The kitchen is one of the focal points of most households, and is usually the busiest as well. From breakfast, lunch and dinner through to a midnight snack, your kitchen is always a hub of activity.
It is also one of the parts of the home that goes through a lot of general wear and tear, and one that many people all over the world dream of renovating. Having a brand new kitchen fitted in your home is something we all crave, but unfortunately, it’s something that only very few can afford.
Fixing up your kitchen on a budget
There are a number of ways that you can brighten and freshen up your kitchen, and it won’t cost you the earth. Some things you can do can make a real difference to the appearance of your kitchen.
Your kitchen is the place where you can feel inspired and creative, so why not use that creativity in a slightly different way, and give it the makeover it so richly deserves.
Painting your kitchen cabinets
The cabinets in your kitchen are probably the most visual aspect of that part of your house. If they look a little tired and shabby, it can influence the entire appearance of your kitchen. One of the best ways to give it a make-over is by painting kitchen cabinets in a nice bright or cheerful color.
You’ll most likely have two levels of cabinets – those on the wall about the cooker and work board, and those on ground level. Some people like to have all the cabinets the same color, while others prefer to use two different contrasting colors. The choice is yours, and there are benefits to both ways of decorating them.
What are the cabinets made of?
If you are planning to paint your cabinets, it’s important to check what they are made of. The best surface type of painting is wood. This is the surface that works best with paint, rather than cabinets that are covered with laminates. Even though you can paint these, it will be much more work, and they won’t last for as long as a wooden painted cabinet.
If you see that your cabinets are a little battered and broken, it’s a good idea to first look to patch up any defects they may have. For filling in small dents of broken corners, you can find some wood filler in a local DIY store. This usually comes in tubes, and is a paste like substance that you can rub over the damaged areas, filling in any holes or gaps that might exist. Once that has been done, you’ll need to give the cabinets a good rub down with some sandpaper to get them all leveled out.
Some people have kitchen cabinets that can actually be easily removed from the walls. If this is the case, it makes things a lot easier, and you can take the cabinets outside and get them painted in your garden. If it’s a nice dry day, it can also help for the paint to dry quicker.
Preparation is important
When it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets, it’s important that you take proper time to prepare the working space and the cabinets. Make sure that the cabinets have been well cleaned. You’ll be surprised at the amount of grease that can build up around the kitchen. Remove any cabinet handles, and keep them in a safe place.
You should also make sure you’ve taped off the areas around the cabinets, so that you don’t accidentally start painting over the walls or the worktop.
Once the cabinets have been cleaned and emptied, you should first start with a coat or primer. If you are planning to change the color of your cabinets from dark to light, then it’s a good idea to tint the primer a little so match the color you want to use.
Buy quality paint
One thing that a lot of people do when buying paint for decorating their homes is to always go for the cheapest option.
Sometimes it’s not a problem, such as in cases where you might simply be painting a ceiling or a spare room in your home. But for your kitchen, you will want the final job to be an impressive and professional looking one.
For that, you are going to need a good quality paint. You’ll be spending more money obviously, but the final result is going to be a lot better because of it. Wooden cabinets will require a minimum of two coats of paint, maybe even three if you are trying to achieve a lighter color on a dark cabinet.
Make sure the kitchen area is well ventilated, and give the cabinets time to properly dry. Whether you want to go for a gloss or satin finish is entirely up to you, but the best option is one where the finish is as hard as possible. This makes the surface much more resistant and durable, as well as being easier to clean.
Things to avoid
There are a number of pitfalls that people often experience when painting their kitchen cabinets. The first is to not rush. The job is a big one, and can take you several days, depending on how many hours you are working at one time. Some people can get their kitchen cabinets repainted over a weekend, but others may need more time.
As previously mentioned, it's very important that you have thoroughly cleaned and sanded down all of the cabinets. Not doing so is going to result in you having a pretty horrid looking final result.
Another common problem that lots of people experience is when it comes to putting the doors, drawers and handles back onto the cabinets. Unless you’ve clearly marked what piece goes where, you might find yourself struggling to get things put back in place properly, almost as if you are doing a huge sized jigsaw puzzle.
One final thing worth mentioning is that it is vital that you work out and agree on your color combinations beforehand. Make sure that the colors you are using will go with the rest of the kitchen. If you have a light and airy kitchen, using very dark colors can have a negative impact on how the kitchen looks.
Do a little research online where you can find loads of websites packed with images and ideas of different styles and color combinations for kitchens.