one of the surest signs of an outdated kitchen, with many designs and finishes falling out of favor over the past century.

A budget-friendly new look

@thislittlelifewebuilt suggests that a perfect way to create a cabinet makeover is to simply replace the doors, leaving the actual cabinet behind it intact. Her kitchen's stylishly recessed door cabinets were removed, leaving behind wood cabinets she painted in a soft white shade that forms a stunning backdrop to her new custom cabinetry doors, creating a stylish two-tone look. Since the cabinet doors are the most noticeable part of the cabinets, she can invest in carpenter-designed custom doors for the existing casings instead of spending the money on total replacement. 

Unlike demolition and new cabinetry, replacing the doors is fairly DIY-friendly, requiring only a few tools like a power screwdriver, hole borer, and new hinges. Additional supply costs include paint or stain for the cabinets and new hardware. By replacing only the doors, you can save significant costs. New cabinet doors typically range from $50 to $500, with total cabinet replacement running anywhere from $2,200 to $25,000, averaging about $8,200 for most homeowners. 

Other ways to transform cabinets

There are other great, easy ways to transform your cabinets at a much lower cost than a total replacement, provided your cabinet boxes are in good shape (no damage, sagging, or warping). Some are as simple as refinishing, staining, or painting them. If you are happy with your cabinet fronts on the whole but want an update, changing out the hardware to something new in a more modern finish or aesthetic can work wonders. For renter-friendly hack or low-impact DIY, try replacing the hardware and covering the cabinets in vinyl or peel-and-stick wallpaper for a fresh look.

If there is wearing or damage to the doors themselves, you can also flip them around for an easy way of updating your kitchen. This approach works particularly well for more traditional and dated raised-panel cabinets, many of which sport a simpler, classic shaker-inspired look on the reverse side. By sanding, refinishing, and filling in previous holes, you can have an instant new look for much less than completely new doors.