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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Our ugly kitchen

Sara PermenterDecember 28, 2012
we just bought our new house and love the rest of house minus this ugly outdated kitchen. right now we are putting in new wood floors. however, we dont have enough funds to replace the counter tops or back splash. so basically we have two options, painting or staining the cabinets. We plan on painting the kitchen walls and ceiling. PLEASE help us!

(ps those awful handles on the cabinets will not be staying either haha)
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the essentials inside
Hi Sara. Your kitchen is going to make a great "after" - really fabulous potential.

I found a Houzz article on painting cabinets:
Ideabook: From the Pros: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets · See Ideabook
Thought it might help.

Is this your furniture or the prior owner's furniture?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Sara Permenter
Thanks for the article and your input!

the picture is from the prior owner's furniture.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Manon Floreat
This looks like a classic mid century kitchen. I wouldn't paint the cabinets or change the hardware. I might consider refinishing them, though. They're vintage elements from a by gone era and many a potential buyer will appreciate them.

I would do the floors as you plan, remove the wainscoting and paint for now. When you have the resources, new counters and a backsplash will really set this kitchen off!
6 Likes    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Lauren Stephens
get rid of those black appliances even if you need to trade them on craiglist. manon is right, this is a vintage midcentury design. the floors need to go too. id also put a formica-ish countertop in =) good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Sara Permenter
Thanks for all the input! Im glad to know there's some potential!
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Are you putting in dark floors because I wouldn't want wood floors that are the same color as the wood cabinets. Or are planning on painting the cabinets a color. Btw, I really like your cabinets and the knobs! Very retro.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Sara Permenter
we are going to put the same color wood flooring as the room seen in the first picture door way. we want to make the floor flow throughout the house. Still haven't decided what to do with the cabinets...
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Sara Permenter
ps all the trim and paneling is being painted white.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Peg Silverwood
If The cabinets are wood and can be painted. Hire a professional painter and have them done well. The cabinet over the peninsula would be best taken down and open up the area. Decide what style you want. Scandinavian, french country, contemporary and that will help you decide what to do with the cabinets. The floor would look nice with wide planks. Here are some picks of my before and after painted cabinets. I hope that it inspires you.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Well, I tried to match wood floor and no matter what the installer says, it wont match right. Plus I just ripped out all the floor in my kitchen after 9 years. I really seriously would not install a wood floor the same color as the cabinet wood. I wouldn't put wood in my kitchen ever again either. Your cabinets are sorta retro cool and I would put in a tile floor that matches your cabinet style. Definitely a hip color.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Sara Permenter
i honestly cant stand the color of the cabinets. i guess im not into the retro look. But i do believe you are right about the wood flooring. Ive been worrying about not being able to match the original wood flooring. Ill definitely be looking into different flooring options.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Peg Silverwood
In looking at the picture of your kitchen, it looks like there are a lot of patterns in the flooring and counter-top's and the hardware and lighting Imagine how you would like it to look and then from there think of what would get you there within your budget. It may be doing it a little at a time. Before you know it in 3 years you will have it just like you really want it. The important thing is to know what you want before starting so you get what you end up loving. If it was my kitchen, I would do the counter-tops and replace the hardware and take down that cabinet over the peninsula and track lighting and paint. the walls. I can't tell what type of wood the cabinets are made of, but if you are keeping them then doing the counter-tops first will not be a waste.. The floor can be minimized by place a long runner in a pattern that is not geometric.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Do you like this kitchen? [houzz=
Crisp Architects · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:25AM
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Actually, I like the floor, although maybe not so much of it. Totally sympathize with you on the hardware. Bet you can sell those things for enough to pay for something! Replace some cabinet doors with glass doors - will do a lot to break up all that wood. YOu already have a start so expanding on that would help integrate that over-the-island cabs.

