Revamp your kitchen for less with a kitchen cabinet makeover. Better Homes and Gardens' contributing editor Danny Lipford shows you how.
Make a big difference in the look and style of your kitchen without going to the trouble and expense of a major renovation: Update your existing cabinets. There are several different ways to upgrade your cabinets, and each has its advantages.
One of the easiest upgrades you can make to your cabinets is to replace the existing knobs and hinges with hardware in a different style or finish. Hardware prices range in price, so add up the number of hinges and knobs you will need and decide how much you can spend in advance.
Start by removing one of the existing handles and hinges. A low-speed cordless drill equipped with a screwdriver bit and variable clutch is best for removing and replacing cabinet hardware.
Take the old hardware with you to the home center or hardware store so you can match the existing mounting holes. Also, note how the cabinet doors fit on the cabinets and buy hinges that have the same type of overlay (half lap, full overlay, or inset). Consider bringing samples of several different styles and finishes of hardware; try them on your cabinets before making a final decision.
Finally, remove the existing hinges and knobs and replace them with the new hardware. Some cabinet hinges have screws that allow you to adjust the fit of the door after they are installed.
Begin by carefully measuring each cabinet opening. Then order new doors to fit from a home center, local cabinet shop, or online. The existing cabinet doors don't need to be removed until the new ones arrive, resulting in very little downtime for the kitchen.
Giving your existing cabinets a new coat of paint can be a labor-intensive project. But if you have the time to do the work yourself, the actual material expenses are minimal.
Painting kitchen cabinets requires preparation for the new paint to adhere properly. Start by cleaning the cabinets thoroughly to remove any grease and grime.
Once the cabinets are clean, fill any imperfections and sand them lightly with fine sandpaper. Sanding smoothes any rough spots on the surface and dulls glossy finishes so paint will adhere properly. After sanding, use a damp cloth to remove any dust.
If the cabinets haven't been painted before or you are changing from an oil-base to a latex paint, they will need to be primed before applying the finish coats.
To reduce brush marks and give the cabinets a smooth finish, add a paint conditioner to the paint before finishing.
Stir the paint thoroughly to mix the conditioner into the paint. Now you're ready to begin!