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Upgrading Stock Cabinets with Custom Doors: The Secret Behind an Inexpensive Upgrade

If you have a room that looks old and dated, changing the style and color of your cabinets can completely transform your space.  The easiest way to do that is by taking the old doors and drawer faces off, and updating with one of our stunning custom cabinet door fronts, which come in a range of styles, colors and finishes. 

Cabinet refacing is a very simple and cost-effective process. You can work with your existing cabinets, buy inexpensive stock cabinets or repurpose used cabinets and repaint them yourself. This saves a ton of work and the best part is – the cabinet boxes don’t need to match since your Front + Center doors and drawers can be ordered in custom sizes to fit any cabinet!

Once you have your space measured (and measured again!) and decide how you want to lay out your space, you can combine existing cabinets with other stock cabinets to create a custom look that’s perfect for your space.  For a luxury feel, you could stack two cabinets to increase the height all the way up to the ceiling.  Or create special purpose pull-outs with faux doors to match other cabinets while concealing things like small appliances, a garbage can, or laundry bins.  The key to pulling it all together is by creating continuity with your new Front + Center doors and drawer fronts, which makes a huge impact.

The idea is to take inexpensive cabinets and make them look high-end.  Don’t worry if your cabinets have particle board on the sides and back (which don’t paint well).  You can cut inexpensive ¼ inch MDF (which takes paint really well), and glue that on to the sides.  Sometimes lower quality drawer boxes can feel loose or flimsy, But don’t worry there are ways to reinforce them. With the use of glue or screws they can be made into premium drawers.

When putting it all together in your space, we find it helpful to locate the studs and use cabinet screws to attach the body of the upper cabinets first (so the lowers won’t be in your way).  If your cabinet doesn’t line up properly with existing electrical outlets, you can simply cut out a hole in the back and pull the wires through (because you won’t see the hole once it’s assembled).  If you are stacking two cabinets, we recommend that you attach them to each other first, before screwing the whole unit into the wall.  For a perfect fit, be sure to measure where the base of the cabinet will end and trim the baseboard so the cabinet will sit flush against the wall.

The final step is to attach your new Front + Center doors, and step back to admire your amazing new space!  If you have questions along the way, know that we are here to help.  

For inspiration, watch April Wilkerson walk you through her laundry room update – it’s sure to empower you to create a fresh, new work space of your own!

Scroll though the images below to see how Marcy Rodriguez repurposed cabinets sold at habitat for humanity and Front + Center fronts to create a custom den for a fraction of the price of all new custom cabinets.

drawer front installation on blue cabinet refacing product

De-Mystifying Drawer Front Installation

If you want to transform your chipped or outdated kitchen cabinets, but can’t think past some of the details like how to update the drawer fronts, read on. Here are step by step instructions to master your drawer front installation for your new custom manufactured drawer fronts. With these steps you will be well on your way to the kitchen cabinet refacing project of your dreams. 


  1. It is best to pre-drill for decorative hardware before you install new drawer fronts.
  2. Place the decorative hardware to find a position you like – for pull handles, most people center on width and height.
  3. On the back side of the drawer front, mark the center by measuring horizontally and vertically.  We find it helpful to draw an arrow pointing towards the top of the drawer front. This is especially helpful if you decide to install your handles off center, towards the top of your drawer front. 
  4. Use a simple template to mark your holes on the backside of the drawer front. You can either buy a hardware installation template made for this purpose or you can use a piece of cardboard by using a sharp object to punch holes in the cardboard at the same spacing as your new handles.
  5. Place your template on the back side of the drawer front, and use a pencil to mark your drill holes. Hold your decorative hardware in place to double check that your drill hole marks are aligned properly.
  6. Drill holes using a drill bit slightly larger than your decorative hardware screws. Wait to install the hardware until after you’ve affixed the drawer front to the drawer box.


  1. Place a 1″ square of mounting tape in each corner of your drawer box. This will be used to temporarily affix the new drawer front.
  2. Carefully align the drawer front, using spacers to ensure even alignment between surrounding fronts.
  3. Hold the drawer front tightly against the face frame and pull the drawer box forward to make sure it comes in contact with the drawer front (you may need to open the door or drawer below and reach in from behind the drawer to pull it forward).
  4. Test your alignment. If you are not satisfied, use a rubber mallet to pop off the front and realign.
  5. Secure the front to the box by installing your decorative hardware using your pre-drilled holes.
  6. Place bumpers on the middle of each drawer front.

The biggest challenge for many people when doing a cabinet refacing project is just getting educated on how easy it can be to install. The time and money that cabinet refacing can save you on your kitchen renovation project. Check out our short video below to see it done step by step! or visit our YouTube channel for this and many other cabinet refacing tips from Front + Center.

Visit more pages on our website for other information on Front + Center cabinet refacing products.

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