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Iluvitalian 02-20-2012 08:09 AM

What would you do w/these cabinets?
Hi, we just bought our 1st house and our kitchen is very outdated. I would live to tear everything down and start fresh, however it is just not in our budget at this time. So I'm curious as to what some of you would do to make this kitchen come to life? Besides replacing appliances which we will do as soon as we can. Would you paint the cabinets, if so what color?

Chemist1961 02-20-2012 08:51 AM

Given the amount of trim work, those cabinets are likely very solid as well, so work with it until the budget improves. I would clean them with TSP or sand them lightly and neutralize with a melamine type cabinet paint. However I would examine that fancy scroll trim at least around the window to see if I could remove some of it before painting. Then add a contrasting counter top or paint it dark with a counter top refinishing kit. Add stainless appliances when done as the budget allows...

Blondesense 02-20-2012 09:29 AM

I love your cabinets. I would trade you in a heartbeat. I love the solid wood fronts. I'll take real wood grain over paint any day.
I'd cut off the scroll work and change out the hardware (hinges and pulls).
IMHO, that, and a new countertop would give you a whole new kitchen.

user1007 02-20-2012 09:30 AM

Primer then paint and some new hardware will do wonders. Not sure melamine paint is needed here. It will give you a nice finish but it is pricey and prone to chipping. It is great over laminates.

You could reface the cabinets but not sure you gain over paint.

That frilly scroll work is rather gross.

You can paint appliance fronts to buy time until you figure out a new kitchen.

Hard to advise color until you put kitchen in color flow context. What is existing or future lighting like? What are your color preferences? What other color elements do you have to workaround---at least for now?

Iluvitalian 02-20-2012 11:51 AM

Yeah, I would have to say that my biggest problem with these cabinets is the scroll work! I've looked at it and the doors over lap the border do don't think can be removed.if I'm wrong please tell me how! The window border might be possible though. How do you go about getting it off though? As far color goes I was debating on if I should stain them a dark brown espresso color or paint them a shade of white. For wall paint I'm really liking greys and purples at the moment, oh and we are putting in recessed lighting very soon. I also had no idea you could paint appliances...wondering how that would look though, any pics?

Chemist1961 02-20-2012 12:25 PM

Cabinet makeover
I painted 35 yr old sunburst brown cabinets with off white melamine when we moved in. It transformed the entire room. The doors are still dated but unnoticeable and the cabinets are very solid, hardwood and plywood so they have lasted.
We have a tiny galley kitchen. We did a granite type formica counter with light tile/dark accents on my back splash. Recently sprayed all hardware with antique oil rubbed bronze to compliment what is now a stainless kitchen. But when we moved in 21 yrs ago I also painted an unused, virtually new, harvest gold dishwasher and a brown range hood and got an extra 10 yrs out of them while saving for new appliances. The secret with appliance paint is thin coats and a steady hand.

Espresso is in right now and would compliment the right shade of purple...

Would need to see some closeups of that window area to see if the trim is detachable easily. It appears to be custom work. Take a few more pics of the detailing and repost.

Iluvitalian 02-20-2012 12:47 PM

Thanks, I'll definitely take some close ups when I get home later on tonight and post them.

Chemist1961 02-20-2012 01:09 PM

This shows the painted cabinets and new counter and back splash before stainless appliances. Imagine brown sunburst cabinets, yellow trim

user1007 02-20-2012 02:21 PM


Originally Posted by Iluvitalian (Post 858267)
I also had no idea you could paint appliances...wondering how that would look though, any pics?

So far I have only found rather generic looking pictures of appliances and hope to find you something more dramatic. This will pic will give you the general idea though even though it is just shows turning appliances white. I guess disguising the microwave as a plant is pretty cool?

I have been known to take appliances to an auto body shop for painting with automotive finishes if they can be moved. Some may actually advertise appliance refinishing.

Your best option is probably to spray more or less in place with spray cans. What you use will depend on what situations you have. But all these come in spray cans. You may have to shop around to find the different kinds or go online. You should be able to get them for between $5-14/can depending on type you need.

1. Epoxy appliance paint. High gloss finish but it seems to come in only basic appliance colors. Washable and durable.

2. Plastic paint like Krylon Fusion or Rustoleum Plastic Paint or Primer. Many new refrigerators have plastic or vinyl panels and regular paint will not stick to them.

