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Should I paint my custom, solid wood kitchen cabinets?
alihonea
February 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have lived in our 100 year old home for four years. I am redoing my kitchen and would love a light airy look. My cabinets are custom made by the previous owner and I hate the color of the stain on the solid wood. I don't know what kind of wood was used but the color is awful. As you can tell in the picture, I have a lot of cabinets (27) and drawers (11) and the color of the wood is overpowering! Everything that I've done so far to lighten the look of my kitchen has not worked very effectively and I am stuck. Please let me know if I should take the plunge and paint the cabinets to achieve the look I want. Thanks
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mephoto
Yes!
February 6, 2013 at 8:31AM     
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nononanna
Maybe even two colors - darker for lower and lighter above. A few cabinets with glass doors would be welcome - they can really open up the area, and you don't even have to keep things too tidy in them.
February 6, 2013 at 8:40AM     
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diablohills
Just be careful painting open grained wood like your oak. I would try one of those new paint systems specifically for cabinets (Valspar?), otherwise you will spend a lot of time trying to get a smooth finish.
February 6, 2013 at 8:54AM     
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Janet Garrison
I agree with previous posters. I have white tops, grey bottoms. Also, have some glass in top and have replaced some uppers with white shelving. Gray and white marble(like) counter completes the old/current look.
February 6, 2013 at 8:54AM     
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PamDesigns 3D
I would definitely paint them. Be sure to use semigloss paint as flat paint will show everything and absorb grease splatters. Your wood is a heavily grained oak, so the grain may show through your paint -not sure that's a bad thing. Be sure to take the doors off and remove the hinges before painting. Removing the old finish is necessary and painting them with a primer might help to keep the wood grain from showing through. Paint the insides of the doors for a professional look. A couple of things you might consider to update the look: Remove the scalloped edge trim along the top of your cabinets and replace it with a nice crown molding that works with the traditional style of your cabinet doors. Also consider updating the hardware.
February 6, 2013 at 9:28AM     
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Marilyn Wilkie
No. Please so not paint these beautiful solid wood custome made cabinets. They are worth more than any run of the mill cabinets you will find...even ones that say they are high end. Please remove them carefull and sell them to someone who can appreciate them, or have them remove them. Then you can go buy the ones that everyone else ends up with. Many people appreciate what you have. Beautiful grain. It would cost a fortune to have someone do the same as that man did - IF they could get the wood. Just my opinion, as usual...
February 6, 2013 at 9:38AM     
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alihonea
Marilyn, I've already thought of removing the cabinets but they were custom fitted to my kitchen. I was told they will not come out without being ruined. I will have to work with what I have. I was thinking of re staining the cabinets to a lighter color but that is more labor intensive than painting. Thanks for the advice!
February 6, 2013 at 3:03PM   
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Jayme H.
The question is....do you want them stained and would you be happier with them stained a different color, or do you like the painted look better?
February 6, 2013 at 3:09PM     
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Barnhart Gallery
I'd say yes, paint them white, perhaps with a greige glaze. I'd also add moulding over the scallop-y top. And go greige on the island.
February 6, 2013 at 3:11PM     
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Dawn Hearn Interior Design
Yes to painting! It will make a huge difference!
February 6, 2013 at 3:12PM     
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Paint them..really..Look at the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation paint system available at Home Depot..Choose your color..I would not do the optional glaze process as it would enhance the grain and I think you would like to minimize the grain. Here is the link to look at it.. http://cabinets.rustoleumtransformations.com/colors.php
February 6, 2013 at 3:13PM     
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mmilos
Paint 'em! Like others suggested install new crown moulding on the cabinets and remove the wood cabinet valance over your window. Dress up with new hardware.

If not replacing countertops for now, I'd go with a creamy off-white.
February 6, 2013 at 3:15PM     
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ljn1
no, but i would stain them darker, declutter those counters, pull that red in there with some new curtains, towels, dishcloths and rugs, get glass put in 2 doors next corner cabinet and add lighting in there and use red candles and accents (the newbattery operated ones with timers are great) get a unique piece for island counter and run a red scarf under it. get new handles and knobs and light fixtures above cabnets in the sivler to matck faucet,not much cost, but big changes.
February 6, 2013 at 3:33PM     
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Rosemarie
I too would stain the wood a darker color with a rubbed finish as real wood cabinets are very pricy/rare these days, if this is a DYI project I'm afraid you will be very disappointed trying to paint it! Update the lighting with pocket ceiling lights.undercounter and pendants over the stove area. Hang an appropiate style pot rack between the cabinets behind the stove. If the oven is a down draft, does it really vent well? If its like most standard installs it does not. You can put a smashing oven vent fan over the stove, the glass and stainless steel ones are beautiful and elimate cooking odors that spread all thro the house. The steam from cooking also leaves a fine greasy stain on furniture and floors.- and really builds up over time. Do the lighting and fan first. If you work with a lighting store you could maybe get a line of credit to spread out the cost for 6 months, they will have good installers as well. Good luck with your project
February 6, 2013 at 4:45PM     
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pitbulls
I would definitely paint them.I had darker oak cabinets than you and I painted them an off white.I was so happy.You do have a lot of cabinets.I'm not sure I would paint the lowers a different color.
February 6, 2013 at 4:50PM   
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pitbulls
When you remove the doors number them so you can quickly figure out where they belong when putting them back on.
February 6, 2013 at 4:52PM     
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Rochelle Staffieri
I know darker cabinet colors are in vogue now. If you want to have a lighter kitchen, try a lighter color on the wood. I am not talking about how much work any change in color would be. I you feel the wood pattern is too busy, you may need to paint them. If you just mind the intensity of color, why not stain the cabinets a lighter color? What material are your counter tops?
February 6, 2013 at 5:37PM     
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Judy M
Paint them! Oak was once an expensive wood to buy, not anymore. Based on demand, oak is less desirable, therefore the value has gone down. Painting them will allow them to appear newer and more in fashion. That is what adds value.

If you aren't prepared to do all the work it takes to paint them properly, then hire someone.

Purge items that aren't needed and re-organize to declutter your counters. Change the hardware.

The painting will take years off the look of the kitchen. Good Luck.
February 6, 2013 at 5:43PM     
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winterriver
The oak grain is overwhelming, especially at eye level from only a foot away. The base cabinets seem to have a more subtle grain, perhaps you could start with painting just the upper cabinets. The people at a real paint store can advise you on how to paint the cabinets successfully. You'll need to fill in the pores/grain and prime well.

I'll add my vote to getting rid of the scalloped trim. You could cut it off or add some crown molding over it. New light fixtures would help, too.
February 6, 2013 at 8:31PM     
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PRO
Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
while the cabinets may be custom made, the grain of the panels is what we call rotary cut. It is spun off the log & so has extremely busy grain. Frankly an inexpensive cut. If you think of the oak as a leather rawhide, when painted, the grain will show through. This will actually give it more interest & texture. with a couple of coats, it will should look quite smart. Oak does have pin holes that are hard to fill, so don't be surprised. Be CAUTIOUS about glazing your painted cabinet. Every bit of the grain you dislike now would be highlighted with a rubbed on glaze... perhaps contrary to your goal of minimizing it. Some glazing is done just as a subtle "hang up" in the corners so that would be OK... just try out on a some scrap wood before jumping in on whole kitchen. Also, some glazing can appear to look dirty to some folks eye, so do your research prior to committing to that feature. Please consider having them custom sprayed, rather than doing yourself.. at least the door & drawer fronts. Once done, you may wish to consider replacing the counter surface too, but at least if the cabinets are painted, the amount of wood grain will be more minimal. Two tone could work for cabinet colour. pick up the shades in your mosaic tile for the most cohesion of final look.
February 6, 2013 at 11:35PM     
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rinqreation
I'd get another countertop (black), it is an all brown kitchen. Take away (most of) the top cabinets and get some white shelving, some high cabinets with glass doors (stack two old ones on top of e.o. with new doors). The bottom ones are pretty and give your kitchen a natural coherence and flair. Tip: First strip the back of a top door and see if you like the color, old stain is quite yellow, maybe you'll like the natural color after all and you'll only need clear coat.
New England Oak Shaker Kitchen 1 New England Oak Shaker Kitchen 2 Oak & Painted Wimborne Kitchen in Cream and Blue with Natural Oak New York, calm blue organized kitchen Kitchen island Kitchen sink
February 7, 2013 at 3:04AM     
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anonyms
Yes!
February 7, 2013 at 6:26AM     
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Angela
My vote is YES to paint! I love the detailing in the cabinet doors. The cabinet maker did a great job! But, the color does make the kitchen look dated. The backsplash looks pretty good from the photo. Keep it and find a nice light grey or other light color to match. Hard part will be matching the countertop, if you aren't going to replace it. Counters are pricey! I also think you should remove the scallop trim as that is screaming out 1970s. YEAH BABY!! lol.
February 7, 2013 at 6:36AM     
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Emily Jefferson
I would most definitely paint them. You will still retain that bespoke look but have something that is more to your taste and will not devalue them in any way. A colour like Farrow & Ball's Joa's White # 226 in Estate Eggshell would be durable and work well with the colour in your tiles. Just make sure you sand them down and prime them correctly and the finish will be fine. F & B's paints are used for many high End bespoke kitchen companies like Plain English and are well worth doing!
February 7, 2013 at 6:40AM     
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alihonea
Thanks for all the great advice! The hard part is getting my husband on board so wish me luck! :)
February 13, 2013 at 1:36PM     
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Stuart Nordin Design
Our company line is: paint!! Here's an example of a kitchen facelift we did just by painting the cabinets and replacing the pulls with pieces from Restoration Hardware :)
February 13, 2013 at 2:28PM     
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hparks74
I would stain them a darker almost walnut color. You may try adding some glass to the uppers either frosted or clear. Your counter tops I'd go light so to reflect the light in the room. It's not uncommon to do uppers white and lowers dark.
February 13, 2013 at 2:40PM   
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Lizabeth
If these cabinets were made on site then were most likely made from Oak pywood, not "solid wood" unless you think plywood is solid wood. An owner or a contractor came in with a table saw and ripped plywood on site rather than building individual boxes in a custom cabinet shop. Doors are made out of oak plywood or possible oak frames, however this is "plainsawn" oak which is very inexpensive and readily available today. Now if this was quartersawn white oak with beautiful rift grain that would be another story. No one should ever paint quarter sawn oak but plain sawn is another matter. It is nowhere near the quality of beauty. Ask any woodworker.

