How to Update Cherry Kitchen Cabinets: Easy Tips for a Fresh Look

Last updated on August 13, 2023

Discover the transformative power of updating your cherry kitchen cabinets with these easy-to-follow steps, breathing new life into your cooking space.

Cherry kitchen cabinets are a timeless classic that can add warmth and elegance to any home. However, as styles change, you may find yourself wanting to update your cherry cabinets without breaking the bank.

Fear not! There are several easy and affordable ways to give your cherry kitchen cabinets a fresh new look. In this article, we’ll explore some simple tips and tricks for updating your cherry kitchen cabinets to make them feel modern and stylish again.

So, let’s get started!

What's Inside

Assessing Your Cabinets

assess cherry kitchen cabinet

Before you begin updating your cherry kitchen cabinets, it’s important to assess their current condition. Take a close look at the doors, drawers, and frames to determine if they are in good shape or need repairs.

Check for any cracks or chips in the wood that may require filling before painting.

Assessing your cabinets will also help you decide which style update is best suited for them. If your cherry cabinets have intricate details and ornate designs, a simple coat of paint may not be enough to modernize them.

In this case, replacing cabinet doors with sleeker styles can make all the difference.

Consider how well your current cabinetry fits into the overall design scheme of your kitchen space. Are there other elements that clash with its traditional aesthetic? Updating countertops or backsplash can complement new cabinet finishes and create an entirely fresh look.

Assessing the Condition of Cherry Cabinets

cherry cabinets kitchen

Take a close look at the doors, drawers, and frames to determine if they are structurally sound or need repairs. Check for any cracks or chips in the wood that may require filling before painting.

If your cabinets have been painted previously and are peeling or chipping, you’ll need to remove all of the old paint before applying a new coat. This can be time-consuming but is necessary for achieving a smooth finish.

Consider how much wear and tear your cabinets have endured over time. If they’re heavily used with scratches and dents throughout, it may be worth investing in new cabinet fronts rather than attempting an update that won’t last long-term.

Choosing the Right Style Update

glass cherry cabinets kitchen

You want to make sure that any changes you make complement the existing design of your kitchen and enhance its overall aesthetic appeal.

One popular option for updating cherry cabinets is to paint them in a lighter color. This can help brighten up your space and give it a more modern feel.

White or light gray are great options for achieving this look.

Another way to update your cherry cabinets is by adding glass inserts or open shelving. This can create an airy, open feel in your kitchen while also providing additional storage space.

If you’re looking for something more dramatic, consider replacing some of the cabinet doors with frosted glass or even removing some altogether and creating an open concept shelving system.

Ultimately, when choosing a style update for your cherry kitchen cabinets, it’s important to consider both form and function.

Choosing the Right Finish

cherry cabinets kitchen with pendant lights

There are several finishes available, including matte, satin, semi-gloss and high gloss. Each finish has its own unique characteristics that can affect how your cabinets will look in your space.

Matte finishes have a flat appearance with no shine or reflection. They are great for hiding imperfections but may not be as durable as other finishes.

Satin finishes have a slight sheen that adds depth to the color of your cabinets while still being easy to clean and maintain.

Semi-gloss is more reflective than satin but less so than high gloss. It’s an excellent choice if you want some shine without it being too overwhelming.

High gloss provides maximum reflectivity and creates an ultra-modern feel in any space; however, it can also highlight imperfections on surfaces like wood grain or scratches easily.

Budget Considerations

budget home renovation

Fortunately, there are several ways to update your cabinets without breaking the bank. One option is to simply paint or refinish the existing cabinets rather than replacing them entirely.

This can be a cost-effective way of achieving a fresh new look while still maintaining the warmth and elegance of cherry wood.

Another budget-friendly option is to update just one aspect of your kitchen at a time, such as adding new hardware or installing a backsplash. By tackling small updates over time, you can spread out costs and avoid overspending on any one project.

It’s also worth considering DIY options for updating your cherry kitchen cabinets if you’re handy with tools and have some experience with home improvement projects. However, keep in mind that certain tasks like painting may require specialized equipment or expertise that could end up costing more in the long run if not done correctly.

Prepping for the Update

removing kitchen cabinet

This will ensure that the update goes smoothly and that you achieve the desired results. The first step is to remove all cabinet doors and hardware, including knobs, handles, and hinges.

Label each piece of hardware with its corresponding door or drawer so that reinstallation is a breeze.

Next up: cleaning! Use a gentle cleaner to wipe down all surfaces of your cabinets thoroughly. Be sure to remove any grease or grime buildup from cooking oils or food residue as this can affect how well paint adheres later on.

Once everything has been cleaned off completely (and allowed time for drying), sanding comes next in line! Sanding helps create an even surface for painting by removing any rough spots on wood grain patterns while also providing better adhesion between primer/paint layers applied afterward.

Preparing Cherry Cabinets for Updating

kitchen demo install

This step is crucial for ensuring that the new finish adheres correctly and looks great in the end. Start by removing all cabinet doors and hardware, including hinges, knobs or pulls.

