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Ugly kitchen help
Olga
January 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I need help/ideas with my 1960's kitchen. Cabinets and doors are custom made and in very good condition structurally, but the color and finish of the doors quite ugly. The color is brownish/yellowish and the handles are IN THE MIDDLE of the door (who puts handles in the middle of the door?) so if I to remove those hideous handles there will be 1/8 inches hole in the middle. We recently put down Brazilian Cherry hardwood floor throughout kitchen and dining room, dinning table is also Cherry finish (you guessed it – Cherry is my favorite finish). We also will add Blue Pearl granite top in the future. Unfortunately replacing those cabinets are out of the question. We are do-it-yourselfers, so ANY help/ideas will be greatly appreciated.
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Julie Laney Design
a nice cream paint on the doors will be nice - plug the holes from the hardware, re-drill for new hardware, and possibly add a soft glaze to the painted doors. It will work well with the traditional design of the doors.
10 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 11:32AM
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redheadedwmn
What about cutting the door centers out and replacing with a frosted glass? Or cutting the centers out to re-shape the arch part and replace with wood?
http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/carpentry/ideas/wood-panel-to-glass/
7 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 11:33AM
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A. Peltier Interiors
redheadedwmn had a good idea although this will highlight the very traditional arch that you have at the top of each cabinet door. I would also paint like jklaney suggested. You will be amazed at what a difference painting your cabinets will make. This way you can remove the handles, patch up the hole, paint and then put a new set of knobs back on in a better spot. Cream would look great but also consider a color. Browse through kitchens on houzz and see if any painted ones catch your eye. It is an easy update and you will feel like you've had a whole remodel done. Good luck!
3 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Olga
Thank you very much for your suggestions. What would be the best paint for the kitchen cabinets? I am assuming it would be oil based, but not sure
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Use wood filler in the holes and paint the cabinets to your liking.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Ramona
Go to Sherwin Williams and ask for their advice. My painter insists theirs is the best quality paint. Do not buy cheap paint. Look into how to refinish the hinges. I think there are ways to get the metal to accept a new finish. I think your cabinets are fine and you will be surprised how good they look with a coat of paint. Consider white or cream for the top and a color for the bottom.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Dustyn Broyles
Backsplash baby! I know u were asking about the cabinets. After u redo those a backsplash would b amazing!
2 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Melanie Hon
For what it's worth, here are what my original cabinets look like with paint, new hardware (including hinges), new light fixtures, subway tile backsplash and marble tile countertops. These were done five years ago and they still look the same so good paint is essential!
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 1:09PM
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House of Holland - TX
Just used Blue Pearl granite in this project... I can look up the paint color for you if you are so inclined.
5 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Butterfly Yao
Briefly two options for me:
1.0 Change all the doors and drawer fronts only, same color like the frame, but door style can be different, absolutely the handles position will change not middle.
2.0 Sanding and repaint the existing frames, doors and drawer fronts to solid color (white), you don't need to worry the handle holes because they can fill them if solid color (not showing wood grain).
* White color cabinets can match your brand new emerald blue granite, just like above pros picture.
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
We had handles in the middle of our cabinet doors too. Hahaha!
It will be recommended for durability that you use an oil-based paint. We used a hybrid that allowed for easier cleanup by Benjamin Moore called Advance. We chose a creamy white and used a mocha glaze on the molding details. Amazing!
To keep an updated look, I did not do a counter material backsplash but used only glass/stone tiles for a cabinet to counter backsplash. Made all the difference on the world IMO.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
Here is what we chose to go with our ivory painted cabinets.
14 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
About paint, I about gagged but you can expect to pay upwards of $50/gallon. Maybe it's been a long time since I bought decent paint. Do NOT buy junk paint. Right after we refinished our kitchen, I helped a friend paint her bathroom with paint she bought Wal-Mart. Ugh!!! I had no idea there would be such a difference. It was awful!
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 2:27PM
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sarj81
Hmschoolmom, are the bottom cabinets a different color or is it just the lighting? I like the possibility of two different colors!
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Check out Benjamin Moore Cabinet Coat. It is made precisely for this kind of application and does not require a primer. It is similar to the Rustoleum product but it comes in ANY Benjamin Moore color.
4 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:15PM
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cohoek
Hi, I would saw some multiplex/ plywood rectangles and glue them to the doors, you could choose to make them flush or leave a rim, this way you can get rid of the arched top. I think I would choose a grey voor the cabinets, nice contrast of materials instead of colors.. Would look great with your beautiful floor!!!
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
Preperation of the surface is KEY! There are ways to go darker and ways to go lighter. The professionals will tell you: remove the old finish, before you put on the new one. With the wood that you have (might be oak or maple...hard to tell because of the stain), I would suggest you find out the REAL color of your wood before you make any decisions. This means stripping FIRST before painting.

