Renovating an entire kitchen can be a costly endeavor and many homeowners prefer to do the job in stages. But disharmony can occur when the newer part of your kitchen makes the older part seem dull by comparison. If your kitchen equipment has seen better days, but you are not ready to replace it, there are a number of products that offer cosmetic solutions to repair and refresh your beat-up refrigerator, oven or dishwasher. Most major appliance manufacturers offer paint, panel kits and other fix-ups on their Web sites or through a toll-free number. Remember that when you order any type of product, you should be very specific about the brand, model number and dimensions of the appliance.
Is the exterior of your refrigerator scratched or fading? If so, there are two options to consider: adding a panel/trim kit and refacing it with a custom panel or giving it a fresh coat of paint.
Panel/trim kits provide a great way to get a more high-end, personalized look in your kitchen. Custom designed to fit the front of your refrigerator, panels can be made of a material of your choice. Prices vary according to model and manufacturer, but kits start at about $60 and climb from there. Keep in mind that most manufacturers don't provide the panel material. You'll need to order the panels separately through your cabinetry manufacturer, contractor or local do-it-yourself store. Factor in the time it takes for such special orders. The payoff is a highly customized look.
For a quicker solution, paint may be the answer. This type of makeover costs $20 or less and only takes a day or so to complete. You can touch up scratches, match your existing color or add an entirely new color. And you can even use these paints on other appliances with similar finishes. Be sure to prime before painting with a primer made especially for appliances.
Most paints are available in a variety of sizes from a small bottle of touch-up paint to 12-ounce spray cans to one-quart cans. The paints come in a selection of new and not-so-new colors. So if you are hankering for that old harvest gold, paint may be the way to go.
Better Looking Cookers
Although the interior -- and often the exterior -- of an oven can be a badge of many a meal well-cooked, scratches and discoloration can make your cooking unit look older than it really is. With some touchup paint formulated specifically for high heat, your oven can go back to looking, and cooking, like new.
Touch-up paints for cookware are available for the exterior as well as the interior and generally cost less than $10 a can. Many manufacturers make a white microwave oven liner paint as well.
Ready-to-install panels let you easily change the look of your dishwasher
If your dishwasher runs well and cleans like a champ but looks pretty beat-up, you can refresh it, inside and out, with some affordable fix-ups.
Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, you can spruce it up with a panel/ trim kit. Kits are available for the front as well as the side panels of the machine. The cost can start at $50 for the trim kit. As with the refrigerator, the panels themselves will have to be ordered separately.
Since the control panel gets the most wear and tear, replacing one can give a dishwasher a fresh look. The colors available depend upon model and manufacturer, but most control panel replacements come in black or brushed stainless and cost $30 or more.
If the inside of the dishwasher is scratched or the racks cracked, you may need touch-up paint or a rack-repair kit. Typically, such kits include new tine tips and an adhesive sealant made to withstand the heat and water of the wash. Costs for these repairs can begin at $20.
Author: Barbara Winfield