Laminate cabinets offer bold colours and sleek surfaces, but what happens when they start to age. If your laminated doors are past their best, it could be compromising the overall aesthetic of your room. Fortunately, you don’t need to live with your ugly cabinets as there are a number of ways to update your kitchen without breaking the bank or going through the disruption of a full renovation. With these low cost solutions, you can create a fresh, new look that will showcase your personality and style, making your kitchen a pleasure to work in once again, so you can prepare meals, entertain and socialise without feeling embarrassed by your kitchen cabinets.
Painting your laminate doors is an easy way to change the look of your cabinets. Many people think that the slick surface of laminate means that it is not possible to paint, but this is not the case. In fact, many laminate surfaces can be painted in just the same way as you would wood cabinets.
To create a good finish, you will need to do some preparation and buy the right products. You will need to lightly sand the surface to create a key for the paint and use a primer. A specialist primer will allow traditional oil or water based paints to adhere. Alternatively, you can purchase a special acrylic enamel product that is designed to use on laminate surfaces.
This process can be a little time consuming. You will need to remove the doors and drawer fronts and take off any hardware. The laminate surfaces will need to be cleaned so that there is no trace of greasy residue that could compromise the primer or paint. After sanding, ensure that any dust is cleared before you start painting. Use a roller or brush to get a smooth finish and remember to take your time. Rushing could result in smears and drips that will ruin the finished look.
You’re likely to have a great deal of choice of paint colours, so if you’re unsure about which colour would look best, try to keep it simple. Remember that darker colours can make a room look closed in if the room is smaller or lacks natural light. So, if you want to boost the natural light in the room, stick to lighter shades. However, if you have a larger kitchen with lots of light, darker shades can create a bold finish that adds modern sophistication to your design aesthetic.
Use Contact Paper
If you’re wary about painting, another option is to use contact paper. Contact paper is often available in rolls with decorative patterns and colours on one side and a sticky adhesive on the back. While it is often used to line shelves and drawers, it can also be used to customise laminate doors. If you want to create a more traditional look, opt for stainless steel or faux wood grain, but if you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of the wide selections of colours and patterns.
The technique for using contact paper is to thoroughly clean the surface before hand. You’ll need to smooth the paper as you apply it to avoid bubbles and wrinkles. You can also use a roll of kitchen or toilet paper as a soft way to smooth out the paper without risking scratching or damaging the surface. You can also create patterns with the contact paper, cutting it into patterns or strips for a unique design.
Replace Your Doors
If your cabinet laminate is not in good enough condition to paint or cover with contact paper, you may need to consider replacing the doors. This is a great solution if your cabinet carcasses are still in good condition, but the doors are making the kitchen look old. Fortunately, laminate has evolved a great deal in recent years, so you can now purchase high quality laminate without breaking the bank. Laminex doors are far more durable than the laminate of the past, so you can enjoy a hardwearing finish for your new kitchen. Laminate doors are available in a variety of colours, patterns, and shades. You can even choose a different colour for accent doors to break up the look of your cabinet run.
Change the Hardware
If your budget is particularly restrictive or you’re in a rental where only temporary changes are permitted, there are still options to update the kitchen. One of the most effective is changing the cabinet hardware. Although this may appear to be a minor issue, replacing handles, pulls and knobs can create a fresh, new look for your kitchen. Replace dated brass or gold tone hardware with brushed nickel for a more modern feel, or swap out cheap plastic knobs for a more natural look in traditional kitchens.
You’ll need to take careful measurements to ensure that your new hardware fits the kitchen cabinets. Remove a handle and take it with you when you start shopping. You’ll need the mounting holes to line up, as you won’t want to drill additional holes. You can even take a drawer front or small door with you, so you can see how different hardware will look in your kitchen. Create a shortlist of hardware choices and bring some samples home, so you can see how they look in the lighting in the kitchen.
Replacing the hardware is relatively simple if you choose the right replacements. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the old hardware and secure the new pieces. You can even keep the old hardware in a bag to put back on the cabinets when you’re planning on leaving the rental.
If you have concerns that your old laminated doors are compromising the aesthetics of your kitchen, be sure to speak to us. The Kitchen Door Company offers a fantastic selection of doors, including Laminex doors. Our team can answer any queries and guide you through the options to help you update your kitchen. We would be delighted to help you create your dream kitchen without breaking the bank.