4 Easy Ways To Renew Old And Outdated Oak Cabinetry

4 Easy Ways To Renew Old And Outdated Oak Cabinetry

Oak cabinets are loved by almost all people. But, these cabinets start to show their age after some time. Frequent exposure to sticky fingers, splattering foods, and cooking oils make the cabinets lose their shiny appearance. 

If your wooden cabinets have become worn out, they won’t add value to your living space. It is time that you need to clean your cabinets and help them look shiny and make them new again. Here are 4 easy ways to renew your old and outdated oak cabinets, and improve the appearance of your home.

1. Consider restaining your cabinetry

Here the idea is to change and upgrade the oak cabinets and make it look new and fresh. This way, it will add much value to your living space in a modern way. If you are sure about updating your cabinets, you may re-stain them with a darker and modern color.

Or, you can completely sand things down and paint the wood with a more natural and lighter stain. In reality, almost every homeowner tends to look for a subtle look. And, those can be provided only by a normal wooden tone.

That means, if you are trying to make an impression to the masses, the color (painted or stained) is an important aspect. Traditional staining or painting of oak cabinets requires careful sanding and expert approach. The payoff would be of high quality and smooth results. But, there are certain things to consider before restaining your cabinets.

Have a clear understanding of whether to stain them with a darker or lighter color. You may stick to any one of them if there aren’t dominant undertones. Abstain from red, orange, and yellow tones because they don’t look updated. 

If you think you can do the task properly, you need to sand down the cabinets entirely. Don’t worry, even professionals have to toil hard to make that quality and consistent look that won’t wear off easily. 

2. Consider changing the hardware

This is an easy option when you find that there is no need to restain your cabinets so as to improve the appearance of that space. In fact, it is better to change some hardware, such as knobs or handles. This way, the look will drastically get improved.

Yet, there are very few cabinets created in the 80s and 90s that have knobs or handles. If you look from the functionality viewpoint, not having hardware fitted on the cabinets isn’t a very big deal. That’s because they can still be opened with ease without them.

But, if you look it from a decorative viewpoint, you may find out that you are missing something. And, this is why you need to update your cabinets by installing a few hardware on them. Not only it will increase the functionality, but bring a new and fresh atmosphere to your home. 

Hardware that has a transitional style works great for oak cabinets. The looks are even more mesmerizing with cabinets of any profile, cathedral, arched, or shaker. For example, you may choose hardware with softer lines if you have cathedral styled doors.

There are lots of door handles and knobs available on the market that would serve your purpose. Choose hardware after considering the type of cabinets at your home. Updating the hardware would bring in a new look.

3. Consider adding crown molding and valance 

Another innovative and modern way to make your cabinets feel fresh and modern in their appearance. By now you should have known that crown molding isn’t limited to the ceilings. Adding crown molding is perhaps the best way to upgrade your cabinets.

And what’s more, your cabinets will look like a more custom made rather than a basic one. It is placed right on the topmost part of your cabinets. Don’t confuse it with crown molding that is used to attach the ceiling line.

On the other hand, the wooden strip that is attached to the lower part of the upper cabinets is called valance. When you install them, it increases the height of the cabinets visually. The valance gives a customized profile and helps in hiding under-cabinet lighting along with dirty drawings. 

However, such tasks need skilled professionals to make an appealing effect. But, this can be a manageable work for a semi-capable handyman. For better results, you may want to hire professionals who undertake such tasks and delivers their best. 

For a different look, you may try something extraordinary with crown molding. Paint the oak cabinets with a color of your choice. Now consider the whole bulkhead area and completely fill it with crown moldings to full height to attain that new custom look.

4. Consider painting the cabinets

Now, you may have seen this option coming, and why not. Painting the oak cabinets is an amazing way of upgrading your interiors and modernizing them. Sometimes people wonder about the color they were about to paint on them. And, most of the times, they paint with a color other than painting wood.

So, is it good to paint wood? Yes, that color is good when it comes to resale. Frankly speaking, conventional oak cabinets are mostly preferred by people over 70 years of age. If that is your main objective, keep it simple by staining them and end your day. 

But, if you are upgrading the cabinets keeping in mind of younger generations, you need to rethink your strategy. When you are considering people with ages 69 and younger, you need to paint your oak cabinets. When you’re thinking about resale, paint should be in your topmost part of the to-do list.

Remember that painting your cabinets to attain a modern look needs professionals to make it work. And, your cabinets will have smooth and high-quality results. The choice of colors is another aspect you need to look out for.


You should always consider the current décor of your home. If your home is predominately contemporary in style, don’t go with cabinet upgrades that will make your kitchen feel modern. 

Instead research contemporary style cabinetry. By sticking with a décor style that suits your home will allow you to avoid completely remodeling your home to benefit from a whole new look for your kitchen. 

If you decide that your entire kitchen is in need of a remodel it is usually best to pursue the services of a kitchen designer. They will be able to understand the vision of your new kitchen and render a design with plans for the contractor you hire to complete your remodel. Should you decide that it’s time to upgrade your cabinet style, seek-out a cabinet maker who can design or order cabinets that best suit the style you’re after. By looking into professional assistance you can avoid ordering cabinetry that doesn’t fit or requires endless customizations to your current kitchen.


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