Replacing your existing cabinet doors is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen an instant facelift. With custom cabinet doors, you can transform the look of your kitchen without the expense of a full remodel. Updating just the cabinet doors allows you to change the style and finish to create a fresh new look for your kitchen. Read on to learn everything you need to know about replacing cabinet doors for an instant kitchen upgrade.
Measure Your Existing Cabinet Doors
The first step is to carefully measure your existing cabinet doors. This will ensure that you order replacement doors that will fit properly. Here’s how to measure cabinet doors:
- Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of each cabinet door in inches. Record the measurements.
- Note the style of your existing hinges – common types are Euro/concealed hinges or regular exposed hinges.
- Check if your doors have a center stile and measure the width of the stile.
- For accuracy, measure doors in multiple spots and use the smallest measurement.
Accurate measurements are crucial for proper door fit. Take your time and double check all measurements.
Choose a Replacement Cabinet Door Style
Once you have the measurements, think about the style of replacement cabinet doors you’d like. A few popular options include:
- Shaker: A simple flat center panel surrounded by a square frame. Shaker style doors have a clean, timeless look.
- Slab: A simple flat door with no frame or detailing. Slab cabinet doors give a sleek, modern aesthetic.
- Cottage: Decorative cabinet doors with grooves, distressed finishes, or ornate hardware. Cottage style gives a rustic farmhouse feel.
- Glass inset: Doors with a glass panel insert, allowing you to showcase dishes or decor. Glass doors create an open, airy look.
Consider the overall look you want for your kitchen. Browse sites like Pinterest for inspiration on door styles.
Select a Finish for Your New Doors
The finish you choose for your replacement doors will dramatically impact the look of your kitchen. Popular finishes include:
- Painted: Primed doors painted any color create a clean, bright look. White is a popular choice.
- Stained: Doors stained in natural wood tones give a traditional wood look. Opt for lighter or darker stains.
- Glazed: Doors with a hand-painted glaze over a base color create depth. Glazing adds an antiqued or worn finish.
- Distressed: Intentionally distressed doors have dents, chips and wear for a rustic cottage look.
- Laminate: Laminate doors have a colored plastic laminate shell for an affordable, sleek look.
Pick a finish that complements your kitchen decor. Gather paint swatches or wood samples to help visualize.
Choose Quality Hardware
Replacing your dated cabinet hardware is the finishing touch. Knobs, pulls, and hinges in an updated style and finish will take your new doors to the next level. Consider:
- Knobs vs pulls: Knobs are best for Shaker style doors, while streamlined pulls pair nicely with slab door styles.
- Finish: Match hardware finishes to your cabinet finish for a cohesive look – e.g. rubbed bronze pulls with dark espresso cabinets.
- Hinges: Concealed hinges give a seamless, integrated look on Shaker or slab doors. Opt for soft-close hinges.
Spend time selecting hardware that perfectly complements your new cabinet door style and kitchen aesthetic.
Order Your Replacement Cabinet Doors
Once you’ve made all your selections, it’s time to order your new custom cabinet doors. You have a few options:
- Kitchen remodeling company: Remodelers can provide and install custom doors, often with 3D design previews. Provides turnkey service but pricier.
- Big box home stores: Stores like Home Depot allow you to order doors online or in person. More affordable but less customization.
- Cabinet door manufacturer: Companies like Quality Doors Online or Cabinet Door Depot allow you to fully customize doors with high-quality materials. Cost varies.
Be sure to double check all measurements and specifications when ordering. Expect 2-3 week lead times.
Install Your Fresh New Cabinet Doors
When your replacement doors arrive, it’s time for installation. There are two options:
If you’re comfortable with basic tools, DIY installation is totally feasible:
- Remove old doors and prep cabinet boxes by removing any staples or debris.
- Follow included instructions to attach new hinges in the precise pre-drilled locations. Euro hinges allow for fine adjustments.
- Hang each new door and make adjustments so doors are level and gaps are even.
- Attach new hardware like knobs or pulls with a drill/screwdriver using provided fasteners.
- Do one final check that all doors open and close properly and evenly.
Go slowly, double check work, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments during the DIY installation process.
For those who want a perfect hassle-free install, consider hiring a carpenter or handyman to hang your new doors. Pros have specialized tools and expertise for a seamless installation. The cost averages $40-$70 per hour.
Professional installation ensures your doors have an expert fitting while saving you time and frustration.
Style Your New Kitchen
Once your bright and stylish new cabinet doors are installed, it’s time to accessorize and style your kitchen:
- Add new modern bar pulls or knobs in a finish that pops against your cabinet color.
- Use trim paint to make moldings, windowsills, and trim details blend seamlessly with your cabinets.
- Style open shelves with colorful or patterned dishware to complement your new look.
- Add new lighting fixtures, from sleek modern LEDs to rustic pendant lights.
- Finish with fresh kitchen towels, plants, and accent pieces to tie the whole new look together!
With just new cabinet doors and small styling updates, you can give your kitchen a completely fresh look and feel without a major renovation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Replacing Cabinet Doors
Here are answers to some common questions about replacing kitchen cabinet doors:
How much do replacement cabinet doors cost?
On average, expect to pay $30-$100 per door, with more expensive options for premium materials and custom work. Total costs vary widely based on kitchen size.
Should I repaint or restain existing cabinet boxes when replacing doors?
For a cohesive look, repainting or restaining boxes to match new doors is recommended. But you can mix door and cabinet finishes if desired.
What are the best materials for replacement doors?
Solid hardwood provides a premium look and feel. Eco-friendly bamboo and composite woods offer durability. Thermofoil and laminate doors provide affordable options.
How do I customize doors to fit my existing cabinets?
Companies can customize door dimensions, styles, materials, finishes, and hardware to match your cabinets using the measurements you provide.
Can I install replacement doors myself or do I need to hire a contractor?
DIY installation is definitely feasible, especially for those comfortable with tools and light carpentry work. Professional installers are best for flawless, hassle-free installation.
How long will it take to install replacement cabinet doors?
DIY installation typically takes 2-3 days for an average sized kitchen. Professional installation can be completed in 1-2 days.
Will new doors match my existing cabinets exactly?
Small variations in finish colors and wood grain should be expected. Try to view door samples in person rather than relying on photos or swatches.
Replacing your kitchen cabinet doors provides big style impact with less cost and demolition than a full kitchen remodel. Just by installing fresh new cabinet doors and updating hardware, you can give your kitchen a completely new look and feel. Be sure to carefully measure your existing cabinets, select high quality replacement doors in a style and finish you love, and handle the installation process with care. Follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be enjoying your dream kitchen in no time. Those dated oak cabinets will be a thing of the past!