Everyone loves to watch demolition… We see it on HGTV all the time as the sledgehammer collides with the kitchen cabinets! It can be exciting to watch and sometimes it’s necessary, but most of the time all of those materials end up in a landfill and it costs more money for something that is actually a lesser quality. The saying that goes ‘they don’t make it like they used to’ couldn’t be more true…

So many older door and cabinets are made of solid wood and better materials then what you find today. Often the home materials that are being removed are a much better quality then the more ‘stylish’ home materials that are replacing them. However, there are so many DIY opportunities that can be embraced to save money, save landfills, and give you the customized home that you want.

Step 1: Clean it! I recommend Liquid TSP to help remove the dirt and grease from the surface. This is so important anytime that you are refinishing something because it’s essential that you have a clean surface.


Step 2: Sand it! I recommend 3M PRO GRADE (150 medium smooths). You don’t need any fancy tool to do this… Sanding by hand will work fine and the goal is to just remove any light blemishes or raised areas.


Step 3: Paint it! I recommend BEHR Interior/Exterior Urethane Alkyd Satin Enamel that’s made for Wood, Metal, Trim and Cabinetry. Depending upon the item, you can brush it on or use a paint sprayer for larger surfaces.


Step 4: Add trim! Anytime I’m working with older cabinets, I recommend adding trim: crown molding, light rail molding, decorative posts, etc… Anytime that you have an opportunity to ‘dress it up’ this will go along way and make a big impact. The same is true for doors sometimes as well… If the door is a simple and flat, consider adding trim to make it appear paneled.

Step 5: Bling! With all the money you saved by keeping your old cabinets or doors… Spend some extra money on hardware. Get special doorknobs or pulls to really make the cabinets stand out and don’t forget to replace the hinges. This will help with the functionality but will also upgrade the look.

And if you’re still reading this but thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do this… You’re wrong! A lot of people have issues with their home, but for most of them, there are simple solutions. If you don’t like the color of your doors, just add paint! Painted doors can give your home a dramatic transformation and make old doors, look new! If you think your kitchen is dated, try the things above but don’t forget to update your lighting and add a backsplash too… These visual changes will help transform your space without breaking the bank.

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