Five Cures For Ugly Kitchen Designs

Just because you have an ugly kitchen doesn’t mean that you have to leave it that way. There are many quick fixes that can spruce up the space – either for your own enjoyment or for resale value – without breaking the bank. From kitchen cabinets and flooring to cabinet hardware and lighting, there is always a solution to banish the ugly kitchen and to create a working, enjoyable space.

Ugly Kitchen Issue #1 – Fluorescent Ceiling Fixtures
Fluorescent ceiling fixtures are simply ghastly. They don’t light well and they make everything in the kitchen turn a slight shade of yellow. Rather, for an inexpensive option, take down the fluorescent fixtures and install a ceiling fan with lights. This will create better lighting in the kitchen, and will help to keep the air circulating and fresh. Ceiling fans are also a fantastic option for going “green” as they help to cut down on heating and air conditioning costs. Other ideas are to install track lighting and under the counter lighting, and to install a few hanging pendants over an island or work area, and a ceiling light or two in other areas of the kitchen.

Ugly Kitchen Issue #2 – Terrible Paint Colors
If you’ve purchased the home from someone else, you might find the kitchen has been left in a 1970s throw-back state. With green walls, yellow curtains and brown cabinets, you feel like you might turn into Mrs. Brady at any minute. Don’t despair. Painting is one of the easiest ways to quickly and easily transform the look of the kitchen. Tear down the curtains, first of all, and find a paint color that you enjoy for the kitchen walls. You can paint the walls white, or enjoy a light yellow hue for a cheery appeal. If the ugly kitchen cabinets are worth saving, you might decide to simply reface the cabinet fronts, or to paint the cabinets a more appealing white, black or light brown.

Ugly Kitchen Issue #3 – Outdated Cabinet Hardware
Now, this is one of the easiest ugly kitchen issues to remedy. If the present cabinet pulls or knobs are unseemly, simply remove them from the cabinets and find something more appealing! Keep in mind the existing pull or knob size and, for the easiest make-over job, install new cabinet hardware with the same drill center. Pewter hardware is often a great choice, as it matches with most cabinet doors, it doesn’t tarnish, and it actually looks even more lovely with continued handling. Look for cabinet hardware sales online, and buy in bulk.

Ugly Kitchen Issue #4 – Old Kitchen Furniture
Perhaps you’ve inherited a kitchen table and chairs set from the 1950s that is falling apart and hard on the eyes. You have a few options with this furniture. Certainly, you can throw it in the junk pile and declare that everyone will eat at the dining room table from now on. If the furniture is wood, why not have fun painting it? Paint each chair a different, vibrant color and then paint the table with a combination of these various hues. If you simply can’t salvage this set (or don’t want to), but you want something else in the kitchen, you have a few options. Start going to garage sales and looking for a kitchen set that you’ll enjoy. Purchase a kitchen island that has room to eat at it. Or, save up for that kitchen table of your dreams.

Ugly Kitchen Issue $5 – Breaking Kitchen Flooring
Many people try to ignore their ugly kitchen flooring for as long as possible, since it is quite expensive to replace the flooring. However, if you have awful ceramic tiles circa 1980, or linoleum that is screaming to be repaired, it’s time to consider new flooring options. If you have the money, hardwood floors are a beautiful choice, and one that will stay relatively clean without too much care. Cork is an interesting option, as it’s cheaper than hardware and can be a DIY project. Today, there are also many laminate flooring options that are inexpensive, easy to clean and cute to look at. Select something that will last for years of use, that is easy to clean and that will fit your specific family’s needs.

While these are but a few of the many ugly kitchen dilemmas that we all face at some point, they should help to pave the way to a much more attractive kitchen space. Even if you only have the time and money to give the kitchen a paint job and some new cabinet pulls, you’ll be amazed by the difference that a few key changes can make.

Best Wholesale Prices – Wood Cabinets For Kitchen Remodeling and Hardware

Interior decoration is a form of art more than a luxury. Anyone can have their interiors embellished in many ways irrespective of his budget size. Even rearranging the existing furniture, cabinets and showpieces can bring about a lot of difference. However, remodeling and renovations are a more serious form of interior makeover that aims at enhancing the aesthetic value as well as utility. And more than anywhere else, the need for remodeling arises in a kitchen. Kitchen is the most active spot in a home. And over time the furniture and fixtures undergo apparent wear and tear. Cabinet doors, hinges, drawers, handle and pulls, everything depreciates both in terms of look and durability. All these items require maintenance and replacements in order to keep the kitchen looking as new and appealing as your other rooms. This is the reason why, kitchen remolding or “refacing” is a highly discussed topic everywhere.

