How to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets - dummies

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

Updating kitchen cabinets make tired drab kitchens look fresh again. Knowing how to update kitchen cabinets, can save you the cost of completely replacing them. Most cabinets, no matter how unattractive or outdated, can be drastically improved by following the tips below.

  • Clean your cabinets. A good cleaning may bring new luster to tired but handsome wood. Try TSP to remove grim and grease.

  • Change the hardware. Try something zippy, like bent twig fork handles, hand-painted ceramic knobs, clear glass handles and knobs, or metal pharmacy pulls. For unity, match cabinet hardware and faucet finishes (all brass, copper, steel, iron, or so on).

  • Paint them. A little paint goes a long way. Are you going Contemporary? Paint simple cabinets with a high gloss lacquer-look finish in a zingy new color or colors. For example, paint base cabinets one color and wall-hung cabinets another. Antiqued cabinets in off white, buttery yellow, mellow rose, watermelon red, and apple green add an Old World charm that’s especially comforting. Paint cabinets high-gloss white for an instant Country look. Or stain them a natural, wood color in the Victorian style.

  • Add bead board as a backsplash and paint it a crisp white. Paint your cabinets’ outsides white and the insides a nautical blue for a seaside effect.

  • Relaminate all cabinets in one solid color. Or, for a more Contemporary or Eclectic look, mix and match colors and interesting patterns. For example, keep the cabinet boxes plain and add different colored or patterned doors (or vice versa).

  • Exchange old doors on plain cabinets. Try new fancy doors in the style of your choice.

  • Add classic architectural trims to plain cases. You can include fluted pilasters at the corners, pediments, and crown moldings on top or deep base moldings at the bottom.