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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2006
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    Atlanta
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    5,053

    Default Tell me about sprucing up kitchen cabinets

    I don't have the budget to buy new kitchen cabinets, but I hate how mine look. They are dingy and have cheesy hardware.

    Have you rejuvenated your kitchen cabinets? I am not super handy but I figure a project like this would not be too difficult. Have you painted them and if so, what kind of paint? Where can I find good hardware? And what if I wanted to resurface countertops-- is that a do-it-yourself job or should I hire someone?

    TIA!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,438

    Default

    Paint is quick, cheap, and easy. Regular old house/wall paint from the hardware store will do just fine, and talk to the guys there about finishes/additives to prevent mold, etc.

    Apart from paint, replacing the hardware is the next cheapest thing. (Or can be. I know someone who paid $20 for each tiny little button pull knob...) Places like Target and Home Depot have a great selection of reasonably-priced hardware....so just go find something that appeals to you.

    A completely free upgrade (which may or may not work, depending on the style of your house and your personal taste) is to take the doors off a cabinet section or two, and leave it as open shelves. Paint the back in a bright/unique color or paper it with some pretty wall paper, put up some pretty plates, and you have a whole new focal point to the room. If you have limited cabinet space already though, this might not be the ideal thing. I have a big kitchen with 20 some odd cabinet sections, so it wasn't a big deal.

    You can also add glass/high quality plastic inserts into the doors, if you have a jig saw, some glue, and some patience.

    Resurfacing the countertops will depend on what exactly you have. Laminate, it's often just cheaper to buy new stuff....it can be painted, do a google search and you'll see that people have varying results. Tile can be sanded down and refinished...usually a professional job, although not completely out of reach for a do-it-yourself-er with the right tools. Marble/granite/slate/stone is what is it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,389

    Default

    For the cheapest laminate there is always the precut generic counters at the big box hardware stores. And to paint remove the doors, sand lightly, clean with TSP or other solvent, and lay flat to paint. The last off topic day had a great illustration of using bead board glued to door fronts and then painted chocolate brown--it looked great. And for hardware go to the store determine what finish and style you want and then look at every single drawer of that type-some will be much cheaper for the same stuff. The cheapest custom countertops are Wilsonart granite look laminate, which is less than half the price of Formica brand, and that includes installation. A new faucet can really dress things up too-and they do have end of year or model sales on that too. Just match the finish of the hardware to the faucet and you'll have a high end look for less, especially if you coordinate the light fixture finishes with all the hardware-and they have end of year sales too. And for hardware you can get contractor packs of 10 handles or drawer pulls in generic styles that are much cheaper too.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2007
    Posts
    427

    Default

    Do some research and decide exactly what you want to do, there are a number of options.

    You could change the hardware, put on new doors, or repaint. If you currently have wood-finish, you could refinish, glaze, or paint.

    I would think that changing the counters would be far preferable to trying to resurface, but you didn't say what kind of counter you have. Ikea has fairly inexpensive kitchen products, you could look at their butcherblock counters. Their cabinets might also be in your range. Or check into RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets, though I'd suggest that you hire someone to put them together and install them if you aren't particularly handy.

    Ebay is another resource for items such as cabinet hardware and lights.

    Pick up some kitchen design magazines (Home Depot or Lowe's carries plenty, as do bookstores such as Barnes & Noble). Look at examples online and read up on options.

    Read through the GardenWeb kitchen forum, and especially take a look through the Finished Kitchens Blog: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath/

    You may change your mind about what you want to do or what colors and/or materials to choose once you've researched what's possible and get ideas from these resources. You might want to repaint the walls, add/change the backsplash, or change the faucet and lights once you've looked at some options.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,810

    Default

    DH and I moved to a new house last summer and painted our kitchen cabinets. They were solid oak cabinets from the late 1950's, so very good quality and we were reluctant to reface.

    We used a power sander to rough up the (lacquered) surface, slapped on a coat of primer, and then painted with three coats of semi-gloss Valspar paint. The hardware came from IKEA, where it was very reasonably priced.

