An Inexpensive Way to Update Kitchen Cabinets

Flat-panel cabinet doors are covered with wallpaper and distressed-wood molding for a French country look.


Toile wallpaper is used to give this kitchen a French country look.

Toile wallpaper is used to give this kitchen a French country look.

Materials and Tools:

four sheets 1/2-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
ten 8-foot lengths of 1/4"x2-1/2" pine wood
three rolls of wallpaper
table saw
chop saw
pin nailer
3/4-inch pin nails
wallpaper paste
utility knife
plastic scraper
laminate trimmer
orbital sander with 220 grit paper
white primer
white paint
Euro hinges
Euro-hinge jig


1. Measure all the existing cabinet doors.

2. Use a table saw and chop saw to cut down the 1/2-inch MDF to the exact measurements of your old doors.

3. Apply a coat of primer to all the 1/4-inch pine strips then let dry.

4. Cut sections of wallpaper to fit onto your cut pieces of MDF, making sure to leave a 2-1/2-inch border around the entire door.

5. Spread wallpaper paste onto the center of each door.

6. Apply the wallpaper and use the plastic scraper to remove any air bubbles.

7. To make the cabinet stiles (vertical trim), measure the length of the door then use a chop saw to cut two pieces of 1/4-inch pine.
8. To make the cabinet rails (horizontal trim), measure the width of each door, minus 2-1/2 inches for the stiles. Cut two pieces of the 1/4-inch pine to size.


9. Attach the 1/4-inch pine stiles and rails to the exterior of the doors, creating a picture frame border around the wallpaper. Use 3/4-inch pin nails to fasten.

10. Repeat steps 4 through 9 for all your doors.

11. Paint edges and borders of each door.

12. Use the laminate trimmer (with a 1/4-inch bit) across all sides of the doors to create a 1/4-inch round-over edge.

13. Lightly sand over the white paint, corners and seams with the orbital sander and 220 grit paper. Don?t press too hard or you?ll loose too much of the white paint.

14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 for all the doors

15. Using a Euro-hinge jig, bore out two holes on every door for the hinges. Follow directions for your specific hinges.

16. Attach the hinges to the doors using the provided screws.

17. Attach the doors to the cabinets using the provided screws.

Next Up

Updating Kitchen Cabinets

Updating kitchen cabinets transforms your kitchen into a gathering place for the whole family.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Get all the details on how to paint kitchen cabinets in this step-by-step guide.

The Best Places to Buy Kitchen Cabinets Online

Cook up the kitchen of your dreams with these failproof cabinet retailers.

Economical Kitchen Cabinet Update

Carter Oosterhouse shows how to update a kitchen and save money by using premade cabinets.

Update Kitchen Cabinets With Glass Inserts

With these easy, step-by-step instructions, anyone can quickly and inexpensively transform builder-grade cabinet doors into beautiful, custom-looking glass insert doors.

Kitchen Catch-Up: How to Install Cabinets

Installing kitchen cabinets is a great way to save money on a kitchen renovation.

How to Safely Remove Kitchen Cabinets

Learn how to safely remove your old cabinetry to get ready for your new kitchen remodel.

French Country Kitchen Cabinets

Get all the info you'll need on French country kitchen cabinets, and create an elegant kitchen design in your home.

How to Give Your Kitchen Cabinets a Makeover

Refinishing your worn kitchen cabinets can be a cost-saving alternative to replacing them.

How To: Building a Kitchen Island With Cabinets

Carter Oosterhouse shows how to add counter space in the kitchen.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.