The Rhoads' kitchen before the update.
The Rhoads’ kitchen before the update

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Yarby and Nicole Rhoads, son Zack, with Danny Lipford
Yarby and Nicole Rhoads, son Zack, with Danny Lipford

Yarby and Nicole Rhoads recently moved into their ’60s-era ranch-style home with their son, Zack. The home used to belong to Nicole’s grandmother, who lived there for over five decades before she passed away just a year ago.

The kitchen showed its age and and felt dark and claustrophobic. So, we helped the Rhoads update the room with a modest budget – while learning some neat family history along the way.

Transforming Cabinets to Shaker Style

Yarby and Nicole wanted a light and bright kitchen that felt more open to the rest of the house. So, the first step was taking down the cabinets over the peninsula that made the space feel closed-in. The dated valance was also a relic of the past, so we carefully cut it free from the surrounding cabinets.

Then we got to work on giving the cabinets a whole new look. To create the trim for the Shaker-style doors, we cut down a sheet of 1/4-inch thick plywood into 2-1/4-inch strips. We cut the strips to the height of each door and applied them with wood glue and secured with 5/8-inch brads. We did the same for the horizontal pieces of plywood that fit between the vertical strips.

Danny and Chelsea add trim to the cabinets to give them a shaker-style look.
Danny and Chelsea add trim to the cabinets to give them a Shaker-style look.

After filling in the nail holes and edges with wood putty, we sanded down the doors to give them a flat surface and nice square edges. We applied a coat of primer and two coats of finish paint. To make this process go more smoothly, you could rent a professional paint sprayer from the home store or add a paint conditioner like Floetrol to the latex paint, which helps it flow better when sprayed and reduces brush marks when brushed on.

Finally, it was time for some sharp, new hardware. We hung the doors with Amerock 3/8-inch inset hinges and installed Amerock Westerly door and drawer pulls in a satin nickel finish.

Watch How to Convert Flat Cabinets to Shaker Style for step-by-step instructions on this project.

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Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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