Next, clean your cabinets thoroughly with a degreaser to remove any dirt or grime buildup that may have accumulated over time. Once cleaned, sand down the surface of each cabinet door and frame using fine-grit sandpaper until they are smooth to touch.

Afterward, wipe down each sanded surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust particles left behind from sanding before applying primer evenly across all surfaces using a paintbrush or roller.

Cleaning and Sanding

sandpaper cabinet

Once you’ve determined that they’re in good shape, it’s time to start cleaning and sanding. Cleaning your cabinets thoroughly will help remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated over time, making it easier for the primer and paint to adhere properly.

To clean your cherry kitchen cabinets, use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers as they can scratch the surface of the wood.

After cleaning, allow your cabinets to dry completely before moving on to sanding. Sanding helps create a smooth surface for painting by removing any rough spots or imperfections on the cabinet’s surface.

Start by using medium-grit sandpaper (120-150 grit) followed by fine-grit (220 grit) until you achieve a smooth finish. Be sure to wipe down all surfaces with a tack cloth after sanding to remove any dust particles before applying primer.

Applying Primer

Kitchen Cabinets Primer

Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides an even base for the color coat. It also covers any stains or discolorations on the wood surface, ensuring that your new paint job looks flawless.

When selecting a primer, choose one that is specifically designed for use on wood surfaces and can block stains effectively. Apply it evenly with a brush or roller in thin coats to avoid drips and allow each layer to dry completely before applying another.

Once you’ve applied the primer, inspect your cabinets carefully for any missed spots or uneven areas before moving onto painting them with your chosen color.

Selecting the Paint

paint colors bucket

The color and finish you choose can make or break the overall look of your kitchen. Before making a decision, consider factors such as lighting, wall color, and personal style.

For a modern twist on classic cherry cabinets, opt for light-colored paints like white or cream. These shades will brighten up your space and create an airy feel that’s perfect for contemporary kitchens.

If you prefer darker colors but still want to update your cabinets’ look without losing their traditional charm, try navy blue or forest green hues with matte finishes. These colors add depth while maintaining the warmth of natural wood tones.

Painting Techniques

Applying the Paint

Before you begin, there are a few techniques that can help ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish.

Firstly, make sure to use high-quality brushes or rollers specifically designed for painting cabinets. These will give you better control over the application of paint and help prevent drips or streaks.

Next, apply thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat. This will allow each layer to dry properly and reduce the risk of uneven coverage or clumping.

When applying each coat of paint, use long strokes in the direction of the wood grain for a more natural look. Be sure to let each layer dry completely before adding another coat – this may take several hours depending on humidity levels in your home.

Consider using sandpaper between coats if necessary – this can help smooth out any imperfections and create an even surface for subsequent layers of paint.

Painting Cherry Cabinets

repaint table pattern

Painting is one of the most effective ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look without breaking the bank. Before you begin, make sure that you clean and sand your cabinets thoroughly to ensure that they are free from dirt, grease, and scratches.

Next up is applying primer – this step is crucial for ensuring a smooth finish on your cherry cabinets. Choose a high-quality primer specifically designed for use on wood surfaces like cherry; this will help prevent any bleed-through or discoloration caused by tannins in the wood.

When selecting paint colors for updating cherry kitchen cabinets, consider light shades such as white or cream which can brighten up space while still complementing natural wood tones. Alternatively, if you prefer darker hues then go with navy blue or charcoal gray which can add depth and sophistication.

To achieve professional-looking results when painting Cherry Cabinets:

  • Use long strokes with even pressure
  • Apply two coats of paint
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying another layer

Adding New Hardware

Copper kitchen Hardware

New knobs, pulls, and handles can give your cabinets an instant facelift without the need for a full renovation. When choosing new hardware, consider the style of your kitchen and choose pieces that complement it.

For example, if you have a modern or contemporary kitchen design, sleek stainless steel or brushed nickel hardware may be ideal. On the other hand, if you have a more traditional look in mind for your space then ornate brass or bronze fixtures could be perfect.

When installing new cabinet hardware on cherry wood surfaces make sure to use screws that are long enough to go through both the cabinet door/drawer front as well as any additional layers such as backplates (if used). It’s also important not to over-tighten screws when attaching them so they don’t strip out of their holes over time.

Choosing Updated Cabinet Hardware

Brass Accents kitchen Hardware

New knobs, pulls, and handles can give your cabinets a fresh new look without requiring any major renovations. When choosing updated cabinet hardware, consider the style of your kitchen as well as the finish you want to achieve.

For a modern look, consider sleek metal or glass knobs with clean lines. If you prefer a more traditional feel, ornate brass or bronze handles may be more appropriate.

Think about how many pieces of hardware you need and what size will work best for each drawer or door.

When it comes to finishes for updated cabinet hardware on cherry cabinets there are several options available such as brushed nickel which provides an understated elegance while black matte offers bold contrast against warm wood tones like those found in cherry cabinetry.

