up old Cupboards
by Nikki Willhite
When it comes to fixing up old cabinets, I
like to see the glass half full. If you have new wood cabinets (even if they are
economy grade) you probably do not want to touch them- nor will your spouse let
you. However, if your cabinets are old and unattractive, this is an opportunity
for you to make them special, give them character, and add your personal touch
to your home.
There are so many ways you can fix up old
cabinets. You can spend the money to have the doors resurfaced, but that is
expensive, and you end up with the same thing everyone else has.
Think paint. Begin by choosing a color
scheme. Remember light orientation White
cabinets are wonderful for brightening up dark rooms, but could be overly bright
in a room in a warm climate with a western exposure.
When you think of color, remember no color
stands alone. You will want at least one other color for accent. If doesn't have
to be part of the paint job, but it will be used several times in the room. If
you can use color from an adjacent room you will blend the two rooms and it will
look very professional.
After you settle on your colors, look at the
shapes of your cabinets. Before you begin painting, you can change things. Here
are some ideas:
Take the doors off one of your cupboards
and display some of your decorative items on the open shelving. If you like,
replace the wood shelving with glass. Some of the things that look good
displayed in a kitchen shelf are dishes, glasses, pottery, cookbooks, and
home-canned goods; as well as items in decorative containers, cookie jars,
or clear storage containers, such as colored pasta, candies, and spices.
You can also buy or build something to
store your dinner plates upright. You've seen them in expensive kitchens- dishes
standing up on end between dividers. Go to the hardware store, see how
it's done, and copy it- adapting it to your skill and price point. Or you
can take down cupboards and put up some open shelving.
Next think about removing some of the wood
in a couple cabinet doors and replacing it with glass. Most doors can be cut
away, leaving 2-3 inches around the perimeter, which you can then replace with
glass. There are many styles of glass to choose from. If you don't want
people to be able to see into your cupboards, yet want clear glass, you can
place a small drapery pole on the inside of the cupboard door, and sheer some
fabric on it. It has a wonderful country look.
This will add elegance, color and personality
to your kitchen. Use the same fabric elsewhere in the room if you like that
look, or just blend fabrics. Small checks and prints look great. Remember when
buying the fabric to scrunch it up so you will see how it will look shirred.
Other possibilities for the glass- you can
etch it, or use gallery glass and leading. You can even forget the glass and use
There are many different paint finishes you
can use, in addition to adding designs by stenciling and decoupage.
Be sure and choose your paint carefully. Talk
to a paint professional about your options. It may not take a lot of money, but
it is going to take some work, and you want to do it right. Also, don't forget
to paint the inside of the cabinets for a fresh, clean finish.
Remember the importance of details. Choose
new hardware that goes with the style you have chosen. It may be your biggest
expenses, but well worth it.
Take the time, and do it right, and
you will have something uniquely yours that you will be proud of and enjoy for
many years, and an asset should you decide to sell your home.
About the Author: Nikki Willhite,
mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing
articles on the topic of
frugal living for over a
decade. Visit her at
- where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal
Happy Families- more than just money!