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sychopants 10-18-2010 07:58 PM

Need advice for kitchen cabinet harware!
I have a "not so lovely" 1970"s kitchen, which I am dying to redo! My biggest hurdle is the cabinet hardware, which as you can see are in the middle of the inset cabinet door! The cabinet doors are of a "panel" type design. My problem is that there is a groove right down the middle of the door, which the handle screw goes right through! So it is near impossible to fill and sand. The other problem is, because cabinet hardware bolts come in standard sizes, there is a piece of trim behind each handle to hold it tight. I am desperate to get rid of this piece of trim. As for color I was thinking of painting the lower cabinets a light pale green and the upper cabinets a cream color and leaving the wall paper, or painting all the cabinets and almond cream and the wall a chocolate. Also I am putting in bead board behind the bar, and the back of the cabinet above the bar. Any input or advice would be extremely appreciated.

Also I was wondering if any one out there has had any experience with "Alkatex" a paint type from Ace Hardware? It is supposed to be a combination of latex and oil based paint.

sychopants 10-18-2010 08:00 PM

OK so it won't let me attach the pictures, it says file types is too large! I'll keep trying!

sychopants 10-18-2010 08:28 PM

4 Attachment(s)
ok so here are the pics.. sorry I had to crop them so much, they're not that great, but they give you the just of my problem!

jlhaslip 10-18-2010 10:04 PM

I would hazard a guess that the 'trim' piece behind the handles is to give a more solid connection for the handle.
My guess would be that the interior panel is only 1/4 inch thick, which won't hold a screw.

If you are going to paint the doors, you should be able to remove those trim blocks and bondo the holes. Sanding them won't be easy, but wrapping a small dowel with some sand paper should work.

Personally, I have had good success with Melamine paint for kitchen cabinets. Zinsser primer under the melamine.

PCMLR 10-19-2010 07:14 AM

The first rule with kitchen cabinets is that you must be patient. I tend to "over think" and second guess with my own projects but I think I can simplify things for you. This is a job requiring lots of ventilation, so a garage would be ideal. If using a basement make sure all windows are open and a fan would be a good idea. Remove all doors and hardware.

Kitchen cabinets are usually covered in all sorts of greasy substances so a thorough cleaning is essential. Many prefer TSP but I prefer denatured alcohol as it does a great job removing every trace of grime and dries quickly. A microfiber cloth works well. Use a pencil eraser to get the cloth into the grooves. A second pass over the cabinets is a good idea. Use a fine grit sanding block to lightly sand. You're not looking to remove the old finish but just to degloss and provide a a good surface for the primer.

I absolutely think you can cover the holes from the center hardware. Use non shrinking putty but don't count on it not to shrink. Patience. I'd let the putty application dry overnight. You may very well see some recesses which you'll need to recoat.

As for the grooves, I think you might just be surprised how they look when a coat of paint is covering them. It would be a huge chore to fill them and the possibility of cracking is a worry. The ridges look very conspicuous now as they are so dark. Not the case when painted. A nice compliment to bead board as well.

You'll want to use both a primer and paint that are oil based. I would use semi gloss. The best quality brush will make all the difference. Purdy is my all time favorite. If washed properly they last forever. Apply the paint as thinly as possible. You'll want to apply at least two coats. A high quality brush can give you results as uniform as a sprayer, just keep an eye out for drips.

I think a bright white will give you the most professional and contemporary look. Shades of off white and biege often appear dingy. I would paint all the cabinets in white and use brushed nickel hardware. Shop around as it is possible to find great hardware without breaking the bank. I've tried spraying hinges but the results were mediocre.

Finally, for the walls I think a couple shades darker than a brown paper bag would provide great contrast and allow you to choose any accent color for a blast of color with accessories, towels, throw rugs. A nice clean palate that you can completely change the look of without painting.

I've seen painted panel cabinet doors and your style in particular, is much nicer with the smooth frame than many I've seen. Whichever route you take, show us the results! Hope this helps. Good Luck.

I just realized you weren't looking to fill the ridges. Filling the hole in the center ridge is possible. Depending on the depth of the ridge, a drinking straw, a pencil or anything that fits can be used after applying the putty to continue the ridge line.

PCMLR 10-19-2010 07:25 AM

I noticed after responding that your counter tops are white. Check this out.

Click here: Painting Countertops | Before & After Kitchen Countertop Transfauxmations

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you were able to sell the old hardware on Ebay. It's very unique and appears to be very solid.

sychopants 10-19-2010 08:12 AM

Thanks for the help. I guess I just needed some encouragement to make me feel the hole in the center groove could be filled and look ok. The hole is rather large! My reluctance with the bright white is that all of my appliances are white, but my dishwasher is almond, but will be white eventually, and the countertop is white with tan specks. I have three kids so I feel it is too much white to keep clean! I am planning to do this job in the basement as I do not have a garage! Thank you for the advice!