Yes do paint them but know that oak will need filling and sanding to get a smooth finish.Loads of prep work.

good luck
February 13, 2013 at 2:55PM     
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bprince300
Current cabinet grain looks very 'busy' - as the lineup of items on the countertops. Find homes behind doors for all but the essentials and a couple of choice pretty pieces. I would go for the light or White painted cabs with 4"+ upper moldings all around and dark hardware , if you want a 'fun' highlight element, perhaps a glazed dark red on the island only with the natural butcher block top refinished, updated lighting and valances over the windows, bring in your red, no 'scallopy' forms. Your backsplash may look very different with these changes, ok to keep, and consider flooring and perhaps a dark countertop around the edge in the next round or as budget allows.....
February 13, 2013 at 3:00PM     
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Lizabeth
PS if house is over a hundred years old what do you think of either removing the uppers and replacing with simple wood shelves painted whatever color you like or with a less grainy wood and/or removing the doors of the uppers and placing a light lining inside. That would lighten things up quite a bit and be much less work.
February 13, 2013 at 3:06PM     
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wildfan
I'm typically not a fan of painted cabinets, but I dislike golden oak even more than I dislike painted cabinets. I say paint them! Make sure you do your research and do it the right way or hire a pro. You sure do have a lot of cabinets. Luck you! I would love all that storage. Good luck to you!
February 13, 2013 at 3:14PM     
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hopesilver
I have an all white kitchen(with chrome ) and a pale green thin subway tile on the back walls. ALL WHITE counters as well (caesar stone) and wood floors. It looks like a showroom. Do it!!! (Prime twice, sand and have them sprayed) Whisper White
February 13, 2013 at 3:24PM   
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hopesilver
and raise the ceiling to a pitch if you can.
February 13, 2013 at 3:25PM   
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nononanna
Is his problem that he's the one who has to do the work? This is a huge job - in the long run it might be better all around to use a professional. But frankly, if you hate them, it doesn't matter how "beautiful" other people think they are or what they're made from - if you hate them, then you should change them.
February 13, 2013 at 3:29PM     
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Laura
Oh my goodness. Absolutely paint them. The grain in the doors is so busy, it detracts from your pretty backsplash. And use a grain filler first, it will tone down the pattern of the centers.
I used the Rustoleum kit in my last house, it took a bit of time, but came out beautiful. For pretty pictures of white kitchens and the reasons to paint, go to Maria Killam's blog.
February 13, 2013 at 5:43PM     
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PRO
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
My Mom has these and I detest them. Yes, paint them! It will freshen up the entire kitchen. Then put in some vinyl wood floors because they are easy with pets and kids and look fantastic-duchateau brand looks amazing-I love them. Simple valance on the sink window that goes straight across would look better as well. .
February 13, 2013 at 5:47PM     
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leelisa77
Spend the good money and hire a professional cabinet painter. You'll be stunned at the new kitchen you will have. Remove the scalloping, I have it in my home also which my Grandfather hand made but it had to go. Be Brave!
February 13, 2013 at 5:53PM     
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mommickey
My friend painted her cabinets white and put new counters on and a glass backsplash and her kitchen looks like a magazine cover. You would have no idea she painted her kitchen. Be sure to prime them she did and she has had no problem with three kids touching them with dirty hands. It wipes right off no peeling etc.
February 13, 2013 at 6:07PM   
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her55him53
I wouldn't paint the beautiful wood but I would change the countertop backsplash and curtains and yes remove the scalloping
February 13, 2013 at 6:10PM   
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MKB Design & Management
Painting cabinets is a tedious and surprisingly more expensive venture than most people realize. On top of that, the heavy grain of the oak will show through. Then, removing all the doors and drawers and palcing them back again is a tedious process that has to be done JUST right so everything lines up again, often times that means filling and redrilling holes. All in all, the cost is substantial but if you can tolerate the drawbacks, it still may be cheaper than replacing the cabinets...sometimes
February 13, 2013 at 6:11PM     
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Tina Anderson
You should do what YOU want to do with it, but I love it the way it is :)
February 13, 2013 at 6:12PM   
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mdreifuss
Absolutely!! Painting the cabinets is the easiest, most cost-effective way to improve the look of the kitchen. I suggest a creamy white. Using a different color for the island is okay too, but not necessary.
February 13, 2013 at 6:13PM   
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connie1943
If you do paint your cabinets do all the research you can. I painted mine and thought I did all the right things. It took a month to sand primer, paint. In the end they were beautiful, but about a year later
the paint became soft in places where fingers touch around the pulls. I would do it different if again.
February 13, 2013 at 6:14PM     
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joanizzy
YES, custom doesn't mean attractive, sorry.
February 13, 2013 at 6:14PM     
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lilajo2
Look up Annie Sloan chalk paint. Wonderful paint that goes a long way and easy to use . You say your house is 100 years old. This paint would work with the age of your house. Beautiful range of colors that you can mix or layer. Trust me!
February 13, 2013 at 6:16PM     
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Reba Spencer
If anyone mentioned this..sorry I missed it...believe it or not, but please consider an espresso color stain...almost black but warmer...for the cabinets..brushed nickle hardware..light quartz counters and light back splash...stainless sink and appliances.....I've seen this and it actually lightens and brightens a kitchen..would love your thoughts on this idea...
February 13, 2013 at 6:17PM     
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resita
Try wallpaper on the cabinet doors. Choose a brighter colour with not too much design, which compliments the existing wood colour. Cover only the cabinet doors and maintain the rest of the original wood. This way, you have an option of removing it later and also not painting the wood.
February 13, 2013 at 6:18PM   
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kedrow
Yes paint, but fill nicks sand, prime prime prime and a couple coats of glossy paint. It will take you a month to do it, but we did ours 7 years ago and there has been lots of abuse and they still look good. Burnt Chili Pepper guess you can tell I like color.
February 13, 2013 at 6:18PM     
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aca1998
Definitely, the colour is overpowering!
February 13, 2013 at 6:20PM   
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RE/MAX Real Estate
DO NOT PAINT them. I have been a real estate agent for 16 years and here is my opinion. Painted cabinets look cheap. The paint will scratch off and you will be restarting from the beginning. Have a professional come in and have them sanded down to the original wood. Then you will be able to stain them a light color. Change the counter tops and the back splash to a dark color and they will look awesome. Or if you really don't like the natural knots in the oak, sand them down, stain them dark, maybe a mahogany or a deep espresso and do the counter tops and back splash in a light color. Also change the handles. You have the "quality" in that wood which was probably done by a carpenter craftsman. It keeps the character of your home. Good luck.
February 13, 2013 at 6:20PM     
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sondie
yes...a pretty sage green would be lovely with your backsplash and countertops!
February 13, 2013 at 6:22PM   
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lwcloud
Yes, I would go all the way and do a fine paint job, and if the countertop is worn, I would replace it also. With as many cabinets as you have, it would be nice to have a few upper glass doors.
February 13, 2013 at 6:23PM   
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PRO
Faux Illusions LLC
Painted cabinets when done correctly can be gorgeous and last a very long time. You need to contact a decorative painter or faux finisher in your area to help you. The grain can be filled in for a smooth finish when painted. You can then distress and/or glaze them for a more current look. The hinges can also be converted to hidden and new hardware will also help. I would add some crown molding too. I have an ideabook on my page with painted kitchens, many done by faux finishers.
February 13, 2013 at 6:26PM     
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lonemuchow
oh yes, I painted my 80 ies oak cabinet with caromal color, supe easy method of painting,not much for prep except clean them with simple green spray and then get going I did mine in textured basecoat in parchment and then a glaze and wax, it's 2 years ago and not a chip whatsoever
February 13, 2013 at 6:28PM     
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Jo_Ann Doctoroff
Absolutely!!
February 13, 2013 at 6:30PM     
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mbesh
Looks like plywood panels to me, If the cabnets structure is solid you could look for replacement doors and drawers or somekind of makeover besides painting.
February 13, 2013 at 6:31PM     
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Jayme H.
Professionally done, painted cabinetry is quite beautiful & I have heard of some people having good luck with doing it themselves.
February 13, 2013 at 6:31PM   
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Kit Lang
YES!
February 13, 2013 at 6:35PM     
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joannstidman
You know since your asking you must be unsure of what to do. I would do 1 thing at a time ....get rid of that outdate trim/molding on top......redo the countertops in whatever you want and see how you like it so far. You appear to want to stain but say it is too much work/trouble.....don't go for the easy way out and be unhappy with it. I prefer to stain them myself in something different,,,,,,not dark esp since you want to go light.....
February 13, 2013 at 6:36PM   
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jennifergil81
I would paint them the grain is too busy and it really darkens the kitchen. I would go with an antique white and update the countertops. Your kitchen would look brand new. My Mom did the same to hers a while back and it made such a difference in the kitchen it was so much cleaner and brighter....good luck!
February 13, 2013 at 6:36PM   
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Michael Henry
Seems like a lot of cabinets. How about taking the top ones down and replacing some of them with shelves? (I'm not a huge fan of the scrolled top and the light above the sink is super funky) Maybe they could be repurposed for the basement, laundry, or garage? I'm ready to paint my own cabinets, let us know how it goes? It may be worth it to take the fronts off and have them professionally done. Some new hardware and lighting and you're set!
February 13, 2013 at 6:38PM   
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PRO
The Griffin Group Keller Williams Houston Realtors
Paint them. You live in the house, your cabinets don't care if you paint them or not. They don't have feelings, but you do!! It's our homes and it is important that we make the changes that we will enjoy. Don't worry about them losing value if you paint them. Do what you want to do!!
February 13, 2013 at 6:38PM     
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heidigreta
If you don't like the look you have now and want to have them painted, just make sure you get several estimates by well recommended painters with experience in this type of cabinet. You may then want to compare what that cost will be vs replacing the cabinets. Good luck with convincing your husband! You have a very lovely kitchen, I'd love to see pictures when you are done!
February 13, 2013 at 6:42PM   
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Celesta Griffith
I have the same cabinets. I am thinking of GLAZING them in a darker brown . The island will be the same dark brown all over . PLEASE DON'T PAINT AND COVER THE GRAIN .
February 13, 2013 at 6:42PM   
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Bill Miller
I think I would consider painting the plywood panels in the upper cabinet doors a light beige or cream colour, and leaving the oak framework natural. Try it with one and see how it looks. I like the idea I saw in another comment about a different colour for the lower section.
February 13, 2013 at 6:42PM   
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Lynn Babin Fontaine
Yes I would paint them a nice warm white color. I did mine and I love the way they turned out! You can still see that they are real wood because the grain is still there but they are all one even color.I used a paint made to paint wood floors so it is dureable for kitchen cabinets .I posted this picture of my cabinets so you can see how yours could look painted white.We did them ourselves and the only hard part was sanding them down.After that I put the paint on with a paint brush then went over it with a small foam roller so you don't see the brush marks.We did them 3 years ago and they still look like they did the first time we did them.
February 13, 2013 at 6:43PM     
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mwin10
I think you should paint your cabinets. I painted mine and I am so happy with the result.
February 13, 2013 at 6:45PM     
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joannstidman
Wow what an approvement mwin10.....very good job!
February 13, 2013 at 6:49PM     
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Charla Haggard
I like the idea of painting the bottom darker and the top a lighter color. Adding new hardware would be a good idea too and glass in some of the doors would be very nice. A granite countertop would be nice too and a bronze sink and faucet would look very up to date. A wood or laminate floor would add warmth. The walls would look very pretty in a brown or gold color. Glass tiles for the backsplash.
February 13, 2013 at 6:49PM     
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Tonia Williams
i would paint white and pop out center on top, put in glass
February 13, 2013 at 6:49PM   
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grgiegrrl
You have some great photos of your kitchen. Maybe you could try uploading then to a paint or design web site and trying different color schemes on the different surfaces. You could test out some of the ideas that others have posted here before making a final decision.

