If you can’t afford to buy new kitchen cabinets because your home warranty won’t cover it, all is not lost. You can still add a new breath of life in your kitchen by using some handy tips. The following are some simple ways to update kitchen cabinets on a budget.
Add Contrasting Accents
Alternate between dark and light colored cabinets by adding accents to the frames. You can also add a tile backsplash in a color combination of the chosen accents. Go with black and white or crème and brown contrasts.
Slide Out or Pull Out Cabinet Shelves
If you want more space in your existing kitchen cabinets but don’t have money to buy brand new ones, just invest in pull out cabinet shelves. You can get them for under $150. They will not only give you more space to store your kitchenware, but also they are an excellent way of saving space. We had these in our old home, and they were awesome! They really save your back when storing and retrieving pots and pans. Also, just as a side note, sliding capabilities don’t have to be limited to cabinets only. Sliding doors can make their way into the kitchen as well.
Add Stencil Treatment to Your Cabinet Door
There is no need to buy new cabinets with beautifully stenciled doors when you can find a number of sources online that teach you how to do it yourself. This style may seem a little more “country,” but why not give it a shot?
If your cabinets are looking tired, you can add crown molding on the top of the cabinets. In fact, you can get 8 feet of primed 3” composite molding for about $20. The best time to get crown molding is during your regular cabinet repair. It is easier to match the molding to the cabinet during that time. If you are getting matching moldings, you should know that cherry cabinets get darker with age and some color difference has to be expected. You can get both the molding and cabinet painted to avoid this mis-match problem.
Get a New Glass Insert
The best way to change the entire look of your kitchen cabinets, and upgrade your kitchen, is to change the glass inserts on your cabinets. You can go for decorative glass. However, this can only be done cheaply for those cabinets that have a removable door so that the glass panels can be fitted where the door once was. The cost of glass panels is under $10 for even the more eccentric styles. You have the option to choose from antique, water, raindrops, bubbles, and contemporary styles as well. Changing fresh glass inserts to a standard 30×24 inch cabinet with double doors would cost you less than $50.
Install Task Lighting
There are various ways of adding light to your kitchen but for making your cabinets stand out, you need task lighting. Use simple peel and sticky LED light on the underside and inside of your kitchen tasks. This is really simple and cheap – I did this at our old home for ~$35 total! I hooked these up with automatic timers to cut the LED strip on in the morning and evening and it was awesome! A little bit of soldering skill is required, but if I can do it then anyone can.
If you can afford hard wired lighting, it would be the best option. Battery lights might not be as bright as you want them to be. However, LED lights are so cheap that you can buy many packs of them and install them in clusters all around your kitchen cabinets. Your guests would be awe-inspired the next time they visit your kitchen and the lights are on.
Get a New Paint Job For Your Cabinets
This is, by far, the cheapest and easiest way of upgrading and overhauling the look of your cabinets. All you need is a professional who would do the job for you (or cleaner, sandpaper and paint). The work might take some time but the results are worth it. Here are a few tips if you are going to make a DIY project out of this –
- Use 150-grit sandpaper if you are going for a melamine or laminate finish.
- Before you start painting, make sure you use a quality bonding primer.
- For making your kitchen look bigger, paint your cabinets in lighter hues.
- Make sure that the cabinets are cleaned thoroughly and are free of gunk and grease before you start sanding. Prepping is important for good results.
- Every coat of paint on your kitchen cabinets needs to be sanded out or your final and freshest coat will not look flawless.
- To avoid drip marks on cabinet doors, lay them flat out. Paint one side and then wait for it to dry. Then turn it over and paint the other side. The results would be perfect this way.
I’ve done this before to get our home ready for sale, and the whole process of repainting the cabinets took about two weeks (just working in the evenings). Plan of 3-4 coats of paint for best results.
Get Fancy Hardware
You can get ornate door knobs for your cabinets for under $30. If you want to save even more, go to contemporary big box hardware stores where you can buy about 10 knobs under $20. It will make your cabinet look extremely expensive and fancy without doing too much work. As a tip, always look at the holes on your existing hardware and replace it with something similar that will fit the same size.
Final Thoughts – Simple Ways to Update Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget
As you can see, there are several simple ways to update kitchen cabinets on a budget. Many of these are so simple that just about anyone can pull them off. So, what are you waiting for? If you have the feeling your kitchen is old and outdated, try one of these simple ways to update kitchen cabinets on a budget today!