Kitchen Makeovers with Paint
With these kitchen cabinet ideas, transform your cabinets, walls, seating and even floors with paint. For walls and furniture, use satin or semigloss latex paint -- it stands up to scrubbing better than a flat finish.
To paint cabinets, first prime them with a deglossing primer to help the paint adhere and eliminate the need for messy sanding. Painting cabinets is time-consuming -- you need to remove doors, drawers, and hardware to do a thorough job -- but the results give you a fresh look for minimal cost.
Use What You Have
Take a cue from this budget makevoer and transform your space with wallet-friendly solutions that work with what you already have.
Reface Kitchen Cabinet Doors
Perk up your kitchen by replacing the doors on some or all of the cabinets. If you have recessed-panel doors, remove the center panel and insert reeded, textured, etched, or stained glass. If you have flat-panel cabinet doors, take them from contemporary to Shaker style by adding lattice molding around the edges and painting the doors. Or give the cabinets a makeover by painting them with chalkboard paint or dressing them with a textured wallcovering.
Update Kitchen Countertops
You can get the high-style look of granite, marble, or soapstone with the low-cost alternative of laminate. Available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns, laminate is easy to clean and maintain, although it can be damaged by sharp knives and hot pans. It can cost as little as $15 per linear foot installed.
Ceramic tile is another affordable option for countertops. It's a less forgiving surface than laminate, and keeping the grout clean can be a challenge, but the range of colors and finishes gives you lots of options for creativity. And at $10-$15 per linear foot installed, tile is easy on the kitchen makeover budget.
Replace Cabinet Hardware
A simple change in drawer pulls and cabinet handles can give your kitchen a new look. If you plan to use the existing holes, take some of the old hardware with you when you shop to make sure the placement and size of the screws will match. If you're refinishing the cabinet fronts, you can fill the existing holes and have a wider range of hardware choices. In addition to home improvement centers and specialty retailers, shop flea markets and antiques stores for interesting hardware. If you find distinctive knobs that exceed your budget, use them only on the upper cabinets or the drawers.
Replace Cabinets with Open Shelving
Update your kitchen by removing some cabinet doors. Open shelving is a hot design trend for kitchens, although it does require that you display the cabinet contents attractively and keep them organized.
Open shelving can expand a room's sense of space because your eye travels past the cabinet face, giving you the impression that the room has greater depth. Try a combination of open shelving and glass doors on one set of cabinets to create a focal point for the kitchen.
Refresh the Kitchen Flooring
Laminate flooring, used in this kitchen, is an affordable flooring option. Experienced do-it-yourselfers can install a laminate floor, although moving appliances out of the way and working around cabinets will add time to the job.
If you have wood floors, consider painting them with durable floor paint to give the kitchen a new look. Vinyl floor tiles offer an affordable way to renew the kitchen floor. Available in dozens of colors, vinyl tiles lend themselves to custom designs, classic checkerboards, or a simple sheet of uniform color.
Genius Low-Cost Kitchen Ideas
See how editor Eddie Ross updated his kitchen with smart ideas on a small budget.
Make Your Own Kitchen Window Treatments
Window treatments for kitchens can be blissfully simple. Choose a washable fabric and a simple style that keeps the fabric clear of heat and water sources. Tab-top curtains that hang from tension rods and barely skim the windowsill are one affordable option.
If privacy isn't a concern, valances, window toppers, and stationary shades offer ways to bring color, pattern, and softness into the kitchen. Instead of purchasing fabric, try adapting tablecloths, tea towels, or cloth napkins to serve the purpose.
Add a Creative Backsplash
Creating your own kitchen backsplash adds personality and style. Express yourself with paint, tile, wainscoting, mirrors, or framed prints or photos. If you use framed items, frame them identically and hang them close together to give the impression that they are part of the wall.
Add an Unconventional Kitchen Island
While it's true that kitchen islands can be massive multipurpose work centers, you can enjoy the functionality of an island on a more limited scale, too.
Consider converting an old table or dresser. Add a countertop, new hardware, and cup hooks for hanging storage, and you have a handy new multipurpose piece of freestanding storage.
Get Organized with Kitchen Storage
Keep your cabinets and pantry organized with the help of smart kitchen storage ideas. Baskets, tins, and plastic bins offer affordable options for collecting like items into tidy containers that you can stash on a shelf. If the shelves are open, choose one kind of container for a clean, unified look.
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