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CamL 12-04-2007 06:22 PM

White Everywhere
3 Attachment(s)
My newly purchased house has theme of White Trim on the inside doors & windows most of the kitchen. I think it looks cheap - like mdf board but I admit that it does have a contemporary look to the house. For a lack of a better description, I'm more used to a country home type feel. With the wood grain showing stained a little darker. The floors are already a deeply stained real hardwood, which I love.

I am going down a wrong path by getting rid of the white? Opinions requested.

Could all these white doors be stripped down? and be made to look more traditional. They aren't fancy doors.

Attached are some house pics, I have more on my website back when I was advertising for a roomate:

RippySkippy 12-05-2007 07:40 AM

I doubt you'd have any luck trying to strip the doors, from the pictures they and your mantle look like MDF or thermofoil doors.

Depending on what you wanted to spend, changing the colors between rooms would help. I've seen some places paint the trim cream or a very light beige, but not white...and it breaks it up some. You could rip out the white tile backsplash and put in something with a bit of character.

Something you might consider -- If you have a Sherwin Williams paint store, they may have an interior designer on staff that would come in and for free provide you with a consultation on colors etc. Of course they want you to purchase their paint...which you should...they have a great product. Changing the colors makes an tremendous impact.

Dusty 12-05-2007 01:34 PM

You don't have to live with white at all, it's just become a default builders use as a lot of people seem to like it. They probably get white doors cheaper too so just do the trim to match. A lot of them seem to offer your choice of white, white, or white when it comes to trim so feel free to change it.

All you have to decide is what to paint and what colour. It looks like your baseboards may already be the wall colour and that is great. The usual builder stuff is so narrow it's not really worth featuring anyway. The trim around your doors and windows could do the same or you might consider a few shades light or darker (go darker if you are used to stained wood look as it will probably be quite comfortable for you). Chances are the doors aren't wood, and if they have never been painted you will need to prime them with a good primer like Zinsser BIN 123 (you can get it most places) then paint. Your mantle will take on a whole new look if you go to dark grey or black or brown. Just don't get stuck thinking you have to have even a light colour trim as there really aren't any rules, just use your own preferences.

I'm really not sure about your kitchen cupboards as it will depend on what they are made of/coated with. You need to find out and speak with a good paint store. If they are paintable, that BIN primer will work to prime them.

CamL 12-05-2007 03:06 PM

2 Attachment(s)
thanks for the feedback. It really helps confirem that white is generally thought of being cheap - because that's what builders put in, and also a prepainted colour over MDF. Actually I'm the third owner, and the house was custom painted, using an interior decorator about 6 months before I bought it. So this wasn't a builder's choice. The white paint labeled Doors & Trim was intentionally left behind.

The kitchen cabinets are definately MDF, but I'm not so sure about the doors. And really the doors are the most important part, since if I have to outright replace them to get the natural wood look (stained) then the project becomes really prohibitably expensive.

The doors have a grain type feel to them, sometimes the grain goes horizontal, sometimes vertical. I've attached a pic, but you have to look closely. And when I look at the unpainted top it looks like they just put a thin piece of wood may over the wooden frame, and of course it's basically hollow. pic attached. Now I don't know what a MDF door feels like, but I know what MDF feels like (like my kitchen cupboards) but the doors don't feel like that.

But the main thing question is if the doors can be reused/stripped. I understand you've given an opinion, but I want to be sure, so that's why I've added more detail and the extra pictures.


Concordseeker 12-05-2007 04:06 PM

I don't think the doors are stripable. It looks like a pressed texture. Might want to test on the inside of one door to be sure but I'd say no. Maybe one of the paint guys can tell you how to paint a foil surface.

CamL 12-05-2007 04:31 PM

Thanks. Super Crappy about my doors. Pressed texture would make sense, with the budget of the mid level home.

Even though paint a different colour would get away from the white, I doubt I'll take the time to put paint on paint, as it's just a modest improvement. A painted (vs stained) surface just doesn't look right to me. Any ideas what I can do with 12 white doors and 5 sets of Bifold Doors? Or maybe I should ask, is there a way a non contractor can buy a bunch of stainable doors, without paying like 80 bucks for each one?

Could I have the pressed wood removed from the frame, on a custom basis, and then arrange to have a stainable wood surface glued on to the frame, sort of like the manufacturer was starting with the frame already made?

Dusty 12-05-2007 05:36 PM

You might want to take yourself to Rona or Home Depot (I'm in Calgary too so know they aren't far from you) and have a look at their stock kitchen doors to see if you can find any like yours. Then find out what they are finished with. I would also imagine that if your bases are MDF or particleboard (which would be pretty typical) then the ends and fronts are plastic/vinyl or a laminate. Kitchen companies would replace the doors for you and refinish those ends/fronts but you are looking at some $$$$ (and a very long wait given the trades here these days). What you might find out is if another laminate will stick as Windsor Plywood sells rolls of oak (and maybe other woods) you can iron on and you could stain as you like. That would take care of you ends/fronts.

There is a place that is up in Franklin area, it's on Centre Ave NE between Barlow and 28 St NE. I can't recall the name but it might be something like Improvement's some name + warehouse. North side of the road, yellow, white, and blue sign if my memory is working. They seem to sell all manner of building materials and say they are discount priced. I have found that true of some things, not true for all things.

If you know anyone who is even a bit talented, cutting some new cupboard doors out of wood and finishing them might be worth your time. You can also add trim to make the doors a little more interesting if you want. Maybe you could find some 1/4" birch ply and just cut it to fit over the fronts of your existing doors, add some 2.5" plain trim and you have shaker style door you can stain. You could use the iron on stuff on the sides of the door, they make rolls of it that are only an inch or two wide.

For the money, you might want to see if you can learn to appreciate paint. It is coming back according to the mags. It would be a lot less expensive and a lot less work than replacing everything (and that Zinsser primer is really good at sticking to plastic type surfaces). Besides, pick something dramatic like a black or almost black and you could completely change the look of your place. Also consider (since it sounds like you might be into a more earthy look) antiquing. That would involve painting in one colour (red maybe) and then a top coat of another (black for instance). Then you sand back the edges and places where they may naturally wear to show the red a bit. Using something in a satin or semi gloss could really be nice.

kiwi54 12-10-2007 12:10 AM

We have a white kitchen, yours is way white :whistling2:

Fireplaces, door trims etc are easy, you can do whatever you like with those. The kitchen, it's hard to replace a good cabinet finish no matter what cost the cabinets were originally. So, don't touch the cabinets, touch everything around them. New handles, take that tile out you have and as suggested, antiquing or faux painting around them is a cheap way to achieve a goal. You could spray paint the doors but be careful, the finish may not be what you want.

Try this

Jeekinz 12-11-2007 01:57 PM

How about cutting out the raised panel and installing opaque glass or plexiglass panels? You could add color inside the cabinets that would show through the new panels.

provideurself 12-26-2007 07:17 AM

I've heard of white kitchen, but I guess your's is just a bit overboard, excuse the pun. I know what you mean, white can be generic and tend to look cheap, because it's the safest colors for contractors to use. But I would suggest not totally taking it out, maybe a combination with certain colors could do the trick.

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