The first things you notice in any kitchen are the surface features: those stainless steel appliances, that granite countertop, the new hardwood floors. But when you think about it, the very first thing you see is whatever rests at eye-level, which is almost always the cabinetry system. And the most eye-catching surface feature of any cabinetry is the cabinet doors. However, kitchen cabinet doors are often taken for granted since they're considered mostly functional. And let's face it: cupboards aren't that excitingunless, of course, you make them that way. With some quick refurbishing, you can easily make your cabinetry stand out from the rest of the kitchen crowd.
Quality cabinet doors add value to your home and make an immediate style statement. Whether the design is contemporary or traditional, since cabinetry often takes up the most space in a kitchen, it also sets a tone for the rest of the area. So since they're always speaking, try to make them say something positive about your taste. Even if people don't notice your cabinetry, that's okay. Maybe you want them to blend in, become invisible, and not overwhelm the decor. That's fine if it's your intention. But don't let it become an excuse to avoid remodeling: there's a big difference between being understated and being inferior. And despite your intentions, people will always notice if your kitchen cabinet doors have become worn out or simply gone out of style. Therefore, it's important to keep them up-to-date and in good shape.
The Door Makeover
When it's time for a facelift, here are some remodeling options to consider:
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Repaint: This is the quickest remodel and the most affordable alternative. Don't underestimate the power of paint: simply throwing some fresh color on a surface can do wonders. However, it's nothing to take lightly. It's still an all weekend chore. You'll have to remove the doors and hardware, rough the finished surface with scouring pads, apply an undercoat (which is more effective than primer), and then apply the final topcoat. Since there are so many cabinet doors involved, make sure to take your time and always be patient. Tip: To save time and money, pick a new color that could create a cool contrast with the pre-existing veneers, making the doors pop out from the background.
Reface: The most popular choice is to completely reface your cabinet doors. If your pre-existing cabinetry is solidly built, why replace it? Instead, just replace the fronts since it's the only thing people really see anyway. This process offers the best of both worlds: it's affordable yet makes a dramatic difference in your décor. There are lots of options out there though, so it may be best to hire a pro for some help with materials and installation. You could get new wood doors of any species. Or buy laminate products. Or RTF (Rigid Thermal Foil) is also available: a synthetic material constructed of fiberboard that imitates the look of wood panelit's cheaper, sturdier, and comes in any color.
Replace: This is usually the last resort. A total replacement of all the cupboards is expensive and time-consuming. However, if your cabinetry is falling apart, you may need new construction. But look at this as an opportunity: you now have a chance to reevaluate your entire kitchen and see if a more thorough remodel is required. For instance, maybe you want to change a traditional style into a more contemporary look. Then buy new metal cabinetry that creates a clean, sleek modern tone, and then slowly transform the rest of your kitchen to match this new focal point.
No matter which method you choose, always make sure there is symmetry in your kitchen. Whether you choose new wood or laminate, a fresh color or style, after you've made a change to your kitchen cabinet doors, you now need to examine the rest of the space. Does the cabinetry itself need a new veneer? Could your drawer fronts use a makeover as well? Do you want to keep your old hardware? If you decide to buy new, make sure all the hardware matches. Whatever style you choose, creating harmony and consistency throughout the entire kitchen will help tie the room together.