By sanding/chemically stripping down your cabinets, you give yoursel a brand new surface to work with. This means you will have the CHOICE of finishes at your finger tips! You will not be "stuck" with Oil/solvent based products (they stink, cause headaches - some cause cancer, and can take ages to dry). Once you have stripped your cabinets down to the original wood colour, you MIGHT JUST LIKE the colour underneath. It may be as simple as adding a beautiful "tinted" polyurethane to the cabinets and you are halfway there! Remember: oil based/modified products will DARKEN over time! Water based finishes will remain clear and never darken. There are some amazing products that work like a stain (add color AND shine to wood) without darkening or "ambering" over time like the old stains used to do!

If you don't like the wood colour, then go ahead with the original idea of painting the kitchen cabs a modern color. Like everyone here, be prepared to pay a price for the high end products - they are well worth the investment. Look at the stain that is there: it was probably pricy at the time...and yet 30 years later the wood and the finish look amazing.
2 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Innovative Custom Homes
Olga, here are two kitchens that are very similar that we just redid, the color you choose makes all the difference in the world. Both have the same color paint on the walls but in my opinion the gray covered better on the cabinets and made them pop so much more than the black in the other house...amazing how a little paint can make a difference. Like most others have already said, make sure to get a good quality paint though.
3 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Oh, forgot to add that the BM Cabinetcoat can be used over oil or latex.
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Linda
You will need two coats of paint. Even if it looks good after one, you need a second to get the true look and depth of the color.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
@sarj81--the cabinets are all the same color--it was the lighting. :-)

About paint--the Benjamin Moore Advance is durable like an oil based paint but is a water based paint. It was pricey but I didn't want to deal with oils for all the reasons mentioned above plus the pain to clean up. We planned on doing our cabinets to last a long time.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
This may not sound fun but we did use two costs of primer (let dry for at least a day in between) and sanded well. Then we did two coats of paint ( same thing). We took our time so we spent 3 weeks at least painting and sanding. The last coat we did not sand and we used a polyurethane to cover after I used glaze to pinstripe the molding.

Boy was I stunned at the time it took to do it right when I would watch a show on HGTV and painting cabinets was done in 24-36 hours seemingly. LOL.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Linda
Actually my last major cabinet painting job did take two days, like some of the HGTV shows.

But, what they have and don't show and what we had was the large number of people taking part in the project. All told, we had five people each day as well as a large basement with room to create a spray area and drying zones. Like them, we also are veterans of large painting projects with equipment and experience.

I wish the shows were more realistic about the time that it takes average people to do the DIY projects shown. There's a ton of prep work and lots of linear feet of brush work in painting an average kitchen. If we painting walls not cabinets, there lots of work putting up plastic to cover surfaces and putting out dropcloths. We'll usually have at least two, but often three people working. Even if you only see one person with a paint brush or roller, there's somebody in the background getting paint ready, prepping surfaces, cleaning brushes etc.

It's daunting and discouraging to tackle a major project like painting cabinets by yourself. It's more enjoyable to work with others and it's nice to have someone else around when you need a hand moving something. I recommend recruiting friends and/or family members to help, even if you don't want them toapply paint, it's nice to have the help getting ready.
2 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 6:29PM
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beckynorman
We are in this process right now and know that it will take us 2-4 weeks to complete. We ordered new door fronts as we have oak arched doors too.This is MUCH cheaper than all new cabinets.

We have sanded down all of the cabinet fronts and have put 2 coats of primer on them. My husband and I are impatiently waiting for the primer to dry to begin painting. I will say that the primed cabinet fronts have already brightened and modernized the kitchen. Can't wait to actually see it completed.

