Repurpose Old Cabinet Doors

I’ve developed a crush on cabinet doors. Maybe it had something to do with better utilizing the space on the other side of my own kitchen cabinet doors.  It might be because of all the great ideas I found in the 5 Ways to Organize With Cabinet Doors post.

The fact is, I just can’t stop finding fun projects that involve cabinet doors!  I know you are going to love these next five ways to repurpose cabinet doors as much as I do.

How to Choose the Right Cabinet Doors

As a passionate DIY enthusiast, one of the first things I consider when embarking on repurposed cabinet door projects is choosing a suitable cabinet door.

There are a few key factors to keep in mind to ensure the success of your endeavor.


First and foremost, consider the size of the doors. Measure the space where you plan to use them and choose doors that fit perfectly.

While a narrow cabinet door can work for any space, there’s no point in choosing larger doors for a very small space.


Another important aspect is the material of the cabinet doors. Wood is a popular choice due to its durability and versatility. However, laminate doors can also be repurposed with the right techniques.


Assess the condition of the doors as well. While a bit of wear and tear adds character, make sure they are structurally sound and free from major damage.

How to Prepare the Cabinet Doors

Once you have chosen the perfect cabinet doors, it’s time to prepare them for their new purpose.


Start by giving the doors a thorough cleaning. Remove any dust, grease, or grime accumulated over the years. This will ensure a smooth surface for the next steps.


Next, sand the doors to create a better bonding surface for paint or other finishes. Use sandpaper with medium grit to gently roughen the surface. Pay attention to corners and edges to achieve a uniform texture. After sanding, wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and let the doors dry completely before moving on.

Upcycling Tools and Supplies

When it comes to upcycling tools and supplies, it’s essential to have the right arsenal by your side. Here’s what you need to prepare for your repurposed cabinet door projects:


A set of good-quality sandpaper is a must-have for prepping cabinet doors. Opt for different grits, such as coarse, medium, and fine, to tackle various surfaces and achieve a smooth finish.

Paint Brush Or Foam Rollers

Invest in a reliable paintbrush set or foam rollers to apply a coat of paint covers. Choose brushes with bristles suitable for the type of paint you’re using.

If you prefer a flawless finish, foam rollers can provide a smooth application. Additionally, don’t forget to have painter’s tape on hand to protect areas you don’t want to paint.


Other supplies that come in handy include screws, adhesives, and various hardware for attaching or embellishing the repurposed doors. Depending on your project, you may also need specialized tools like a saw, drill, or router. These tools allow you to cut, shape, or join the doors with precision.

5 Ways to Repurpose Cabinet Doors

1.  Turn them into picture hangers

This gorgeous photo collage was created by The Creative Crate.  Isn’t it stunning?  It’s impossible to tell that those chunky frames aren’t the latest thing from Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs–they are repurposed cabinetry!  Fantastic use of cast-offs!

2.  Make a headboard

I am in awe of the design skills at work here.  Remodelaholic‘s Cassity and her husband used old cabinet doors to construct this beautiful headboard for their master bedroom.  They’ve included fantastic instructions so that if you happen to find some old cabinetry, you can make your own headboard, too.

3.  Welcome with a chalkboard sign

I enjoy seeing transformations like this one!  Kelsey of Stacks and Flats came up with this delightful sign for her porch when she turned an unused cupboard door into a chalkboard.  I love that darling welcome sign in burlap that she added, as well as the chippy paint technique.

4.  Create an art table

This project shared by Autie (of ICandy Handmade) on U Create is simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  The entire door and face of the cabinet box were used to make an incredibly useful–and beautiful–child’s art desk.  I love the fun colors and the handy storage.  You just have to read all about how Autie came up with this unique upcycling project.

5.  Design a bulletin board

Melissa of Shabby Love created this bulletin board. She just painted the frame in Antique White and adhered burlap to a piece of cork and slipped it into the frame.  Easy peasy!

Painting and Finishing Techniques

Painting and finishing are crucial to bring new life to old cabinet doors. I always recommend using a primer before applying the final paint color. The primer creates a stable base and helps the paint adhere better. Also, choose a high-quality paint suitable for the material of your doors, whether it’s wood or laminate.

Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Are you going for a rustic look? Or maybe a sleek and modern finish?

This will help you decide whether to use semi-gloss paint, matte paint, chalk-style paint, or decorative paint.  The choice of colors and finishes will also depend on your personal style and the purpose of the repurposed doors.

However, whether you apply a bit of paint or not, don’t forget to seal the doors with a clear coat or varnish to protect the paint and ensure its longevity.

Giving Cabinet Doors a New Life

Repurposing old cabinet doors, whether kitchen cupboard doors, broom closet doors, or acrylic kitchen doors, offers endless possibilities for DIY enthusiasts like myself.

By choosing the right doors and preparing them adequately, we can transform them into unique pieces that fit our style and needs. With the right upcycling tools and supplies and cabinet door ideas I’ve shared, you can bring our creative visions to life.

Remember, repurposing not only allows us to unleash our creativity but also contributes to sustainable practices by giving new life to old materials. So, next time you come across a discarded cabinet door, don’t let it go to waste.

Embrace the challenge, grab your tools, and embark on a repurposing adventure. You’ll be amazed at the incredible transformations you can achieve while enjoying the satisfaction of breathing new life into forgotten treasures.

Projects like this one are going to have me haunting the neighborhood, sorting through the debris from kitchen remodels! Who agrees?

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  1. Great post Beckie. I really enjoy your repurposing ideas and posts. I also love cabinet doors too. I have been looking for the perfect door to make a tray like this one for my vanity.–mirror-vanity-tray-project

    Another idea for kids is to use a door to create a fine motor lock board to a cabinet door

    Have fun scavenging! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  2. thanks for the shout-out, Beckie! I love the picture frames from the Creative Crate, and that stinkin’ headboard…I soooo need a cute headborad…like yours or that cabinet one! ahhh!

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