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9 Ways to Spruce Up Tired Kitchen Cabinets

Spruce up kitchen cabinets

Make the most of your existing kitchen cabinets with a clever cabinet makeover. Replacing kitchen cabinetry altogether can be quite the investment, but if your cabinets are in good shape structurally, a little facelift is all they need to look like new and give your kitchen a fresh update. Here are some budget-friendly ideas…

    1. Paint your cabinets. As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on a fresh coat of paint—and within a weekend take that kitchen from dreary to sunny. All you need is some strong cleaner, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and a little elbow grease. What you don’t need is a whole lot of money, as the transformation will cost you a fraction of even the cheapest new cabinets. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets 
    2. Reface your cabinets. We’re not saying you must gut and rebuild. Instead of spending, say, $5,000 on new cabinets, save some serious cash and reface the ones you have for under $1,000. It’s amazing what a little veneer and some new doors can do to brighten an aging space. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets.

 

    1. Install a Pull-Out Shelf. Make the most of your kitchen’s existing storage space by installing a pull-out shelf in one—or all—of the base cabinets. The shelf resembles a shallow drawer that glides out for easy access to items stored in the back of the cabinet. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Install a Pull-Out Cabinet Shelf.

 

    1. Put in Undercabinet Lighting. There’s a missing element in most American kitchens, and it’s not a $7,500 range or a 4-acre refrigerator. No, it’s simply good lighting. The hidden fixtures of undercabinet task lighting, which are fairly easy to install, bathe the countertop in bright white light. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Install Undercabinet Lighting.

 

    1. Build a Butcher Block Island. Butcher-block islands mimicking 19th-century worktables are perfect for toning down the coldness of stone counters and metal appliances in modern cook spaces. You can bring this classic aesthetic to your kitchen by constructing a prep island from easy-to-buy materials. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Build a Butcher Block Island.

 

    1. Build a Sideboard. You can enhance a few stock kitchen base cabinets with molding, furniture feet, and knobs to produce a handcrafted sideboard for a fraction of the cost of buying one ready-made. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Build a Sideboard.

 

    1. Build a Window Seat. As attractive as window seats are, only a few older homes with deep dormers seem to have them. The good news is, you don’t need a large budget or a professional handyman to install one. For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Build a Window Seat.

 

    1. Add a Plate Rack. You could leave your dishes tucked away behind closed doors. Or, if they’re interesting and vibrant, you could create a place to display them, freeing up precious storage space and adding a splash of color to your kitchen. See how to make simple slotted storage from a kit, in How to Build a Plate Rack Cabinet Insert.

 

  1. Add Crown Molding. Nothing screams, “I spent lots of money on custom cabinets!” like crown molding. The trim transforms your kitchen storage into a seamless design. See how to nail the clever trick, in How to Install Kitchen Cabinet Crown Molding.

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One Response to “9 Ways to Spruce Up Tired Kitchen Cabinets”

  • With my cabinets, they are a bit dated and could use some work. As you listed here, there are plenty of options to go with. Of these options, I’ll probably see about refacing them as that would save me money over replacing them.


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