Colors chosen: Sherwin- Williams- alabaster (cream) for top cabinets
Sherwin- Williams- urbane bronze (dark brown) for bottom cabinets or just the island and other bottom cabinets alabaster- we haven't decided yet...
Sherwin- Williams- silvermist (blue-gray) for the walls

Good luck... It's a great winter project!
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 7:02PM
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sjkingston
In choosing a color for the cabinets, be sure to work with the granite you've chosen. Stark blacks work better with whites while most browns, softer blacks and other colors can take an ivory. Test the colors out on large cardboard at different times of the day before committing. And glazing is wonderful but to a professional look use a color that picks up what is in the slate (i.e., a gray for a black rather than an off the shelf brown) and just do a hint around the edges where the wood changes levels. The all over glaze is dated (very '70's) but a whisper of glaze around the edges of the door and in crevices looks terrific. I did some cabinet doors with an all over and it looked dated. After a repaint and just a bit in the crevices looked expensive and up to date. Enjoy your "new" kitchen
3 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 7:10PM
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A. Peltier Interiors
I have painted lots of cabinets and furniture before myself, and one thing I would recommend is using a sprayer. It takes a little practice and a spraying area (that you can create with plastic tarps) but the finish is 'professional'. No matter how much you sand and what paint you use, if you use a brush or a roller you will always have bush marks or stippling.
5 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 7:21PM
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AFC inc
Wide crown molding . New hardware and drawer boxes.
New door knobs. The existing knobs holes can be filled either with wood plugs or epoxy filler and sanded . Than repaint with quality paint ( oil an enamel ) and make and install tile back splash between base and upper cabinets. Relatively small investment and should make difference
Good luck .
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
If you decide to replace the doors, this company has some beautiful designs. I have yet to use them on a project, but I have watched their product for quite a few years and it always looks like it is of very high quality. http://www.caronind.com/en/style.php
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 8:32PM
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344donna
I thing cream cabinets would look great with your new floors.. We redid our old cabinets ... Very similar situation however our handles wre not in the middle of the door we did move the location of them ... Filled the old holes with filler and sanded them .. And yes prep is very important washing them down ( we used a product called tsp) sanding and priming... We also added trim moulding to ours , painted them cream then I antiqued the trim with a gel stain that I painted in the crack and wiped off the stain that is left behind sets and gives a really nice finish see photo... And new hardware goes a long way... We also just spray painted our ugly gold hinges black to save some money...hardware and hinges can really add up,, good luck with whatever you end up doing!!
5 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 8:34PM
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angela2557
New paint and handles will make a big difference. Antique white would look great. I am partial to stainless knobs but they should match your kitchen sink hardware. I agree with the others...use good paint. Good luck.
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 9:10PM
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picolat
Thanks 344donna, I may take inspiration from your photos and do this for my older cabinets!
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 8:51AM
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mcgavock
I just found a cabinet repainting kit in Lowes. It is made by Rustoleum and supposed to make the process easier. If you go to Rustoleum's website, there are many testimonials by people who used it and were pleased. They did say ,however, that bit still took a lot of time. Good luck. I plan to repaint my daughters ugly oak cabinets and would love ton hear how itngoes.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 11:46AM
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raafa17
You can always fill the wholes in. Maybe you can even just change the doors of the cabinets. But leave the part that is stationary. And paint of them.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 2:06PM
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Olga
Thank you everyone for your wonderful ideas and suggestions.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 4:32PM
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cyn222
First of all FASADE for backsplash. Second open door front and insert glass panels. Change out hardware after painting cabinets. I had cabinets like this with those centered handles. Filled the holes, painted them a creamy white and it instantly made my kitchen gorgeous!
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 10:56PM
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Grace Reed
Honestly? I would save the expense - which will add up - and all the work of painting the doors and replace them instead. They look so dated and inexpensive. Even the best paint job won't change that. Replacement doors will give you the option of cherry - if you still want more! - or a paint color. Home Depot also sells replacement doors. They run approx. $30 - $50 per SF. Yes, it will add up but you're kitchen will look brand new and like a million bucks.
1 Like   January 6, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Grace Reed
Looked again at you're comments and pics. You and your kitchen deserve beautiful doors to go with the beautiful floors, appliances and the granite to follow. I say go for it!
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 1:36AM
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mjneylon
Some great ideas, also remember lighting and natural light affect the color of the paint and countertop.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 7:26AM
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pennechere
If you are inclined to paint the cabinets check into the www. Caromal colours (refinishing) paints ...fabulous look through their gallery before after photos, it a neat product with pretty spectacular results. You really have many options available..
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:17PM
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rainy Odessy
to people who want to paint them on a budget...if you use an exterior porch and floor paint it works great...is very hard and withstands moisture and humidity from kitchens and bathrooms, after all it is designed to take high traffic and extremes of weather....prime first of course.....and straining your paint can ensure a very smooth finish.....you can still use a glazing technique over it and you can still poly over it if you want to have a particular sheen on your cabinets....if you are unsure of your abilities and want to practice on something....go to a resale store or garage sale or auction and pick up old cabinet doors with recessed panels and trim and practice till you achieve a look you can live with....then apply the same technique to the cabinets worry free....clean your surfaces with tsp(tri sodium phosphate) to remove all grease that can get imbedded into the grain first and allow to dry well before priming....never be in a hurry between coats of anything...proper drying between coats is very important
1 Like   January 6, 2013 at 12:20PM
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designideas4me
Dustyn Broyles


