Small Projects to Make Your Kitchen Look New

Even the most loved and lived-in kitchens can benefit from a sprucing up after just a few years of constant use. Making an older kitchen look new again doesn’t have to be a big budget ordeal. A few carefully chosen DIY home projects can have your kitchen look brand new for a fraction of the cost of a remodel. The projects do not have to be major structural upgrades or big appliance purchases. Simple and inexpensive projects such as re facing cabinet doors, a deep cleaning or a change in the interior design, wallpaper or paint and floor covering can make a huge impact on your space.

Determine What You Would Like to Change

Any home improvement project begins with a projected budget and a thorough evaluation of the room. Many people save up for a room rejuvenation while others just decide to pull it off one day. Knowing how much you have to spend on your DIY home projects before diving in saves a lot of time and hassle. With some research, you can divide your cash accordingly among the things you will need and know exactly how much you have allotted for each endeavor. Remember though to determine the basic dimensions of the room. Assess the current appliances, hardware, and interior design to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the room. Decide what can be salvaged and what should be replaced considering your designated budget range. Once you have those crucial points decided, you are ready to begin.

Thoroughly Clean Your Kitchen

You have a budget planned and found out all the information necessary to change a particular part of your kitchen. However, before any changes can be made, the room must be stripped to its bare minimum and scrubbed from ceiling to floor. New paint or wallpaper will never stick to dirty walls. Cooking areas get a buildup of grease and smoke on the ceiling, walls, and floors. The entire room must be cleared of all dishes, decorations, utensils, and anything that can be taken out. The only thing left in the room should be the major appliances. Use a detergent specifically made for grease and dirt accumulation and begin at the top of the room with ceiling fans and light fixtures and work your way down to the floor. Wipe away, dirt, dust, grease and grime as you go. A deep cleaning has such a big effect on any room that many people could stop right here. Especially if it has been a long time since the room has been cleaned. A strong cleaner will restore walls to their original color, which can surprise you. The cost of cleaning a room so thoroughly is very little compared to the big difference it makes. Large bottles of home cleaners and sponges can be purchased for $1.00 up. This task could be time consuming if it is a large room. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete. A clean sparkle will make a room look new again.

Basic Tools Needed for Deep Cleaning:

  • Scrub brush: $1.00+
  • Broom: $10.00
  • Mop: $10.00
  • Dishcloths: $5.00
  • Cleansers: $2.00

Re facing Cabinets

Cabinets can look old and worn after only a few years if they are kept in constant use. A big family can open and shut cabinet doors hundreds of times per day. Each time pulling, slamming and smudging the doors and handles. After so much use, the cabinet will still be in good shape, but the doors and handles will have plenty of wear and tear. Re facing cabinets means taking off the worn doors and replacing or refinishing them. Replacing cabinet doors is the easiest, albeit costlier option. Any home supply store will have cabinet doors and handles that you can purchase. You can also have them handcrafted by a wood artist. They can be purchased online with the proper measurements and delivered to your doorstep. Plain white Shaker type cabinet doors can be found for around $15.00. They will come with the hardware needed to attach them to the cabinet, hinges and screws. You will also need a drill to install the cabinets. The price goes higher with more expensive wood or intricate designs. Some may have glass or marble inset or some other expensive addition. A sticky veneer is used to cover any exposed cabinetry to match it to the new door. This may be the hardest part of re facing as it must be perfectly trimmed and is hard to remove once in place. Anyone with a moderate amount of DIY skills and about an hour to kill per cabinet can get this project done quickly. Even if there is only one cabinet in the room, re facing it will give a whole new look to the room. It makes an even bigger splash if the new look is completely different than the last.

Basic Tools Needed for Re facing Cabinets:

  • Cordless drill: $35+
  • Screwdriver: $5+
  • Utility knife: $3+
  • Level: $15+
  • Clamps: $15
  • Tape measurer: $20
  • Handsaw: $25+
  • Hammer: $10+
  • Brad nailer: $35+
  • Pry bar: $7.00+
  • Straight edge: $7.00+
  • Wood glue: $5.00
  • Miter saw: Under $150

Updating Lighting

Changing the lighting can make a big difference in how a room is perceived. Natural light is the best lighting for any room. It makes it seem larger and more spacious. Utilize any windows by using light and airy curtails. A room without any natural light feels cramped and small. To compensate, add lighting high up on the walls or on the ceiling. Recessed lighting, chandeliers and tall standing lamps draw the gaze upward and make the room seem larger. Bright, natural lighting also makes people feel happier and optimistic. Lighting can also impact the color of your kitchen. A color can look entirely different than you intended when the lights are turned on. Using lighting to direct focus is another great way to use it to change up the room. Shine an overhead light onto a beautiful old china cabinet or a gorgeous painting. Lighting upgrades and changes do not have to be expensive. New lamps and fixtures can cost anywhere from $15 upwards depending on the style and material. It takes less than 30 minutes and a screwdriver or drill to change a lamp or hang a chandelier. Changing the lighting, even in a small way, can make a room look new again.

