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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