If you are looking for a low-budget remodeling, then you cannot possibly think of replacing the flooring or decorating your kitchen with all sorts of designer fittings and paintings. So, the only best option is to settle in with the replacement of obvious items like weathered cabinet doors or broken handles. Remodeling might include complete replacement of the old furniture but it can also be replacement of parts of furniture and refinishing it in such a way that it looks like a brand new item.

If you plan properly, you can save a lot of money on your kitchen remodeling and at the same time get a whole new look for your kitchen. Just by polishing or painting your cabin you can make it look entirely different. And also replace the pulls and handles with newer and stylish ones. Cabinet hardware is one of the most important items when it comes to kitchen remodeling. These small fittings can make an ordinary piece of wood look more expensive and impressive.

And now comes the most important part – the price. The general direction of the entire discussion above was emphasizing the importance of having a low-budget kitchen remodeling. So now that you know what all you need to have an efficient remodeling done, your next priority should be to get all the materials in bulk. You should make a list of all the items you need like new cabinets, hinges and hardware. Then start looking for wholesale traders dealing in cabinet furniture. You can find many of them in your vicinity through an online search, because nowadays, everybody who is anybody has an online address. You can look for used traditional hardware for your cabinets and even get unfinished cabinets at a much lower price. With a little effort you can upgrade them all and make them as good as new, or even better.

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets and Other Types of Kitchen Cabinets

If you are buying new cabinets for your new house or you simply want to buy cabinets to replace your old ones (probably because the kitchen cabinet doors are busted already), it will be better if you buy wholesale cabinets. This will be able to help you save up some money instead of buying per piece. When you buy per piece, the price will be the retail selling price but if you buy it in bulk, you will be able to save a few dollars.

However before you buy your new cabinets; you have to make sure that you do a little research first. What would be the things you should consider? First of all, you need to know the types of kitchen cabinets and their purpose. Combine this with your own purpose meaning what will the use of the cabinets be for you and your household? There are different types of cabinets and each one has its own purpose and design too. To be able to know the types, you should do a little research online. However, here is a glimpse of what might interest you:

1) Shaker Kitchen Cabinets- The shaker kitchen cabinets are very much like a country style cabinet but it has a more modern twist to it. So, if you want the country style but you want it a little funkier, choose this type of cabinet.

2) Country Style kitchen pantry cabinets- As the name suggests these cabinets are very much like all the other country furniture you can think of. It is of course made of wood and has a very rural feel to it.

3) Cottage Style Cabinets- This cabinet is more like the country style. Imagine yourself in a beach house and you will know how this looks and feels like.

4) Natural Oak Cabinets- This type of cabinet is really sturdy and it is also water-proof. Unlike the other cabinets, this one will not tarnish and will still be shiny after the years of usage. These are approximately $1100.

5) Heritage Honey cabinets- These cabinets are very flexible in terms of styling. You can install and assemble these cabinets the way you want it. The cost of this is approximately $1260 and that is really cheap for this type of form and function. The only downside to it is that even if it is fairly cheap, you need to pay handymen or carpenters to fix the cabinets for you.

6) Ginger Maple Cabinets- Compared with the natural oak cabinets, these are also quite durable. Like the heritage honey cabinets, you can also assemble the cabinets depending on your usage. It costs approximately $1170.

Now that you know the types of cabinets, you will have an idea which one to get once you are in the hardware store. The most important thing you must do however before purchasing would have to be to measure the place wherein you will install the cabinets so that you will pick the right size and not come back again because it is either too small or too big.

How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

Staining kitchen cabinets, and how you prepare to stain depends on what you are starting with.

Are you building your own cabinets?
Are your cabinets unfinished in your garage waiting to be installed?
Are your cabinets new and already installed, but in need of staining?
Are you stripping your cabinets and then re-staining and refinishing them?
Or are you going to try your hand at re-facing?

You will prepare and stain a bit differently for each of the above situations; however, there are some basic steps and supplies that are universal when you are staining kitchen cabinets.