Backsplash baby.......................................Love your comment. Sounds like the name you would give to a child who is learning to swim.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 3:12PM
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kayliwild
We had similar cabinets in solid Tasmanian oak, with wood floor and wood ceiling. We didn't want to replace the quality wood with cheap doors, so we ended up painting the cabinets in Dulux Domino Black. They are fantastic now, as it gives the whole space a more modern feel - go dark!
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 5:04PM
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kayliwild
And with charcoal cabinetry you could keep those quirky handles (modern stainless handles just woudn't work in the current placement).
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 5:07PM
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kathleen MK
With the classic arch tops have you thought about a dark stain like a deep cherry or mahogany. There stain and poly mixtures for DIY and services that "in hance' or refresh cabinets. then brush nickel hardware to play off the stainless.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 10:33PM
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redland
Painting the cabinets and replacing the hardware has already been suggested. You might also consider one color on the base cabs and another on the uppers. When you paint make sure to use a paint extender that helps the paint to flow and go on smoothly, eliminating brush-marks on the cabinet doors. It will give you a more professional looking finish. If you can't do a backsplash now you can pick up a roll of embossed paper at Home Depot that looks like an old tin pressed ceiling. Apply paper horizontally on wall above the counters and paint it in a copper or other metallic color you like that matches or compliments the new hardware you put on cabinets.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 11:15PM
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Debbie McKenzie
If you want Cherry Wood colour, you can re stain right over what you have with Polyurethane stain by Varathane., high gloss or satin,. I have done this procedure a few times with beautiful results. Back spash, a mix of granite\slate\stainless steel, all in blue\grey tones.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 5:54AM
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E Klo
An idea i've seen done a few times that works really well on these well built, but outdated cabinets is to take a template to that top arch, and cut a piece of hardboard to fit right inside of it (just the top part where the arch is) to make it a square. Then use filler for any gaps, fill the holes where the hardware was in the middle, sand & paint. The square look of the cabinets will make it look much more modern & updated.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 7:06AM
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designideas4me
I have a few questions................. for the person who used the sprayer to paint. Can you tell me what was involved in learning how to use it properly and why most painters tell people that it takes years of practice to not get drips and uneven coverage etc. Is it easy to use? Did you set up a spray booth? I can tell you that sanding all my cabinets and frame was a MAJOR job. Requires tons of sand paper and electric sanders and created a giant mess of dust and soot. Dont be fooled. Its not simple. Also the idea of putting in wood filler and sanding is even a bigger mess and takes more time. Just saying. Lastly you will still see the grain and brush marks if that grain is oak and not sanded for hours and hours per door and sprayed 2x with primer. Many painters charge 3-4000 for this. Those were estimates I got. so you know its a big job. For all of you who did do their cabinets in this manor..are you really happy with them or could you not afford new ones and so settled for this option? I am curious. Maybe I am really picky ( oh and I had each door drilled out and put in European hinges as well)but I just feel I will be settling and not getting the true frame-less full overlay modern look I want no matter how great the paint job comes out. For the woman who did this job, did you do it alone or did your husband do it? I had to hire a handiman to sand mine. Its toxic to breath that dust and you are in a confined booth for days. Its not fun.

