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Upgrade Your Builder-Grade Cabinets: 13 Simple Ideas

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13 Ways to Upgrade Basic Builder Grade Cabinets

If you’re looking to upgrade your builder-grade kitchen, you’re in luck. There are plenty of budget-friendly ideas to give your cabinets a stylish makeover without breaking the bank. From painting and adding hardware to removing doors and upgrading countertops, there are many ways to update your builder-grade cabinets that won’t cost a fortune. Here are thirteen ways to make a generic stock, builder-grade kitchen reflect your personality.
Keep reading to discover some great ideas for making your kitchen cabinets look like they belong in a magazine.

1. Paint Your Builder-Grade Cabinets

Painting is a highly transformative and cost-effective way to change your builder-grade cabinets. Most of these types of cabinets are MDF covered in wood or laminate veneer, so you’re not destroying beautiful woodwork. It instantly updates your kitchen and adds personality and style to the space.

You can choose a classic white for a timeless look or opt for a bold color to add some personality. A popular trend is two-toned cabinets, involving painting the upper and lower cabinets in different colors to create a contrast and add depth to the space.

If you’re feeling creative, consider adding a stencil design or pattern to your cabinets, and keep in mind to coordinate paint colors with the rest of your kitchen decor. Painting your builder-grade cabinets is a simple and cost-effective way to update your kitchen, and it can be done in a weekend with a huge impact on the look and feel of your space.

Here’s an easy five-step process for updating kitchen cabinets of this type:

1. Clean Cabinets with TSP cleaner.

2. Wipe the cabinets down with a deglosser.

3. Prime the cabinets with a bonding primer and allow to dry.

4. Paint your cabinets with cabinet-grade paint like Benjamin Moore Advance or Sherwin Williams Pro Classic with a mohair roller.

5. Allow time for drying and re-coat as needed.

2. Add Cabinets on Top of the Existing Cabinets

If you want to increase kitchen storage space, adding cabinets on top of your existing ones can be a great option. To get started, measure the space between the top of your current cabinets and the ceiling. Then, purchase pre-made or custom-made cabinets to fit the space. Once installed, you can paint them to match your existing cabinets or give them a different color for a contrasting look. You can also add new hardware to tie the new cabinets in with the old ones.

Make sure you check out Pneumatic Addict for all the details of Elisha’s stunning builder basic kitchen before and upgrade.
13 Ways to Upgrade Builder Basic Cabinets

If you can’t find the door style (or don’t like the door style) then you can install (or build) boxes for open storage like the inspiration photo above.

3. Re-hang Your Cabinets Higher and Add Shelving Underneath

For more storage space, you can re-hang your cabinets to increase space and add a kitchen backsplash. Adding a backsplash will protect your walls and add a pop of color and personality to your kitchen. To finish off the look, you can add molding, which adds a classic look and creates a seamless transition between your cabinets and the ceiling.

4. Install New Hardware

If your cabinets don’t come with hardware, adding or replacing hardware is an easy way to make a dated kitchen look new. Hardware such as knobs and pulls can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of your cabinets.

Whether you choose to paint your cabinets to upgrade them or not, adding hardware is a simple and easy addition that adds a nice touch. When choosing new hardware, consider your kitchen’s style and color scheme, and opt for hardware that complements the other elements in the space.

5. Add a Backsplash

Adding a kitchen backsplash is a stylish and practical way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. It protects the walls from splatters and spills and adds a pop of color and personality to your kitchen.

When installing a backsplash, you’ll need some skill and patience, but it’s manageable for the average homeowner. A backsplash not only enhances the appearance of your builder-grade cabinets, but it can also make them look more sophisticated and unique.

13 Ways to Upgrade Builder Basic Cabinets

6. Paint Your Kitchen Walls a Dark Neutral Color

A dark neutral color on your kitchen walls can give your builder-grade cabinets a more sophisticated look and create an illusion of a larger space.

7. Take the Doors off Your Upper Cabinets

Removing the cabinet doors creates an open and airy atmosphere in your kitchen, enabling you to display your dishes and glassware. This simple and affordable way to enhance your builder-grade cabinets can also help declutter and make your space more organized and cleaner.

8. Take All Your Upper Cabinets Down and Replace Them with All Open Shelving

Replacing cabinet shelving with open shelves is a great way to update your builder-grade cabinets without a full renovation. It’s a budget-friendly project that can be completed in a weekend and transforms your kitchen into a more stylish and functional space.

9. Upgrade Your Countertops

Updating your kitchen countertops can have a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen. One option is to use special paint designed for countertops, and another is to choose durable and stylish laminate countertops. For a more natural feel, butcher block or wood countertops are also a great choice.

10. Add Glass Fronts to Your Kitchen Doors

Consider installing glass fronts on your cabinet doors to elevate the look of your cabinets and create an open and airy feel in your kitchen. Adding glass fronts is a budget-friendly way to make your cabinets look high-end and stylish.

11. Replace Your Kitchen Doors

For a more dramatic transformation, consider replacing your kitchen cabinet doors. This option allows you to completely change the style and feel of your kitchen without a full renovation.

13 Ways to Upgrade Builder Basic Cabinets
13 Ways to Upgrade Builder Basic Cabinets
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