For most of us, the kitchen is at the heart of the home. And whether you have a large open plan kitchen or the smallest of galley kitchens keeping it looking its best is often something we’d love to do, but worry about costs. As a place where we come together to prepare food and drinks, cook, dine and often do the washing too, it tends to be a room of the house that gets a lot of traffic and is therefore pretty susceptible to wear and tear.
However, it’s not always possible or practical to replace your kitchen units every time that you fancy or change or need to freshen up a tired-looking space. It may be that you’re saving for your dream kitchen, but want your existing one to look smart in the meantime, or you may just want to refresh your kitchen for a special occasion such as a party or family visit. So how can you update the look of your kitchen, without replacing it?
How to paint kitchen cabinets
Painting your kitchen cabinets is probably one of the quickest ways to bring a completely new look to your space without the need to buy new kitchen units.
Before getting started, you need to consider whether your kitchen cabinets can actually be painted. While solid wood kitchen units are fairly easy to paint, if your kitchen cupboards are made of laminate, although painting is still possible, you need to ensure that you use a specialist primer so that the paint will easy “stay” on the surface. For more tips on how to paint your kitchen – check out this guide from Dulux.
Make sure to take off all handles and ironmongery where you can and properly cover your worktops to avoid getting paint splashes everywhere!
Replacing kitchen door handles is another great way to bring a fresh new look to your kitchen – consider swapping older style round knobs for sleek modern brushed steel, or consider a traditional looking handle to match your newly painted country style kitchen.
Can you paint tiles in the kitchen?
Your kitchen tiles can, to some degree, make or break the look of your kitchen. We’ve all at one time or another seen truly dated tiling completely ruin a kitchen or bathroom! However, ripping out and replacing them can be a costly and time-consuming job, and one generally reserved for when upgrading your kitchen.
However, in some cases, it is possible to paint over your existing tiles to give a fresh new look. Some areas aren’t so great for tile paint, such as those with lots of moisture behind the sink – so for areas like this, perhaps consider removing tiles and adding a splashback instead.
Just like kitchen cabinets, the key to successfully painting your kitchen tiles all lies in the preparation, so making sure that you properly sand down the tiles to give the paint something to grip to. It’s always worth re-grouting before painting over tiles too.
In some cases, painting tiles will not be an option, either due to their surface or location. Another option is to choose vinyl tile stickers which mimic the look of kitchen tiles.
How to update kitchen worktops
Depending on the material of your existing kitchen worktop, you may have a few options to get it looking up to date without the need for replacement.
Concrete “marble” is becoming fairly popular amongst DIY enthusiasts and gives a great stone finish without the high price tag.
Additionally, just like your cabinets, depending on your original worktop material, painting may be another option to give your worktops a spruce up – and with a little imagination and a very small paintbrush, you can even create a stone effect by blending colours.
Again, vinyl wrap is another way to give your worktops an entirely different look without having to completely replace them, and can generally be purchased in a huge range of finishes, offering everything from wood effect to a stainless steel type finish.
Other kitchen areas
While it’s generally your main kitchen units which will make the most difference to how your kitchen looks if you are updating them, don’t forget other areas of the kitchen which may be looking a little tired.
Take a long hard look at your kitchen sink area. Is the sink itself looking a little shabby? If so, could you perhaps get away with upgrading your kitchen taps while leaving the sink in situ? Modern taps can transform the look of an older sink.
If you have a dining space in your kitchen – little touches like replacing cushion covers, or fixing chipped wood can help to make your kitchen look like new. Matching plug sockets and light switches with the ironmongery of your kitchen gives a sleek look too.