Cabinet re-facing is a great way to upgrade providing the "bones" of your cabinets are sound. Any cabinet work should precede counters.
Take a look at this article I wrote on cabinet re-facing.
For lower cost counters (lower cost than granite slab) I have used large granite tiles as in this project.
I was thinking about painting my cabinets and putting new hardware on them. Is this a good idea? What about my counter tops? Any inexpensive way to re-do those?
Painting is an option as well...the trick to a good kitchen cabinet paint job, like most paints jobs, is good prep. TSP and light sanding.
Counters can be painted too...as others here have done...but I'm a fan of the granite tile. For more saving new laminates can be installed that "look" like granite. These have really improved over the last few years.
There is a huge discussion going on about painting counter-tops. It's a lot of info to sift through, but you can see pictures and feedback from people who have done it: http://www.hometalk.com/144797/i-finished-painting-my-kitchen-countertops-this-weekend
Mona, I agree..paint them and maybe a glaze over that. I would have to see a photo to determine. Remember to prep well so that they will not chip. New hardware is a must. As far as the countertops I would advise real stone if it is in the budget, if not, cement is a great inexpensive option.
Mona...are you thinking concrete counters?. These are not very DIY friendly and generally not cheap either. I have seen many done that actually come in at a higher price than granite slab.
Concrete...when done well can be attractive to some, I have seen some great color combos with iridescence and flame type patterns. Others that were simple tints. Personally I'm not a huge fan of them as they have a bit of an "industrial" look in many cases.
From a DIY and cost stand point I'm sticking with the granite tiles I mentioned earlier.
Yes Mona, if yo9u have a company such as Stilestone do it for you, it is very expensive, but you can do it yourself. Here are 2 websites that will help. http://www.walttools.com/servlet/StoreFront & http://concretecountertopsolutions.com/
You might have a look at Wilsonart for counter tops. The almost look like granite.
Would you be willing to share a photo or two of your kitchen? Great recommendations so far!
I just used the Rustoleum Cabinets Transformation and am amazed at how well they turned out. We're going to put on a new laminate and tile the backsplash. Will post pics when finished, It was a cheap fix for good cabinets that need to be updated. used the glaze finish. LOVE it.