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Okay to leave these kitchen cabinets alone?? Need your thoughts!
julie77777
February 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Kitchen in need of updates! I am getting new flooring (for both the tiny kitchen and small dining room - it's really all one room, not two), new countertops, new hardware, and some new lighting (satin nickel finish). I've never loved these 1993 cabinets but they are in good shape and honestly, there's no budget for new cabinets (as we just added on a family room and bdrm). I know that painting cabinets is really "in" but I'm not sure what color I would paint them....and to have them done right, at least the doors/drawers would need to be done professionally. The doors/drawers are oak; the ugly sides WILL be covered with something nicer. I've been told that getting new flooring, countertops and hardware will make the cabinets look a lot better --- and I hope that is right! Floor tile: neutral beigy with some gray and some of the cabinet color in it; countertop: dark gray with some muted swirls/speckles; hardware: satin nickel. I will try to post some pics. If you think these cabinets must be painted, please tell me what color. (The newer appliances are white; the old beige refrig will be leaving us soon and new oven hood is needed.) All comments are appreciated.
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julie77777
sorry, meant to load my kitchen cabinets photo first! I don't have many cabinets. Small galley style kitchen - I'm afraid that painting them dark would not look right - though I know that dark cabinets are very popular now.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 7:18PM
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violinist3713
Although dark is popular I love the simple modern look of white cabinets and black counterops. It is truly timeless. If I were you I woul hands down paint your cabinets white
2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Tres McKinney Design
After all your improvements you will wish you had painted the cabinets. Paint them white since all your appliances are white. It will make the room feel more spacious and cohesive. Remove the cupboards over the refrigerator or if you can, bump them out with new sides to be the same depth as the refrigerator or build in the refrigerator with storage above that the depth of the refrigerator. If you paint the cabinets you can augment them and add a crown moulding at the top of the cabinets that will give them more character.
2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 9:16PM
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jsherwin
Another consideration is to check the hardware. You may be able o replace the doors rather inexpensively and paint the actual cabinet whatever colour you choose. That said I would agree with the other comments, white would be the easiest.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Design Zeal
I have to say that I agree the cabinets need to be painted. However, I would suggest the soft warm gray that I see in the flooring. Tracing Paper from Color Life and Tony Taupe from Sherwin Williams are good choices. I don't have my paint decks with me but can give you a couple more suggestions if you want. Hope it helps!
2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 10:26PM
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julie77777
Thank you all SO much for the comments! I have been worrying that maybe I would regret NOT painting the cabinets, once I had the new flooring and countertops in. I have not purchased the flooring or countertop yet but want to finalize choices and move along with this very soon! For paint: I like both the white and the soft warm gray suggestions. (Yes, Design Zeal, more suggestions are very welcome!) If I go with white cabinets, how do I decide WHICH white? My white trim and white doors are Ermine White from Porter/PPG (Advantage 900); all hardware will be satin nickel. We are also definitely adding new "inside" hinges on the cabinets. I would have to have the cabinet doors and drawers painted and sealed professionally, and I will have to figure out how do the rest (following all the great directions that I have found on Houzz and BHG sites.) A little scary! THANKS a ton for the comments so far........
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:48AM
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morristhecat
Too much white with white appliances. I also like the idea of a grey or a slighly darker from the tile. I am having the same problem with my bathroom. I'm getting a bid for cheap solid paintable grade maple or plywood fronts only. If you paint those oak cabinets, those grooves will still show (which I don't like in my bathroom). I'm also checking into some kind of paint or undercoat that might hide the grooves. We couldn't go with new cabinets in the kitchen so we had a great independent cabinet maker stain premium maple and wrap the outside oak (door frames around cabinets) in maple also and it looks fantastic and much lower cost. If you haven't thought of this, you might at least get a bid before you paint. You might be surprised that with the small kitchen, this is affordable and are glad you didn't paint. I'll send a picture soon.
2 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:10AM
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julie77777
morristhecat -- Thank you! I have read a lot about oak grain showing through when you paint and that most people don't seem to like that look - so that is a concern about painting. Use some sort of wood filler before painting?? So - in your kitchen, you had new cabinet doors made and stained? ....and then had the rest of the cabinets basically re-faced? I have thought about re-facing all of it, but also read that it was expensive (something like roughly 70% of the cost to replace the cabinets, due to intense labor). I bet your kitchen looks great -- if you have before and after photos, I would love to see them!
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 7:19AM
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Steve Vitale
Check out the rustoleum cabinet remodel kit... It is a three step process that allows you to change you cabinet color without compromising on losing the wood grain. It is easy to use and has numerous color choices... We did our oak cabinets and they turned out great
3 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:23AM
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cam27525
Paint them white and add molding to the top to make them taller! It will bring so much value to your home and bring it into this century!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:27AM
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julie77777
Steve V and cam27525 -- Thank you! I will check out the Rustoleum kit -- had read about that earlier and sounds promising. I have been sick about not having molding on the top of those cabinets (and have lived here 5 yrs) so if I paint, I can definitely add molding :) Now I just have to figure out WHICH WHITE or WHICH GRAY. I really don't want to change the wall color (the small kitchen is part of a sort-of small great room which also includes casual dining rm and entryway - would be a lot of painting work for me!).
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:36AM
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PRO
On the Spot Furniture Revival llc
After the initial sanding, you can apply a grain filler. It fills all the pores. Sand again until smooth. It's rather labor intensive but worth it if you don't want the grain to show thru.
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 7:45AM
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Amiano and Son Construction
If you are going with white appliances I would not go with white cabinets. It would be better to leave them as is. Plus for cleaning purposes, you have more of a chance of chipping and yellowing. When you buy painted cabinets, they are painted then put through an oven where the finish is baked on giving it a more durable surface. What's dating your cabinets is the arch style. If you can swing new doors that would update it. If your budget doesn't allow, just stick with your plan. As for your counter, I would recommend something in more of a beige with dark brown in it. Cambria has some beautiful tops that are practically maintenance free. I would even add a decorative backsplash in tile. A really gorgeous top with a new backsplash is what is going to make your tired kitchen pop. Good luck!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:48AM
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Elaine M. Rushlow C.K.D.
change the hinge of your fridge its on the wrong side
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:57AM
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rozajac
There is nothing wrong with those cabinets. Update the flooring and install two-tone backsplash (6"x6" preferably). If you decide to install tiles straight and not on 45 degree angle, you can easily to it yourself (angle is little tricky and I don't know your confidence level of cutting tiles, that's the reason I said 'you can do it easily if you decide to install them straight).
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:01AM
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julie77777
Thanks, all! Yes, some sort of tile backsplash will be added, once the rest is figured out and done. I think I should be able to handle straight tiles. That will help a lot with updating this kitchen! (Elaine - When we get our new frig, we will definitely change the handle to the other side. This one was set up for our previous home and we didn't change it when we moved, though we of course should have!) Amiano - Yes, those arches are certainly the big "offenders".....maybe painting white or a soft light gray would make the arches less noticeable? Definitely have some decisions to make here!! All suggestions are welcome....
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:41AM
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nasmijati
I have read quite a few of the "paint cabinets white" with "white appliances" discussions.
Things to think about:
1.) In order for the appliances and cabinets to match, you will need to use "appliance white" paint on the cabinets. If the walls are some other color of white, they will look dingy.
2.) The floor and countertop should be in complimentary colors to each other. Will white appliances and white cabinets be too stark with earth tone floors and counters, and off-white walls?
3.) If you use an oil-based paint on the cabinets, it will yellow over time.
4.) If you paint the cabinets yourself, the paint might chip and you might always need to be touching up spots. Some people recommend having the cabinet doors professionally sprayed, and paint the cabinet boxes themselves.
5.) The cabinets seem to be in good condition. The arches on the upper doors do date them. Could you change just the arched doors? Then you would have more money for the flooring and countertop.
6.) Fancy tile backslashes are extremely popular right now. They do have a lot of grout lines. One might consider a glass backsplash with no grout lines at all! Glass backslashes can be back painted in the color of your choice.
7.) It is possible to have the countertop and backsplash be made in the same material. I am sorry I do not remember if this is in an Ideabook, or if the idea and photos were part of a Design Dilemma. I will try to locate this information for you.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:54AM
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nasmijati
Look in the Professionals section of Houzz. Enter "DeWitt Architects" in the search box.

