How to Update Flat Panel Kitchen Cabinets
Flat-front kitchen cabinets complement a wide array of decorative styles. They are the easiest type of cabinet to update because the flat front is like a blank canvas. Simply painting them a different color and incorporating new hardware can drastically change the look of flat-front kitchen cabinets. If you also add architectural elements, such as wood or trim decals, the conversion can be astounding.
Remove the doors in the cabinets by removing the hinges with a screwdriver. Eliminate the knobs or handles from the door and cabinet fronts.
Wash the doors, drawer fronts and cabinet fronts with denatured alcohol. Wet a sponge with denatured alcohol and wipe it over the cabinets to remove grease, dirt and grime. Pay attention to the small nooks and crannies where dirt can collect.
Sand the cabinet fronts, drawer fronts and door fronts gently, with an oscillating tool with a sanding accessory, to roughen them up and give the new, updated finish something to adhere to.
Add new architectural elements, if desirable, like molding or carved wood decals that are created to be connected to flat surfaces like cabinet fronts. Cut molding pieces to size and miter the corners with a handheld cutting tool and miter guide attachment. Use wood glue and finish nails to affix the molding pieces in place, and use wood putty or caulk to fill any crevices for a seamless look.
Paint or glaze the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and cabinet fronts. If you are painting a lighter shade over dark wood or paint, apply a primer coat before applying the new, updated color. Allow the primer dry after label directions, then apply two to three coats of the new color of paint or glaze.
Install new, updated hinges, handles and drawer pulls to finish the new look.
Rehang the doorways by reattaching the hinges, and reinstall the cabinet drawers.