PCMLR 10-19-2010 09:12 AM

I hear you on the three kids....mine are 20, 22, and 24 so I don't worry about fingerprints LOL
My concern with some colors, and I want to be entirely honest with you, is that based not on the quality of your work, but based on colors typically not very common on cabinets the end product make appear DIY if you know what I mean. I assure you there's no problem no matter how big the area is in the middle. It can be completely covered while retaining the straight line. I'm 47 so have been at DIY for about 25 years and there's little I haven't taken on. I'll walk you through it if you want. If you can take a picture of the cabinet with the hardware off, I'll write down what to do, step by step.
I'm going to check out what out there in cabinet colors. By the way, those cabinets are gorgeous. Do you know what kind of wood they are? Do they feel sturdy like solid wood?

PCMLR 10-19-2010 09:20 AM

This is very nice. It's hard to see the cocoa patina but if you look at the main panel's top corner you can see it. That would be very nice with cocoa walls!
Yes, I have way too much time on my hands recovering from surgery so any and all questions are appreciated!

Vintage Willow w/Cocoa Patina


sychopants 10-19-2010 10:26 AM

I don't know what kind of wood they are but they are very solid. Which is why I would like to keep them, just get rid of the color. They are stained very dark. I like the idea of painting the countertop I am taking that into serious consideration. I have envisioned the kitchen with light cabinets and a semi dark counter top. The rest of my house is brown shades and my furniture is all golden oak, I would like to introduce a little color, but not gaudy. I think I can do that with the accessories. My kids are 1, 10, and 12 so fingerprints are a BIG issue, Unless I walk around with a sponge all day. haha

PCMLR 10-19-2010 12:13 PM

Some advice. Your plate is full. If you are anything like I was when my kids were young, I'd get stressed out trying to make non essential decisions. Instead of breaking things down, I'd attempt to eat the entire elephant in one bite.

I began DIY when my kids were young as it was the only financially viable option. I am grateful for all the experience I got. I've learned to experiment before making a change that couldn't be rectified if I didn't get it right.

You wouoldn't believe how easy it is to paint a counter top and that is something you can experiment with today. Whatever is on that video, you don't need. This DIY is probably one of the cheapest, easiest, and most rewarding. No one will believe you did it! For the experiment phase consider the color palate you'd like to have.
Click here: Color Scheme Designer 3
Play with this page. It will show complimentary colors that when mixed will create another complimentary color.

I'd go to Walmart and pick up several of those cheap 2 ounce paints. But if you started with a coat of say, black, and let it dry you'd have the foundation for a dark counter top but the beauty is, as you layer and mix color, the black base serves to add depth to what you put on top. The end product may not show even a hint of black.

The really fun part is that you can use just about anything as an applicator except for a paint brush! Actually you CAN use a paint brush to splatter which is something to practice. Scrunched up anything will create a unique pattern. Sponges, but don't think "sponge painting" YUCK are a basic but the best results come when you use your imagination. Scrunched up tin foil will have sharp edges. Think about a wadded ball of lacey fabric, even cheesecloth. Even bubble wrap. You can pick up a cheap 9" x 12" sketch pad. Smaller than that would not give you enough space, and the paper has to have some heft to support the layering. Even though these paints produce a matte finish, you can use regular hair spray to see the effect with the same shine the counter would.

I think that black, brown, shades of muted tones in the same brown family and that shade of aqua-ey blue you always see paired with brown, would be a nice palate. The way you use the light shade is to apply it and then cover most of it so there's just a hint of it here and there.

If you have a husband or partner, unless they are creative and very good natured, they would likely poo poo this idea. Don't let this deter you. Wouldn't it be ideal if you could get your house free for the weekend?

The other thing you can do right away while the cabinet fronts are still attached, is to remove the hardware and get started on repairing the center. My favorite tool for this part of the job is home made. I take the plastic lid from a large coffee can, use some kind of straight edge to cut off the top third of the lid the use fine sand paper folded over the edge sanding it to a single thin edge. Then you cut the side to a size appropriate for the job at hand. Removes more spackling, for example, than the best putty knife.

I don't think I can send you a private message until you have 20 posts. That would be easier so I don't bore everyone. You just have such a perfect palate to work with in that kitchen. The light cabinets will expand the room. More later if you'd like. This is fun. You don't happen to live in NH do you?:)

sychopants 10-19-2010 01:24 PM

Nope sorry, wrong side of the country. I live in Idaho. My husband is a truck driver, so this project is really up to me, which I don't mind cuz I like a good challenge. I just need some tips and ideas. Types of paint finishes etc. I live in a small town so my only options are Ace hardware, Wal-Mart, or I can drive 40 miles to the Home Depot. I have done a few woodworking projects, and I have most of the tools, now that it is getting colder, I'm worried about the air temperature if I open the basement windows for ventilation. Perhaps this will have to wait until spring! I'm sot sure yet! Thanks for all the advice!

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