Spruce Up Your Kitchen
Can't afford to redo your kitchen? You're definitely not alone. "The kitchen is the most expensive room in your house to renovate, hands down!" says Evette Rios. Don't despair, however, because there are a few things you can do to breathe fresh life into it, for a lot less than you'd think!
New cabinets can be pricey, to say nothing of the inconvenience of having them installed. Here are a few ways to give old cabinets a new look -- for pennies (well, relative pennies)!
Paint - A simple paint job can make a tremendous difference. Use a semi-gloss or gloss paint in a bright, cheery color that will lend warmth to the room and lighten things up. Evette recommends using a primer to close the grain of the wood. Before applying your final color and sanding, if needed.
New hardware - New handles can really update the look of a cabinet. Go from pulls to knobs in no time flat! Use spackle to fill the hole and paint over it. No one will be the wiser.
Crown molding - Crown molding attached to the top of the cabinets give them a great, polished look and for around $15 a foot, it's affordable. You can get the pieces pre-cut at the hardware store when you purchase the molding, just be sure to take really good measurements!
A great backsplash doesn't have to be really expensive ceramic tile. These options are so easy to install, you might wind up changing them on a regular basis just for fun!
Wallpaper - This is not your mother's wallpaper! Scrubable options starting at $1 a square foot make it possible for you to use them behind the counter for next to nothing. Get a little glue and stick it on!
Vinyl ceiling tiles - Patterned ceiling tiles like the tin ones of yore are now being made from vinyl so they're easily cut with scissors. Stick them on with double-stick tape and you're done!
You can also get stick-on vinyl tiles. Just peel off the back and stick them on the wall! Make accents out of the ceiling tiles for added pizzazz.
Granite is great -- but it also costs around $2000 to do a whole kitchen. Laminate with granite-like finishes will only run you about $500 at $30 a square foot.
Unfortunately there's no way to get around the price of a new appliance. However, there is a great way to update its look if the old thing is still ticking!
- Stainless steel is all the rage for appliances nowadays. Before you rush out to replace a well-working fridge just for the aesthetic value of stainless, try a little Liquid Stainless Steel paint. For $140 you can buy enough to repaint your fridge, stove and microwave, and no one will ever be the wiser. Just make sure you paint appliances that have a very smooth texture.
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