For the discussion, look in Design Dilemmas, February 13, 2013, "Is a Backsplash Necessary?"
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:04AM
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nikitasmom
We are looking to replace our hinges as well. You may need a specialty hinges if your doors are lipped like mine. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17284&TabSelect=Videos
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Amiano and Son Construction
A backsplash is really necessary behind the area where your faucet is because the water will soften the sheetrock over time (taking into account that's what's there), and even over the stove since it's much easier to scrub spattered tile than a wall. Other than those areas, its more of a design element for the remainder of the area. Putting a nice tile as eztia was saying, in glass would brighten up that area behind your stove, plus it will bring that updated look you are going for. I would really leave the cabinets as is and add crown molding to the tops, and picture frame molding to the sides to give them a little more of that custom look. Over time you will really regret having painted them.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:22AM
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julie77777
Thanks a ton! Eztia, great points - and many things that I have been wondering about! I would really love to do glass backsplash...we'll see. Amiano -- Crown molding on tops of cabinets: My original thought was to just add crown molding and change hardware/hinges ....but I didn't think I would be able to match the stain color and finish of these 1993 cabinets. Anyone have advice on matching old stain or what brand is going to have the most selections of stain? Nikitasmom: Thanks for hinges info! Thanks, all ..... lots to think about!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Julie,

I thnk you should add the crowns, paint the bases a warm gray, or gray brown, with white upper cabinets. With new hardware and then the arches will not look dated, but designerly, current and lovely. Select a beautiful counter tip of granite with a light amount of character, with a light background and elements of grays and browns, mixed with ivory and white. Your backsplach should be a timeless classic ivory white or natural white (not bright white) subway tiles. You can do a little framed tile feature over stove, and you will have an amazing kitchen you will love for years.
Lower Cabinet and Wall ideas in Benjamin Moore:

