How to Make Oak Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern?

In the kitchen, a housewife spent about 50% of the day. Everyone including housewife and other members of the family wants their kitchen to be clean and tidy because we all know that cleaning kitchen cabinets every day is a huge task. Now, the question is how we can make them worthy.

To decorate the fabrics and cabinets that you use, it must match the color of the wall. It is crucial to understand how to make oak kitchen cabinets look modern and to select the cabinets’ color accordingly.

Lay calm colors and fabrics to showcase compact kitchen cabinets. In fact, it requires a lot of skill in choosing the right color for cabinets. Color plays a decisive role in making it look good and match the counter.

Everything should not be incompatible. Here we go for tips for modernizing your outdoor kitchen cabinets.

Table of Contents

How to Make Oak Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern

How to Make Oak Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern

To turn your old or damaged kitchen cabinet into a modern one, you have to take some steps. Your proper planning can make the whole job very straightforward. Let’s take a look at what you should do.

The Excellence behind the Oak Cabinets

Usually, the oak cabinets contain solid wood (not necessarily the interior, but at least the doors). Oak cabinets of the 80s and 90s are especially my favorites, as man withstands the test of time and needs a little love only after 30 years of wearing.

I saw more modern kitchen installations that did not last five years. However, in this way, I can say the oak cabinets last longer than the other types of kitchen appliances.

You can read more here about how to update laminate cabinets with wood trim.

What Types of Problems You Might Face for Your Old Cabinets?

Maybe you are okay with your current cabinets. But old cabinets take you toward something to bother. Let’s see what exactly bothers you in your old cabinets.


Two ingredients in a kitchen cabinet are screaming ‘Nostalgia of the 90s’, they have oak and cheap termite mounds. Although a thermocouple several decades ago often has problems that go beyond the outdated style, which may need replacing doors or the entire cabinet, oak usually stands the test of time. You just need a modern application.


Carefully evaluate your cabinet’s situation. In any case, the doors are ugly, discolored or worn out (from moisture, heat, and aging), but the boxes, the part that attaches to the wall, are durable, cabinets are good candidates for change. However, if the drawers are in poor condition, you may need to replace the cabinets altogether.

See also  How to Update Laminate Cabinets with Wood Trim?


Not so long ago, there was a time when the theme ‘more is more’ dominated in the kitchen. Now aesthetics are much more straightforward. If your cabinets have a sophisticated cathedral design or other old-fashioned signs, the change is too late, not to mention the easy one.

What to Startup to Update Oak Kitchen Cabinets?

At first, we took wallpapers and painted the walls for making the room look bright and open, but replacing the tap with a faucet in fine copper champagne had the most vital impact. The original fountain looked like a date, but fresh and beautiful.

However, it evoked me of the timeless railings at the entry to the Chicago Cultural Center and how the railings and oak of the car we spent the day played so well that my oak cabinets also felt timeless. I turned on the striped carpet under the sink to distract myself from the original ceramic tiles and nod to the blue stripes on the water horizon in Lake Michigan.

How to Update Oak Kitchen Cabinets

It’s quite easy to update your oak kitchen cabinets. Just you have to carry out a few steps. So, here we go.

First, Modernize Your Cabinets

Material Upgrade

Tawdry, fast, and elegant – if your kitchen cabinets are a little defective, replace the material for a quick receipt. Matte gold or black buttons and knobs are all trendy.

Easy Independent Finish

There are many choices for quick finishing yourself without rubbing. Choose stain, wax, glaze, or chalk. However, it gives a simple and rustic look. Or use a template to an existing color.

Color or Stain

Traditional painting or staining of kitchen cabinets requires careful grinding and professional use. Reward; smooth, high-quality result! The best stain for kitchen cabinets or unexpected dark shades brings a moment to your cabinets. You can hire local artists or do it yourself.


If the door exteriors are scratched, consider replacing the trim. In fact, it is a procedure in which plywood is applying to current doors. Discuss with your regional carpenter to find out if this alternative is right for you.

The Door Replacement

Replacing cabinet doors is a superb idea when the doors are in poor condition, but the drawers are still durable. An instance is cabinet doors with a very bare thermal wing. Consider ousting some of the glass doors to decorate your kitchen and display expensive cookware.

Removal of the Doors

Removing the doors removes the aerial view of the open shelves, especially in the upper cabinets. However, it goes well with the current trend to minimize wall cabinets.

Then, Modernize Your Kitchen

How do you make an old oak kitchen look modern? A crooked path, updating other functions, often works wonders without touching your cabinet.

See also  How to Finish Inside of Unfinished Cabinets?

Paint Your Room

Paint the walls of the kitchen instead of cabinets. If you want to minimize wooden cabinets in orange tones, choose a paint color with a slight contrast, such as lavender or charcoal. Don’t use yellow, creamy, and natural oranges. The best paint for kitchen cabinets makes your kitchen like a heaven!

