How to Transform Oak Cabinets – Without Painting Them

When we purchased the lake cottage, I told myself that we didn’t have to decorate it all at once. We could relax, enjoy the lake and embrace the charm. See how we did just that without in this dated 90’s kitchen – without painting our oak cabinets!

Get tips and tricks to update dated oak kitchen cabinets without painting them or spending a lot of time and money! Make your oak cabinets feel modern and fresh with these easy DIY ideas.


Stainless Steel Tutorial |
Woven Pendant |
Faucet |
Brass Cup Pulls |
Brass Pulls |
Rug |
Paint Color |

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Julie Blanner is filled with do-it-yourself inspiration for effortless entertaining, easy recipes and home design that blends function.

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  1. Ana Pineiro on July 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm


  2. ScrapnAllie on July 18, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing Old World Home sent me this way

  3. Nancy Brennan on July 18, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    I have honey oak cabinets that have darkened over the past 25 years to a lovely deeper patina . I would never think of replacing them as I feel that oak is timeless, and these are in excellent condition. Like you did, it’s great to work around the cabinets, incorporating them into more updated surroundings. I am changing all the original somewhat ornate brass hardware to arched pulls in oil rubbed bronze, which happens to go with the now darkened brass hinges. I have stainless steel appliances and a contemporary faucet in satin nickel. My counter top is light speckled granite with white, tan and beige colors. My back splash tiles are ceramic squares placed like yours and same size but subtly rustic and not shiny. They are a solid color in light in beige with almond grout, and I want to keep them.

    But this is one thing I want to ask you about: There are accent tiles here and there, the same size, in raised Tuscany designs hand painted in pale blue and peachy colors. Do you have any suggestions for what to do with them? Should I have those accent tiles replaced with the other solid color ones I have, or should I replace them with accent tiles in some coordinating solid color or pop to them? I was thinking of painting over them to match the solid beige tiles so that all you would see is the outline of the design. Any advice from you or others would be much appreciated.

  4. Beatriz Chastine on July 18, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    It looks so fresh and clean. It comes to show you don’t have to do a complete overhaul to update a kitchen. It looks lovely 💕

  5. Otis the newfie collie pup Otis on July 18, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Jaaay for someone keeping super quality oak cabinets which will be on trend again very soon!! 🤩

  6. Yzabel Braun on July 18, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Have you considered sanding and refinishing the hardwood floors upstairs instead of putting down carpet?

  7. ThatCanadianGal on July 18, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    I absolutely love the faucet! Where is it from?! 🥰

  8. Gaye Wilkerson on July 18, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Great video! What color did you paint the walls? Thank you!

  9. Old World Home on July 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Julie this is a fantastic video, very inspiring for those just trying to work with what they have! New pulls and fixtures go such a long way, and my favorite tip of all time is that Clean is always Free! 💛

  10. Barbara Birch on July 18, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    This was a waste of time. I was not interested in her room I wanted to see only the cabinets updated as the title suggested.

  11. Lizzy's House on July 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Fixtures and hardware go such a long way. The brass pulls are perfect- a very timeless look. I love the tip of indoor/outdoor rug tip- I’m a huge fan too!

  12. Evans Bowen on July 18, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for not ripping out a perfectly lovely kitchen. Even if it isn’t the most current trend—getting rid of a kitchen just for fashion is wasteful You’ve done lovely things to make it comfortable. I have a kitchen with 50 year old cabinets that could use a bit of refinishing but the lovely patina and all the happy memories in that kitchen make it homey not a fashion statement. A bit of fresh paint, updated curtains and decluttering is all most kitchens need

  13. Binks M on July 18, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks Julie! Really appreciate that you included all the links.

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