Your Options for Upgrading Kitchen Cabinets
Should you buy custom, ready-made or repaint your existing kitchen cabinets? Learn some of the basics here.
Every kitchen needs cabinets. Then there’s the type of door and hinges you should pick, how many drawers you want, how tightly the kitchen cabinets fit into the space … the task of picking them can be overwhelming. “Anyone who’s not hiring a designer is essentially designing it themselves,” says interior designer Holly Thompson of Holly Thompson Homes.
As usual when choosing a foundational element of your house, consider function, then form and style for the best fit for you and your family.
Custom Kitchen Cabinets
These kitchen cabinets are made exactly for your space, sometimes down to the 1/16-inch. “The absolute best you can get is factory-finished custom, with a kitchen designer. But that’s really pricy,” Holly says. And not every “custom” cabinet has equal value. “You can have a person build you custom cabinets out of their garage, but they won’t be as good,” Holly says.
Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets
This slightly less-expensive approach means you still have plenty of sizing options, but they’re based on a pre-set list from the manufacturer. “Most people will be looking at semi-custom, not custom,” Holly says. The most expensive kitchen cabinets at big box home improvement stores like Home Depot are semi-custom.
Ready-Made Kitchen Cabinets
This means you’re purchasing pre-made cabinets that don’t give you a lot of size options. It will be cheaper, but less … well, custom. “You can get a decent cabinet that’s not that custom that will work pretty well, and use filler strips to make them fit,” Holly says.
Repurposed Kitchen Cabinets
This is Holly’s personal preference. “I would go to ReStore and get repurposed cabinets,” she says. “You can buy them cheaper, and the quality will be better than the cheap new ones from a big box store. Cabinets that have survived being ripped out usually have pretty good quality.” Then you can paint them whatever color you want.
“The cheapest option is to repaint your cabinets,” Holly says. “A lot more people will be doing that now, because the supply issues are making new cabinets more expensive.” This option is DIY-friendly too, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty.
For more of Holly Thompson's DIY wisdom for the kitchen, see How to Get Faux Marble Countertops. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!
Victoria is the brand leader and editor of American Farmhouse Style. She shapes the editorial direction of the brand, both through the physical magazine and digitally on the brand’s website and social media platforms. As a home décor enthusiast and DIYer herself, she knows what a little paint and patience can do for a room! Victoria is also a wife and mom to two little ones: one on earth and one in heaven. With any (not so spare) time, she devours book and dabbles in fiction writing. You can follow her on Instagram @victoriavanvlear