Lastly I just wonder how much all this helped the original poster because she really didnt say much.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 9:37PM
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PRO
Linda
Design ideas for me
Several people have discussed spraying cabinets. In my post, I commented about having a large number of people involved in the spraying. I am capable of running the sprayer and did some of the spraying for the initial wall painting but I did not spray the cabinets. My business partner and I have several people who work for us on a casual basis and one of them is a great spray guy. The sprayer's job is simply to apply paint, and someone else is there to catch the drips and point out any missed spots. We don't sand much between coats, just enough to knock off any surface irregularities.

The issues with spraying are more the mechanics of spraying - learning how to prime the sprayer, how to clean the sprayer, how to manage the hose, which tip to use etc. Also, not every paint is suitable for spraying. we used a paint which is very thin but dries quickly to a hard finish. Cheap paint sprayed doesn't look any better than cheap paint brushed or rolled.

The biggest trick to painting - spraying, brushing or rolling - is a minimum of two thin coats, don't try to cover in one coat. Some of our cabinets doors covered in two coats, others got three coats and we were repainting cabinets that were already white. If you're going over dark cabinets, you might even end up with four coats.

Painting well is a physical art of movement. The people who tend to find painting easy are those who also find playing racquet ball or golf or tennis easy. Some people just have a natural grace and innate knowledge of where their body is at all times. Those attributes make it much easier to evenly spray paint and paint straight lines...to them, it's just moving their arm while holding something, to the rest of us, it is a much more involved process. I'm in the klutz camp myself. I can get good results painting but I paint more slowly than the naturals. I'm never going to be one of those people who can paint a room in an hour or two and have it all look good. Someone who is mechanically inclined and naturally athletic will probably find spraying paint to be as easy as it looks and that has nothing to do with age or gender. No woman needs a husband to do this as there's nothing about being male that gives a natural advantage to something like this.

For a large job, we have a self contained sprayer, but for smaller jobs we use a small handheld gun that you fill a reservoir with paint and hook up to an air compressor. If you already have the air equipment, you can get a usable gun for $50 or so. It's more expensive if you need to buy the compressor and hose, but if you intend to do a lot of projects, a compressor is a good investment. Just be careful, buying tools is an expensive habit!
3 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:39AM
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Grace Reed
Really informative, Linda. Thanks.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:08AM
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designideas4me
Thank you
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Olga
Great idea about spray painting the cabinets. I do have Wagner spray gun but did not really like to use it, it does require practice that is for sure. I am leaning towards white paint due to I have a lot of Cherry wood surfaces throughout kitchen, dining room, and family room. Furniture is Cherry, wall of building cabinets (build it ourselves) also Cherry, floor is Cherry and I think it is a bit too much Cherry. Of course new hinges, and handles, which are already purchased. Handles are on the modern side – stainless steel, look similar to the handles on refrigerator and the stove, hinges will be hidden.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 10:03AM
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PRO
On the Spot Furniture Revival llc
If you do not want to see the grain in the final product, use a good grain filler. It adds another round or two of sanding but worth it for a smooth finish.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 10:27AM
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twdietrich
We painted the cabinets in our 1980's kitchen because we are years away from a full reno. It brightens the area and gives it a fresh look. I say we but it was mostly my wife, sanding, priming and painting.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 10:42AM
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designideas4me
she did a nice job
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 11:01AM
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curacaoblue
Having invested all the time and money in flooring and counters I have a difficult time understanding why you wouldn't finish the job by doing the cabinets too?
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Cohoek, good idea about adding a panel in the middle before painting. I would use MDO. It is especially good for a painted finish.
Or check this site out....someone posted it recently: http://www.barkerdoor.com/default.asp
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 2:35PM
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PRO
LM Designers
Plug the holes and paint. Replacing the doors gets expensive and then you have to worry about the fit. A professional will take your doors and spray them if you don't want to do it.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 2:50PM
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anitajoyce
Paint the cabinets white or beige. The stainless appliances are nice. Add brushed nickel handles placed where they are supposed to go.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Olga
To curacaoblue.
Estimate for new wood, not MDF cabinets $6200, which we do not have. Flooring we purchased at Menards what was very affordable, and counter top we will buy a slab for about $1100 and cut to the size. Believe me if we could afford new wood cabinets it would be installed already.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 3:11PM
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