Personally, I think a dark stain, maybe more opaque to mask the wood grain would be great. Black would be stunning. Upgrade the countertops, replace the hardware and light fixtures, add more lighting, and you will have a showplace of a kitchen. Black would work with the age and character of your home, with white and an accent color. That would look updated and fresh as well.
February 13, 2013 at 6:54PM   
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Cara Leff
I think Gray would would be a great color with contemporary hardware. It will give a more seamless look and less things on counter but more to accent with the green mixer. Maybe some pendant lighting.
February 13, 2013 at 6:54PM   
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Ashley Coleman
YES! lemon or cream will make the place look massive! with fake sunflowers in bright yellow vases
February 13, 2013 at 6:58PM   
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June Corriveau
Yes creamy white ,new stainless knobs, take down the valance and over head light above the sink, put in a colorfull hanging one..
February 13, 2013 at 6:59PM   
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haronsohn
Stain them darker with stainless steel pulls.
February 13, 2013 at 7:00PM   
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kleberj
I would get rid of the tile black splash. Update it with larger ones. A black granite counter top would look great with stainless steel or black appliances. Once you paint that wood you will always worry about chipping. I have painted birch custom cabinets and I love them, but after 10 years I have to get them reprinted. I know it is not light, but it would be updated. Try accessorizing too. There are too many appliances and kitchen ware on your counter tops. You can also put some glass fronts on a couple doors and take the window treatments down. Your kitchen just needs some TLC.
February 13, 2013 at 7:01PM   
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PRO
Design Find
Yes! I'm all for salvaging old items whenever possible, but there are beautiful old things worth restoring and there are some that just aren't. Let's face it - not every old thing is a masterpiece that you are going to want to look at every day! Paint can be time consuming, but is a very budget friendly solution to many cabinets that appear outdated. I've painted many cabinets and the results can be completely amazing. I think your cabinets are great candidates for painting. I'd also update the hardware and maybe remove the scalloping along the top? I think the butcher block would look lovely once they are painted.
February 13, 2013 at 7:01PM     
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Claudia Cedeno
I would! and I would replace the hardware too...looks very dated
February 13, 2013 at 7:02PM     
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jilmardods
PAINT!
February 13, 2013 at 7:08PM     
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PoshHaus
Needs a lot of help... Needs a lot of help, but a nice open space. Where is the oven?
February 13, 2013 at 7:08PM   
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vipugh
paint them
February 13, 2013 at 7:10PM   
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Peg Kull
I love natural wood so I would keep the wood and polish and get new hardware and counter tops. I would also add some glass inserts to some of the doors and even remove some of the doors altogether ,using baskets for storage. I have lived many places, and painted cupboards always get nicked and show wear. At least they have for me ,but then I raised boys.
February 13, 2013 at 7:13PM   
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Milan Stoneworks
Yes paint, new hardware and decks with splash and save the 10k
February 13, 2013 at 7:18PM     
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Joy Overstreet
It is a BUTT load of work to prepare and properly paint kitchen cabinets. I'd seriously consider replacing the doors and hardware, and just repainting the cabinet bodies. A dark color for doors and body on the bottom ones, and a light color on top, with some open-shelved or glass-doored. Get rid of the scallops.
February 13, 2013 at 7:20PM     
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parkhilldrive
Yes!
February 13, 2013 at 7:24PM   
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Greatdesign
Your kitchen has alot of potential. I think it could become a beautiful vintage or farmhouse even french stlye kitchen, especially considering the age of your home.
Painting the cabnets an antique ivory or off white, replacing the handles withones that are simpthetic to the look you choose, if your unsure search the different themes in houzz to decide. Replacing the splash back will also bring the look together. Replce the ceiling light and I think you'll be very happy.good luck, have fun. Jenny.
February 13, 2013 at 7:25PM   
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marlis
yes yes yes
February 13, 2013 at 7:29PM   
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R. Olson Design
Oak doesn't paint to well because of its open grain, but there's paints that will help address that issue if you really want to paint them. Another cool option is to paint the actual cabinet boxes and leave your doors natural. It creates a cool dichotomy and we've done it for a handful of clients.
February 13, 2013 at 7:30PM   
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Innovation In Design
I have been changing golden oak cabinets like crazy over the last 2 years. There are ways of priming to help fill the grain, or grain fillers (I don't like). I have also been using toners to change the existing colors with out actually paintin g and covering the wood. This seems to be a favorite of the husbands who have this silly idea that wood shouldn't be painted.
February 13, 2013 at 7:40PM   
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jonimac7
Paint them, there are all kinds of products on the market to work with the the grain. Also new hardware. There are lots of colors that would work. You need to get a friend with great decorating skills to find you a color that co-ordinates with your house that you love!!! Good luck!
February 13, 2013 at 7:42PM   
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kam1
Absolutely paint them!! Choose one of the pale neutral tones from the backspash. Hopefully your butcher block counter top will still work. New hardware a must. Your kitchen will look twice the size and you will love it!
February 13, 2013 at 7:47PM   
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jodie_44
I would replace the bench tops with a light coloured stone (or stone replica), remove the overhead cupboards on the wall where the fridge is and de-clutter the bench tops by putting most of the things in the cupboards. Replace some of the panels in the remaining overhead cupboards with glass. You could also take down the curtains - they look too fussy and remove all the stuff off the fridge. Try putting a noticeboard on a wall somewhere to keep it all close by.
Good luck - it's quite a job whichever you choose.
February 13, 2013 at 7:49PM   
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danfif
If I am not mistaken I believe your cabinets are made of Ash. Being such an open grained wood painting may no be the desired method to change the appearence to what you want. If you are intent on painting I would paint the back side of one of the doors to see what it looked like and to see if you even liked the look.
February 13, 2013 at 8:01PM   
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mdamron61
Yes, paint the cabinets white with new door handles. Easy fix.
February 13, 2013 at 8:50PM   
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kathy
I would probably not paint the cabinets. Instead, as many have already posted, I would try to lighten the look of the uppers by: removing the wooden valances over the windows, replacing the scallopped trim for crown moulding, changing the counter to light 'stone' (real or laminate as the budget allows) replacing some of the upper doors to glass by removing panel and inserting glass, or maybe removing some of the cabinets and have open shelves instead (but ONLY if you can organize and keep tidy - always!).

