Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Budget Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are in many ways the guts of your kitchen and they're usually one of your biggest costs during a renovation. We'd all like to be able to afford whiz-bang cabinets from a high-end retailer, but most of us have a limited amount of money to work with. So what should you do if you need to renovate your kitchen cabinets on a limited budget? In this article we lay out some of the options you should consider.

Just Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

You're happy with your kitchen layout and your cabinets are generally in good nick. But the finishes on the doors are disgusting and, from an aesthetic point of view, the place needs an overhaul. The cheapest option you've got is to simply repaint your cabinet doors. If the carcass (inside) and doors of your cabinets aren't worn out, this can be a great budget option.

You should ask your local hardware store for tips about preparing the surface of your doors. Different preparation methods suit different types of timbers. Also, it's a good idea to try out some paint on the inside of a door before going the whole hog on the outside - that way you'll have a better idea of whether your colour scheme is going to work. After the paint job is done, apply varnish to protect the surfaces from wear and tear.

Replace the Doors

A slightly more expensive solution is to only change the doors and drawers on your cabinets - this is a good idea when the carcass is solid, but the doors are seriously out of fashion or damaged. Kitchen suppliers will have a range of doors on hand in a variety of finishes that will (hopefully) suit the rest of your kitchen.

Go Modular

If your cabinets are in such bad shape that you've got no choice but to replace them, consider buying flat-packed or modular units. This is a much cheaper option than buying custom-built cabinets, and large furniture retailers, including Ikea, keep a variety of types on hand. You'll need to measure the space yourself and take these measurements to your supplier. Then you can take home the cabinets and assemble them yourself - saving you labour costs too.

To save even more money, some people have had luck buying pre-assembled units via the internet. Some online companies will even send you samples of doors, finishes and stains. Of course, be careful when buying online, sight unseen - make sure you're dealing with a reputable company and make sure you get your measurements right, or you could end up blowing your budget in the worst possible way.

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