How to change kitchen cupboard doors

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the most dynamic ways to change the look of a kitchen with minimal effort and cost is to change the cupboard doors. Repainting, refinishing, carving or replacing the kitchen cupboard doors is an easy and inexpensive weekend project that can transform your kitchen into a seemingly new space. Few materials are required and the tools necessary are already familiar to you. Changing cupboard doors is also a creative way to remodel your home without demolishing all your cabinets.

Remove the kitchen cupboard doors from their hinges using a screwdriver. To simplify things later on, mark each cupboard door and corresponding cupboard with a number using your pencil. If possible, detach the doors from the hinges so that the hinges remain attached to the cupboards, rather than clinging to the doors themselves. This will allow you greater freedom when painting and decorating and will eliminate paint dripping on the hinges.

Wipe clean the cupboard doors using the dry cloth. Remove all hardware such as knobs and handles using the screwdriver. Sand all surfaces of the cupboard doors to remove any finishing or paint.

Wipe down the cupboard doors once more to remove all sawdust from the surfaces. Determine which surfaces of the doors you will be painting or varnishing, and apply masking tape to all surfaces which will not be painted.

Paint the surfaces of the cupboard doors using smooth, even strokes. Allow them to dry for a few hours until they are no longer sticky to the touch. Apply additional coats if necessary, allowing time to dry in between. Apply sealant to the paint if desired, allowing time to dry between coats.

Remove masking tape slowly and repeat the process for additional surfaces with additional colours. Allow plenty of time for paint to dry before using masking tape, and always remove the tape slowly to avoid damaging your paint job.

Reinstall the kitchen cupboard doors back in their original locations, using the screwdriver to attach the doors to their hinges. Follow the numbers written previously on each cupboard.


One great way to change the look of your kitchen is to paint the outer section of your cupboard door one colour, and paint the middle section of the door another colour. Painting the inside of the cupboard doors or the cupboards themselves are other options to change the look of your cabinetry.


Always paint in a well ventilated area to avoid toxic fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Masking tape
  • Sealant
  • Pencil
  • Cloth
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About the Author

Nat Fondell has been writing professionally since 2006. A former editor of the "North Park University Press," his work has appeared at scientific conferences and online, covering health, business and home repair. Fondell holds dual Bachelors of Arts degrees in journalism and history from North Park University and received pre-medical certification at Dominican University.