And then I would paint the island!
(Sorry - I'm a gemini - I always like both answers!)

Another thought - do you really need that much counter space? Could you remove/reconfigure a few cabinets to make them a pantry, i.e.stack two or three? You loose counter but keep the storage and end up with more room in the other part of the room - dining area?

Of course if all that is more work than painting the cupboards - paint it all. But then I would have 2 colours - perimeter one colour and island a different colour. Or all uppers lighter and all lowers including island darker.

Any way you choose, have fun and enjoy your (almost) new kitchen!
February 13, 2013 at 8:57PM   
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Dianne Batchelor
Yes, paint the cupboards. A light scuff sanding, use Zinsser 1-2-3 for the primer. Any satin finish paint and a satin clear coat for protection. You will be so pleased with the results.
February 13, 2013 at 9:04PM     
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Rebekah Batt
I vote for keeping the cabinets. Another AMAZING way to lighten up this kitchen is to adjust your upper cabinets and place them higher up to ceiling height. I found a perfect blog for you! She adjusted her cabinets, lightened then and even put a litte shelf above the counter. I think it would be great in your space. I think raising the uppers will open up your space perfectly. What do you think? http://blog.urbangrace.com/2009/a-kitchen-intervention/
February 13, 2013 at 9:24PM     
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roomi
Forever one for minimal work I say remove the curtains and the scalloped event and replace the upper cupboard panels with glass. Then think about whether to replace the bench tops. The lower cupboards do not have such busy grain. The eye boggling business is all coming from those top inserts Replace or hide away the busy coloured utensils and replace with brushed stainless or earth tones and white. Painting it white will be lots of work and it sounds like the man of the house will always feel like he lost the toss.
February 13, 2013 at 9:29PM   
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salden
Yes. I did mine and now I love them. I am a kitchen designer and I knew that the cabinets in my house were made better than the new ones you purchase. Also the primitive distressed cabinets I wanted we're outta my price range. I wanted a specific paint effect so painting them myself was the best option for me. I did add some cabinets so I just purchased doors that matched existing cabinets.
February 13, 2013 at 9:29PM   
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gramflo
YES!
February 13, 2013 at 9:34PM   
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Michael
Paint them! The oak dates the cabinets and re-staining them won't help that nor a different counter top. Painting them will make them look more classic. While white is always a sure bet on lightning things up painting them two colours is a more sophisticated look. Maybe a darker colour or neutral on the bottom than on the top. Another idea, I have a friend who actually had Kilz custom tinted and painted her cabinets without putting a top coat. It gave the cabinets an antique, limed/milk painted look. Also, milk paint itself is an idea that gives a very interesting finish, especially when hand waxed.
February 13, 2013 at 10:02PM     
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LB Interiors
Sorry, too long to read all comments ....Yes, less expensive than to replace. the grain will be a visible texture, but I personaly don't mind that. There are products for DIYers that is a wipe-on stripper to dull the sheen. Don't have to sand. Saves a lot of time. And now, you can purchase a primer-paint all in one available at many hardware, home improvement and paint stores.

The best finish is that performed by a professional painter.
February 13, 2013 at 10:02PM   
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LB Interiors
To get a visual break, open the space, put some glass doors on some of the cabinets.

February 13, 2013 at 10:11PM     
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micheal lambie interiors
I would have to agree with most of the comments that I have read. Painting would do wonders to your kitchen at minimal cost. Make sure to use a good quality paint and you should be more then pleased with the outcome!
February 14, 2013 at 1:09AM   
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roomi
Yes but your partner may not be pleased and not enjoy time in the kitchen therefore you miss out (unless you hate his cooking). I say put in some glass (which would be a good idea whether you painted or not) and hope he comes around to the painting idea. What is the point of it looking designer fantastic and one person feeling their tastes are completely ignored.
February 14, 2013 at 2:23AM   
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meganpat
I would paint the cupboards off white and go for a matte darker colour on the island. Open up your window if you are not too overlooked simpler blinds would look good. What about your splash back tiles do you like them or ar you looking to change them too? You are really lucky to have good solid cabinets and plenty of space.
February 14, 2013 at 3:27AM     
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bdennison
I had similar color cabs and used rustoleum transformations to paint them. Love the look
February 14, 2013 at 4:08AM     
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johara
I would paint them a light color (or white if you like that look, which i do!) If you aren't happy with the wood, i don't think staining them another color would help. We did that to old cabinets in our house many years ago, combined with new counters and it got us through until we could remodel completely this year.
good luck
February 14, 2013 at 4:37AM   
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ljr560
@mwin10...I love the color you picked. What brand of paint did you use and what color? I have medium to light oak cabinets, but their builder grade and I would love to paint mine. I've been going back and forth for a couple of years now as to paint or just leave them. @alihonea...I agree with most everyone...I would paint them and change the scalloped edge top. The backsplash looks good. Good luck...I'm going through the same thing!
February 14, 2013 at 5:42AM   
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Lynn Babin Fontaine
Share some after pictures would like to see what you decided on.
February 14, 2013 at 5:48AM   
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carole
there are lots of different whites!!!pick one-and start painting!!!!!
February 14, 2013 at 5:55AM     
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melibd
I usually try to read thru all the post to make sure I am not just repeating what has already been said, but there are WAY to many. I have custom oak cabinets in my home here and love them. (I wouldn't dare paint them) I had old oak cabinets in our second home (they were not as nice as yours) and I painted them with Valspor New Black with primer and changed out the hardware with a Satin nickel. I love them! IF you cannot get the husband on board to paint. I would change the counter tops to something dark (like the darkest tile in your back splash), update all the hardware, and Paint you walls, maybe a Seafoam green. The yellow walls is making your cabinets appear more yellow. New curtains, something Bold! Not to be mean....But clear the clutter off your counter tops. You have so many cabinets, surely most of that stuff could be put away. And when the budget allows, update appliances to Stainless. I think this would make a major difference in how your kitchen feels.
February 14, 2013 at 6:01AM     
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mleger1
Absolutely!!!! Just did mine a beautiful blue and the aged them with an antiquing glaze and sand paper, turned out great! Saw them on houzz....
February 14, 2013 at 6:52AM   
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melibd



Like this one! It has yellow walls too.
February 14, 2013 at 6:58AM   
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NEVERENDING ROOM
I would paint and glaze them. First thing though is take the moulding off the top of the cabinets. Add crown moulding just to the cabinets, so you lose the moulding strip going across the window. I would also take the light fixtures down that are behind the moulding and add a pendant light from the ceiling. Maybe a mini chandelier. Every room needs sparkle! Next I would add a moulding to the bottom of the upper cabinet. Makes them a little more chunky! I would paint them a Pale grey, almost a white with a grey tint, Then add a slightly darker taupe grey glaze, just around the detail to highlight it.
It will look beautiful with your back splash which disappears now. I would also change the fan over the island, if the room needs a fan for ventilation then get one that hugs the ceiling and is close to ceiling color so it doesn't draw your eye up.
Hope this helps
Christine
February 14, 2013 at 7:01AM   
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melibd
February 14, 2013 at 7:02AM     
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melibd
Love this one with the dark walls and dark countertops! It makes the cabinets pop...

