When it comes to home renovations, kitchens are a common focus for homeowners. Kitchens are unofficially the most popular room in any home, for obvious reasons. On any given day, it might be a meeting point for meals, the epicenter of all cooking, a hosting area for guests, and most recently, a makeshift home office. It is safe to say that it is a high traffic area. When it comes to renovating it, you will quickly find that it is also an expensive project. But, did you know that there are ways to save a lot of money that will not compromise the new look you are dreaming of? It is all in the cabinets!
Replace or Restore?
Updating the kitchen is a common project for homeowners that often yields the highest ROI over other home improvement projects, when it comes to your home’s resale value. One of the major components of the kitchen is the cabinets.
Replacing your kitchen’s cabinets can consume a large part of your overall renovation budget. Cabinets do not necessarily need to be replaced. Oftentimes, they can be painted or refinished, saving you thousands of dollars.
Take time to evaluate whether your cabinets need to be replaced, or if they can be restored, instead. Not sure how to tell? Aesthetics aside, consider the overall condition of the cabinets. If they are in good repair and without major damage, applying a new coating can make them look new and can completely transform the look of your kitchen. You would be amazed at what a new coat of paint or changing the color of the stain can do. This is by far the more cost effective option to transform your kitchen, and can be completed much faster than a full remodel. It might be tempting to try this as a DIY project, but hiring a professional to refinish your cabinets is recommended. Restoring cabinets is not as easy as it might seem at first.
Paint vs. Stain
After you decide that your cabinets can be restored, you must now figure out if staining or painting is the better option, and which will achieve your goal. If your cabinets are made of laminate, your only option is to paint them. The top color choices for kitchen cabinets are white, soft gray, stone, slate, off-white, light yellow and neutral beige.
If your cabinets are made of solid wood, you have the option to paint or stain them. Painting is the faster, easier way to achieve a new look, as staining wood, even the same color, requires a lot more preparation and time to let it dry between coats.
For solid wood cabinets, staining allows the natural grain and beauty of the wood to show, depending on the finish that you select. Staining is best for cabinets made from a high-quality wood with a grain worth showing off, such as oak, hickory or ash. Staining cabinets made of pine, birch, maple or cherry is possible, but not usually recommended. If you do wish to stain cabinets made from these types of wood, the lighter, the better, as darker stains often appear uneven and blotchy.
The end result of how your newly stained cabinets appear depends on three things:
- How well the surface was prepped, including removal of the old stain, sanding and preparing the wood for new stain
- The second factor is the type, brand and color of the stain that is applied. Colors that compliment the wood’s natural undertones, rather than contrast it, will give you better results.
- If a good quality sealer was applied to protect your cabinets from damaging UV light, oil, dirt and grime
Latex or Oil-based
If you decide to paint your cabinets, you need to decide between latex-based paint or oil-based paint. Usually, latex paint is recommended, especially for kitchen cabinets. Latex-based paint is typically either low or no VOC, so they are better for interior work. VOC’s are carbon-based chemicals found in oil-based paint, that evaporate into the air at room temperature. Long term exposure to VOC’s can cause compounding, long-term health effects. Latex paint has advanced to where it provides the same level of protection that oil does and has less negative effects on your health and the environment.
The other key selections are sheen and color. Usually gloss, semi-gloss, or eggshell are recommended for kitchen cabinets, which are the easiest to keep clean and will look nice for longer. The brand of paint is also important. Not all paint is created equal. With paint, it is safe to assume that you get what you pay for.
When it comes to cabinet restoration, hiring a professional is often best. The professionals at LIME Painting of Chicago can transform your old cabinets and make them look new, because we are the experts when it comes to restoring and refinishing kitchen cabinets.
Beginning with our initial meeting, you will immediately notice the LIME difference. From our in-depth estimate process, to the preparation for your project, through to the finished product LIME is unlike any other painting company. When you work with LIME Painting of Chicago on your home renovation projects, your experience will be easy, enjoyable and refreshing.
Get in touch with us today to schedule your in-home consultation. We are presently taking bookings for interior and exterior projects in the Chicago area.