How to Update Your Kitchen or Bathroom by Refinishing Cabinets

About every ten years kitchens and bathrooms should be updated, but not everyone has the budget to do that. By repainting or refinishing cabinets and choosing new hardware (knobs or pulls), a new backsplash, or new counter tops, these rooms can be refreshed without tearing the whole kitchen or bathroom out.

1. Repainting Cabinets

A fresh coat of paint in clean modern tones can do wonders for kitchen or bathroom cabinets. This process is best carried out by removing cabinet doors, washing thoroughly, filling any chips and holes and sanding them down before applying a primer. Time spent in careful preparation will result in a more professional looking finish. Paint should be applied smoothly and allowed to dry completely before additional coats and before doors are rehung.

It is worth investing in high quality paints that are suitable for wet areas, particularly for bathroom cabinets. It is also worth taking the time to explore a range of color options by selecting sample tins and painting a small area. Stretch your imagination and try out colors and combinations you wouldn’t usually go for. Leave each sample on for a day or two and visualize your cabinets in this color. By investing this time in choosing the right color scheme, you’ll ensure that you end up with something you can live with.

2. Staining Cabinets

If your cabinets are wooden, an attractive alternative to repainting cabinets is to refinish them with a stain. The high gloss varnish cupboard decor has become very dated and can make your kitchen or bathroom seem smaller and darker than it really is. Instead, choose a natural, mat stain for pared down and light look. Modern stains are available in a wide range of tones and can be applied using a similar process to painting.

Before you apply your stain, thorough sanding with finer and finer grades of paper is necessary in order to remove all varnish so that your staining will be smooth, bright and clean. This simple, natural look is complemented well by brass and copper handles, knobs and pulls.

3. The “Shabby Chic” Look

In older homes with solid wood cabinetry, refurbishing in the “Shabby Chic” or “French Country” look is a popular way to give rooms a new lease on life while honoring the character of the home. The look involves distressing paint and this can be done at home in three easy steps.

Firstly, paint the cabinets in an off-white shade using circular motions with a rag, rather than a paintbrush. When the paint is fully dry, rub it lightly with sandpaper and wipe clean. Finally, glaze the cabinets with a mat varnish. One of the attractions of this method is that little preparation work is required as any dents, chips or imperfections in the cabinets will only add to the old world charm. This look can be beautifully accented with open shelves displaying delicate china cups and saucers, teapots with handmade cosies or vases of fresh flowers.

4. Jazzing It All Up With New Hardware, Backsplash Or Counter Tops

New hardware can be purchased inexpensively and can be the perfect way to finish off a fresh new look. Handles and pulls in brushed chrome, copper and solid wood are all great looks on freshly painted or stained cabinets. To add color and interest to the room, many people even choose to paint fittings in bright contrasting shades.

cabinet pulls knobs hardware

A glazier or tiler can install a new backsplash which can give a kitchen or bathroom a clean, modern look at a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen refit. Some of the latest looks are wide glass splash-backs in bright primary colors or bench to ceiling tiles in soft grays, ivory or cream. Similarly, a new bench top can transform a room. Made to measure tops can be purchased from kitchen shops or it can be possible to pick up a bargain at a demolition yard or on sites such as e-bay. Clean lines, white, polished wood, marble and sleek stainless steel are all popular options in modern renovations.

In summary, if your kitchen or bathroom is in need of an update, it can be done without taking out a second mortgage. With a little lateral thinking, some careful research and a few hours of ‘Do It Yourself’ hard work, anyone can bring their home stylishly into the twenty first century.

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