How Can I Update My Medicine Cabinet without Replacing It?

Does your old medicine cabinet need updating and you are wondering how to do it? Sure, you can purchase a new one for an easy fix, but what if your budget does not allow it? Though you may not be able to purchase a new medicine cabinet, you can put your DIY skills to work. If you want to give your old medicine cabinet a makeover without replacing it, we have shared some tips to help you get started.

How can I update my medicine cabinet without replacing it? A fast and easy way to update your medicine cabinet without replacing it is to paint it or cover it with stylish wallpaper to add color. You can also give it a new look by changing the door to a mirrored one. Moreover, you can add a fancier and more attractive doorknob to make it pop out.

Medicine cabinets are usually plain and sometimes stained from use and age. If you have an old medicine cabinet and want to have one that is more organized and stylish, you can refurbish your existing medicine cabinet to breathe new life into it. Below is a guide to help you accomplish this project.

How can I update my medicine cabinet without replacing it
Image by Solomon Rodgers from Pixabay

How Can I Make My Old Medicine Cabinet Look New?

Different ways to make your old medicine cabinet look new include using mirrors to replace the doors of the cabinet, changing the interior, using fancy decorative hardware, and recessing it. You can also paint it and cover it with wallpaper to add color and style to its plain look.

Use a Mirror

You can have fun updating the look of your medicine cabinet without spending a lot of money. BY adding a mirror to your medicine cabinet, not only will you be able to update its look but you will also make the bathroom look bigger. Mirrored medicine cabinets can brighten the bathroom because it is easier for light to bounce off. Moreover, the reflection of the mirror adds space and depth to the room.

Interior Makeover

Another way to update the look of your medicine cabinet is to add a mirror into its interior. The mirror will make the interior of the medicine cabinet appear brighter and spacious. Moreover, it will make it easier to find items that are hidden in the back of the cabinet.

Wallpaper Cover

By covering your medicine cabinet with wallpaper, it will stand out. Wallpapers come in a wide array of colors, patterns, and styles so you can make sure to find one that complements the design of your bathroom. This is a quick and easy DIY project that is also affordable.

Decorative Hardware

When updating the medicine cabinet, you also need to replace or clean the hardware. To make your medicine cabinet look chicer, you can replace the knob with something more stylish. There is a wide array of knobs that you can purchase. You can even find stunning designs at an affordable price.

Recessed Medicine Cabinets

You can change the look of your medicine cabinet by recessing. Recessing a medicine cabinet can seem difficult and a lot of work, but it is simple. Moreover, it will make your bathroom look bigger because most of the cabinets will be hidden away inside of the wall. We have also shared this article titled, what to do with medicine cabinet hole? You can check out the article for tips and ideas on what you can do to cover a medicine cabinet hole.

Upgrade with Glass

Another method that you can use is to add glass shelves to the medicine cabinet. Like adding mirrors, the glass will make the medicine cabinet look bigger and brighter. Furthermore, glassworks with the type of medicine cabinet.

Paint It

If you think that your plain old white medicine cabinet looks outdated and boring, you make it livelier by adding color to it. An easy way to do this would be to paint the medicine cabinet with a color that matches the theme of your bathroom. This simple DIY project will not only dramatically change the look of your medicine cabinet but will also add style to your bathroom.

DIY Bathroom Medicine Cabinet Makeover

One of the easiest and affordable ways to update the look of your medicine cabinet is by painting it. Painting the medicine cabinet is cost-effective as compared to purchasing a new one. This DIY project can take a couple of hours depending on your skills and the size of the medicine cabinet. However, a new paint job will last for many years and will look just as good as you expected. Below are the steps on how to paint a medicine cabinet.

Step 1: Prepare the Painting Area

Make sure to remove all objects from the medicine cabinet. Spread cloths or newspaper around the work area to prevent getting paint on the countertops and floors. You can also use painter’s tape to any surface that you want to protect from the paint.

