New kitchen appliances are expensive, and as manufacturers add more bits and bobs to them — like fancy doors and smart connectivity — refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers and other appliances are only getting higher in price. If you bought a house that has older appliances, you are probably champing at the bit to replace them with updated models, but if you can’t afford to buy them outright, you should probably wait.

Best Kitchen Appliance Tips

Until then, there are some things you can do to make your appliances look a bit better — and to help you afford replacements when the time comes. Here are the best kitchen appliance tips from experts:

An Appliance Warranty

First, before you do anything to your appliances, you should consider covering them with home appliance insurance — otherwise known as a home warranty. This protection will help you keep your appliances running while you save up to buy a new set. Even better, if one or more your appliances break down due to regular wear and tear, your warranty provider will help you replace them.

There are a few important caveats to this protection. First, you need to be diligent about maintaining your appliances. Though you might not like them much — and you might hope for them to break down sooner — your warranty won’t kick in if there is evidence of improper maintenance. Then, you need to contact your warranty provider to discuss your interest in updating your appliances in any of the following ways. Modifications to appliances might nullify your policy, so it is wise to check before you take any steps.

A Coat of Paint

Whenever you are dissatisfied with how something looks in your home, a fresh coat of paint should be your first idea for a fix. However, when it comes to appliances, not just any paint will do. You need a paint that will stick to the current finish of your appliances and will be able to resist the extreme temperatures your appliances often reach.

Fortunately, you have a few options, which include:

  • Appliance epoxy paint. You can brush or spray this on like normal paint, and you should find typical appliance colors (i.e. white, black, silver) available.
  • Typical spray paint covered with enamel gloss spray. This is a suitable solution if you want your appliances to be crazy colors that aren’t available in appliance paint. The top coat is mandatory to seal the paint.
  • Automotive paint. For just a bit more money, you can take your appliances to an automotive paint shop to have them pimp your kitchen set.

A Layer of Film

If paint will invalidate your warranty, there is another option available to you: film. Just as you might peel and stick tints on your car and home windows, you can apply a layer of vinyl to your appliances to give them an instant face-lift.

The most common film transforms your white or black appliances into stainless steel, but you can find more intriguing skins if you are willing to take a design risk. You can even replace the film on your appliances seasonally to refresh the look of your kitchen every few months. However, doing so might seriously cut into your savings for a brand-new set of appliances.

New Handles and Doors

Most appliances follow standards for their handles and door fronts, so it isn’t difficult to replace them with updated options. To accomplish this, you might start by contacting the appliance manufacturer, who can provide a list of panels that will fit your current models. If you are dissatisfied with these options, you can turn to companies that offer custom-order panels, which will provide you exactly what you want in style and color.

This is a good option if your appliances are only just outdated and unlikely to stop working within the next few years. It allows you to update the look of your appliances in a professional manner without affecting how they function.

Additional Features

If you don’t want to change your old, unwanted appliances that much, you can still do things to hide their appearance and add features you might need and use. For example, on any of your appliances that lack glass fronts (like your refrigerator or dishwasher) you might hang a whiteboard, a corkboard or even a pegboard, where you can make notes, post important documents or gain additional storage for kitchen utensils.

How your kitchen looks is only limited by your imagination. There are solutions for updating your appliances at every price point, so you should start thinking about how you want your kitchen to look and take steps to accomplish it today.

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