Tools Needed to Upgrade Lighting:

  • Screwdriver: $5
  • Wrench: $10
  • Drill: $25+
  • Wire strippers: $7.00+
  • Electric tape: $3.00
  • Step ladder: $20+

A Strong Foundation

Every project needs a strong foundation and DIY home improvements are no different. Ripped and faded linoleum or worn and stained carpeting and rugs can age a room fast. There are many ways to choose the right flooring for a well-trafficked area prone to spills. Wood, vinyl, linoleum, treated carpet, stone, tile and even rubber are possible options. It’s imperative to pick a durable floor covering that fits into your budget, but also matches your color scheme. Laying flooring is not complicated but it is labor intensive and takes a moderate amount of skill. Specific tools are needed depending on the type of flooring you choose. Additional flooring, such as area rugs, add a fun and homey touch that pulls the rooms interior design together. Updating and changing the flooring can take several hours to several days, depending on the size of the room and the type of flooring. When completed, an updated foundation can make a room look larger, cleaner, and brighter.

The prices of flooring upgrades vary widely depending upon which you choose. Linoleum can be in a strip and sold by the foot or in tiles. Price can range from under $1.00 per foot to over $10 per foot. The tool prices will also vary depending on what type of flooring. Possible tools include:

  • Miter saw: less than $150
  • Table saw: $150 +
  • Edgers: $80+
  • Buffers: $45+
  • Nail gun: $50+
  • Trowel: $7.00+
  • Drum sander: $550+

Bring Your Backsplash to the Forefront

An often-overlooked way of making a room look brand new is to update the backsplash. It takes a severe beating during daily activities and often ends up being covered in food debris or a liquid. After so much use and abuse, your backsplash looks beat-up and dated. Updating a backsplash is one of the lesser expensive ways to make an older kitchen look new again. While you can spend a lot of money on an imported stone or intricate marble backsplash, it can be as cheap as a coat of waterproof paint or a DIY tiling kit to update your backsplash. The old backsplash will have to be removed first before you make any changes. A small section of drywall behind the backsplash may need to be patched or replaced as well. Your tools and time consumption will vary widely based on your new backsplash.

Basic tools needed for backsplash update:

  • Dremel tool: $50+
  • Hammer: $5+
  • Chisel: $5+
  • Safety glasses: $5+
  • Crowbar: $10+

Changing the look of your backsplash is a good choice to update your kitchen because although it is a relatively small and easy project, the results are dramatic and can make a big impact on your room. Use the backsplash to pull together the color scheme from other points in the room. A well designed backsplash can give the wall a wider look and open up your room.

Quick Fixes

There are so many little things you can do to change the look your kitchen without spending an absurd amount of money or investing a lot of time. Small subtle changes make a big difference when used correctly.

  • Instead of buying new, modern appliances, paint them with stainless steel paint. There are several different brands of this specialty paint which costs roughly $10 per can. It takes only a small amount of skill and can easily dress up your kitchen. If you are unfamiliar with spray painting, it might be a good idea to practice before you begin so you avoid damaging any of your appliances.
  • Hide your smaller appliances such as blenders and toasters, in a pantry or in a cupboard to give an open clearer feeling in the room. A bunch of clutter, no matter how new or old, makes a room feel cramped and uncomfortable.
  • Use works of art to make a breakfast nook look larger by using bold colors and large prints.
  • Mount appliances like coffee pots and microwaves under the cabinets to give yourself more counter space. A clean, open countertop gives the illusion of space and clarity.
  • Refrigerator magnets and personal items make a gathering spot more personal and cozier. Some people use a theme such as farms, travel, beaches, or lighthouses that is related to their family experience.
  • Plants, fruits and organic materials bring a comforting element to any room. They clean the air and elevate the mood in any home they inhabit. There is some evidence that they can make people more focused. Also, they add color and can act as a screen or frame for a particular view.

People who rent their homes often don’t go overboard on updating their kitchen since they’ll be moving eventually. However, use these ideas to consider making some changes to your kitchen so it looks updated and appears decorative and welcoming. You don’t need to be highly experienced at home improvement projects to get a trendy and spacious looking kitchen. With some planning and the right tools, you can dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen.

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