Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kitchen cabinets...More Options.

My last blog spoke entirely of updating your kitchen cabinets by painting. I assumed you had wooden cabinets that were usable, but perhaps older and just boring! In fact, you may even have a house that still has the old metal cabinets! They too can be painted. Just remember to purchase a paint that is designed to be used on metal.

Of course, make sure the cabinets are clean, and check out the foam roller I spoke about in my last blog. If painting on metal you could also use cans of spray paint, but really be careful of “over spray” and doing thin coats, just more of them to keep the paint from “running”. I like these cabinets because they are nostalgic, but certainly not as functional as the newer ones in which you can add many convenient organizational features.

I spoke briefly about considering the “investment” interest in your choices for painting, but if I had metal cabinets, this is a time where I might do something just for fun, something dramatic or just whimsical. For example, perhaps if you have artistic talent, paint a mural of a field of wildflowers across the doors or something that would address your lifestyle. I think it would be really fun to be creative or dramatic with these cabinets because in all honesty, if you eventually sell your home with metal kitchen cabinets, the buyer would most likely remove them anyway... Or not, if you are a skilled artist! (I'm still working on "stick people".)

Okay, no more painting….let’s get back to options for typical wooden cabinets.

  1. Change the color of the wood by refinishing with a darker (?) stain.
  2. Add moldings to the doors.
  3. Replace the doors and drawer fronts. There are companies that just specialize in doors and drawers like This site has a great page on how to measure the cabinets you have to be sure you know how to buy doors and drawer fronts. They are not inexpensive, but far less money than new cabinets plus installing cabinets is not the easiest project.
  4. You can also purchase cabinets that you assemble yourself. They are at all home improvement stores and available by many companies and in several styles, including unfinished if you want to save more money. You can choose which “add-on’s” you want, such as roll-out shelving, lazy susan, etc.

An important consideration, if you purchase cabinets: You can do everything on-line, but home improvement stores offer an in-store computer design service. If you just need to double-check yourself, take accurate measurements of your room, a drawing of the location of appliances, windows, doors, location of outlets, etc. with you to the store. They will go to their computers and design your kitchen, and give you a list of all the cabinets you need to complete the project. You might even get some great suggestions since this is what they do every day!

At one time, I purchased
Mills Pride cabinets at Home Depot and assembled them. They really are no’t hard to do, just like a puzzle but with really large pieces. Honestly, I have purchased Christmas toys that were more difficult to assemble! It can a bit awkward to handle larger pieces like a pantry cabinet. The real key is to read the directions! (In other words, don’t have a man help you with the project!) It’s been awhile, but if I remember correctly, there is a hinge that if placed in wrong and when “locked” in place, it cannot be removed. I had to replace a cabinet because a “helper” didn't read directions! Check out and make sure all the pieces are included. I had a huge pantry with some missing shelving, It was replaced and I must credit Home Depot for customer service that was far beyond my expectations.

  • If you don’t want to do that much work, of course you can go to any kitchen & bath store, or home improvement store and purchase ready-made and custom cabinets. Definitely, shop around. Most of these stores have kitchen displays for great ideas and as previously stated, design assistance. Home depot, and Lowe’s are obvious choice since they are located in all parts of the country. I would also suggest you also check out IKEA. This company offers a different type of cabinets, usually very contemporary, European style and can be purchased in “units”. They are reasonably priced and usually on sale twice a year. I have noticed that Home Depot now carries products from one of their suppliers. (Sorry, I’m guilty of not knowing if other home improvement stores are doing the same, but this could save money on freight charges since they do not have as many store locations.) While you are on the Ikea site, also check out their cabinet hardware and lighting. They are usually very stylish and reasonably priced!

If you choose to assemble, and/or install cabinets be sure you have:

  • A good tape measure, a level , a power drill, and preferably two strong helpers to “manhandle” the cabinets into place or hold the upper cabinets while they are fastened to the walls! This is really not a job for one person. You just don’t have enough hands and cabinets are awkward and heavy!

No comments:

Post a Comment