New kitchen cabinets are a dramatic and expensive way to change the look of your kitchen. If new cabinets aren't in your budget, you can achieve similar results by refurbishing existing cabinets. You can hire a professional to do the job, or save even more money and do the work yourself. Look through decorating magazines and visit home stores to get ideas of the results you'd like to achieve.
The first step in any cabinet refurbishing project is to clean the cabinets thoroughly. Use a cleaning solution that will cut through grease and dirt, and rinse to remove any residue. Let the cabinets dry completely before you begin work. Remove cabinet doors, and empty out all cabinets and drawers. Remove or tape over the hardware.
Adding or changing hardware is a quick way to update the look of your cabinets. Install new door knobs, drawer pulls and hinges. Match new hardware to existing screw holes. You can also paint or refinish existing hardware. Take everything off the doors, and spray with paint made for metallic surfaces. Let them dry completely before reinstalling.
Painting your cabinets is the simplest way to change the look. Choose a bold colour, such as crimson on mango, or opt for a shiny black or white. You can paint the bottom cabinets a different shade from the top cabinets for a very contemporary look. For a country cabin, try a muted, distressed shade of blue or green. If you don't want to paint the entire cabinet, stencil or freehand a design on the doors of some or all of the cabinets. Choose a theme, such as wildflowers, herbs or birds, or go with an abstract design.
Adding moulding gives your cabinet doors dimension and visual interest. Use wood glue and finishing nails to attach moulding to frame the centre of cabinet doors. You can also add crown moulding to the top of cabinets. Paint or stain the moulding to match the cabinets, or use a contrasting finish to make the moulding stand out even more.
Wood laminates glued to the front of your cabinets will make the cabinets look like new at less cost than purchasing new cabinets. A skilled woodworker could tackle the job himself, but, if you haven't worked with laminates before, you might want to contact a professional. You need to cut the laminate to size to fit cabinet doors, frames and drawer fronts and attach the laminate with adhesive.