Taking down that cabinet might not be practical - it's part of the construction. Since they're lighted, how about painting the inside? (I didn't read all the other posts so someone may have suggested that.) Even white would be an improvement over all that blond wood. But color would be sharp, too. (I painted mine pale aqua.) When you get to a point of remodel, you can have a carpenter solve that problem. Who knows: you might grow to love them!

Take down the curvy facing between cabinets over hte sink -- very dating -- and plan on a pendant light there. It's easy enough to install.

Definitely remove or paint the wainscoting and all the wood trim, and include the lower cabinets (although they don't have to be the same color). SInce the island base is the same thing, painting seems a more practical (short term) cheaper solution. Don't sand; de-gloss. Consult an expert. You could go cream or match walls or go wild. What style do you want your kitchen to be in the end? That leaves you with just the upper cabinet doors, and everything could be painted. Unless they're some exotic wood, there's no point in saving it. Have you considered just taking the doors off and having open shelves? Short-term, it could work, and paint hte insides.

NOthing can be done about hte countertops and the backsplash until you're ready to replace. Yuck. At least they're white and not some obnoxious "vintage" color!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 3:45AM
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Dear friend. It depends on the colours of the boards you will be putting in the kitchen.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:30AM
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Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
I would suggest changing the light fixture, while it looks cool I can't imagine you can actually see well enough to cook or prepare foods with it, especially since the light is behind you while you are cooking and doing the dishes at the sink!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:37AM
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once the floor is in, pick new hardware. the cainets are pretty sunny, but I think if you find a wall colour that compliments it, like a grey or if you're feeling bold, a blue, the cabinets will blend in better:
rossington architecture · More Info

you could always consider a glaze only method of treating the cabinets to dull up the colour a bit. It would also eliminate the need to do several coats to cover up the original finish, and save you quite a bit of time:
Traditional Kitchen · More Info

Here's a video on how to glaze:
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:46AM
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I think your kitchen has great potential..I would paint the cabinets and replace the refrigerator with a stainless steel one..You can always keep your black refrigerator in the garage for extra storage..I love that the cabinet hardware is in the center of the door..very unusual and attractive..I can't see a close up of them but you can always spray paint them a different color..I would stay the same size in hardware if they have to be attached to the center..If you can move them to the standard place then you can do whatever size you like..I really like the layout of your kitchen..It will be great..Please post photos when you are done!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:56AM
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Jo Cook Interior Design
Based on what you have budgeted, I believe replacing the floor with the same wood of the other room is a good choice. Painting the wood trim and paneling in a "white" color is also a good choice. Painting the cabinets, again a good choice and changing the cabinet knobs. Then if you painted the walls a light, bright color (whatever works with the connecting room of course), it will look like a totally new space!
One thing to consider is taking down the back splash and painting that area the same color as walls. It would not be a very expensive change.
I like your use of the black stools to work with the black appliances. You could even pull in more black in counter accessories.
And a note: You need to get a great painter in to do this work, one with a lot of experience. It will take a lot of prep work to get all that wood ready to be painted, make sure he has references and photos of work he has done. Can't wait to see the finished product!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 6:07AM
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I'm sorry that you don't like the kitchen. I agree with manon....those are super cool cabinets and hardware in my opinion. Appliances, new counter and backsplash, and a lot of people would die for that kitchen. Cool modern barstools! wow!
Maybe you could sell the cabinetry and start new with whatever look you like. I'm sure some people would appreciate it. I'm getting the impression that you would like something more traditional??? I think I would go price some more traditional cabinets even if it's from lowe's or home depot and you do it yourself.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 6:09AM
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I would also check out IKEA kitchen cabinets....i think they have some shaker style cabs that may be more to your liking! :) best of luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 6:12AM
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Of your two original options, I'd go with staining the cabinets rather than painting them. The dark walnut finish shown in your ideabook photo is perfect. Ask a professional painter for an estimate to see if the finish has to be stripped first or if you can just overcoat it a few times with a dark tinted polyurethane. You may want to do it yourself, but a professional can make it look really good (you get what you pay for).

