Update Your Dishwasher – So Easy!

I’m so excited to be sharing this post at Meridian Road today.  If you haven’t been by Suzanne’s blog,  you are truly missing out!  She lives on a beautiful farm in Idaho and shares her rural life with gorgeous photos.  If that’s not enough, her great DIY projects and sense of humor will definitely keep you coming back! 

It’s been a while since I posted about my kitchen makeover.  One of my favorite projects of the makeover was the update that we made to our dishwasher…

I am in love with how this turned out! I wanted to make it look like part of the cabinetry, so we started with a piece of beadboard paneling cut to fit the front of the door. We glued it in place with Gorilla Epoxy. (I read the details about the glue before using it to make sure it would hold in high temperatures. The dishwasher gets nowhere near as hot as this glue can handle.) He then attached a few pieces of trim (cut from 1x4s) to mimic the cabinet doors. A little caulk and some paint, and it looks just like the cabinets!

So how to make the top panel look like one of the drawers? Obviously it’s necessary to have access to the top panel of the dishwasher, where the handle and dishwasher controls are. Attaching the faux drawer with hinges was the only solution (that I could come up with) that would provide the necessary access. We glued a wood slat across the top of the door. Kevin actually screwed the slat into the door as well. (I was surprised when I saw the screws right into the door, but he said that section is just a hollow piece of the handle, and didn’t extend into the dishwasher

The slat provided 2 things – a cover for the top edge of the door that can be painted to match the cabinets, and a sturdy surface to attach the hinges for the faux drawer.

The faux drawer was cut from a piece of 1x 8 long enough to cover the top panel. (He used a table saw to bevel the edges to match the other drawers.) We attached it to the dishwasher with 3″ bifold door hinges.

I spray painted the hinges with Rustoleum’s Dark Bronze to match the hardware. I struggled with this a bit – whether I should paint them the cabinet color or the hardware color. (I thought that I might be able to disguise the hinges if they were painted the same as the cabinets.) Regardless of the color, it’s important to use bifold hinges so that there is enough swing to move the faux drawer out of the way when the dishwasher is operating.

I love that the faux drawer sticks out further than the actual cabinet drawers. I think it adds a little architectural interest to an otherwise flat landscape. I feel ridiculous saying that about my tiny little kitchen (sounds so fancy and almost pretentious!), but I don’t know how else to describe it. I like bumpy rather than flat??? No – that really doesn’t sound any better at all – and that’s going somewhere else entirely. ha.

I mentioned that using bifold hinges is important. The first time that I ran the dishwasher after installing the faux drawer, water puddled on the floor in front of the dishwasher. I panicked thinking that maybe we did drill into something important! However, the water was from steam that exhausts through a small vent at the top of the door. The faux drawer was blocking the exhaust, so condensation built up on the back of the drawer and dripped. Here is how the drawer needs to be situated when the dishwasher runs…

(It still gets wet during the process but no more dripping! It’s kind of like the cabinets above the stove when you boil water – a bit of condensation, but no harm done.)

Adding cabinet hardware put the finishing touch on the dishwasher update.  I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Thanks so much Suzanne for allowing me to be a guest today. I hope that your readers enjoyed my visit!

Much love,






  1. Ingenious, and great-looking!

  2. So creative girl! Love it! I might just have to share this with everyone!:)

  3. I found you on Meridian Road – this is so fabulous. I might have to copy a bit of your kitchen. And your turquoise door … :)

    • Thanks Betty! I would be flattered for you to copy any of it!! So glad that you stopped over – thanks for your sweet comment!

  4. Genius !!!

  5. This is brilliant! I love it!

  6. Brenda, I love how you were able to disguise your dishwasher as a built-in! It looks great!

    • Matt – great to hear from you! How are you guys doing? Your kitchen is looking so awesome – I’ve been watching your progress!
      Thanks for stopping by…

  7. Pam Campbell says:

    Brenda,I’ve been looking at all your monthly archives for the first time. What some neat ideas!!!! My kitchen is bead board as well,so, this really caught my interest. Great idea. Hope to see more ideas to come.

    • Pam – that’s awesome! Thank you so much! I hope that I can keep you interested :)
      Glad to hear from you –

  8. Hi Brenda! I enjoyed meeting you at the Southern Bloggers Conference and LOVE your beautiful cottage. Hope things are going well and I look forward to following your blog!

  9. Brenda Rumbellow says:

    I love your dishwasher idea! Is there a reason the panel is +/- an inch shorter than the rest of the cabinets? You are so clever.

  10. This is absolutely georgous, do you have anything im about what I can do for notty pine cabinets? Have lived in this house for 20 yrs and would love a cabinet makeover.thanks any idea eould help.

  11. Love this idea it is georgous. I would love any ideas you hsve for me to do with my notty pine csbinets, i’ve lived in this for 20yrs and would live some kind of change thsmk you.and again you did a beautiful job.

  12. this is a great idea. what a cost saving, not having to purchase a new diswasher. my old appliances are black and I purchased a stainless steel refrig. now the dishwasher will blend in with the cabinettes . now on to the range.
    thank you for the inspiration

  13. I love this idea, I wanted to know however, have you had any issues with the steam warping the wood?

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  15. Great idea. How did you attach the panel to the door?
    Trying to redo the kitchen at my son’s little house…using the cabinets that our company makes but struggling with the white dishwasher face that doesn’t take a wood panel.
    Like the idea of the flap over the control panel!
    Thanks for you creative idea.
    Kind Regards,
    Lannie Loeks

  16. Ok…reread your post and saw the part about the gorilla glue. But how was the trim attached? Also, wondering how much weight the front panel can be so that it doesn’t detach due to the weight??Thanks, Lannie Loeks

  17. I love this idea, what about using an open grill panel at the top so the steam could escape? Kinda like a glass door but with a decorative grill insert.

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