    The countertops will come next. We are toying with either butcher block or laminate, both from IKEA. This is not a fancy enough house/neighborhood for quartz or granite, and I am too messy of a cook to deal with grout stains on tile countertops.
    ________________________
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
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    Default

    Yes, we have really ugly laminate countertops.

    I had not thought of Ebay for hardware-- and where can one get a "contractor pack" of hardware?

    I think I am leaning toward painting the cabinets and replacing hardware first. The doors are wood finish but the kitchen feels dingy and small with them.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,459

    Default

    Look online for the hardware. Lots of cheap websites out there. If you prefer the stained look, in my old house, I lightly sanded the cabinets (cheap oak look) and used several coats of Polyshades, a stain and polyurethane finish. I used a much darker finish, combo of mahogany and chestnut, and they are gorgeous. Look like expensive cabinets. Replaced the counters with Lowes/HomeDepot stock counters. Hardware from an online discounter. The stain/poly finish is a lot of work, but looked professional when done.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,389

    Default

    They usually have generic brushed nickel contractor packs at the big box stores-Lowes or Home Depot. And custom counter tops in Wilsonart including install don't cost that much if the stock countertops don't work for you. And a cheap backsplash is the 4" x 4" shiny bathroom type tiles put in either square to each other or moved over like stair steps. For the cooktop or stove use two 12"x12" glass tile sections attached to mesh centered under the stove top and range hood instead of an expensive tile mosaic. A friend did this and put the entire backsplash up for virtually nothing and did it in two days. You get manual tile cutters and nippers at the big box stores for this size for about $20, you need a grout float, and a tile mastic spreader, plus the mastic, and a grout sponge, and grout mix. You can do an entire kitchen very nicely and quickly and it looks very professional.
    Last edited by JanM; Feb. 14, 2010 at 06:07 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    It's not very expensive to replace the dors and drawer fronts on cabinets. For less expensive routes, staining or replacing hardware are BIG appearance-lifters. I've had good results with Con-tac paper on the outside of cabinets. And a wallpaper border or tile behind the stove make a WORLD of difference.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,490

    Default

    I'm in the middle of redecorating my kitchen...and redoing my cabinets. I'm painting mine and changing the hardware. I priced out new cabinets...for my kitchen the cost for decent quality but not fully custom...middle of the cost scale...came to $19,500. So I then had 3 quotes done on refacing them...new doors and drawer fronts and new facing attached to the frames to match the new doors. Again middle of the road in terms of options since I wasn't pricing out crappy ones but not highest end types either...price average of all 3 quotes was around $9000.
    Now FWIW...I have a LOT of cabinets. 40 total drawers and cabinets.
    I gave up on the replacements of either new or refaced...because I'd rather sink extra money down the road into nicer countertops and those ain't cheap. (I also have a buttload of counter space...I love a huge kitchen but that also means redoing one is ridiculously expensive)
    Soooo...I went with painting mine. I started out with larger ambition...was planning on refacing them myself by adding a sheet of beadboard and then window framing around before painting or staining. But I'm not the handiest person around and figured I'd either screw it up beyond hope or it would take me 10 years to get so many cabinets done.
    So for two gallons of premium paint...$80...they have paint now that has the primer in it already and doesn't require having the cabinets sanded to hell first...and about $300 for new handles...I'm changing the look of my kitchen and so far I really like the improvement.
    I toyed with going white or french white...but that color on my flat front slab cabinets would look yucky and get dirty too easily. I've seen some black kitchen cabinets that look great, but that was a tad too...I dunno....black. So I went with a color called Bitter Chocolate...a very deep brown in a satin finish. And then simple slightly curved satin nickel pulls that look like the handles on the fridge and ovens, kind of matches.
    Here's the area I'm working on right now...around the ovens. Disregard the messy counters and lack of doors over the ovens, I haven't drilled the new hardware holes in those yet. I pick one section of cabinets and finish that section before moving on to the next so the whole kitchen isn't a mess. You can see the original wood color and ugly knobs to the left of the ovens and the new color and new pulls on the right:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...5105/002-1.jpg
    And here's around the fridge...it's far from finished because we had to rip out some overhead cabinets to fit the new fridge in a couple months ago. So for now I just plunked the TV up there and have to build a header behind it and am building some narrow shelves for either side of the TV.
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...rating/021.jpg
    Then when I'm done painting cabinets I'll add moulding trim to the top of the cabinets for a more finished look.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,389

