STOP! Take A Second Look At Those Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to staging a home before putting it on the market, many homeowners start in the kitchen. But according to Remodeling magazine, in 2009 a minor kitchen remodel averaged $ 21,411. For a major kitchen remodel, cost averaged $57,000.

One way to brighten and update a kitchen with a much smaller financial investment is to upgrade kitchen cabinets. Upgrading them doesn’t mean the old with the new (unless the cabinets are literally breaking apart or falling off the wall). It’s much less expensive to apply elbow-grease, paint or veneer to cabinets and simply make them look like new.

There are many ways to do so, including painting cabinets, replacing veneer and changing out handles and hardware. And no matter the cabinet’s original construction, almost any cabinet can be refinished using products available in the marketplace.

To prepare for a cabinet makeover, the entire kitchen needs to be masked to protect countertops, cabinet interiors, and appliances.

Next, the cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned. Without doing so, paint or stain may not adhere to cabinet surfaces. Grease and food particles leave layers of grime over the years, and a degreaser can be used to remove it. When the cabinets are clean, the surface can be roughed up with sandpaper and primer applied. After one or possible two coats of primer and another round of sandpaper, it’s time to paint.

If cabinet are being hand painted, it’s best to use a brand new chisel tipped paint brush. Rollers or straight edged paint brushes will leave marks or streaks. An air sprayer can also be used by spraying the edges first and then filling in the face of the door. If a sprayer is used, each spray should overlap the previous one by 50 percent.

When covering old veneer with new, measuring and cutting veneer strips accurately is critical to the process. One remodeler suggest ordering veneer cut-to-size, to prevent waste and possible injury.

To save time, professional remodelers recommend labeling all drawers, doors and hardware according to their location in the kitchen. It is much easier to reassemble cabinets once each piece is labeled.

And there are other quick cabinet fixes. Once cabinets are freshly painted (or even if they’re not) adding under cabinet lighting can change the look and feel of the kitchen. Halogen, florescent and xenon are the most frequently installed under cabinet lights, and all will brighten countertops and food prep areas. If desired, a dimmer switch can be installed to provide accent lighting for entertaining or night lighting for midnight snackers.

There are now retail and online stores that exist solely to provide cabinet hardware to match any d├ęcor and style. A traditional kitchen needs hardware with a brushed finish. Pewter, nickel, and polished brass all work well in traditional setting. In a contemporary home, cabinet hardware in a high gloss metallic shine pulls a kitchen together. Enamel also provides a contemporary look. For a unique effect, ceramic pulls come in a myriad of shapes, from animals to fruit to leaves and vegetables. The choices are unlimited as long as the hardware blends well with the cabinets.

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