Reusing Kitchen Cabinets in Home Remodeling Project

Don't trash your old kitchen cabinets. Instead consider using them in your garage, storage area or in a basement kitchen.

Kitchen remodeling projects usually go down three distinct paths:
  • Replacing all of existing cabinets with brand new cabinets,
  • Giving your existing kitchen cabinets a face lift with paint, new trim and/or hardware, and
  • Prefacing your cabinet doors and exposed areas.
New Cabaco Kitchen Cabinets in new kitchen

If you are going to be buying brand new kitchen cabinets, consider recycling and reusing your existing kitchen cabinets in another part of your home. Your cabinets may have served you well for many years. There's probably nothing really wrong with them, except the front of the cabinets.

Your existing cabinets can be reused at minimal cost in:
  1. Your garage,
  2. Storage room,
  3. Garden shed, or in a
  4. Basement kitchen or kitchenette.
All they may require is some resending and painting. Even if you can't use your existing cabinets, offer them to your contractor or laborers or donate them to charities.

Recycling old kitchen cabinets in the Garage
When we did a major kitchen remodeling of our home, we asked our contractor to carefully remove all of the existing base and wall cabinets. Unfortunately some cabinets were severely damaged, but the majority were removed successfully.

We decided to use the old kitchen cabinets in the garage. All we wanted was storage for tools and equipment. We removed the paint, sanded them and then primed and repainted them white. We had the following cabinets to work with:
  • two 48 inch based cabinets and
  • about eight wall cabinets spanning 10 feet.
Old kitchen cabinets find new use in garage
We could not use the wall cabinets on the wall as the venting and ceiling in the garage were too low. Also we needed a narrow wall cabinet because of space limitations. A typical base cabinet would have prevented us from using the right side of the garage for the car.

Kitchen remodeling can range from simple tasks to more complex tasks. Even if you're considering doing a lot of work yourself, you might need help or want to talk to someone about:

  • Refacing your existing cabinets,
  • Installing new cabinets, or
  • A full kitchen remodel that included design, cabinets, appliances, etc.
You can talk with a pre-screened kitchen expert in your area about the above subjects. Please visit our Guide to Kitchen Remodeling. You are under no obligation and your information will be protected.

What we did
We installed the two 48 inch based cabinets on the left hand side of the back wall. We then installed all of our wall cabinets on the right side of the garage and used them as base cabinets. This may seem odd, but we suggest that you not let custom dictate what is practical and meets your needs.

The recycled kitchen cabinets probably saved us over $1,200 which we would have paid for very cheap assembled white MDF cabinets from a Lowes Home Improvement Store or the Home Depot.

Our biggest challenge was to find a countertop for the 8 feet of base cabinets and the 10 feet of wall cabinets that were installed on the garage floor and wall.