8 Easy Kitchen Updates

Revamp the busiest room in the house by giving all the surfaces a fresh new look

8 Easy Kitchen Updates

A dated look in your kitchen won’t do you any favours come resale time

The kitchen sees lots of use on a daily basis, so over time it will start to look tired and show the signs of wear and tear.
 
A run-down kitchen is not an enjoyable place to prepare meals, plus a dated look won’t do you any favours come resale time.
 
Installing a new kitchen can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks, but a simple surface transformation can be done on a DIY budget in a weekend.
 
Old benchtops, cabinets, sinks and floors can all be repaired, replaced or revamped to give the kitchen a completely new look.

1. Make stainless steel shine

To remove rust and water spots from the sink, make up a paste using cream of tartar and a small amount of lemon juice in a bowl. Apply the paste directly onto the rust spots, leave to soak in then wipe clean using a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar.

2. Fix peeling laminate

To fix bench edges, gently pull back the laminate while cutting the old adhesive with a utility knife.
 
Apply contact adhesive to the back of the edging and the benchtop edge, then press them together firmly. Run a roller along the edge and tape securely until dry.

3. Modernise the benchtop

If worktops are looking tired, dated or damaged, consider repairing them rather than installing new ones.
 
Modern coatings can drag an old laminate benchtop into the 21st century for a fraction of the cost of replacement.
 
There are kits available to simplify the process. Laminate is easy to work with and can be applied in a weekend.

4. Paint the surfaces

Non-toxic polyurethane formulated for kitchens can be used on laminate and timber for a low-sheen finish that makes benchtops look clean and new, and protects them from heat damage and scratches. 

Step 1

Patch up peeling laminate, or sand and prime timber benchtops. Clean and dry the surface. 

Step 2 

Mix polyurethane coating with hardener. Apply and leave to dry for 48 hours.  

5. Hang new doors

If the cabinet doors are looking tired, one option would be to refresh them, although paint doesn’t adhere well to melamine or laminate.
 
A less messy, and just as affordable, choice is to replace existing standard sized doors with flat-packed modular ones from Kaboodle.
 
Colour contrasts create a kitchen with dual tones for a modern effect. Attach contrasting end panels and use tile paint on the splashback. When using bold splashes of colour, keep the walls neutral.
 
Alternate textures are achieved by combining materials such as stone benchtops, stainless steel appliances and glass door cabinets, allowing for flexibility in the budget and design.

6. Patching up linoleum

Lino flooring with burn marks, holes or general wear can be patched instead of new flooring being laid.
 
Buy a sample piece, making sure it shows any repeat patterns, or find a hidden spot in the pantry or under appliances where a piece of flooring can be cut without being noticed.

Step 1

Cut around the damaged area and loosen the adhesive in one corner with a hairdryer. Using a utility knife, cut the replacement piece to roughly match with a 15mm overlap.

Step 2

Tape the replacement piece over the damaged area, making sure it matches and completely overlaps the hole. Cut through both pieces with a utility knife, following the pattern line.

Step 3

Remove the damaged section and any backing material. Apply vinyl flooring adhesive with a notched trowel and secure the new piece, going over the seam with a vinyl floor sealer.

7. Refresh old timber

Timber doors can show up cracks, scratches and dents but they are easy to revive DIY.
 
For a natural finish, polyurethane is similar to clear varnish but easier to apply, making timber doors more durable and giving a medium-level shine. Repair cracks or holes with timber filler, then sand smooth. Use sugar soap to clean oil build-up and apply timber stain as a base.
 
Apply three layers of polyurethane finish with a brush or roller, waiting seven hours between coats. Sand lightly and remove dust before each coat. 

8. Bring in colour

Change the style of the kitchen by adding colour. White cabinets are classic, but green and blue really pop. Black, while difficult to get right, looks sophisticated with a glossy sheen and accessorised using bright objects.
 
To DIY, sand back the doors to bare timber, prime, then apply two coats of mould-inhibiting paint.
 

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