Realtors and designers alike will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. These are two areas homebuyers look over very carefully. If either one doesn’t appear crisp, clean, and updated, a buyer will begin deducting from his or her potential offer, or may even decide not to make an offer.
Homeowners often have difficult choices to make regarding kitchen and bathroom updates. Is the time, effort, and cost of renovation or a complete remodel going to add enough value to justify the energy and expense? In some cases, renovation or remodeling is required and homeowners can certainly expect a good return on the investment.
In other cases, a little cosmetic attention will go a long way. Cabinet refacing may be far more prudent than replacing cabinetry in the kitchen, the bath, or both. There are several excellent types cabinet refacing materials from which to choose. You can hire a professional to do the work for you, but many of these options can be utilized by the do-it-yourself homeowner.
Let’s take a closer look:
Veneer and Edge Banding
Pressure sensitive veneer is a popular choice for cabinet refacing. It is made of cabinet grade wood and gives cabinetry an instant facelift. Veneer is available in many types of wood and in different colors and finishes to complement your design plan. It is fairly simple to apply. While it does take some time and precision, it is far less time consuming, labor intensive, and costly than replacing cabinets.
Wood veneer can even be applied to fiberboard cabinetry to give it a higher quality appearance. You can also purchase edge banding, or strips of veneer to cover exposed edges. Even with the purchase of special veneer tools, the cost will be far less than renovation, yet you will still add a great deal of value to your home. Wood veneer and edge banding can be used for kitchen cabinets, vanities, or any other cabinetry in your home.
Trim and Crown Molding
To give your refacing project a look of quality and craftsmanship, add crown molding to the tops of cabinets and trim molding to the faces. Stain the trim to match the veneer. Molding adds dimension and creates a high end feel. Be sure to miter corners in order to get a professional result.
Painting or Refinishing
Painting or refinishing cabinetry can be a lot of work, but it can help you save a lot of money while still adding value to your home. Your cabinetry may be dark, dingy or dated, but a coat of new stain or a fresh, crisp coat of paint may give it an entirely new look and feel. If you decide to tackle one of these projects, do it right. It takes a good deal of time and energy to achieve professional results, but it’s worth it.
Start by taking the time to prep each surface accordingly, prime surfaces if necessary, and use the proper supplies and tools. For kitchens and baths, oil based paints and primers are generally better choices. They cure to a hard, sleek finish that will last longer and provide for easier maintenance. Also, look for special mold and mildew resistant paints and primers that are formulated especially for kitchens and baths. Choose colors that coordinate with other painting projects or with existing décor elements.
You may be surprised to find that all your cabinets need is a thorough cleaning and some updated hardware to change the look and feel. You’ll be amazed what a difference modern looking hardware will make. It is also wise to change out the hardware after a cabinet refacing project. You don’t want to put old hardware back on updated cabinet and drawer faces. When selecting knobs, bars and pulls for cabinets and drawers, choose something distinctive that complements your “new” cabinets as well as the other fixtures in the space.