Give Your Kitchen a Facelift
By: Danny Lipford
If you thought you had to spend $20,000 and up on a brand new kitchen think again. We have a simple, three-step plan that will take ten years off your kitchen without breaking the bank. Whether you are planning to stay in your home or are trying to sell it, an inexpensive kitchen facelift is one of the best investments you can make in your home.
Three step kitchen facelift:
- Renew cabinets
- Upgrade countertops
- Replace faucet
As with any home improvement project, be sure to do your homework before beginning. Choosing the right colors, styles, and materials for your home and your lifestyle will help ensure successful results. Most of this project is do-it-yourself friendly and can probably accomplished fairly easily over a few weekends.
Renewing Kitchen Cabinets
There are two ways to get great looking cabinets without completely replacing them. One is simply ordering replacement doors, which can completely change the look of cabinets and still provide a tremendous savings. An even more affordable choice, however, would be to simply refinish the existing doors.
To refinish stained or natural wood cabinets, starting by cleaning them thoroughly to remove any grease. Next, lightly sanding down cabinet boxes, drawers, and doors. Use a similar color stain to touch up any defects in the existing stain. Finally, apply several coats of polyurethane or other clear finish. You will be amazed at the way your cabinet doors come back to life.
If you prefer a painted look or are starting with a painted surface, use a liquid deglosser to dull the existing finish, or sand the surface until it is smooth. Next, apply a coat of primer followed by two coats of high quality latex or oil based enamel paint. Again, you will surprise yourself at the ease with which your cabinets can be transformed.
If you do paint your cabinets, you also might want to try your hand at a process currently growing in popularity called glazing. It is very simple and involves taking a can of clear finish and having a tint added to it. The glaze is then applied sparingly to the newly painted cabinets to give a unique finish.
For a finishing touch, be sure to find some interesting new hardware for your doors and you are on your way to beautiful new looking kitchen.
Hint: Be sure to take your old hardware with you when you buy new hardware in order to match up the existing holes.
Upgrading Kitchen Countertops
Replacing you countertops is the next step to a kitchen facelift. There are many choices of countertop materials available today, and prices can vary widely from affordable to high end. Below are some descriptions of the options available:
Still the most common counter surface in homes today, plastic laminate countertops are durable, attractive, and an affordable choice for many homeowners. There are countless colors and patterns to choose from and almost any style of home can be complemented by an attractive new laminate countertop.
Be sure to ask your laminate distributor for suggestions when it comes to finding a contractor to install the countertop, or better still, call your local Home Builders Association.
Prices range from $15 – $25 per square foot installed.
Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surface countertops are as durable as they are beautiful and allow you to create the look and design you’ve always wanted. Easy to maintain and repair countertops made from solid surfaces, such as Wilsonart’s Gibraltar and Earthstone, are available in a wide array of colors and patterns.
Solid colors and smaller patterns are less expensive. Pricing depends on the design complexity, with more complex edges and backsplashes costing more.
Prices range from $40 – $60 per square foot installed.
Engineered stone is a fairly new choice in countertops offering a blend of 90% quartz and 10% resin. Silestone is one popular new type of engineered stone that offers the natural beauty of granite and is also almost completely resistant to staining.
Engineered stone countertops are less likely to break than granite, as the material is more pliable and can be fabricated with thinner than granite.
Prices range from $60 – $70 installed
There’s nothing you can put in your kitchen that quite looks, feels, or performs like granite. It is more resistant to heat and scratching than other materials and offers the beautiful, natural look of stone that is unparalleled. Granite is porous, however, so it needs to be sealed every year or so to prevent staining.
While previously thought of as the “top of the line” and most expensive choice, granite has become more affordable due to improvements in fabricating technology. A beautiful granite countertop that will last a lifetime is just a click away.
Prices range from $40 – $60 installed
One of the fastest growing trends in kitchen countertops today is concrete. Providing a warm, natural look; concrete fits well with the increased popularity of materials like wood, stone, and brick. The beauty of this material is also, to some extent it’s drawback. Over the life of a concrete surface it will evolve, building character as it ages.
One benefit of concrete is its versatility in terms of shape and design. Features including integrated sinks and the ability to mix colors and ingredients make concrete the designer choice of more and more homeowners every year.
Prices range from $50 – $80 installed.
Replacing Kitchen Faucet
The last and easiest step in a kitchen upgrade is changing your kitchen faucet. Besides providing the finishing touch to your kitchen facelift, gleaming new taps with interesting features may even have your kids fighting to do the dishes.
Kitchen faucets come in a wide range of styles with features such as pull-down sprayers and motion activated sensors. There are also a wide range of finishes available, from chrome to nickel to bronze.
When choosing a new faucet for your kitchen, make sure you the style and finish go with your cabinet hardware and the overall design of your kitchen.