Installing Backsplash

Backsplash measurement

A backsplash is not only functional, but it also adds visual interest and texture to the room. There are many different types of materials you can use for a backsplash, including tile, glass, metal or even wood.

When choosing a material for your new backsplash consider factors such as durability and ease of cleaning. You want something that will stand up well against spills and splatters while still being easy to maintain.

Once you have chosen the perfect material for your new backsplash installation is relatively straightforward with some basic DIY skills. However if you’re unsure about tackling this project yourself hiring professional help may be worth considering.

Updating Countertops

Backsplash measurement

If you have outdated or worn countertops, replacing them with modern materials can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen. There are many options available for updating countertops, including granite, quartz, and marble.

These materials not only look beautiful but are also durable and easy to maintain.

When selecting new countertops for your cherry cabinets, consider the color scheme of your kitchen as well as the style of cabinetry you have chosen. For example, if you have dark cherry cabinets with warm undertones like red or orange hues in them then it’s best to choose lighter colored counters such as white or beige tones that will complement these colors nicely.

Replacing old laminate counters with natural stone surfaces can be expensive but worth it in terms of durability and longevity; they’ll last longer than cheaper alternatives like Formica which may need replacing every few years due to wear-and-tear from daily use.

Installing New Countertops

kitchen countertop installation

If you’re looking for an even more dramatic change, consider installing new countertops. Countertops are one of the most prominent features in any kitchen and can make or break the overall aesthetic of the room.

When choosing new countertops to complement your updated cherry cabinets, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost is budget – countertop materials range from affordable laminate options all the way up to high-end granite or quartz surfaces.

Another consideration is durability – some materials may be more prone to scratches or stains than others, so it’s important to choose something that will hold up well over time with regular use.

Think about style – do you want something classic and timeless like marble? Or perhaps something modern and sleek like stainless steel?

Once you’ve chosen your ideal countertop material, it’s time for installation. This process typically involves removing old countertops (if applicable), measuring and cutting the new surface precisely according to specifications before securing them in place with adhesive.

Coordinating Appliances

small kitchen appliances

If you have outdated or mismatched appliances, it can detract from the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Consider replacing them with modern stainless steel models that will complement the updated style of your cabinets.

When selecting new appliances, keep in mind their size and placement within the space. You want to ensure they fit well and don’t overcrowd or overpower other elements in the room.

If purchasing all-new appliances isn’t feasible for you at this time, consider giving them a facelift by applying appliance paint specifically designed for use on refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves. This can be an affordable way to update their appearance without breaking the bank.

Replacing Appliances for a Modern Look

cherry cabinet with appliances

Old, outdated appliances can make even the most beautiful cherry cabinets look tired and worn out. When choosing new appliances, consider stainless steel or black finishes for a sleek and contemporary look that will complement your updated cherry cabinets perfectly.

When selecting new appliances, it’s important to choose models that are energy-efficient and have all the features you need for cooking and entertaining. Look for smart technology options like touch screens or voice-activated controls that will make meal prep easier than ever before.

If you’re on a tight budget but still want to upgrade your kitchen with new appliances, consider purchasing gently used models from appliance stores or online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You may be able to find high-quality items at significantly reduced prices.

Maintaining Your Cabinets

man cleaning cabinet

Regular cleaning is essential for preserving the finish and preventing damage from spills or stains. Use a soft cloth and mild soap solution to wipe down the cabinets regularly, being careful not to scratch or damage the surface.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can strip away the finish over time. If you do need a stronger cleaner for tough stains, look for products specifically designed for use on wood surfaces.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to be mindful of how you use your cabinets. Avoid placing hot pots or pans directly on the surface as this can cause discoloration and warping over time.

Use coasters under glasses and cups as well.

By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your cherry kitchen cabinets stay looking beautiful year after year!


How do you modernize cherry cabinets in the kitchen?

To modernize cherry cabinets in the kitchen, add bright colors such as white or beige for countertops and backsplash, creating a balance and enhancing natural light.

Are cherry cabinets out of date?

Cherry cabinets are not out of date, as designers have found ways to incorporate them into modern and contemporary styles.

How to update cherry kitchen without painting?

To update a cherry kitchen without painting, consider changing the hardware, installing lighting, adding glass inserts, replacing the countertop, and incorporating decorative accents for a modern and inviting space.

What are alternative methods to refresh the appearance of cherry kitchen cabinets without replacing them?

Alternative methods to refresh the appearance of cherry kitchen cabinets without replacing them include painting, staining, refacing, and adding new hardware.

What types of hardware and accessories complement cherry cabinets for a modern look?

For a modern look, complement cherry cabinets with sleek hardware and accessories such as stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel or chrome finishes, and minimalist lighting fixtures.

How can you effectively integrate cherry cabinets with current design trends in a kitchen renovation?

To effectively integrate cherry cabinets with current design trends in a kitchen renovation, consider incorporating contrasting elements, such as light-colored countertops and backsplashes, and adding complementary modern hardware for a balanced, contemporary aesthetic.

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