This list will help you reface, renovate, or renew your kitchen cabinets without having to do a complete overhaul. This list includes 10 methods that you can use with standard tools, simple installations, pre-made kit, and many other options.
1. Paint Kitchen Cabinets
The dark cabinets in your kitchen make it feel like a cave. You don’t have to replace those dark cabinets with new ones. You can easily clean up the doors and frames as long as they are structurally sound. Then you can paint your kitchen in a matter of days.
These are just a few of the many ways you can give your kitchen cabinets more personality.
Everything is affected by color. Color can make your cabinets look anything from simple and plain to rustic, provincial, modern, or even traditional. These are some of our favorite faux finishes to spice up your kitchen’s design.
The crackling glaze, which is available at paint shops, gives this weathered look. Brush the glaze on a dry base coat. Use one stroke to apply it. After the glaze dries, apply a flat topcoat of the base color perpendicularly to it. It will begin to crack as the paint dries. This process takes approximately an hour.
This rustic finish can be worn, or really beat up. It is composed of layers and dark paints (to imitate fly specks). After the paint has dried, you can “distress” the finish by using a chain to lightly sand the areas where cabinets are most used.
This provincial look is reminiscent of a slowly aged surface. You can speed up the aging process by coating the tips of your paintbrush with a lighter color than the cabinets and then rubbing the excess onto a piece of cloth until it is dry. Next, lightly touch the surface of seams, corners, or detail trim.
A high-gloss gloss finish will repel dirt fingerprints better than any matte and is easier to clean. It will also give your cabinets a modern look that resembles metal or glass. For a more polished look, apply a high-gloss acrylic varnish to your last coat. This will give your cabinets a glassy effect and add depth.
2. Reface Kitchen Cabinets
The sweet, elderly lady who bought your house is absolutely wonderful. She was especially generous with homemade cookies at holidays. The kitchen where she made them is ugly. It’s possible to make something new from old, but the grease-caked and child-made cabinets must go.
We don’t recommend that you gut and rebuild. You can save money and replace the cabinets you already have with newer ones for less than $1,000. It is amazing how a little veneer can brighten an old space. These can be purchased through woodworking businesses. Some manufacturers also offer peel-and stick veneer, which makes the job easier. Be sure to measure twice, and cut once. Your kitchen will look amazing in no time if you work carefully.
3. Install a pull-out cabinet shelf
Install a pull-out shelf within one or all of the base cabinets to make the most of your kitchen’s storage space. It looks like a drawer, but it glides out to make it easy to access items in the back.
The shelf is designed to fit into a standard base cabinet measuring 24 inches deep by 33 inches wide. However, it can be adapted to any cabinet size. The shelf has a 3/4-inch plywood bottom and a 1×4 pine frame. You can save money if you only need to build one or two shelves. They will usually cut plywood to your exact dimensions.
Don’t be intimidated if you have never attempted woodworking projects as complex as this. TOH Master Carpenter Norm Absram designed a simple, easy-to-assemble design that can be used with common tools.
4. Install Undercabinet Lighting
It’s missing in American kitchens. And it’s not a $7500 range or 4-acre refrigerator. It’s just good lighting. Hidden fixtures of undercabinet task light, which can be retrofitted beneath upper wall cabinets, flood the countertop with bright white light. This is a boon for all things, from reading recipes to dicing vegetables.
You can connect the fixtures to a dimming switch to create dramatic accent lighting or even a nightlight for those who like to snack at midnight. Don’t be afraid to work with electricity if you are a little unsure. The installation is easy and painless, provided you first cut the power at the breaker box.
5. Build a Butcher Block Island
You can make your kitchen feel homier and inviting by removing the built-in base island. Instead, you can use the central area to place table-like furniture and a butcher block counter. These thick wood-slab tops are stronger than wood-laid flats. This makes them resist warping and nicks more than laminate, and nearly as well as stone.
For modern kitchens, butcher-block islands that mimic 19th-century worktables can be used to reduce the cold of metal appliances and stone counters. This classic look can be brought into your kitchen by creating a prep island using easy-to-buy materials, or choosing from one of the many styles offered through furniture retailers.
6. Build a Sideboard
Sideboards can be used to store dishes, serving pieces and table linens. They are compact enough to fit into small spaces, making them a useful addition to any home. While a sturdy and high-quality sideboard can be costly, it can also make a significant impact on your budget. However, TOH general contractor Tom Silva shows that you can easily modify a few kitchen base cabinets to create a custom-made piece at a fraction the price of a ready-made one.
Choose unfinished cabinets measuring 15 or 18 inches in height. These cabinets should have doors and operable drawers. It will take you at least a day to put everything together. You will be the talk of dinner parties for many years with your handsome creation.
7. Build a window seat
Window seats can be very attractive, but only a few older homes have deep dormers. A window seat is considered impossible to install. First, you will need a niche with a window. A trim carpenter or cabinetmaker will then custom-build the seat to match the width and height of the window. This approach is time-consuming and expensive, not surprising.
This easy, DIY approach gives you both the “niche”, and the window seat. It also provides a lot of storage space. Although this seat was designed to fit 6-foot-wide kitchen windows, it can be easily adapted to any size window. The seat is composed of six kitchen cabinets and two bookcase units that are 48 inches tall. They have decorative crown molding. The window seat itself is composed of two 15-inch-tall, over-the-refrigerator cabinets set side-by-side.
8. Add a plate rack
Your dishes could be kept behind closed doors. If your dishes are interesting and bright, you can create a display area to store them. This will free up valuable storage space and adds a pop of color to your kitchen.
9. Add Cabinet Crown Molding
There is nothing that says, “I spent a lot of money on custom cabinets!” Crown molding is a great example. This trim transforms your kitchen storage design into something seamless.
Mount molding on a frame made of hardwood that is above your cabinets to add personality and style. A frame makes it easier to do the detail work from a bench than from a ladder. The crown can then be attached from the back, eliminating the need for nail holes. After the crown and frame are attached, the entire assembly can be assembled in one step.
10. You can add storage to your kitchen cabinets by adding more.
This Old House contractor Tom Silva began his career in carpentry over 35 years ago. He often built the kitchen cabinets that he installed for customers. He recalls that it was still economically feasible for small shops to build kitchen cabinets back then. “Today, they are assembled faster and more economically by manufacturers than we can.”
This is how you take a collection of boxes and combine them to create beautiful built-in furniture. It is easy to install everything: Make sure that everything is straight, level, and plumb. The problem is that the room lacks these attributes more often than it should. Don’t worry! We can help!