Kitchen Makeover for the Fall

Kitchen cabinets do tend to look tired and worn after years of use and abuse. But with the economy, as it stands today, replacing all of your cabinets can be a costly affair. There are ways to give new life to good cabinets that only look bad.

Changing out the hardware: Such a simple change can make a world of difference. You can get a new look without a great deal of money. Hardware styles can become dated much like clothing, so changing hardware, such as knobs, affordable industrial drawer slides, handles, and hinges from time to time can keep cabinets new and exciting. (Source: Home Improvements by Time-Life) Knobs and handles today come in many different styles and can be made of metals such as brass, aluminum, steel, or even zinc as well as glass. Changing them is easy enough if you can use a screwdriver.

Helpful tips:

(1) Measure the length between screw holes or take the old drawer pull with you to make sure you have the proper size and

(2) if any of the old hardware leaves a ring, make sure that the new piece will cover that mark.


A bit more expensive than just replacing the hardware, but here your imagination and roam freely. One does not have to stay with traditional stains or single paint colors. Let you mind play within the theme you have created.

Helpful tips:

(1) Strip off old paint or sand to remove the stain.

(2) Clean the surface down with a clean soft cloth.

(3) Prime the surface to give an even finish and once the paint is thoroughly dry, apply a sealant to keep them looking newer longer.

Add trim molding:

This will give flair to the top portion of your cabinets and can be painted or stained to match the rest of the cabinet or a complementary color can be used to highlight the detail of crown molding.

Helpful tips:

(1) Test fit all pieces to ensure a proper fit “measure twice, cut once”.

(2) Attach the crown molding with finishing nails for a cleaner look and use wood filler to cover any nail indentations.

Wood Veneers:

A fairly straightforward though time-consuming process that requires precision. This option is good for those you have fiberboard cabinetry ( Veneers and thin sheets of wood that have a material backing and can be either self-adhesive or require contact glue. (Source: Lowes Home Improvement). The veneers can be made of any wood such as oak, cherry, or walnut.

Helpful tips:

(1) Prepare the cabinet but sanding with medium-grit sandpaper and wipe clean with a soft cloth. 

(2) Apply a sealer on the cabinet and allow it to dry completely before applying veneer. (3) Cut slightly larger than what you are covering and work from the center outward, making sure it adheres properly and there are no air bubbles. 

(3) Finish by cutting the excess with a sharp utility knife and sanding down to a bevel.

Change the doors: Simply changing a cabinet door can change a look. Many stores just carry doors because of their usage. This is the most expensive way to give your kitchen new life. They can be ordered and made to match your décor and income. Doors should be made of a hardwood such as oak to help withstand the use. Softwoods such as pine cannot stand up to such use. Doors can further be inset with glass to give a more open appearance.

Helpful hints:

(1) Measure each door accurately. Houses built during the ‘60s and ‘70s had most of the doors custom-built, thus vary in size (DIY Network).

(2) Number your doors to match the measurements to save headaches later.

(3) Custom doors should be ordered at least three weeks before the makeover begins.

With a few simple changes, a new kitchen can be born from the ashes of the old tired kitchen. A good project for the do-it-yourself type person and most of the kitchens can be done in a weekend.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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