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Decorating Ideas for the Back Side of Cabinets

Steven White

Whether you have a bar or a combined kitchen and family room, the back sides of cabinets can look less than appealing for the creatively inclined. Thankfully, there are some simple and inexpensive ways to jazz up the back sides of your cabinets that will enhance your overall decor and match your home’s theme.

Veneer Panels

Cabinet backs can be decorated many ways to suit your decor.

If you crave decor styles such as brick, castle rock or logs, there is a veneer panel that is right for you. Most people picture panels covering walls, but panels can be attached to any wood surface, including cabinet backs. So if you have a western-themed family room, attach some faux hickory panels to those unsightly cabinet backs, and now you have a Wild West set of cabinets.

Acrylic Glass

With young children in the home, fancy china requires special care for displaying. For an easy and safe display, you can convert one of the cabinet backs to a custom display case. Remove all items from the cabinet, and disconnect the back piece. Replacing the piece with acrylic glass will allow you to put all your showy items in as you want them to appear. If the cabinets do not have a window nearby, string some lighting into the display case as well.


Continue your color scheme onto the cabinet backs with a little paint. If you crave texture or want a faux wall, connect a piece of drywall to the cabinet back and smear some colored drywall mud around. Press in the texture you want, and you have a new wall extension. To make the cabinets distinctive, add texture with a sponge or by using Italian plaster. You'll need to prime the cabinet backs before applying paint.


Most cabinets have very plain mountings. Spice up the mountings and the rest of your room’s border with some homemade moldings. Mix up a batch of salt-based dough (similar to what kids play with), and press the dough into drywall molds, available at most home decorating stores. You'll want to let the mold pieces dry for a few days before gluing them onto either a thin plywood board or directly onto the wall. Paint over the clay, and you have a new look.