Updating Kitchen Cabinets
Updating an 80s Kitchen
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Updating Kitchen Cabinets
I want to redo my kitchen cabinets, but they are made of paneling to match my walls. The house was built in 1964. What do you suggest?
DIY Cabinet Reface
We refaced our kitchen cabinets last year. We bought cabinet grade wood at a lumber store, cut it to the sizes we needed for the cabinet doors and stained it. It looked like a totally new kitchen! It cost a fraction of the price of getting new cabinets since we were able to do the work ourselves. Unless your kitchen has odd shaped doors, you should be able to do this also. You can even get a router to make the pretty designs in the doors if you want. We tried but decided we did not want to invest that much time.
Updating Kitchen Cabinets: Faux Wood Finishes
If the cabinets are in good shape and you just want a different look, consider having someone who can do faux wood finishes paint them to look like a different wood. If the painter is trained and experienced in faux wood finishes (also called wood graining), it looks like the real thing!
Jenifer in Idaho
I just updated my kitchen cabinets, and my kitchen sounds similar to your kitchen. I had chair rail height wood paneling around the kitchen and island. Instead of refinishing the wood, which wouldn't work with paneling, I decided to paint it. I took all the cabinet doors off their hinges and spray painted the hinges so they looked new. You can buy KILZ spray paint for an undercoat and metallic spray paint for the topcoat. For the cabinet doors, cabinet boxes, and paneling, I used two coats of KILZ followed by two coats of semi-gloss washable paint. I also replaced the cabinet handles for a more updated look. The entire project cost about $65, and it looks like a brand new kitchen.
Updating Kitchen Cabinets: Cheapest Way?
Paint. Get a high quality, semi-gloss latex for cleanability because this is a kitchen. Sand the cabinets, wipe down with a tack cloth, remove doors and hardware, and paint with a roller (paint with a primer first if the wood is dark and your chosen paint color is light). There is not a cheaper, faster way to refresh and change a home interior than with paint. I did a cream-colored paint on my dark wood cabinets and it made all the difference in my light-challenged kitchen.
What's Your Motivation?
It depends on two things: the reason why you want to redo your kitchen cabinets and how much money you want to budget for the change. Do you just want to have a fresh, new look for the years ahead, or are you thinking about one day soon when you might sell your house with an updated look?
If you want a new look, you can do it relatively inexpensively by contacting a major department store like Sears or Home Depot and having your cabinets "refaced" instead of replaced. On the other hand, if you're thinking about possibly selling your home sometime in the near future, you might consider replacing your kitchen cabinetry with a more modern look that will update your kitchen to add value to your home for a potential homebuyer. This is what I would recommend to my real estate clients typically because the kitchen is what "sells" the house. So, those are a couple of options to think about as you plan ahead.
Connie in Moses Lake, WA
Updating Kitchen Cabinets: Quick, Durable and Washable
You can cover the front of your cabinets in durable, washable wallpaper. It's a quick way to give them a whole new look!
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