February 14, 2013 at 7:04AM   
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Christine Eadie
We did it we have 34 cupboards My husband palm sanded everything and applied 5 coats yes 5 of cream color paint We love it lots of work but so worth it
February 14, 2013 at 7:07AM     
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kwhlmom4
We used benjamin moore 925 ivory and used chalk paint recipe mix i cup paint with 1/2 cup baking soda ans 3 tbls hot water mix it up good and apply to lightly sanded cabinets then a poly min wax over once dried i love them. Here are some pics hope tyey inspire you! Hard work but paid off:-)
February 14, 2013 at 7:10AM     
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PamDesigns 3D
I've read through your responses and boy there have sure been a lot! So if you get to this one, I'll be very surprised. In reading through them, there have been so many opinions beyond to paint or not to paint that it seems many have lost sight of your initial reasons for asking and your stated goals. It's amazing how many are a reflection of their own agendas ~from realtors who are more concerned with resale value to cabinet dealers who want to sell you new cabinets.

You initially indicated that you inherited the cabinets from the previous owners that likely installed them in the 80's judging by the wood, details, and traditional overlay style with exposed hinges. Other tale tale signs are the vinyl flooring, ceiling fan, white appliances and laminate counter tops with wood edging. I can tell that you have no sentimental attachment to those cabinets. Having been in the cabinet industry for many years, I can tell you there is no guarantee that they are better because they were custom made. The construction process is different and may actually be substandard to many modular constructed factory made cabinets. With cabinets, you get what you pay for whether custom or factory made. I'm guessing the ones you have are pretty sturdy and you are not unhappy with the layout, or you would probably be considering a remodel rather than repainting. Or --your solution of painting may be strictly budget motivated. If this is so (as another poster indicated), this may not be the cheapest resolution if you want it done right and if you are paying someone else to do it. I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned refacing as an option that can be done to either change the wood look or a painted look. This is a solution that is in between painting and replacing when it comes to price.

I'm amazed at how many people thought it would be a travesty to paint over wood --especially those who suggested you stain them a dark color when you clearly stated you wanted light and airy.... jeesh! That oak recessed door that you have may not be the bottom of the barrel in actual quality, but I can tell you if you go to a big box store to purchase cabinets, there are two types that are the cheapest: White thermofoil (a shrink wrapped plastic white over particle board) and oak recessed panel doors that look like yours. Oak is the go-to for contractors and developers who want a wood look in moderately priced subdivisions and flip houses because it is cheap and they are banking on the public believing that because it's wood it's better.

How well the finish lasts, whether you paint or stain has a lot to do with the material. If it's water based, paint and stain tend to wear off more quickly --especially in areas that are exposed to water. The one good thing about paint is that you can always touch up. As I mentioned in my first post, semigloss is easier to maintain than matte finish because it doesn't show finger prints, absorb oil, and is easier to wipe clean.

You mentioned that you wanted to "lighten the look" of your kitchen, not necessarily update the look. As others have stated, eliminating the clutter will go a long way to achieving that goal. If you want to update the look, there are a lot of other things that need changing as others have mentioned -from switching out the light fixtures and appliances to replacing the counter tops and flooring. Whatever you do, make sure it is something you can live with. A good interior designer is worth their weight in gold if their motivation is meeting your objectives and not serving their own agenda. If you can afford it, you might consider hiring a design professional to help. They can actually save money by helping you to make savvy purchases and obtain services of quality and value than you can on your own.
February 14, 2013 at 7:37AM     
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NEVERENDING ROOM
Forgot to mention, when painting, prime them 2 x sand in between each coat. Then paint them the color youve chosen, sand after first coat, wet sand after 2nd, which will reduce the grain, then repaint the 3rd coat. Add the glaze. Then you will need at least 2 finish coats of clear sealer. Lots of work, but your cabinets will look great
Christine
Neverendingroom
845-988-7354
February 14, 2013 at 7:45AM     
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weezerb1
I would spend the money to reface what you have if the boxes are in good shape. (I would still have a light painted look.) Adding a more traditional and larger crown at the top would also make a huge difference in the overall appearance. With refacing, you can avoid the grain issue, chose a door/drawer style that is more updated. A European style of cabinetry would eliminate the gaps between each of the doors and drawers and also gives the cabinetry a cleaner look. Yes, all of this is more than just a paint job, but in the long run, I think you will be considerably happier. The countertops look to be laminate...I'd consider changing those as well.
February 14, 2013 at 8:11AM   
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blossmgirl
Yes, please! There are some very good suggestions here. Paint them paint them paint them!
February 14, 2013 at 8:16AM   
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kerryloves2travel
So many posts but worth the read & allot in good info. I have 80s oak cabinets that I am considering painting. I don't think I want to spend $$ to strip, restain ( some or faded) so after reading I will consider the $$ between painting with quality paint & painter, resurfacing & laslty new cabinets.
I did add crown molding years back as they had no tops & that made big difference.
I have 1940s wedgewood stove so am using inspiration from recent Houzz pic of Julia Child's kitchen!
Go with your gut & do what you like..if you can afford it :)
February 14, 2013 at 8:23AM     
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PamDesigns 3D
Here are a couple of links to some boards I've created on Pinterest that are collections of painted cabinet ideas --one in different paint colors and one in all white. http://pinterest.com/pamdesigns/kitchens-painted-cabinets/ and http://pinterest.com/pamdesigns/kitchens-white-cabinets/
February 14, 2013 at 8:40AM   
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bdennison
kerrylovestotravel - look at the rustolem website for their transformations kit. It comes with everything, no stripping, no sanding, all for about $80 a kit. I used two colors and finished in two weekends. Came out great and after a year still looks great. They have lots of before and afters on the site.
February 14, 2013 at 8:41AM   
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mommickey
Love it or list has or property brothers has done light tan cabinets with a backsplash like you have It looks great. If you don't want white.
February 14, 2013 at 9:40AM   
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zenhome
Oak is one of the most difficult woods to paint and even professional painters are hesitant working on oak.
February 14, 2013 at 9:44AM   
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Autumn Barnum
Respectfully I would Paint the cabinets a semi gloss white and change the pulls on the drawers and cupboards to a bronze color. They are availble at Home Depot/Lowes. You can alsp get laminet counters if you have a lower budget; I would go with black with white lines (kind of looks like granite). Also if you could afford it I would put in a harwood in a medium type color. I would suggest using Pergo type which will save you lots of money. We did just that because of our budget. Also we lived in a nice neighborhood; but most families did not have granite. That look looked fresh for years; the people we sold it to; seemed to love it, Just an idea that might help. Good luck!!.
February 14, 2013 at 10:37AM   
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mommickey
It is not a travesty to paint over the wood if the home owner doesn't like them. It is alot of work but if she loves the look when finished then. She is happy that what matters. People should remember. You can always sand then down and restain them ten years from now if you get tired of it. She could have the doors and drawer fronts dipped and stripped. If you are just looking to update try changing the knobs and taking the scallops off declutter and paint the room and if can afford to do it change the countertops. This would update it and then if you still don't think it enough paint the cabinets. Keep in mind as you paint the walls, pick counters, knobs etc. you may paint them and make sure what you pick will go with what you may change to also. suggestion : Have two plans one for just updating and one for painting. I would not spend the money to reface and I wouldn't buy new cabinets. They are well made cabinets. when I bought my home if they had nice cabinets that were all wood that were not falling apart I would of painted them. My cabinets before we redid the kitchen were falling apart. You are lucky to have a nice amount of cabinets all wood. I wish the the best with whatever you decide. I have quartz and I love it. We got rid of the granite I didn't like that you had to seal it. I also didn't want to possibly deal with any radon in my home from granite.

