Give Your Cabinets A Modern Facelift With HGTV Star David Bromstad's Easy Tip

HGTV star David Bromstad is known for keeping it real — and budget-friendly. The "My Lottery Dream Home" host is the first to admit that some updates simply aren't worth doing while others can easily be achieved on the cheap. Take your kitchen, for example. If you've been daydreaming about giving it a modern facelift, Bromstad's top tip for successfully tackling a kitchen renovation is super simple: Just add paint. There's no need to shell out thousands on a complete overhaul when all you're searching for is an aesthetic update. If you're happy with your cabinets' size and layout, don't tear them out — cover them in an eye-catching new hue.

As Bromstad told Apartment Therapy back in September 2021, painting your cabinets is the best way to quickly add a pop of color to your kitchen and give it a whole new vibe. "It's not gonna cost you an arm and a leg and it's definitely going to make a huge impact," he mused. Better yet, it's the perfect canvas for expressing your personality. The key is to forget about what visitors (or potential future buyers) might think and opt for a color that makes you happy. "The biggest trend that needs to happen is people need to buy things that they love and make them giggle," he told the outlet. "Honestly, it's your house and if you love it then that's all that matters."

Update your kitchen with bold cabinets

Now that you're on board with the idea of painting your kitchen cabinets, it's time to choose the right hue. David Bromstad's go-to is pink. A daring choice to be sure, but the result can be stunning if you balance it with subdued tones elsewhere. "I prefer to keep my backsplash neutral and classic with some interesting shapes," Bromstad told Apartment Therapy. But if pink is a bit too bold, his next choice would be green. "There are so many delicious shades," he said.  Black follows in at third. According to Bromstad, "It's making a huge resurgence because it's sexy, it's bold, it's still classic, but also very daring."

Whichever color you end up choosing, the easiest way to paint your kitchen cabinets is to work on the exterior alone. Start by sandpapering away any small blemishes and filling in bigger ones with wood filler or spackle. If the existing paint is latex, you can simply paint over it with another latex shade. However, if you're covering an oil-based paint, you'll need to use a primer first.

Before any of that, though, Bromstad suggests a quick DIY to better visualize the project. As he told The Washington Post, it's a good idea to cut cardboard to the size of your cabinets, paint it with your chosen color, and stick it up to see how your finished kitchen will look.

Don't be afraid to mix things up

Before you start painting, David Bromstad has a few more color tips to consider. If you're having trouble picking just one new hue, choose two or three. As the reality host told LifeMinute, "matchy-matchy" cabinets are out. Instead, using a few different shades in your kitchen will give it a fresh non-matching look. There are a number of ways to go about this, like using different colors for different rows of cabinets or selecting a handful of different complementary shades, like various pastels. 

Alternatively, if you're working with natural wood, you can give your space a quick makeover by staining light doors or lightening up dark cabinets with bleach. Simply take the doors off their hinges and lay them down on a tarp to keep things tidy. Remove all hardware, clean and sand each door, then follow the instructions on your stain or wood bleach. If you're feeling really daring, you can even mix painted cabinets with wooden ones, like bespoke company Ashton Joiners did in the image above. 

Bromstad's tips for updating old cabinets don't end at a fresh paint job, though. He also suggests swapping in soft hinges (an inexpensive feature that will add instant luxury), as well as extending cabinets up to the ceiling if possible, in order to achieve a taller, more style-forward aesthetic.