Step 2: Clean the Medicine Cabinet

After preparing the area, clean the surface of the medicine cabinet using TSP or a less-toxic substitute. This will remove grease and grime on the surface. Make sure to also clean the interior of the medicine cabinet. Tri-sodium phosphate or TSP is an effective and affordable cleaning solution. Wear rubber gloves when working with a TSP solution.

Step 3: Patch and Sand

The next step would be to inspect the medicine cabinet for any nicks and dings. If the cabinet is made of wood, use a putty knife and wood putty to repair any damage. Using a knife, smooth the putty and leave it to dry. Once it is dried, lightly sand the exterior of the cabinets which includes the doors and shelves. This method will help the primer and paint to adhere efficiently to the surface. All surfaces should be roughened so that it accepts paint easily. Once the sanding is completed, wipe down the surfaces using a damp cloth to remove dust.

Step 4: Apply Primer

With the use of a sprayer, a brush, or a roller, apply an even coat of paint primer to the surfaces of the medicine cabinet. A sprayer will work best for this job. On the other hand, make sure to paint with long, smooth, and even motions when you use a brush so the brushstrokes are not visible. Allow the primer to dry completely as directed by the manufacturer.

Step 5: Apply the First Coat of Paint

Once the primer is dry, you can apply the first coat of paint to the medicine cabinet. Use a synthetic paintbrush or a sprayer if you are using water-based paint. If you are using oil-based paints, you need to use a natural-bristle brush or a sprayer. Allow the paint to dry as directed.

Step 6: Apply the Second Coat of Paint

After the first layer of paint is completely dry, you can apply a second coat of paint. Leave it to dry for 24 hours or for how long it is specified by the manufacturer.

✅ Video – Cheap $10 Fix for Rusted Nasty Medicine Cabinet

Girly Hobbies shared the video below on YouTube. It shows how to fix a nasty medicine cabinet using oil-based paints. Watch the video below for the step-by-step method on how it is done.

Are Medicine Cabinets Outdated?

Medicine cabinets are not really outdated. While there are old and vintage styles of medicine cabinets that look out of style, there are now updated modern medicine cabinets that are sold on the market. These medicine cabinets feature built-in lighting, stylish designs, and high-tech functionality that suit any type of bathroom. For more information about this topic, check out this article titled, are medicine cabinets outdated?

How Do You Cover a Medicine Cabinet?

One of the easiest ways to cover the medicine cabinet is to use a mirror or a framed picture in the door area. Make sure that the mirror or frame fits the door area perfectly. If you do not like to see the products on your medicine cabinet, there is no need to purchase a new one. You can simply use your creativity to cover it. Is a medicine cabinet a bathroom necessity? Check out this article that discusses if bathrooms need medicine cabinets for more information.

✅ Video – Covering Up An Old Bathroom Medicine Cabinet With A Sliding Mirror

Watch the video below shared by Matthew Finlay on his YouTube channel on how to cover an old bathroom medicine cabinet with a sliding mirror. If you have an open medicine cabinet and would like to cover it to hide the products, you can check out the video below for ideas and tips.

Can You Replace Just the Mirror on a Medicine Cabinet?

You can replace just the mirror on a medicine cabinet. In the case where the mirror on the medicine cabinet has broken or is already tainted with age, you can replace the mirror which is a more cost-effective option as compared to replacing the medicine cabinet. Take note that replacing the mirror will require a little skill on your part. Determine the dimensions of the medicine cabinet and your old mirror so that you can find the right fit. We have shared this article that discusses the different tips on how to replace medicine cabinets with shelves. You can check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses if you can update your medicine cabinet without replacing it. Rather than purchasing a new one, you can still find ways to upgrade your old medicine cabinet and breathe life into it. If you are thinking of having a medicine cabinet makeover, you can follow the different methods that we have shared above for your DIY project. Thank you for reading!

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