February 14, 2013 at 10:51AM     
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Carriage Lane Design-Build Inc.
Definitey! Or consider renovating your kitchen. They look quite old so new interiors with pull out soft close and accessories will make it worth while. Otherwise painting the doors is a easy and inexpensive quick fix to give you a quick update!
February 14, 2013 at 10:53AM   
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fairhkl
absolutely!!!!
February 14, 2013 at 12:09PM   
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Arlene Warda, Architecture+Interior Design
I agree with the semi transparent paint, glaze answer! it would give the cabinets a lighter finish, grey or white and let the wood grain show through. I would do a test sample first!...before proceeding on any of it!..say a back piece of a door. and do some tryouts on wood pieces, sample wood pieces. to get an even technique!.....hope to see how it works, whatever you decide!...
February 14, 2013 at 12:17PM   
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car2006
I'm sure you're probably not reading these comments anymore bc there are about a billion...BUT, I feel like just switching out the countertop to a light quartz to match your backsplash could go a long way. It would definitely brighten it up, as well as modernize it. Besides, quartz is resistant to everything!
February 14, 2013 at 12:25PM   
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Curb Appeal Renovations
Paint them. Not sure how much more you want to do...but here is a before and after of a kitchen where we did just that! A HUGE transformation. Probably one of the biggest cosmetic changes we've ever done! We painted the cabinets...and you need to get them professionally painted...the reason I say this is because these were sprayed, not hand painted with a brush, so you don't see any brush marks and the grain doesn't show through as much either.

We changed a couple of the cabinets to allow for a couple new appliances. New counters, backsplash, sink, faucet, grass cloth and paint on the walls...a huge transformation. Trust me...you'll be ever so glad.
February 14, 2013 at 1:31PM     
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toni1959
Definitely paint those cabinets white, your space is great! But you might want to make an investment into your counter top it doesn't have to be expensive you can purchase faux top at Home Depot!
February 14, 2013 at 1:35PM   
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frani916
I had dark cabinets for years when we built this house. My husband sanded them and we painted them white 10 yrs ago,they look like they were done yesterday,we have stainless knobs and drawer
pulls. They look great, I have painted the ceiling a pale pale light blue. Frani916.
February 14, 2013 at 2:23PM   
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ladydi747
Leave them and focus more on the backdrop and counter top. Maybe change two to glass and new hardware. Once painted it's hard going back. A shame to cover real wood.
February 14, 2013 at 2:30PM   
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kerrymincher
Pain paint paint!
February 14, 2013 at 2:48PM     
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Brenda Anderson_Dymkowski
Yes I agree with you. A light airy look would look great. I just redid a cabinet using the rust oleum kit and it turned out great. Paint went on much smoother than a cupboard I recently sanded and primed. They make an off white with brown gaze for corners that would look fantastic.
February 14, 2013 at 5:05PM     
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mossstar
I would paint them all white, insert glass panels in a few of the cabinets. Replace a row of upper cabinets with white open shelves, place plants in lighter colored pots, (yellow, peach, light green or any floral pattern) to lighten up the kitchen and break up the monotony of so many cabinets. If you are are also replacing the counter top, choose a lighter color.
February 15, 2013 at 6:28AM   
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roomi
Is hubby convinced yet?
February 15, 2013 at 6:31AM     
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apple_pie_order
@Curb Appeal Renovations: what is the type of granite countertop in your spectacular turquoise kitchen photo above? I checked your webpage; it doesn't say.
February 15, 2013 at 7:00AM   
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Jennifer Fernandez
Yes. I nice eggshell would do the trick. Sand them down first. It will take major coats, but well worth it. I took the Dark, and I mean, dark oak cabinets and painted them white. Took time, but in the end it was well worth it.
February 16, 2013 at 2:25PM   
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Teri DeLoache Tanner
I'm now totally convinced that my oak cabinets are getting painted white before we put in hardwood floors. My hubby STILL thinks the dated funky wood looks better but he's finally, after 10 years, agreed to do it to put "a twinkle in my eye". Good luck with yours.
February 17, 2013 at 10:35PM     
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kathleen MK
What is it about men and their love of wood.??
I've only convince hubby to let me paint the Kids' bath room linen cabinet and the breakfast nook wainscot. Cabinets are a pain to paint but so worth it.
February 17, 2013 at 11:13PM     
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roomi
Perhaps they have bee asked to strip too many items that should never have been painted. Like cedar tables for instance. In the Fifties and Sixties men were paint mad. You could not stop them. In my opinion wood is wasted on kitchen cabinets.
February 17, 2013 at 11:36PM     
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Penny Construction
Painting oak cabinets with panels is a very expensive process. So expensive that you might be able to buy new cabinets for less money. When you paint oak, it looks like painted oak. People generally like smooth painted materials. The "painted oak" look is plain and simply, ugly.

What you can do is to change the color of the cabinets is to use a tinted varathane type of finish. Oak has a tendancy to yellow/gold over time. If you have a cabinet door somewhere that you can experiment on the backside, find a paint store like Daly's in Seattle and have them tint some varnish or varathane or (?). You can maintain the wood look using this process. You can change the color to almost a paint look with multiple coats. You cannot make a brown cabinet light in color using this technique, but you can take a lighter oak and darken it. We have done this when when we stain some wood and we cannot get it dark enough, we then put coats of finish on to work it to the desired color.
February 18, 2013 at 12:10AM     
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nononanna
Is it that they (men) love wood and leather, or is it that they hate change and like decorating that requires no thought - easy, simple, mindless?
February 18, 2013 at 7:51AM     
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mjlb
If your husband really doesn't want to paint the oak, maybe add a lot of white -- I'm thinking those big round white knobs used in English country kitchens, a white countertop and backsplash. Sort of like:

