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Kitchen Makeovers on a Budget

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 18 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Kitchen Makeover Replacement Cabinet

It's all very well seeing designer kitchens in magazines and television programs but if you don't have the budget, can you achieve a decent finish with a makeover that doesn't bust your purse wide open?

The good news is that it is possible, and the major ingredient to achieving a good looking kitchen is time and attention to detail rather than money.

Keep the Kitchen Basics in Place

If you want to do a whole kitchen makeover on a budget, with new units, the key to keeping costs under control is to keep the main features of the kitchen in the same places.

Moving service supply points like the plumbing for the sinks and appliances, and electrical circuits for electric cookers, is time-consuming and expensive. So the cheapest thing to do is keep sinks, cookers, fridges, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers in the same places.

You can move things around to some extent. For example, you could probably swap the sink and the washing machine quite easily as long as there's a hot water supply for the washing machine. You'll have to turn the water supplies off and switch fittings around but if you're lucky this can be done for the cost of a reel of PTFE tape. Make sure both waste outlets are big enough for their new jobs too.

Kitchen Makeovers that Keep the Original Layout

If you are generally happy with the layout of the kitchen, and the cupboards and base cabinets are still in good condition, then there's a lot you can do without spending a fortune. The first thing to consider is replacement cabinet doors, knobs and drawer handles. For a relatively small sum this can transform and update a kitchen, as long as you pick new ones that complement the existing cabinets.

The next step up is to paint the drawer fronts and cabinet doors. This is where time has the greatest impact, because you'll probably only spend about twenty pounds on paint, if that. It is essential to remove the cabinet doors and drawer fronts because there's no way you'll avoid paint splashes and overruns and that will make the whole kitchen look cheap, the exact opposite of your goal. Remove the knobs and handles too, and any other door furniture.

With most surfaces you will have to sand down to remove the top layer of lacquer or paint and make a key for the new paint to grab hold of. Then put down at least one coat of primer, if not two, if the new colour is lighter than the old. Then follow up with one or two coats of the final colour and then lacquer if you want a high gloss finish.

Replacement Cabinet Doors, Drawer Fronts and Worktops

Stretching the budget a little further takes you into the realms of replacement cabinet doors and drawer fronts. There are many companies in the UK offering these and it's a much cheaper way of achieving a complete makeover than a whole new kitchen. Although it's more expensive than painting, replacement cabinet doors and drawer fronts are a lot quicker and cleaner to fit, and for some people that can make the extra cost worthwhile.

In the same vein there are companies who will re-skin your existing worktops in granite or a granite look-alike product. Again this is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole worktop surface, and companies offering this instant kitchen makeover can easily be found in local directories or with a quick web search. The process is quick and mess free as the worktops are made to measure in the factory and then fitted by the company in your home.

Complete the Makeover with Finishing Touches

Finally, take a look at the other aspects of the room. A fresh look for a kitchen can be achieved with a lick of paint and perhaps replacing dowdy curtains with a modern blind. Old tiles can be replaced or painted over and woodwork rubbed down and re-painted to complete your budget kitchen makeover.

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