New kitchen cabinet doors can completely transform the look of your kitchen. Whether you are doing a full kitchen remodel or just looking to update your existing cabinets, installing new doors is an easy and budget-friendly way to give your kitchen a fresh, modern look.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about selecting and installing new kitchen cabinet doors. We will provide tips on choosing cabinet door styles, materials, and hardware. You’ll learn about the different types of cabinet doors such as shaker, inset, and slab. We’ll also cover how to measure for new doors, remove existing doors, and install new doors.

Finally, we’ll provide some inspiration with photos of beautiful kitchens with new cabinet doors. Read on for the ultimate guide to revamping your kitchen with new cabinet doors.

How to Choose New Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Choosing new kitchen cabinet doors can be an exciting but overwhelming process. With so many door styles, materials, finishes, and hardware options available today, deciding what is best for your kitchen can be challenging. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect new cabinet doors for your kitchen remodeling or refacing project:

Consider the Style of Your Kitchen

Match the style of your new doors to the overall look and feel of your kitchen. For contemporary kitchens, clean lines and simple door fronts like flat/recessed panel and shaker styles are good options. Traditional kitchens tend to look best with raised panel or inset cabinet door styles.

Be sure to take into account the color scheme and finishes already present in the kitchen, such as the countertops, backsplash, flooring, and hardware. Your new cabinet doors should integrate seamlessly into the design.

Choose a Durable Material

New cabinet doors are available in different materials including wood, MDF (medium density fiberboard), thermofoil, glass, metal, and more. Consider how much use and wear your cabinets get when choosing a material. For instance, wood doors may not be the best choice for lowers cabinets which can get kicked and bumped.

MDF is affordable, resistant to warping, and takes paint and stain well. Thermofoil doors have a plastic coating over a lightweight core, making them very durable and moisture-resistant. Glass allows you to showcase contents while metal like stainless steel gives an ultra-modern look.

Decide on a Finish

The finish you choose for kitchen cabinet doors can drastically impact their look and durability. Painted and stained wood doors should have multiple coats of polyurethane for protection. Popular painted finishes for MDF doors include matte, satin or high-gloss. Thermofoil doors mimic wood finishes but don’t require painting or refinishing over time.

Consider your lifestyle and how much maintenance you want moving forward. For instance, white cabinet doors may require frequent cleaning if you do a lot of cooking. A rich walnut stain or gray wash paint could better hide everyday wear.

Select Complementary Hardware

Update your cabinet hardware when installing new doors for a cohesive customized look. Opt for minimal modern, retro, farmhouse or traditional hardware styles to match your kitchen’s design. Using the same finish on handles and hinges pulls the look together. Carefully measure to get the proper sizing.

Oversize hardware makes a statement. For a lighter look, choose low profile hardware with thin shapes. Avoid clutter with one or two handle or knob styles used throughout the kitchen.

Incorporate Functional Design Elements

Think about how you use your existing cabinets to determine what design elements may make your kitchen more efficient and personalized. Common functional upgrades include:

  • Glass front doors for wall cabinets to create an open airy feeling and easily see contents.
  • Roll-out shelves in base cabinets to maximize vertical storage space.
  • Lazy susans in corner cabinets to improve access to items in the back.
  • Touch latches for easy-open access without handles.

Types of New Cabinet Doors

With endless options for kitchen cabinet door styles, choosing the right one can seem overwhelming! Here is a guide to popular new kitchen cabinet door types to help you select doors that perfectly suit your kitchen’s style.

Shaker Style Doors

A shaker style door features a classic, versatile design with a flat center panel and frame around the perimeter. The simple clean lines provide a timeless look that suits both modern and traditional kitchen styles. Shaker cabinets are available in a range of materials from wood to thermofoil.


  • Complements various kitchen designs from modern to farmhouse
  • Paints and stains well to match any color palette
  • Offers a streamlined look
  • Easy to clean flat door front

Inset Cabinet Doors

Inset cabinet doors are installed inside the cabinet face frame so they close up against it. This provides a seamless, built-in appearance for a high-end custom look. The entire cabinet construction needs to be more precise for inset doors to properly fit.