[houzz=
]
February 18, 2013 at 8:31AM     
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mjlb
Oh, and slightly darken the oak -- even though it is darker, it will be more acceptable. Hopefully the bright white counters and backsplash, perhaps some glass in upper cabinets, and some additional lighting will give it that light feel you want.
February 18, 2013 at 8:34AM     
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alihonea
My goodness, didn't expect so many responses. I just asked about the painting the cabinets...I know the countertops, hardware, lighting, flooring, appliances, ceiling fan etc... needs to be replaced. And we already replaced the backsplash, by the way, and I love it ( the curtains too!) That is why I didn't mention them in my question, I was just stuck on the cabinets. Thanks for all the great advice and we have decided to have the cabinets professionally painted. Hopefully I will have new pics posted soon!
February 18, 2013 at 10:09AM     
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Michael
The countertops are woodgrain which is nice and neutral so when you paint the cabinets you may like the look. Your stove stop looks like stainless which is good. You might not have to change as many things as you think.
February 18, 2013 at 11:31AM   
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goodfood1
Can anyone give one or two specific color options? The consensus seems to say paint but what light color???
February 19, 2013 at 4:55AM   
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Michael
goodfood1- White Dove by Benjamin Moore is a good white. It's soft, works well with other whites. A very interesting white, if you want something creamy and soft is Serene C2-368 by C2 Paints. I contacted the company about a year ago to ask them if any of their paints are truly "full spectrum" and this is one of them they gave me. We used it and wow do we love it. It's creamy and soft but because it's full spectrum it takes on a different quality throughout the day and night. The colour makes subtle changes that are almost subliminal but it makes the colour more complex and interesting. I never knew such a light, neutral colour could have such depth and luminosity. If you're unfamiliar with full spectrum paints you might google and read up on them. Basically they are mixed the way that artists mix colours. More and higher quality pigments are used so that every colour is within a colour just as it is in nature and it does wonders for whites and neutrals. Most museums and galleries now use this method to paint their walls to achieve a more complimentary effect for artwork. I urge you to check it out.
February 19, 2013 at 5:49AM     
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violinist3713
Yes!!!!!! I would reccomend painting them white to brighten up the place. I think it is definitely worth it. You could even paint the island a different color, maybe a cream, black or grey
February 19, 2013 at 6:39PM   
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Lkristine
May be old, but yes, paint them.......
February 19, 2013 at 7:08PM     
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PRO
Castle Rock Construction
Add crown to the top of the cabinets and light rail at the bottom the cabinet. Paint and then add a glaze.... http://www.castlerockconstruction.com/projects2.php?project_ID=7 Disregard the island
February 19, 2013 at 11:08PM     
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piperreno
Glad you are being swayed to paint them. I also like Ellen Crystal's advice on how to go about it.
February 19, 2013 at 11:20PM     
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chrisroh
I had my 1990s oak cabinet doors stained a slightly darker color. Everyone who walked in loved the color. I had 24 doors and drawers. The side of some of the cabinets was a wood-look that he covered with real wood and all the exposed wood was sanded down and stained. He also trimmed every thing. If you decide to paint them white, make sure you great a good paint that will cover the wood. You might want to think about making the island a light green or even a black. You have made your kitchen your home, but the counters need to be cleaned off. If you don't use an appliance everyday, store it. Your counter space is prime real estate.
February 25, 2013 at 1:54PM   
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tt67
I did mine. They were very similar to yours..good quality but out of date. I did a black w mustard glaze. It looks great. The finished you chose need to coordinate w how you want the room to look, the other rooms nearby. Take the plunge. Research colors and how tos on you tube ( easy instructionals on line).
February 25, 2013 at 7:20PM   
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Merilyn Gear
leave the wood as is replace the tiles with coloured glass and get some of the clutter off the benches maybe a wooden finish on the floor as well
February 25, 2013 at 7:32PM   
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julie77777
tt67 - do you have a photo? sounds intriguing!
February 25, 2013 at 7:33PM   
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tt67
You asked for it. My kitchen is a mess but this gives an idea. They were the standard oak cabs. I added the little 'feet' at bottom to make them look more custom. It's a good way to get extra 5 to 7 yrs out of blah cabinets.
February 25, 2013 at 7:40PM     
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vmanna1972
Definitely paint them WHITE!!! It would be beautiful. Your backsplash would work well with it as we'll. also, maybe in the future you can put wood floors in.
February 25, 2013 at 8:12PM   
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PRO
Studio Dearborn
Definitely paint them. I had a similar dillema in my own kitchen--I am a kitchen designer, and work with a wonderful cabinet company, but we are not ready to redo the kitchen. We painted, replaced the backsplash and hardware, and feel like we have a whole new kitchen! We used an oil-based primer (Kilz or Zinser) and Benjamin Moore Advance Eggshell on top. DO NOT try to use a latex primer, or if you do, test an area for adhesion. Benjamin Moore's advance primer did not stick and we had to sand and repaint a huge section of cabinets.
February 25, 2013 at 8:21PM   
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PRO
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Painted cabinets look fresh and modern and you can touch them up. Yes, please definitely paint them Dove white or a white with a brown base so its creamy with the backsplash. You will be amazed at how well they look when you are done. Also put slow closers on them-on the drawers and the cabinet doors so the paint job lasts for longer.
February 25, 2013 at 8:31PM   
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underedenx
I painted the kitchen cabinets in my first house (first pic) and it was soooo much work... it helped me sell it fast... though looking back on it now im not sure how!? what was i thinking with that asian border paper!? i was only 20 when i did it in my defence!:-)
im knee deep in a kitchen reno in my current house (second pic) and while painting the cabinets seemed like a lot of work back then? i can honestly say it was WAY easier then this!! full gut kitchen renos in my opinion are what hell on earth feels like!
if u like your layout and the cabinets are solid? PAINT THEM! and consider yourself lucky!
February 25, 2013 at 9:34PM   
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cchlopecki
I would paint them. Taking into consideration the color of your backsplash and flooring, you can paint dark brown/ black color. ( see Ikea ) and it will look nice. white is nice, but it requires alot of cleaning, and with painted product not sure it will stand up to the cleaning. Change your counter tops to white instead
February 25, 2013 at 9:46PM     
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julie77777
alihonea -- loving this discussion ...so much great info! My cabinets are that exact color, similar style, same grainy oak .... but you have about 2.5 times the number that I have ;) Not sure what I am doing with mine just yet. As many others have suggested, yours is a great candidate for some glass fronts on some of them. Can't wait to see your finished product!
February 26, 2013 at 7:40AM   
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PRO
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
I'm a former realtor too -12 years ago and I say EGADS! when it comes to hideous orange oak cabinets. All the clients rip them out. Its the first thing they do. Do a nice hand brushed job on them. Don't spray them-hand brush them and you tube it to know how to do it correctly. Or hire a faux painter who has experience and can do it right. I'd even consider doing a french sheer stria on them over a bright white such as Atrium white from BM
February 26, 2013 at 12:54PM     
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tt67
I looked a little more closely. Take the scallop off the top, too. It can be replaced w a modern molding. I had a country looking rail that I replaced and it made a huge difference.
February 26, 2013 at 12:59PM   
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erasistible
I painted my cabinets and am SO happy that I did. Adding Flotrol to the paint really helps reduce, even eliminate brush marks. I also sanded and primed them first. I used a brush instead of a roller because I always end up with bumps when I use a roller. I don't know if using Flotrol would eliminate this problem when using a roller. Rolling is so much faster--it may be worth a try.
February 26, 2013 at 1:04PM     
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tt67
My before and after from a few 3 yrs ago. I took my time and did it right..and it's held up great.
February 26, 2013 at 1:10PM     
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PRO
Imperial Kitchens and Baths, Inc.
Have you considered having the cabinet's refaced? The door style and wood species are both dated looking and after all the effort and cost of painting you may not like the result. Refacing would involve the old doors and drawer fronts being removed and replaced with something you like - and then the boxes are covered with either a laminate or veneer that matches the new doors.
February 26, 2013 at 1:17PM   
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Jayme H.
@tt67 Did u refinish, and if so, what method?
February 26, 2013 at 1:21PM   
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julie77777
What about getting new doors in white (maple or MDF or ???), then painting the other parts of the cabinets? Is that a reasonable thing to do? Will the white frig clash with the white cabinets? I am considering this and would love any comments.
February 26, 2013 at 1:23PM   
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Gena Miller
My cabainets are exactly like yours. Please let me know what you decide. I hate mine. The finish on your cabinets are exactly like mine.
February 26, 2013 at 1:27PM   
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PRO
The Griffin Group Keller Williams Houston Realtors
I would stain them a darker color and focus more on the backsplash and counter tops. Also, getting rid of the scalloped trim above the kitchen window would help to modernize the look.
February 26, 2013 at 1:29PM     
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tt67
I did it myself. I removed all doors and hardware. I lightly sanded, used two coats of no-sand prep (even though I lightly sanded). Then I did 3 coats of black. I used the blackest I could find...called Micky Mouse ears from Home Depot. I did a between coat sand and cleaned with tack paper. After 3 coats, I glazed w a mustard yellow and glaze mixture. I applied with a rag and removed with old t-shirt scraps. Then I did 2 coats of semi-gloss poly. I had never done a glaze before but just watched a you tube video. I painted all doors in the basement. And then painted the boxes in place. It was easy to do but a ton of work (if that makes sense). It's easy for people to throw out the advice to rip them out and get new. But, it isn't financially feasible for most. Plus, during most of the project I had a working kitchen...just without doors. The dog loved being able to help himself to whatever he wanted ;).
February 26, 2013 at 1:33PM     
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Jayme H.
So it took appox 6 applications of product on top...wow big job! Looks like u did a nice job!
February 26, 2013 at 1:40PM   
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lionnessone
Yes, you can paint; keep the colour light, and crisp- Benjamin Moore White Dove PM-19, White Dove OC-17, White Swan #927, Windsor Cream #913, or Kansas Grain 32160-60. Change your hardware and replace your window treatments to sheers and an awning over the windows. You have a great kitchen. I love the custom-made cupboards. :) Have fun!

[houzz=Custom Pull-Out Mixer Stand][houzz=Light Farm-Kitchen][houzz=Debra Campbell Design][houzz=Bistro Style Kitchen]
February 26, 2013 at 1:55PM   
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tt67
Yes. However, the no sand stuff dries really quick. I just didn't want to ever do it again once it was taken apart.
February 26, 2013 at 1:56PM   
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PRO
Richard Rizzo Art and Design
Personally I love the look of wood and would normally try talking anyone out of it because of its natural beauty and value but if it's something you are dead set on doing then white or an off white color would be a pleasant look.
Be sure to properly prepare before painting this would include wiping clean and light sanding, a good primer is next and depending on the quality of paint it may take several coats with light sanding between each coat including the prime coat. I would recommend doing both sides of the door which in any case should be removed from the hinges as well as the hinges themselves. The frame should be done the same way, you may also want to consider doing the inside of the cabinets as well.
Another alternative may be pickling or a glaze wash, which may be less labor intensive then painting it.
Plan on a protective coat as a final coat.
For more information visit a local paint center and ask them, some may have brochures on faux finishing techniques which may prove useful if you go the pickling or glaze wash route.

Wishing you the best on your project.

