Quick Cabinet Upgrades

My cabinets are not in good shape. We’re talking drawers that don’t close all the way and cabinet faces that are peeling off in places. Not to mention the fact they’re dated as all get out. But I like the layout of my kitchen and the configuration of most of the cabinets. And I don’t have the cash to spend on redoing our kitchen right now anyway (really, who does?).

So I’m looking for ways to make do with what I have. Depending on the type of cabinets in your kitchen, these quick fixes might work for you too.

Cabinet Upgrade

Deep-clean your cabinets. If your cabinets are in good shape and the style suits your taste, perhaps all they need is a good scrubbing. With some soap, water, and elbow grease you can chase away years of grease and grime and have your cabinets looking good as new in no time.

Replace cabinet hardware. This is one we’ve discussed before because it’s one of the easiest, least expensive ways to update your cabinetry. Learn about cabinet hardware options, then place an order!

Refinish ’em. Refinishing won’t work for me since the top layer of my cabinets is peeling away in places, but if your cabinets are in good shape, painting or staining them (after you clean them, of course) may be all that’s needed. And it can be done in a long weekend.

Reface ’em. One of my best bets for whipping my kitchen into shape without gutting it involves refacing my current cabinets with veneer. That means pulling away all that ugly veneer that’s peeling off now and replacing it with new stuff. My neighbors recently refaced their cabinets—which were a lot like mine—and added new wood cabinet doors. The transformation was amazing—and cost much less than a complete cabinet replacement. Learn how you can tackle refacing yourself from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.

Have a BLAST. Cabinet BLAST, a new St. Louis-based company, offers an easy DIY alternative to refacing. The company’s custom-made decorative panels are easy to install and can be removed without damaging the cabinets, so even renters can spiff up their kitchens. Unfortunately, this option won’t work for me either. But if you had the right cabinets for it, I recommend checking out the copper inserts. Some of them are pretty cool. (And you can request free samples!)

Dream away. If temporary solutions won’t cut it, grin and bear those ugly cabinets for a while longer. And in the meantime, start saving your money and gathering ideas from books, magazines, friends’ homes, and more. Learning about the differences between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinetry is a great place to start.

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