  • Door sits flush within cabinet frame providing a seamless custom appearance
  • Allows more of the cabinet face frame to show for accentuated trim details
  • Provides a traditional style reminiscent of older homes


  • More expensive due to elaborate cabinet construction
  • Doors may need alignment adjustments over time

Partial Overlay Doors

Partial overlay doors partially sit on the cabinet frame so both door and frame are somewhat visible. This style exposes a decorative trim border while still providing a relatively streamlined look. The reveal between door and frame varies by manufacturer.


  • Combines the clean lines of overlay with visibility of face frame
  • Offers a trimmed out transitional style

Full Overlay Doors

Full overlay cabinet doors completely cover the face frame when closed. A small reveal still remains between doors and drawers for delineation. This creates a minimalist contemporary style for kitchens. Full overlay doors have an on-trend modern look.


  • Provides a sleek, contemporary style
  • Emphasizes clean, seamless lines
  • Conceals the face frame for a more integrated look


  • Precision measurements required so doors completely close
  • Not a good choice for older homes with uneven cabinet fronts

Slab Cabinet Doors

Slab cabinet doors have a simple flat one-piece panel. They create a smooth, streamlined appearance without the detailing of typical framed doors. The minimalist design provides contemporary style. Slab doors work best in modern kitchens with sleek lines.


  • Clean, smooth look
  • Integrates well into modern and contemporary kitchens
  • Affordable option


  • Not suitable for traditional kitchen styles
  • Limited on decorative elements

Glass Cabinet Doors

Glass cabinet doors feature a glass panel in a frame rather than a traditional opaque panel. This allows you to spotlight decorative dish collections in upper cabinets or display glassware. For lower cabinets, frosted or textured glass provides privacy.


  • Great for accentuating what’s inside the cabinets
  • Allows natural light to filter through
  • Can be combined with other door styles


  • Provides some visibility into contents which may require tidiness
  • Not as suitable for lower cabinets due to privacy issues

How to Measure for New Cabinet Doors

Accurately measuring your existing cabinets is a crucial first step when ordering new cabinet doors. Taking detailed measurements will ensure your new doors will fit correctly for a seamless customized look. Here is an overview of how to measure kitchen cabinets to get the sizes right:

Materials Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper or notepad
  • Cloth measuring tape (optional)

Measure Each Cabinet Opening

Use a cloth or retractable tape measure for the best accuracy. Measure the height and width inside the cabinet opening. Repeat for every cabinet opening, recording each one. It’s crucial to measure inside the cabinet rather than outside.

Measure Existing Doors and Drawers

If keeping any existing drawers, measure and record their dimensions individually. Also measure current door sizes including width and length.

Note Door Swing Direction

Pay attention to which way each cabinet door swings – either left or right. This will impact hinge placement on new doors.

Include Cabinet Depths

For specialty cabinets like angled fillers, measure back-to-front depths in addition to door width and height.

Consider Moldings

Note cabinet details like the dimensions of any trim molding around the cabinet fronts. Some cabinet suppliers can recreate custom trim.

Account for Irregularities

Older homes often have uneven walls which can make cabinets out of square. If the gap between doors and cabinets is very irregular, using filler strips may be needed when installing new doors.

Accurately measuring and recording all of your distinct cabinet dimensions will allow doors to be custom made or ordered to fit your kitchen layout perfectly.

How to Remove Old Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Removing kitchen cabinet doors and drawers is the first step when replacing cabinetry components like doors and hardware. Taking doors off existing cabinets properly will allow you to reuse them if desired. Follow these simple steps:

Materials Needed

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Painter’s tape

Remove Hardware

Removing hardware first makes taking doors and drawers off easier. Use a screwdriver to remove hinges from cabinet frame and door. For handles and knobs, a flathead screwdriver can pry off cover caps first.

Label Doors

Before removing, place painter’s tape on each door and drawer. Write cabinet location so you know where they were originally installed when putting back up. This prevents improper installations.

Pull Off Doors

Open the door about halfway. Firmly grip both sides of door and frame. Apply steady pressure as you pull the door straight away from cabinet. Initial force is required to separate magnetic catches or break paint seal.

