Five ways to upgrade your kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most commonly used rooms in any house, which makes it a great candidate for a renovation project. Not only will a kitchen upgrade make your home more comfortable, it can also add value to the home when you put it on the market. Whether you’re looking for a weekend DIY project or a major upgrade, here are some kitchen remodeling ideas to consider.

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

New cabinets can really make a kitchen feel fresh. But you don’t have to drop a ton of cash on brand new cabinets to give the place a makeover. By refinishing your cupboards, you can give your kitchen an updated look for less than $100 in supplies. To get a natural wood look, use a paint stripper and a plastic scrapper to remove the old finish. Once you’ve scraped it mostly clear, sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper until it is smooth. Apply a new stain to the wood, and then a top coat, like polyurethane. Once you’re done resurfacing, you can replace the old outdated hardware with something new. You’d be amazed how a fresh stain and a few new handles can really transform a kitchen.

Backsplashes Made Easy

A tile backsplash can give your kitchen a bit of character and brighten the place up with a touch of color. In the old days, a tile backsplash was a tedious task best left to the professionals. But new peel-and-stick backsplashes makes it easier than ever to take a DIY approach to this kitchen upgrade. At roughly a square foot per section, these pre-assembled tile mosaics are mounted on a self-adhesive backing. Simply peel the protective backing off and stick it on the wall. You’ll still have to do some tile work around outlets and countertops. But for the most part, you’ll simply have to cut the fabric backing with a utility knife, sparing you the difficulty of trimming ceramic or glass tiles.

Hardwood Floors for DIY Novices

There are few things that will really add value to your home like installing hardwood flooring. While traditional hardwood flooring could be a bit complicated to install on your own, newer self-locking hardwood planks allow you to get the job done without hammering any nails or using messy glue. The wood planks are built to simply lock together. You’ll still need enough DIY know-how to lay down a vapor barrier and cut boards to fit around cabinets and corners, but if you feel comfortable behind a table or mitre saw, you shouldn’t have any problem with this project.

Open Up Your Shelving

Cupboard doors will keep your kitchenware free of dust, but for highly used items like cups and plates, those doors can just get in the way. That’s why many homeowners are moving to open shelving in the kitchen, especially for highly used items like cookware and dinnerware. By replacing closed-off cabinets with shelves, you can make the kitchen feel more spacious and give you easier access to the tools you need when you need them.

Taking Care of the Small Stuff

You can spend a small fortune making major upgrades, but sometimes a kitchen just needs a little love and an attention. Cracked cover plates on outlets, ugly light fixtures,  or a leaky faucet can all make a kitchen look dingy. Before you sink your teeth into a major renovation, ask if there are a few small things that you can do to give the place a facelift. For instance, you could install a couple of pendant lights above the counter to brighten the place up. Or you could give the room a fresh coat of paint and a few throw rugs for a bit of color. Sometimes the small changes make the biggest difference.