How to Reverse Cabinet Doors for a Free DIY Kitchen Upgrade

Updated: Mar. 21, 2024

Want to spruce up your kitchen cabinets in a way that's fast, easy, and nearly free? Check out this TikTok hack on how to reverse cabinet doors!

The look and feel of a kitchen can make or break the look and feel of an entire house, and that’s one reason kitchen renovations and makeovers are so popular. There’s nothing quite like a new counter, backsplash or set of cabinets to spruce up a formerly dull, average-looking food prep space. Trouble is, kitchen renovations can be tricky, and most of the work is typically beyond the skill level of average homeowners. That’s where the popular inexpensive kitchen transformation hack we’re about to show you can help. It gives your boring old kitchen cabinets a fresh new look, with very few tools, advanced skills or dollar signs involved.

The hack involves reversing cabinet doors to give them a completely different style and shape. Of course, there’s a little more to it than just flipping your doors around. Keep reading to learn how to reverse cabinet doors.

How to Reverse Cabinet Doors

TikTok creator @mashinskimakeovers showed us how to flip kitchen cabinet doors around and use the back sides as the fronts (after painting them and installing new handles).

@mashinskimakeovers DIY delight! This will save you 100s of 💵! #diy #furnitureflip #homedecor #mashinskimakeovers #fypシ ♬ Astronaut in the Ocean (Remix) – David Charlos

that the doors have been removed from their hinges and flipped around, setting the stage for the upgrade.

@mashinskimakeovers ❗️We saved hundreds 💵❗️ This project was a combination of innovation and vision. We saved old cabinet doors and ended up transforming our whole room in the process. When we looked at the inside of the original doors, we saw a shaker style that opened the flood gates of ideas. At first we were going to go with a burlap to provide contrast but we came across @polewrap and immediately knew this is what we were going with. The depth of the pole wrap was exactly what the depth of the inset was providing a seamless face. The number one concern quickly became, “are the beveled edges,on the original front, going to cause a awkward gap when you go to put the doors back on??” This was a genuine concern but we knew we could come up with a solution. To be honest there was a small gap, one we felt we could live with and it not be a problem, however we wanted to prove that the doors could sit flush. This process involved routing out a mortise (or groove) for the hinge to sit in. This was the perfect solution! Overall we love the color we choose @fusionmineralpaint BAYBERRY and the new look that this project gives our living room! Message us if you have any questions! Y’all can do this to! #diy #diyhomedecor #homeimprovement #fypシ #mashinskimakeovers ♬ Rare Project – DJ BAI

In his second clip, you can see the doors being reversed and mounted in their new orientation. It’s worth noting that this approach comes with a few limitations. It works best with wooden frame and panel cabinet doors. You probably won’t get great results if your doors are made of a non-wood material like melamine, or if they’re not a frame and panel design. This hack also mandates using solid paint colors on the doors to hide wood filler (learn the latest kitchen color trends here). Want to give this hack a try and know exactly how to reverse cabinet doors? Here’s what to do.

What You’ll Need

  • Wooden frame and panel cabinet doors
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill and bit index
  • Pencil
  • Cabinet door handles of your choice
  • Tape measure
  • Router with plunge cut bit or hammer and sharp chisel
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Latex primer and paint of your choice
  • Decorative peel-and-stick material of your choice (optional)
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Wood filler


  • Loosen and remove all the hinge screws holding the cabinet doors you want to reverse.
  • Sand all surfaces of the doors with 120-grit sandpaper to remove most of the original finish.
  • Fill the hinge holes on the backs of the doors with wood filler.
  • Prime and paint the doors a color of your choice.
  • Use your hinges and a pencil to mark for new hinge holes on the formerly front faces of all doors.
  • Drill new hinge holes using a bit sized to allow the hinge screw threads to bite into the wood.
  • Apply peel-and-stick decorative material to the inner panel of the doors if you choose. I’m partial to the rustic, chalk paint look.
  • Fasten the hinges to the new spots you’ve drilled using a screwdriver and the hinge screws you removed at the beginning.
  • If there’s a visible gap on the outer edges of the doors when they’re closed, remove them from the cabinets and cut a shallow groove into them for each hinge. You can use a handheld router with a plunge cut bit, or a hammer and sharp chisel.
  • Re-install the hinges and doors.
  • Choose where on the doors you want to mount handles, then drill holes accordingly and install them.