Add a Protective Guard

As with painting, adding or replacing a protective spray removes the appearance of cabinets less than charmingly. Pick a clean and modern tile – not a loop, from decorative mosaics! Terrazzo is back and can perfectly match the color of your cabinet.

Set the Right Lighting

Refresh your kitchen lighting to give your cabinets a better light. Work lighting is necessary, and decoration lights are practical and beautiful.

How to Refinish Oak Kitchen Cabinets

After updating, it’s also vital to refinish oak kitchen cabinets. Let’s check it out.

Maintain a Simple Cabinets Style

Generic templates are missing and more focused — a clear and straightforward aesthetic rule. Shaker-style cabinets are inside.

Use Open Shelves (Especially on the Top)

The common trend is now minimizing wall cabinets. It is easy to do by removing the doors from your wall cabinets. However, this system also reduces the overly wood-like appearance in your kitchen.

Stain Your Oak Cabinets Again

Both systems require precise grinding and professional application. However, the reward gives smooth results. Experienced professionals prefer to paint. The younger generation prefers to draw. You can use this data if you are trading and grasp your target business.

Add a Cornice and Shape

Rates go to customs cabinets with user profiles. And add height. Both wallpaper and apartments hide the lighting of the upper and lower cabinets.

Tips to Consider

  • Clean these cabinets before upgrading. Clean each piece of grease with TSP.
  • Set up your new cabin with existing tools and furniture, as well as carpentry that occupies the same space (especially in the open kitchen/ living room/ dining room).
  • For updating the style of the cabinet, add plywood or MDF stripes to make the shaker doors budget. Also, you can complement the old engraved design with putty. Then paint your work.

How to Paint Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Painting is another option to modernize your kitchen cabinets. But it is completed after a few steps. Let’s find out the tips for painting oak kitchen cabinets.


Preparation is the longest and most crucial step for painting oak kitchen cabinets, and I’m here to repeat it!

  • Remove all doors from the cabinet. Use masking tape to mark each entrance with an appropriate cabinet. Remove material, screws, and hinges, leave them in the bag and store them in the right cabin.
  • Cover everything. Glue on walls, counters, boards, appliances, and floors that you don’t want to paint.
  • Use a teaspoon of mortar and a cloth to clean the front of the door and frame thoroughly. There are many grooves in our closets, and it took a little fat to keep every inch clean. Keep in mind the back of the doors!
  • Our cabinets were recently renovated, which meant that they had an extra shiny layer of sand. That is why, besides cleaning, I used a wet scrubber to make sure there was no bright debris in the cabinets.
See also  What Kind of Paint to Use on Laminate Cabinets?


Then go for priming. Use a high-quality oil-based primer to provide a smooth, well-coated surface. I used a high-density foam roller on the frame, facades, and brush to apply all the gutters.

The roller transmits a terrific texture, similar to the appearance of painted cabinets. Reasonable warning, oil-based primers are absorbent, so be sure to apply the primer for external use and consider wearing a face shield.


You did all the preparations, and now it’s time to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets made of oak! I love how bright and white cabinets were, and I’m glad I went with them! Again I used a high-density foam roller for frames and facades and a brush for grooves. The paint is highly flammable and excellent for self-leveling.

Can I update oak cabinets without painting them?

Yes, you can update oak cabinets without painting them.

What are some popular colors for modernizing oak cabinets?

Popular colors for modernizing oak cabinets include gray, white, and black.

How do I prepare oak cabinets for painting or staining?

Preparation includes cleaning, sanding, and priming the surface.

Can I change the hardware on oak cabinets to make them look more modern?

Changing hardware can make oak cabinets look more modern.

What type of paint or stain should I use on oak cabinets?

Use a paint or stain that is specifically designed for cabinets.

How can I update the look of my oak cabinets without replacing them?

Add modern elements such as new countertops, backsplash, and lighting.

How long does it take to update oak cabinets and make them look modern?

The time to update oak cabinets varies based on the scope of the project.

What are some budget-friendly ways to update oak cabinets?

Budget-friendly updates include painting, replacing hardware, and adding new accessories.

Should I remove the cabinet doors when updating oak cabinets?

Removing cabinet doors is optional and depends on the desired outcome.

Can I add glass inserts to my oak cabinet doors for a modern look?

Yes, glass inserts can be added to oak cabinet doors for a modern look.

Wrap Up

I think you have got the answer of how to modernize oak kitchen cabinets. Both updating and painting is essential for modernizing your kitchen cabinets. Follow the instructions, I mentioned above. Of course, if you have any further problems let us know.

Good luck with a guide on how to modernize cathedral cabinets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *