Tips on How to Spruce Up Your Kitchen Cabinets and Plates for Under $100

If you love your existing kitchen cabinets but the finish on it is worn and old, you can re-polyurethane them, and change out the hardware for a dramatic change. It’s easy to do if you have the time. And don’t forget to check these interesting plates for your restaurant. It’s important to understand that this is just a way to fix the polyurethane on the cabinets; it’s not a complete refinishing job.

Sand all wooden surfaces with 100 grit steel wool

For my cabinets, I didn’t even have to take the doors off for this process. Take off the existing knobs. Take the steel wool and sand every wooden polyurethane area. Being careful not to go all the way down through the stain, I sanded to make sure every bit of dirt and oil was off the cabinets. You are just sanding the polyurethane enough to give the new coat of polyurethane something to stick to.

Wipe off extra dust with a tack cloth

Go to your local home improvement center and pick up some tack cloths. They are tacky enough to get all the dust off, but don’t contain water. Water isn’t good to use on a wooden surface. Wipe off any extra dust on all the cabinets.


Do not shake the can of polyurethane because it could make bubbles. Use a stirrer to mix your can of polyurethane. I decided to go with a semi-gloss for my oak cabinets, but you can use eggshell or high gloss. I find it best to use a foam brush for polyurethane; it doesn’t show brush strokes like a brush would. Re apply the polyurethane in the same direction as the wood grain in even strokes. Do no put too much on or it will drip and ruin the cabinets. Take your time and apply it evenly. Look at the cabinets on an angle while it’s still wet so you can make sure you hit every area. You will be surprised as to how little you will need.

Replace existing hardware with updated hardware

I went onto eBay and found my cabinet knobs for a GREAT price. Keep in mind that if your existing knobs have a single screw, therefore a single hole in your cabinet, your best bet is to buy new knobs with a single screw. This will make changing them out a breeze. Make sure your polyurethane is completely dry. Put on the new knobs and you’re done!

My total cost was $10 for the can of polyurethane and $75 for the hardware. For $85 I gave my kitchen a brand new and updated look. You can too.