Sell the old knobs and buy some new ones you like.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 6:29AM
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I like your cabinets too...there is a lot of pattern though what with the pattern on the floor the tiled counter and the tile back splash not to mention the wainscoting. I think you should remove the wainscoting pull a color you like from the back splash onto the walls and I know you said you can't afford counters but ikea makes very inexpensive solid white laminate that would be not so busy as the tile. The floor sorta matches with the cabinets so I would leave that but all the cabinets above the sink sorta close the area in.You could remove them and maybe even use a second color from the back splash as an accent wall color over the sink area? oh and mabe some solid wood barstool painted glossy black to match your appliances?
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:05AM
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CapStone Home Renovations
If you are going to paint the cabinets, get a really good qualified painter or you will end up with a big mess. Lacquer is preferred, but paint it with at least a good enamel. Stay away from latex.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:27AM
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Sara Permenter
Thanks everyone fore all the ideas! Luckily, my father is a professional painter so we would have that expensive! All these ideas are great!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 8:21AM
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We repainted our entire kitchen with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation paint. Loved the product, and turned out perfectly. Extremely time consuming though. It took me 6 weeks of summer to finish. Good luck!
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 8:58AM
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the essentials inside
Sara - fantastic that your dad is a professional painter! That will make things lots easier!

So glad you are getting such wonderful feedback. Isn't Houzz wonderful?!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Sara, I can understand your need to do something with your kitchen when you obviously don't like anything about it but I think you need to take another look at your options.

Firstly you are being told that your cupboards are vintage and sought after. So much the better if they are in good condition. Once you paint them or play around with them, you will ruin that aspect of them. Maybe putting up with them a little longer would mean that you could pull them out, complete with hardware and sell them to offset the cost of new cupboards you really want. Look into this, you could be saving yourself money down the track and get your dream kitchen sooner than you think.

Also if you are having new flooring laid now, obviously it will only be laid to the existing cupboard line. Have you checked the width of your existing cupboards, compared it to the width of new cupboards and considered the effect any variation will have on your new flooring? When the time comes to replace your cupboards, you also run the risk of your new flooring being damaged.

Hasten slowly, get used to living in your new home before you make any major changes. The kitchen looks to have good bones but in 6 months' time you may find things you would like done differently. By all means paint the room, I think it could do with some cheering, maybe paint the end wall within the kitchen area in a feature colour, put some colourful art in lieu of the signs you have there now, and repeat some colour in a couple of decorative pieces on your benches.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:21PM
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A couple of comments: your cabinets/hardware are fabulous. The problem is everything ELSE around them. Too much yellow/gold coloring. I can't understand what the flooring is currently, but if you are putting in wood floors, then you will want to put down some colorful area rugs, including something in the kitchen, to break up the wood tones. You also need color on the walls, something that contrasts with the wood tones and is fun. Maybe a blue green color. And take your time with decisions. When we have purchased homes, the things that bother us most initially often become non-issues as we figure out how we want to live in the house. Wall paint is a relatively economical solution to give you a change while you get your footing in the house.

And here is a photo that may help to get your thinking:
Mid-Century Butler's Pantry · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Definitely agree with kittenmama on using blue/green shades. Even the touches of red make it look worse.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:57PM
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We need to see the floor before commenting about other colours in the kitchen! Look on Houzz - some people have had great success pairing super yellow wood (like you have) with lime green paint. I would not believe it unless I actually saw it. I'm not joking - my comment looks stupid to me and I wrote it - I would not believe it but I have seen it on this site!
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 2:55AM
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I think set against a different wall color and with new handles, you might find you like your cabinets a lot. They are a nice honey wood in a simple design. The handles date them a lot, but the cabinets themselves could look modern or fairly traditional with new handles.

Given that your walls look like a grungy beige, you probably want to paint them anyway. Paint a color you like in a tone that matches your cabinets and see if you like them better.

If they were built in place (ie have no backs, except the wall) you can't tear them out and sell them.
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 5:19AM
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