Nothing can bring down a kitchen more than dark, outdated wood cabinets. However, you do not have to rip them out and start over to get an updated look. Modernizing old dark cabinets does not have to be difficult or expensive. With a few tricks, you can bring your kitchen cabinets into the new millennium without any demolition. So use one or all of these ideas in your kitchen to make the transformation as dramatic or subtle as you want.
If your dark wood kitchen cabinets still have gold or brass hardware adorning them, then it is time for a change. A silver or brushed nickle hardware can instantly brighten and modernize dark wood cabinets. If your new hardware is the same size and style as your old hardware, all you will need is a screwdriver to change it out. If not, fill the old holes with wood putty and re-drill in the appropriate spot with a 3/16” drill bit. Either way, it is an easy do-it-yourself project that is relatively inexpensive. Once you have finished, step back and see if that is all your dark kitchen cabinets need. If there is still something missing, try using another one of these ideas.
Many old dark wood cabinet doors are flat and boring, which makes them feel even more outdated. You do not have to change out doors completely, however, to fix this cosmetic problem. Simply purchase some wood molding that matches the style of your kitchen and stain it to match your existing cabinet color. Then cut the pieces using a miter saw to create a frame and adhere it to your cabinet doors using wood glue. This simple addition to flat cabinet doors can quickly update your cabinets with very little money. Couple this with new hardware and your may have already completed your transformation.
Just because kitchen cabinets are dark does not necessarily make them feel outdated. More often than not, it is the outdated items around them that hint at their real age. Things like old wallpaper, avocado colored appliances and 1970’s style countertops are dead giveaways that your cabinets are old. So, take the time to update the items around your kitchen cabinets so they do not drag your cabinets down. Updating these other areas of your kitchen does not have to be expensive either. Re-laminating old countertops, pulling down wallpaper and replacing old light fixtures with clearance models may only cost you $200-$300 which is much cheaper than all new cabinets by far. You may be surprised what new countertops and a coat of paint on the walls will do for your dark wood cabinets. Just make sure to keep your improvements light an airy so help balance to dark wood you have.
Sometimes, all of these changes simply do not modernize cabinets enough though. If you simply cannot stand the look of your dark wood cabinets any longer, you can always change the color with a little paint. A crisp white, sleek black or even a vibrant red could be just what your cabinets need for a completely modern look. Make sure to take the time to do the proper sanding and priming so you are not looking at peeling paint a few months down the road. Using paint along with new hardware, molding and other updates will guarantee a brand new look for thousands less than it would cost to replace the cabinets.
So whether your cabinets just need new hardware or a completely makeover, you can give them a modern look for less than the cost of replacing them. So pull out a screwdriver, molding and a paint brush and make your cabinets something that you are proud of. You will be glad you did when your friends come over and cannot believe how beautiful your old kitchen cabinets have become.