-Richard
February 26, 2013 at 2:06PM     
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PRO
Cabinets To Go
We love kitchen makeovers! It's important to install high quality cabinets that are going to last but NOBODY wants to spend an arm and a leg on something like kitchen cabinets do they? For anyone considering new cabinets, Cabinets To Go is definitely worth checking out--we do bathroom vanities too :) http://www.cabinetstogo.com/
July 11, 2013 at 1:58PM   
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frani916
My Kitchen cabinets were 'pecan' for years and my husband took all the doors off and sanded them in the shed. Then hand sanded the framed but not the inside, I painted them 'vanilla'2 coates and a 3rd with a small roller.
with brushed little knobs. Everyone says they are beautiful !. very happy with them but it was a lot of work but fun.
July 11, 2013 at 2:21PM   
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sherilt
No! New counter tops and flooring is all you need! It would look beautiful!
November 7, 2013 at 6:58PM   
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bears72
Alehonea what happened- you said in February you were going to paint and get a professional to do it. Hundreds are waiting for progress pictures if you are still working on the entire project.
November 7, 2013 at 9:10PM   
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Judiwithani
They'll look great painted. It's hard painting over wood stain- somewhere we got conditioned to preserve it. What's always worked for me is to go with what I want. Makes me happy and It works out to be the right decision every time. So paint and make yourself a beautiful kitchen! Would like to see some after pictures.
November 7, 2013 at 9:44PM     
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PRO
Nelson Rogers Design
If you are DIY kind of person the Rustoleum system does work well - and the glaze will help cover the grain. If you feel that the cabinets suit your needs - painting is much less expensive than refacing or replacing. If you are not a DIY kind of person - you can usually find a local company that specializes in doing exactly that. I have done this on numerous jobs with varying finishes - they hold up well and can completely transform the look. Look on the web for "cabinet refinishing". There are two excellent companies in my area - and I would imagine you can find one in yours. Good luck. PS I have never had a client happy with stripping and staining.
November 7, 2013 at 10:05PM   
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PRO
Faux Illusions LLC
fill that oak grain with Durhams putty and sand, prime with Zinsser Cover Stain, two coats paint, I've been using Benjamin Moore Advance, if glaze buy a decent glaze at least $50/gallon. Any glaze that costs less is not worth using. If glazing need to seal, use Satin Varathane water based
November 8, 2013 at 6:44AM   
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Allison Read
I just had wood cabinets painted because the wood was overpowering and not the light airy look the owner wanted. I contracted out with a pro because he had the equipment and expertise to make them look like they just came out of the showroom. It was a bit pricey but the finish is smooth as silk, factory hard, and much less expensive than replacing all the cabinets. Work is still in progress, but the difference already is spectacular.
November 8, 2013 at 1:13PM   
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PRO
Tile Circle
Yes, definitely! They could use come updating. Either painting them white or staining them would be great. It depends on what kind of look you are going for. As Allison said, white cabinets will brighten up the kitchen and make it look airy. Staining them a darker color would also look beautiful. It would go with your backsplash (if you plan on leaving that).
November 8, 2013 at 2:02PM   
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PRO
Creative Cabinets and Faux Finishes. LLC
Paint them definately. Looks like a combination of plywood and oak both not the greatest wood for cabinets - maple and cherry would be a different matter - the picture I am attaching is a kitchen we redid from oak to paint. Hire a professional - sealing the grain is not an easy task ...
November 8, 2013 at 3:42PM     
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hervery
hello there, I can not make this kitchen cabinets but BUTTER ones
December 19, 2013 at 12:08PM   
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kathytoo
Paint them! Don't listen to the people who act like you are committing a crime against nature or that that wood is no longer available. That is hogwash. I would take out a few upper cabinets too and that piece of scalloped moulding and replace the moulding before painting. It would open up the kitchen and make is so much prettier. The one thing I would keep is the way the drawers and cabinet door inset. So I wouldn't want to replace the doors and drawers unless they could keep the inset look which would be expensive. I love the look of inset doors. You can get rid of those hinges too and they will look even better. Unless you can move the fridge I would build the cabinet out so it comes to the edge of the fridge or just tear that cabinet out entirely. So just paint and please take down a few cabinets. Don't let anyone bully you with the sin of painting wood. Men are the worse about that but uneducated women can be too. Ask any decorator and they would say paint. They just aren't that great and even if they were they belong to you and you can paint them.
January 16, 2014 at 12:00PM     
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laurenk71
I had simliar cabinets. After 5 years of nagging my husband to let me paint them he finally caved. I painted them a creamy white and glazed the edges. They came out so good, we replaced the counters with beautiful granite. People think we did a complete renovation of our kitchen instead of a facelift...go for it!!!! Make sure you lightly sand and use a good primer before painting:)
January 16, 2014 at 12:47PM   
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sondramartina
This was posted a year ago. I hope they will give us an update.
January 16, 2014 at 1:08PM     
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mouzzer
You said it yourself:-) Take the plunge, paint the cabinets and achieve the look you want...via a professional who knows how to do it in order to get the best result.
January 16, 2014 at 1:12PM   
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PRO
MS Colours Inc
Fine paints of Europe makes a filler for wood with open pores. I would suggest you hire a professional for your project.
January 16, 2014 at 2:40PM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
There is no contrast in this room. Everything one color. That moulding at top should be changed out take a smile moulding to the ceiling. Remove those lights. Remove window covers. Can you add new counters top. A granite, go the grays and blacks. What kind of ceiling lighting do you have? Add recessed. Can't see appl but all should match. Paint, a soft gray. White pleated window shade from Lowes. Would update your look. Paint or stain cabinets. They are oak and very dated. A dark gray, make sure you buy cabinets paint or it will chip. Lowes carries.
January 17, 2014 at 9:00AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Remove fan. If recessed light not in budget go stainless track lights Ikea has them. Easy to install from fan box. New flooring a dark gray slate or ceramic lay in random pattern. 14-16" tiles.
January 17, 2014 at 9:03AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Use stainless knobs. No gold.
January 17, 2014 at 9:03AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Backsplash a black or stainless .
January 17, 2014 at 9:04AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Are those shutters on windows? If so leave but remove valance. Dated. Nothing over shutters.
January 17, 2014 at 9:05AM   
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sierrabb
If you want the light airy look then do it. You're the one that needs to love it. I did the same in my last house and never regretted it for a moment. Good luck!
January 17, 2014 at 9:31AM   
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PRO
Sound Painting Solutions
I would paint them as well. Two different colors would look great. Here's a project we did last summer:
. Also, I would recommend conversion varnish over painting them. You can get it made in any color, but it would hold up much better than paint. It is a hard finish. Best of luck :)
January 17, 2014 at 5:56PM   
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sstarr
The lower cabinets-different color thing is a fad which I don't feel will last very long. The exception would be a kitchen with cabinetry which is varied in design itself, so that the color differences make sense. There are some European kitchens like this. However, stock cabinetry in a two-tone scheme is going to be obsolete soon, IMO.
Just my 2 cents and worth every penny. S*
January 17, 2014 at 6:10PM   
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PRO
Deborah Roides Interior Design
I would go for it. Painting willl truly transform the look of your kitchen. The grain is very busy and eliminating that with paint will give you a less busy and clean look. You could try a color on the bottom and white on top if you want something a little more interesting.
January 17, 2014 at 6:17PM   
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omagnes
It is your kitchen, so paint it or have it done, but forgive me for saying, get rid of al the stuff on the counter. Good luck.
January 17, 2014 at 6:23PM     
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Joanie Rogers
I'm just curious...after posting your question almost one year ago.....what did you decide to do?
January 17, 2014 at 6:23PM     
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cchlopecki
I am curious too, did you paint ?
January 27, 2014 at 11:44PM     
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alihonea
Sorry for not keeping any updates. I had unexpected hip surgery right after my post. It was may second hip surgery one in a year and oh boy! This time it really put me down! Had to learn to walk all over again, etc.. Anyways I'm almost 100% so I will be painting soon. I did use some great advice and took the curtains down, removed scalloped molding ( I knew something didn't look right ), clean the counters off (lol), new lighting and hardware. But I'm not posting pics until I'm done ;)
February 28, 2014 at 6:07AM     
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carole
hello alihonea,good to hear you are back on your feet! and when you are ready we will be here to see the changes made,but for now,look after yourself first...then the painting and decorating....
February 28, 2014 at 1:43PM     
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sarabeth2
So sorry to hear you had a little health set-back. Sounds like you are getting well enough now to renew your energies towards your cabinet painting project. I will be anxiously waiting to see the results. Don't forget us here on Houzz --- we want to see your beautiful new kitchen updates! Did you say you are having them professionally done or do them yourself?
February 28, 2014 at 2:18PM   
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juststaci
Paint them. I just chose BM "simply white" from a google, added quartz countertops, and wa-la great kitchen.
February 28, 2014 at 4:26PM   
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PRO
LB Interiors
Nice to hear you are recovering. Take your time, 'you' are more important!
February 28, 2014 at 10:48PM   
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