1. Attractive Hardware

New knobs and pulls can really help to dress your old cabinets up and give them new life.  Keep in mind that hardware for cabinets can get quite expensive and elaborate.  One ornate knob can cost as much as $30 or even more.  However, you can also get a big bang out of a few dollars by purchasing contemporary, simple hardware in 10 packs for $20 or less.  That is only $2 per knob.

2.  Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Painting your cabinets is one of the fastest way to update your old cabinets and provide them with a fresh, new look.

It is quite cost-effective to paint cabinets yourself.  All you need is a cleaner, some sandpaper and a couple of gallons of paint.  However, it can be time-consuming.  Most cabinet surfaces can be painted, but the key to success is proper prep work.  For melamine and laminate finishes, make sure to use 150-grid sandpaper to rough the surface up.  Then apply a quality bonding primer.  Top the job up by painting your cabinets with the color of paint that you have selected.

Keep the following tips in mind for this DIY paint project:

•  Lighter color paints can make your kitchen appear larger.

•  Don't skimp on prep work.  Clean the cabinet boxes and doors thoroughly to remove dried on gunk and grease.  Use wood putty to fill in nicks or holes and then sand.

•  Sand after every coat of paint.  This will help to ensure that the final coat looks perfect.

•  To paint, lay doors flat.  Wait for a side to dry completely before you paint the other side.  This can be time consuming.  However, you will avoid getting ugly drip marks on your cabinets.

3.  Crown Molding

To add a nice touch of elegance and class to the tops of your cabinets, try crowning molding.  Primed composite three-inch crown molding with dentil design frequently will cost only $20 for 8 feet.

The easiest time to add molding is when you are repainting the cabinets.  This will ensure you get a good match.

If you are ordering wood molding to match from the cabinet manufacturer, you need to be aware that there could end up being a color difference between the older cabinets and new moldings.  Natural wood cabinets, in particular cherry, darken as they age.

4. New Glass Inserts

Changing a cabinet door's glass insert can help to change the entire feel and appearance of your kitchen.

Decorative glass can give stock cabinets a custom look.  However, not every cabinet door can take advantage of this type of change.  The cabinet door needs to have a removable panel.  You can check the back of the doors on your cabinets to see their center panels can be removed.

There are many different kinds of glass  inserts, including antique, raindrops on water, bubbles and contemporary.  They cost approximately $7 to $9 per square feet.  That means you can change the appearance of a 30 x 24 inch, 2-door cabinet for $35 to $45.

5. Task Lighting

It used to be that the only way that light could be shed on kitchen tasks was to hard wire under-cabinet lights.  This was a messy and expensive job.  However, lighting can be added inside and under cabinets with peel-and-stick, battery powered LED lights.

Hard-wired lights are brighter than battery-run lights.  However, with an approximate cost of only $8 a piece, you'll be able to afford purchasing several of them and spreading them throughout the kitchen.