The least expensive way to update kitchen cabinets

Refinish or repainting cabinets (and replacing the knobs and pulls while you’re at it) is the easiest, fastest, least expensive way to get a new look. If you like the style and placement of your cabinets, but not their color, or if they look tired and are wearing a film of grease and dirt, refinish, said Jennifer Wagner, kitchen install merchant for The Home Depot.

You can restain and not cover the grain, said Wagner. “Restaining lets you take old yellow oak and turn it to cherry or espresso, or you can stain with a tint of color, like sage. You can also repaint dark wood sleek white or another color, like French blue.”

When I got my parents’ house ready to sell, I painted the 45-year-old walnut colored cabinets glossy white and added brushed nickel knobs. Wow, what a difference for not much cost.

If you like the basic layout of your kitchen but can’t stand the look of the cabinets, refacing gets you new door fronts, new drawers, and a whole new veneer, including shelf edges and cabinet sides. Plus, you can keep your counters, which you can’t if you replace your cabinets.

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