Cheap Kitchen Updates – Part 2


Cheap Kitchen Updates – Part 2

Kitchen updates again? Really?

Okay, so you’ve decided to paint the kitchen, and got that accomplished last weekend. Isn’t there something else a goddess can do to create a new kitchen without having to take out a loan?

Of course there is! That is what I did last year, and I am here to help you decide what you want to do as an overhaul, without having to break the bank.

The next easiest thing (actually easier than painting), and a little bit pricier would be to change the hardware on your cabinet doors and drawers.

But I like my cabinet hardware! Don’t make me change it! Fine, don’t change it. But I bet it could use some cleaning. Has it ever been cleaned? No? What do you mean you don’t clean your hardware. Well, neither do I. But I learned how just in case.

Metal cabinet hardware needs to be cleaned regularly, else it looks seriously dingy. Think about it. We have grease, dirt, fingerprints, dust, spilled food, all in a small area called our kitchen. The hardware should be cleaned on a regular basis. Let’s say monthly, please.

How to Clean Hardware

  • Fill a bowl with warm water and squirt some dish soap into it.
  • Dip a rag into the water and wring it out.
  • Wipe down the hardware. If tough dirt, use a soaped toothbrush. You’d be amazed at what a toothbrush can clean.
  • Wipe the hardware with clean warm water.
  • Dry and buff to a shine.

Okay, that doesn’t seem to work, so what is next?

  • Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to a squirt bottle.
  • Soak a rag with the solution.
  • Wipe down the hardware (use toothbrush if necessary).
  • Wipe hardware dry and buff to a shine.

If you are like I was, it had been years! So here is what I did, before I decided to change the hardware.

  • Remove hardware via screwdriver from doors and drawers. Make sure you put all the screws into a container so you don’t lose them, unless you are cleaning these as well.
  • Fill a bucket with hot water, and add enough dish soap to make suds.
  • You can add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar if you want (I did).
  • Submerge hardware (and screws if desired) into bucket, and leave alone several hours or preferably overnight.
  • Remove hardware from water one piece at a time.  Scrub with a soft toothbrush (see? told you that brush was handy). If hardware is tarnished, spray the brush with white vinegar and sprinkle the bristles with table salt before scrubbing.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Dry and buff to a shine.

A more expensive restore would be to get brass polish as well, and polish that in addition to the cleaning. But that seems like a lot of work, at least for this home goddess!

Glass or plastic hardware you can clean with just the first set of steps. That should be all you need.

This should cost you zilch, because of course you have the soap and vinegar in the house already. You might want to just splurge on a new toothbrush specifically for cleaning. Or better yet, get yourself a new toothbrush and use your old one for cleaning. Hint: Make sure you keep it separated from the other toothbrushes!

You cook spray paint the hardware with metal spray paint, if you really love the shape, but no longer care for the shiny or matte, or maybe it’s just starting to chip.

Okay, what do you do if you no longer like your cabinet hardware?

Kitchen update

This was the original hardware. I had spray painted it, but still didn’t like it.

Of course, go to your local home improvement store and get new ones. Don’t forget to recycle the old ones!


  • Knobs
  • Straight Pulls
  • Curved Pulls
  • Bins
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • New shiny Metal
  • Rubbed Metals
  • Brass
  • Lots of colors!
Kitchen update

This is the new hardware I got, discontinued through IKEA. Just what I was looking for retro for my kitchen!

Average is about $5 each, so if you have 20 doors/drawers, that is about $100 to get new jewelry for your cabinets. Or if you are the adventurous type, maybe grab ones being discontinued.

Take an old piece of hardware with you, so you can match correctly where the holes are as well as the depth of the cabinets.

When I replaced mine, I had to buy rubber spacers, because I didn’t take an old piece to see if they would fit. Of course the depth was too narrow for the new screws.

If you decide to not get the same size hole format, please take into account you will need to fill the holes and drill new holes for your jewelry.

A couple of hints for that:

  • Use one of the holes for the new jewelry.
  • Fill the second hole with Quik Wood epoxy. Let dry, then stain so it is a close match.
  • Pencil mark the second hole in order to do a quick pilot hole before screwing on the new jewelry.
  • Here is a good article from LiveLoveDIY, on how to change the hardware, with all steps.
  • And please! Don’t forget to clean this new stuff at least once a month!

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