List of Basic Supplies You Will Need:

a good stain (I like a good oil-based stain, like a Sherwin-Williams oil based wiping stain)
stirring stick
sand paper (150 to 320 grit)
saw horses or work bench to stain on
drop clothes/cardboard
cotton rags
carpet pieces or other tool to apply stain (the right carpet really works well to get into those nooks and crannies)
clothes/shoes you don’t mind getting dirty (the stain won’t come out – it’s a good idea to invest in a body apron that you don’t mind getting ruined)
dust mask/respirator face mask
latex or rubber gloves
lacquer thinner or acetone (to remove stain off of where you don’t want it – like hinges or the floor; if you don’t have these, you can use finger nail polish remover, most contain acetone)
well ventilated area to work in
area to set wood to dry

Step #1 – Remove Doors, Drawers, Hardware and Lay Flat

If you are building your own cabinets, staining them is simply a step in the building process. You can stain everything, and put finish on it too, before you ever put anything together.

If your cabinets are pre-built, try to remove as much hardware as possible (handles and hinges). It is much easier to put the hardware back on than to try and clean it later. If you can take the hardware off, number each piece, then also put that same number on the wood where the hardware sits – making sure it is inconspicuous.

You should also remove the doors and drawer fronts before you begin staining kitchen cabinets, if you can, so you can lay them flat. Again, if you remove hinges, etc., do so and number so it won’t show on your finished product.

The advantage of having an item lying flat while you are staining kitchen cabinets is that the stain and finish won’t run all over and create a look you don’t want – sloppy. Who wants to put a lot of work, time, and effort into staining kitchen cabinets, just to see the finished product look sloppy and completely unprofessional? Learning how to stain kitchen cabinets means ending up with a stain job that looks beautiful and professional and says to the world that you know what you’re doing. You want your cabinets to look like you paid a fortune, even if you didn’t.

Step #2 – Look Your Pieces Over and Sand If Necessary

When first staining kitchen cabinets, look over the pieces you want to stain. Do they need to be sanded first? Most likely they are already sanded well, and you’ll just have to sand out small scuff marks which resulted from handling them or installing the cabinets.

Use a fine grit sandpaper, 150, 220, or even higher. Once you begin staining kitchen cabinets, any marks you’ve missed in sanding will jump out at you. You can always sand out marks and scuffs after you’ve stained your kitchen cabinets, but that takes more time and energy, so try to do a good job of sanding initially.

Step #3 – Setting Up The Area Where You Will Be Staining Kitchen Cabinets – Remember Safety First!

It is a good idea to stain items on saw horses if you have them, or on any sturdy table or bench that is about waist high. As you learn how to stain kitchen cabinets, you will be glad you used a drop cloth or cardboard on your floor or on any area that you don’t want stain on. You can use lacquer thinner or acetone to wipe up stain, but it doesn’t always work (like you can almost never get stain out of clothes). Also, lacquer thinner or acetone might melt or ruin what the stain is sitting on. If you don’t have lacquer thinner or acetone, use finger nail polish remover. It has acetone in it. Don’t inhale the fumes of such products, or get them on your hands.

You’ll also need to mask off any parts of the cabinets you don’t want stained, such as the interiors.

Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, and/or a full body apron.

You should also wear latex or rubber gloves and safety glasses when you are staining kitchen cabinets. These precautions are not only for when you are learning how to stain your kitchen cabinets, but are necessary even if you become an expert. Safely is of the utmost importance.

ALERT: BEWARE OF DANGEROUS FUMES. Wearing a dust mask won’t do any good against fumes. Only wear a dust mask if you are in the sanding process. You will either have to invest in a respirator face mask for your safety, or ensure that you are in an extremely well ventilated area, such as your garage with doors wide open, or both. Fumes from the chemicals used while you are staining your kitchen cabinets are extremely dangerous, not only to breathe in, but, if concentrated enough, they can cause an explosion. And, don’t be fooled by water-based products. They can give off fumes and hazardous odors as well. Each product’s danger level is different, but error on the side of caution. Knowing how to stain kitchen cabinets means knowing how to do it safely.

