Kitchen Cabinet Makeover - Doors & Drawers Facelift!

During the week the Ed had off from college, we tackled several projects around the house; one of the most exciting is getting rid of the '70s "groove" in our kitchen.

To remind you:

See the "groove" in the cabinet doors that I mentioned?  Yeah, it was SO not working for me!

I did some research and landed on a Pinterest page that took me to Aimee's blog at It's Overflowing. She and her husband had the perfect solution to cover up our grooves, add personality, and give the kitchen a much more timeless look by creating Shaker-style cabinets.

Here's what we did:

We purchased a full sheet of quarter-inch plywood (called underlayment or Luan) at Home Depot, and the friendly guy there cut it into two large pieces, and then cut one of those pieces into 2-inch strips.  We took it home and cut the strips to length as needed using a borrowed saw. We cut up the other half ourselves, into the pieces that covered the drawers.

After removing the knobs and drawer pulls, we used clean, lint free rags to apply the de-glosser on every surface that will get painted.

Next, we filled in a bit of the groove with wood filler, otherwise that tiny bit would have peeked out at the junction of the strips. (Aimee's cabinet doors were flat.) **If we had measured more carefully, we would have made the strips slightly larger, and could have skipped this step.

Finally, we were ready for the wood!  That's My Hubs (below) with our new-to-us pneumatic brad nailer from a local pawn shop. It had a price tag of $29.99 on it, but they accepted our offer of just $20.00, and that sweet baby was ours!

Following Aimee's instructions, we measured carefully, then nailed the vertical boards on first; then measured and cut the horizontal boards to fit snugly.  Since the cabinets will be Shaker-style, the joint is not miter-cut at an angle. And yes, we HAD to measure each and every door. It made for a bit of slow-going, but the results were worth unwanted gaps!

The underlayment strips framing the doors have changed the look of the kitchen already...and I am THRILLED with the results so far!

Because our drawers also had the groove goin' on, we decided to just cover the entire drawer front, turning it into a flat smooth surface!

Once we were done with all the nailing, we gave the drawer fronts a very light sanding, for splinter control.
We used the original holes as a guide to drill the holes for the knobs and drawer pulls from behind, and re-installed them.  This will help keep oils and dirt from our hands from getting on the wood before we get them painted.
Speaking of paint...we have to wait. The temperatures here in North Idaho are still in the 50s, and the paint rep at Home Depot said to wait until the temps are in the 60s or 70s, otherwise the paint won't dry and cure properly.  Because we have a busy little 2-1/2 year old granddaughter in the house right now, there is no way that we could do the painting setup that Aimee did.

It will be tough waiting for the next couple of months until we can paint, but since we will have a new granddaughter arriving in May, that blessed event will help break up the time for me.

On the plus-side, paint is going on sale in a few days! YAY!
So far we've spent less than $100.00 on the kitchen facelift and that thrills my heart...saving $6500.00 is well worth it!

Be sure to jump on over to Amiee's blog at It's Overflowing and check out all her brilliant ideas and her house tour. You won't be sorry.

I would genuinely love to read your questions and comments.  Since I'm on social media, too you can always contact me there... Facebook or email me!


  1. Oh my goodness...your cabinets are already so updated without even a touch of paint! I'm so impressed...what a huge price difference!!! I can't wait to see the final reveal! Congratulations on the sweet new granddaughter soon to be in your arms!!! XO, Aimee

    1. Thanks Aimee! We are looking forward to both the new granddaughter and getting the kitchen finished.
      Since we've saved so much money on the cabinets, we are thinking of updating the flooring and the faucet, too!

  2. LOVE how your cabinets turned out!! Your before pictures are WAYYY better then the place we moved into..cabinets are like pressed wood. I have to keep the cost down as much as possible and wondering if this would give it an updated look. don't have the groove but need to do something..

  3. Hi Evie!
    Thanks for stopping by! I hear ya about those horrible cabinets! You could definitely attach the 1/4-inch luan strips like we did, to give your cabinets a Shaker-look. Painting those kitchen cabinets is what got our house sold in just 3 weeks after we listed it! The new homeowners loved the kitchen, and said it was just their style, so I'm glad we did it.
    Keep me posted if you decide to update your cabinets!