Best Kitchen Updates on a Budget

Updating your kitchen is one of the best ways to improve your home’s appearance and increase its value. Upgrade your kitchen without straining the family budget.


Refinish your appliances.
Tired of your outdated appliances but can’t afford to replace them with new stainless steel ones? Give your appliances a high-tech look for a fraction of the cost by applying stainless steel paint. Although there are products available in spray-on form, they’re not safe for hot stoves and toasters, so stick with brush-on paint such as Liquid Stainless Steel. Before you apply any finish, make sure you read and follow the directions carefully, clean the appliances and remove or cover all handles and control panels.

Revive your countertops.
Why spend thousands of dollars on new countertops when you can paint them yourself for around $100? With granite-look countertop paint, you can breathe new life into laminate, ceramic tile, wood, MDF or cultured-marble countertops in just a few steps. First, clean the surface of dirt and grease, fill in any holes or nicks with wood filler and sand with fine sandpaper. Apply the supplied primer, let it dry, then dab on the stone color with a sponge. Once that dries, give it a light sanding, apply the topcoat and stand back and admire your work.

Change your lighting.
Lighting sets the mood for any room, so switch out your old kitchen fixtures for something more modern and eye-catching. Experts suggest creating a layered look to make your kitchen more practical and inviting. Colorful metal or glass pendant lights are quite popular for kitchen islands. Recessed lighting and adjustable track lighting are practical for ceilings. Also, consider adding under-cabinet lights to brighten countertops and cutting areas. Don’t forget to install energy-efficient bulbs to help conserve electricity.

Rework your cabinets.
If your kitchen cabinets are structurally sound, there are several inexpensive ways to change their look without replacing them. One option is refacing, where only the doors and drawer fronts of the cabinet are replaced with new ones. The exposed cabinet boxes are then covered with matching peel-and-stick veneer. Painting your cabinets a bright color is an even simpler option that will really liven up your kitchen. Removing the cabinet doors altogether gives the space a more open feel and allows you to showcase your glassware or dish collection.

Switch out your hardware.
You’d be surprised at how something as simple as changing the hardware on your cabinets can improve the appearance of your kitchen. There are many different styles available, from modern and sleek to vintage and ornate. Don’t be afraid to go with something unique to make a statement. Other simple updates that make a difference include replacing your faucet, switch plates and drawer organizers.