The kitchen is the heart of the home and, much like the human cardiovascular system, can be incredibly expensive to replace. Most of us are dreaming of a new kitchen but don't have the budget to rip it all out and start again.
If you kitchen has good bones but the style and colour is aging your home, you don't have to wait for a lotto win to update - we will show you how to take an ugly kitchen into this century with this easy step-by-step guide.
Part One: Updating Tired Cabinets
Long Weekend Project (2-3 days)
Build Your Basket
Flood Tile and Laminate Cleaner
White Knight Tile and Laminate Primer
White Knight Laminate Paint
Cutting In Brush
All good projects need a solid base to work from, your new kitchen especially. Start by cleaning off all the benchtops and emptying the cupboards (if you need to keep your kitchenware in the cupboards, make sure you cover everything with plastic – this is going to get a little messy).
Wipe down every surface with Flood Tile and Laminate Cleaner, which is best for greasy areas like the kitchen. Then roughen up your cupboard doors with sandpaper or steel wool until you can feel some texture – this will help the paint grab. Follow up with a rag dampened by white spirits to get a truly clean surface to work on.
Check all of your surfaces for cracks or lifting laminate, and repair as necessary. If you are changing your handles (and lets be honest, it's these finishing touches that will make your new kitchen extra special), putty up the holes you won't be using.
Carefully cover any hinges and hardware that you are not taking off with painters tape – even the steadiest hand can slip when you're cutting in. The more time you spend on this, the better the result.
Lay down your drop sheets and mask off any edges that butt onto walls or tiles with painters tape.
Now lets get painting! Get busy with your White Knight Tile and Laminate Primer. Load your cutting in brush (this is well worth the money as it makes things so much easier) with paint and tap off the excess on the inside of the paint can. Carefully cut in the cupboard edges and around any taped up hardware.
Paint Tip: It doesn't need to be a perfect coat but ensure its even and that all areas are covered.
Load your roller up with an even coat of paint – not too thick but don't be stingy! Paint the entire surface evenly, ensuring there are no areas where the undercoat can be seen, or where the paint is visibly too thick.
Some dribbles are inevitable – wipe them gently off with your finger as you go to keep your surface neat.
Time to sand (get used to this!). You want to get any lumps, bumps and rough patches off to ensure the perfect base for your top coats. Brush the dust off, layer on another coat of Primer, dry and sand again.
Paint Tip: Run your fingers over every part of the cupboard to ensure your have sanded it smooth. You will make a big difference to your finish with just a little bit of elbow grease.
Now for your paint. Use a specialist paint like White Knight Laminate Paint for the best results. Start with cutting in, then roll on the paint as per steps five and six. When you're done, run the roller back over the whole surface (called “dry rolling”) to ensure a consistent finish to the paint.
Paint Tip: Slow and steady will win this race. Rushing this can lead to slips and spills which can bring the whole project undone.
Allow to dry. Then crank up the tunes and get busy with the sandpaper again. Get all of those imperfections off.
Repeat with Steps Seven to Nine with your final top coat. Again, finish with dry rolling to ensure your surface is perfect.
Give the whole kitchen a good 24 hours to dry. Then, gently remove the painters tape – take this slowly so you don't pull any paint off.
Paint Tip: A razor blade can be really useful – run it along the edge of the painters tape to ensure you get a clean edge on the paint and don't take any off.
Install your handles and any new hinges and hardware.
Paint Tip: Talk to your local cabinetmaker about their range of handles and hardware – you'll often get to choose from a large collection at a very economical price.
Congratulations on your new cabinets.
Now, lets talk about your benchtops ... Part Two