    Default

    Nightsong is right-for much less than half the cost of new cabinets you can get the new drawer fronts, and cabinet doors, and paint the frames and have a whole new look. Or if the cabinets, doors and drawers are in good shape just paint them, and maybe put the bead board and frame on the doors (or hire that part out if you're not good at that-I'm not) and paint the cabinets or have someone come in and paint them for you.

    If the cabinets are unattractive but structurally solid and a good material it's much cheaper to keep them and redo the way Misty is doing. Until I saw Misty's cabinets I never realized how nice the Chocolate Brown is.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
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    Default

    Misty, those cabinets do look beautiful.

    Does anyone have pics of the beadboard thing?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,389

    Default

    Here are some pictures:

    http://www.amzcabinetdoors.com/bead-...net-doors.html

    http://woodworkingnetwork.com/Beadbo...spx?oid=935678 shows the trends-second kitchen down is the one.

    But you can also do the beadboard without the frame. I know someone on here did this and talked about how to glue the beadboard on and then use small nails to attach. Then paint cabinet frame to match and paint the drawer fronts and doors.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,490

    Default

    Thanks guys. I never would have thought of doing chocolate cabinets either...until I started googling painted cabinets to get ideas. A few came up colors other than white or cream and then I started finding sage cabinets and barn red and lots of black and dark brown ones. Some of the colors look fantastic, but then you're stuck with an actual "color." I figured brown was almost as neutral as white, black or wood tones so went with that. Plus is goes with my counters and floors...both beige. Then seeing it a lot of time on HGTV clinched the deal. (love HGTV...makes me think I can decorate, LOL)

    CookiePony...here's the way I first planned on changing my cabinets. I did one cabinet door as a trial..on a door that came off one of the cabinets I removed to fit the new fridge in. It's not that hard. Especially considering I;m not that handy. But I thought if I tried a bunch I'd screw a few up. But it looks fantastic in white!
    http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/images/g...rd-touch-4.jpg

    How I did it...I bought a sheet of beadboard. There's lots of widths with the design, I picked one like the one in the photo. I measured the cabinet door front and then cut out a piece from the sheet to fit. Roughed up the surface of the door with sandpaper a bit then used wood glue to attach the beadboard to the door face. Then one small finishing nail in each corner. Then I measured and cut a 1/2" x 2" board to fit each side of the door and glued then nailed those one as a frame. The nice thing with framing flat cabinets is that even the pro made ones the frame is straight cut and attached and nnot mitered. For the life of me I can NOT miter a damned corner. And I have not just a miter box but also a table saw that has a miter setting. Still can't make corners fit right.
    But it looks cute, doesn't it? After redoing the front you can either stain or paint. If I didn't have 3 walls of upper and lower cabinets and had a smaller kitchen I'd have gone this way instead. Beadboard isn't cheap...but it's nowhere near the pice of refacing either. I think I worked it out to about $15 per cabinet door? Can't remember.

    I'm thinking of going with a very pale mossy sage green for the walls. I was going to go coffee color...but since my counters and tile floor are that color too I think it would be overkill. Cream is too blah unless I can find a nice deep cream without any yellow in it. If I wanted a more modern looking or city-style look I'd go with a light slate blue shade...that also looks great with chocolate brown.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,427

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CookiePony View Post
    Yes, we have really ugly laminate countertops.
    I was at Home Depot the other day and saw this kit that spruces up old laminate countertops. It was some sort of epoxy that you spread on. Looked pretty easy to do - and certainly much less expensive than a new countertop!

    MB - the new cabinets are solid cherry in a chocolate stain. Here is a link: http://www.kraftmaid.com/browseby/ca...Increment=True but the color is a bit different than what is on the screen. We're renovating the house in the Prairie Style. (and it will be finished by my 95th B-day).....



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