Step #4 – Applying The Stain

Once you know where you are going to be staining kitchen cabinets, and have yourself and your area prepared, open your stain can and stir well. This cannot be overstated enough. When the can sits for any length of time, the stain will separate and sediment (color) will sit at the bottom of the can. If you do not stir well, the stain you use from the top of the can will be much lighter than the stain you end up using at the bottom of the can (and at the end of your project). These results will not look good. The things you stain first will be much lighter than the last pieces you stain.

To apply the stain, one of the easiest tools to use are old carpet remnants. Cut them into approximately 4 x 3 inch rectangles. Dip one end of the carpet into your stain, then rub the carpet onto your wood. It doesn’t matter if you go with the grain or against the grain at this point, you just want to make sure that you cover all surfaces. If you are doing intricate work, such as doors with groves or raised panels, be sure to get stain into corners. Over staining at this point is a good idea, because the excess will be wiped off. This is where the drop clothes and wearing an apron come in handy, because it can get pretty messy!!

After you apply stain to your piece, look it over to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. Areas that are commonly missed in learning how to stain your kitchen cabinets include: grooves, door edges, drawer edges, or any corners – like where the raised panel corners meet the door frame.

Step #5 – Wiping The Stain Off – A Very Important Multi-Step In Ensuring Your Piece Looks Great

As you are first learning about staining kitchen cabinets, I suggest you wipe the stain off immediately. Most cans of stain suggest leaving the stain sit for 10 minutes, then wiping off the excess. I’ve found that this does not usually change the color, so why wait? Also, if you are staining kitchen cabinets that are already installed, or already built, and you can’t lay pieces flat, your stain will run all over if you let it sit for any length of time. You will want to wipe it up as soon as possible.

If you want a darker piece of wood, purchase a darker stain color. The only time that waiting to wipe excess stain off will actually darken your piece significantly is if you can let it sit for over 30 minutes. This is really a false darkening, and the problem with it is that your stain is usually so dry by then that it’s difficult to remove smudges and wipe off the piece properly. The stain ends up sitting on top of the wood, not soaking in. Use your own judgment. If you decide to wait the 10 minutes, do it on every piece to ensure consistency.

Actually wiping the excess stain off in itself is a two step process.

First, have several cotton rags at your disposal. Put a rag in each hand. Never touch your wood with bare or gloved hands alone after it’s been stained, as it will leave a smudge mark. Wipe off the bulk of the excess stain. At this point it doesn’t matter if you are going with the grain or not, you just want to get the big spots of stain wiped up.

The second step is a finishing type step in staining kitchen cabinets. Take another clean rag. Go back over your piece of wood, this time with the grain. The second rag takes more stain off, preventing smudge marks. The biggest enemy in staining is leaving smudge marks.

Following these two steps and not being afraid to use rags as needed will ensure that you don’t leave any smudges. Look your piece over. If you have left any smudges, wipe off gently and blend color in with your cotton rag.

Step #6 – The Final Step In Staining – Set Your Pieces Aside To Dry

Now that you’ve learned how to stain kitchen cabinets, set your pieces aside to dry (or just let them hang there if they are already installed). You can lay your piece on a flat surface if only one side is stained. If your piece has multiple sides that are stained, you can lay it flat on something that allows for air circulation to the back, such as saw horses, or if you do enough staining, purchase a professional staining rack. One caveat: where the saw horses or rack touch the stained piece, smudge marks may be left. Before you finish a piece that has dried on such equipment, you may need to touch up that side.

You can also lean your piece against a wall to dry. When your stain is drying, it is best to let air get to as many sides that you have stained as possible. It’s also okay to let fans run in the area where you are drying your piece. This helps it to dry faster and doesn’t hurt the end result; however, never let fans run on a a piece that you’ve put finish on.

How long your piece has to dry depends on what type of stain you are using. Read the label and act accordingly.

ONE FINAL AND IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SAFETY AS YOU LEARN HOW TO STAIN KITCHEN CABINETS

Remember to hang your rags to dry, ensuring air movement around them as well. Too many times, bunched together wet staining rags have caused a tragic explosion resulting in fire and even death. Please be careful!!

You Are Now Ready For The Next Step – Finishing

Congratulations!!! You have learned how to stain kitchen cabinets and have completed your staining project!

After your pieces are completely dry, you are ready for the next step – putting a beautiful, clear finish on your beautifully stained kitchen cabinets!

And remember – HAVE A HAPPY KITCHEN!!!

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