Rehabilitating Existing Cabinets

Existing cabinet rehabilitation can be as simple as a new coat of paint to re-facing the exteriors. Such a project can make a lot of sense if:

  • The basic layout of the existing cabinets is functional for you.
  • The cabinet material is functional, e.g. wood and plywood cabinet can last for a long time but some cabinets made out of low grade particle board are very difficult to repair.
  • The cabinet material matches your plan to paint the cabinets, you will need to find out if the surfaces can hold the paint. A good way to do that is to take a door or drawer front to the paint store for analysis.
  • The insides of the existing cabinets work: the drawer slide and the shelves are functional.
  • The need of any new cabinet sections is limited, e.g. it might make sense to replace one section of cabinets in order to fit in dishwasher or a larger refrigerator. Making too many changes to an existing set of cabinets can result in a total cost greater than all new cabinets.
  • The existing hardware is in good condition or if it can be easily replaced.

I love seeing well rehabilitated old cabinets. Some of my favorite methods include a good coat of paint or stain and some new hinges and pulls. The new look can be a restoration of the original style or some new accent colors. Another way to add functionality to existing cabinets is by adding new light sources. For example, lights under the upper units can light up "hidden" sections of the existing counters.