3. Heat resistant paint. You may need heat resistant paint for things like oven doors and range hoods. It may suffice for the range top.

4. High heat paint such as engine enamel or stove paint. Comes in many colors. Usually has a high ceramic content to dissipate heat. May be necessary for countertops since they can get very, very hot. High heat paints can take temps up to 650 degrees F without melting or discoloring.

5. Primer

Once you figure out what situations you have, you will want to figure out what color options you have that come in all forms of paint that you need.

Then, take photos or make sketches/tracings of any dial markers you are going to have to replace on the stove, etc.

Repair any rust damage and fill any obvious dings and scratches with auto body bondo filler. Sand. Clean surface thoroughly and rough up with wet sandpaper.

Remove any knobs you can. Mask off everything you do not want painted. Cover counters and floors in the kitchen to prevent them from picking up overspray. Remove any panel to be painted you can---it will be easier.

Using an even spray motion and multiple light coats rather than fewer heavy ones, spray the appliance surfaces. Allow to dry and cure according to the can instructions.

Hopefully you have basic graphic arts skills or nobody to recreate the dial facings for you. You can have them reproduced at places like Kinko's on to adhesive or decal stock.

Affix the decals. Re-position the knobs. Good to go at least until you can afford to redo the kitchen.

Have fun! As I said, it could buy you some time until you have plans and budget for a new kitchen if your appliances work.

dougp23 02-20-2012 04:08 PM

I agree with Blondsense. You got some beautiful cabinets there to start with. I might sand them down a bit to get them to a lighter shade, and like someone else said, swap out handles and hinges and see what you got. But it's your kitchen, YOU have to like it! Good luck.

Donnan 02-20-2012 06:07 PM

What would you do w/these cabinets?
Can the scroll work be trimmed (cut off)? As for changing colour/finish check out Rusteolum's new product. You can view the cabinet transformation kit on Rusteolum's website. There are numerous colours/finishes available.
Last summer I redid a kitchen from 1978. The job is not a weekend project but it was definitely worth the time and effort. Swap out the old hinges and handles and you will have an amazing transformation.

Good Luck!

diy'er on LI 02-20-2012 10:25 PM

depends upon the amount of work you want to do....

very little work: swap out hardware... just make sure the new ones cover the old hardware foot print...

a little more work: swap out counter top with modern yet inexpensive one

a little more work: applying that stainless-look adhesive to appliances to de-yellow them.

more work: paint or restain cabinets and remove scrollwork. painting is likely easier...

I feel your pain. We also have a 70's harvest gold kitchen... We find it tolerable with a new floor, a few new stainless appliances, and a redone eat-in area. Our counters are still bright yellow, unfortunately.

Two Knots 02-21-2012 01:43 AM

You mentioned painting the cabinets.

option one: If you want to paint them, paint them a creamy white.
Make sure they are preped well first, cleaned well and lightly
sanded first.
the hardware can be painted with rusteleoum spray paint. (antique bronze
is a nice color) My friend painted all his cabinets white, and hardware
with rusteleoum paint.

After he painted the hardware he baked it in the oven at 350*
for about 20 -25 minutes to set the spray paint.

First take off all the doors and drawers and do the frames first.
then the doors and drawers. I hope you have a good area to work
like a basement.

option two: sand them completely down and apply a coat of Boiled linseed oil,
wait three days for the linseed oil to completely dry
and then stain them a lighter color.
Then 24 to 48 hours later, them apply 3 coats of poly (24 hours between coats)

Do you know what kind of wood they are? the pic's you posted are
so small I couldn't tell.

Blondesense 02-21-2012 10:04 AM

Check ebay for the cheapest prices on pulls. Far, far less than anything I found locally. I got new pulls for both the kitchen and the bathrooms there.
Measure the distance between the current holes first, so you don't have to re-drill anything.
The only bad thing about them is the ones I got seemed to be seconds. A couple were bent and weren't useable, so order a couple of extras just in case.

user1007 02-21-2012 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 859132)
Check ebay for the cheapest prices on pulls. Far, far less than anything I found locally. I got new pulls for both the kitchen and the bathrooms there.
Measure the distance between the current holes first, so you don't have to re-drill anything.
The only bad thing about them is the ones I got seemed to be seconds. A couple were bent and weren't useable, so order a couple of extras just in case.

Always nice to use the same holes for things but don't be married to them. You can always fill so you never see the old ones. You will not anyhow if you paint.

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