The most expensive part of kitchen remodeling projects is the cabinetry. But, it doesn't have to be. With a little creativity, basic DIY skills, and a weekend (or two), you can give your old cabinet doors a fresh face. Here's what you need to know.
Evaluate Your Cabinets
Most cabinetry can be remade into something special. Evaluate your cabinets before starting. If the cabinetry is bowing, broken or unstable, go with new cabinets. If you're unsure, talk to a contractor to get a better idea of what's involved in saving your old cabinetry.
Cabinetry that is simply out of date or lacking personality makes a fine candidate for a makeover. Before starting any project, prep the cabinets. Remove the doors from each box. Label the back of each door and hardware. (This makes putting your cabinets back together much smoother!) Prep the cabinets with a light sanding and wipe clean with a tack cloth.
From here, you can use any number of materials to create a memorable finish. Stain and paint are obvious choices, but the way you apply the finish will elevate the design. Create a pattern with painter's tape, contact paper, or stickers and apply paint or tape over to create figures, plaids, dots, or whatever pleases your sensibility. These aren't the only options when dressing up your doors: tile, wallpaper, contact paper, wood trim, and sheets of tin or veneer can each spark fun design solutions. The sky is the limit. For a makeover that will make it for the long haul, keep in mind that the kitchen is a busy and messy place. Your cabinet design should be easy to wipe clean.
Fun With Hardware Changing out your knobs or pulls is another fun and easy way to personalize cabinet doors. For a truly personal look, make your own pulls like these floral-print oilcloth handles.
Here's how: Cut a long narrow strip of oilcloth (ours is 1-1/4x14 inches). Fold in half so it's about 7 inches long. Stitch the two long sides and the folded end to create a pocket. Cut heavy cardstock to stick inside the pocket. We used three layers of cardstock strips to gain enough support. Stitch the pocket closed. Attached the pulls to your cabinet with screws painted a coordinating color.