Slide Out Drawers

Empty all drawers fully first. Pull drawer out as far as possible. Locate small levers on drawer slides and press down to release. Lift up slightly on lever side while pulling out to slide drawer off.

Repeat Cabinet by Cabinet

Systematically remove every door and drawer following the same process. As you remove components, place doors together and group drawer parts. This maintains sets and makes reinstallation faster.

With cabinet doors and drawers removed, you have successfully prepped your kitchen for installing replacement doors, drawers or hardware. Use painter’s tape labels to keep everything organized.

How to Install New Cabinet Doors

Once you have your newly ordered replacement cabinet doors, it’s time to install them for your kitchen’s makeover. Follow these steps to easily install your new doors:

Materials Needed

  • Power drill
  • Level
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Cabinet hardware

Pre-drill Door Hinge Holes

Lay door front side down on flat surface. Mark and pre-drill top and bottom holes slightly smaller than hinge screws. This prevents wood from splitting.

Attach Hinges to Doors

Hold hinge open at 180 degrees. Position on pre-drilled holes. Attach with provided screws, drilling pilot holes first if needed. Repeat for all doors.

Mount Hinges to Cabinets

Close hinges and place door correctly onto cabinet frame. Mark hinge positions with pencil. Remove door. Use screws to attach cabinet-side hinge plates directly into existing holes.

Install Doors

Once all hinges are mounted to cabinets, simply hang each door on its corresponding frame. Open and close to test for proper clearance. Adjust hinges if needed until even gaps show.

Add Hardware

Using a drill with a phillips bit, add your handles, pulls or knobs centered in appropriate spots. Follow any provided hardware instructions.

Reinstall Drawers

Place drawer slides back into cabinet cutouts in their existing positions. Set drawers onto slides and push closed. Test gliding action and adjust slides until drawer operates smoothly.

With new doors and hardware in place, you can now relax and enjoy your kitchen’s fresh modern look achieved through this cabinet door makeover.

Inspiration and Photos

Upgrading your tired old kitchen cabinet doors can make a dramatic impact on the look and feel of your entire kitchen. Take a look at these photos of kitchen cabinet door replacement ideas to inspire your own makeover!

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

This kitchen was given a light and airy look with the installation of simple white shaker cabinetry and brass hardware. Notice how the clean lines give this previously dated kitchen a gorgeous refreshed look.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

The clever use of two colors modernizes these cabinets. The lower cabinets are gray for contrast, while the uppers are white to keep the room feeling open. Changing cabinet door style along with the two tone look gives this kitchen personality.

Glass Front Upper Cabinets

Utilizing glass front cabinet doors only on the upper cabinets maintains an airy vibe. The view into the glass cabinets provides depth, while the lower cabinets offer a solid and functional base. This is a great update for kitchens with closed upper cabinets.

Black Kitchen Cabinets

Dramatic dark cabinet doors give this area an intimate, upscale pub look. For a bolder, sophisticated style in your kitchen, consider black or dark gray cabinet doors paired with lighter granite countertops. The deep colors make it feel special.

Vintage Kitchen Cabinets

For a vintage 1950’s style, look for retro-inspired cabinet door front designs. This kitchen features clean lines with distinctive angled cabinet doors along with classic wood trim accents. Updating with new hardware completes the throwback charm.

Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets

The planked wood cabinet doors in this rustic kitchen provide a natural reclaimed wood appearance. For a farmhouse or cottage-style kitchen, try doors with distressing or wire-brushed wood textures. Unfinished wood paired with vintage hardware enhances the charm.

Replacing outdated or worn kitchen cabinet doors provides an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a completely fresh look. Update the style simply by switching up the cabinet door design. From shaker to glass fronts to two tone and more, new cabinet doors offer endless possibilities to refresh your kitchen.

The unique shape of every kitchen means getting cabinet doors custom sized to your exact dimensions is essential for a seamless installed look. Accurately measuring your existing cabinetry and selecting new doors suited to your kitchen’s current style will ensure your new doors enhance your kitchen design rather than looking out of place. With the proper preparation and installation steps, you can quickly change the look of your kitchen just by installing new cabinet doors.