Sterling silver - Silver bells

Sabre gray - Alaskan husky

Victorian Garden - Early Morning Mist
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Amiano and Son Construction
It's really "in" now to add painted elements with natural wood (I am sure you can find an example on this site. I hope you can see the attached image, but here is a kitchen with your door style and some decorative trim. Granted the example is country, but it gives you a visual about what can be done to take the focus off the doors themselves.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:47AM
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morristhecat
I'm back. I can't find my pictures on my pc but will send from my phone to my pc and will send you some of my kitchen. The independent cabinet guy cut slabs of premium maple and them stained them the color I wanted. But when he cut them, they were made larger than the original ones so they looked "euro" style. I had oak cabinets with the slats inbetween the cabinets just like you but made the doors wider so as to hide that vertical piece in the center. On the surrounding oak cabinet base, he used maple veneer, stained again, and glued to the original oak. This is called refacing. He also made sure that all of the hinges were now inside--not outside anymore! I also had a huge pantry with doors made and cabinets over the fridge and pantry. It was inbetween $5-6000 so I got a great deal. He has since made a wall for me and we installed an eco-fuel fireplace.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 12:04PM
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julie77777
You all have such great ideas!! Mary - thank you - I've never pictured white cabinets on top with different color on bottom but I will have to consider that. Thanks for the color suggestions! Amiano - I couldn't see the image but I will look around the site tonight. Morris - I have thought seriously about refacing but I've also been told that it can cost around 65-70% of what buying new cabinets would cost - such a timeconsuming and painstaking process I would think. I bet your kitchen looks amazing, though! Thanks all...more to think about!!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 1:14PM
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julie77777
Re-facing kitchen cabinets -- does anyone else have any comments on that? Ballpark cost compared to purchasing new cabinets? May be too much $ for me.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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On the Spot Furniture Revival llc
I reface cabinets. Cost is largely dependent on veneer material chosen as well as new door style. Rough estimate is between 50-75% of replacement.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design




Example of granite for counter top, has the blend of grays and brown in a light background, with just enough character. I would find one with even more white/ivory light color if possible.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design



Picture these gray cabinets below your upper white cabinets.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:11PM
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koehlej
Hey Julie, we had the same problem. Here is how we solved it: http://venturesandmuses.blogspot.com/search/label/remodeling
I think painting is the best option and it's cheap. If you want to paint it white, take the time to sand the fronts of the doors and drawers properly and try not to get any paint runs. This was my first paint job, so if you have experience already, you will get better results than I did. Still, I love my new kitchen.
Julia
PS: Before and after is all the way at the bottom.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
There is somewhere the perfect gray lowers and white uppers, but I can not find., But I think it is beautiful when the lowers are not too dark, and when there is a light color on the wall that is the same as the base cabinets but lighter, and then the white upper cabinets standout from the wall in fabulous way. So you will have to use your imagination because the picture eludes me.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 6:29PM
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julie77777
Mary P - Thanks a lot for taking the time to show me lots of great ideas! On the Spot - Thank you re: re-facing cost ... yes, probably beyond what I can spend unfortunately, though I don't have many cabinets so maybe I should get a rough quote and reconsider. Koehlej -- Thanks for pointing me to your blog. Loved seeing the photos and reading all your good info and advice! Nice job!! Will do some more research and hopefully have cabinets decision made within a couple of weeks ...
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 7:26PM
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julie77777
That granite photo you included - Mary P - that is gorgeous!!!!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 9:59AM
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julie77777
Leaning towards doing new hardware, new hinges (inside), adding crown molding on the cabinets (and not painting) -- and also doing new floor, new countertops, add a backsplash, some new lighting -- and certainly some new accessories/decor :) But not sure yet! Would love to do updated cabinet doors, but that would mean re-facing (which is probably more than my budget can handle). Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestions!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Sarah McColm
I wouldn't be keen on painting - I think the wood is nice. However, I might stain them darker with that amazing gel where you don't have to do any stripping. That way they would match your kitchen table/chairs and provide more contrast with the pales of the new floors/worktops/appliances. Also, new hardware is a must - I think that'll have much more of a positive impact than any colour change.

Here's some dodgy photo manipulation that if you squint your eyes at might give you an idea of how it'd look ;)
0 Likes   Thanked by julie77777    February 8, 2014 at 2:32PM
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mhteb
I recently finished my kitchen redo. Yes, the oak grain does show through, but it makes you realize it is wood and not something synthetic. I don't think there is a noticeable difference between the white cabinets and the white appliances. I spent a little over $100 for premium paint and have leftovers. I did it all on a tight budget. I did all the painting myself, inside and out and I'm in my 70's. So, how hard can it be?
3 Likes   February 22, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Beautiful mhteb!
2 Likes   February 23, 2014 at 9:26AM
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mhteb
Mary, thank you so much. It means a lot to hear from a professional. I've always thought a professional would probably shudder upon entering my house. In case you didn't notice that is a 1980's dropped ceiling which I happen to like.
1 Like   February 23, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Mhteb - like the hint of olive in your gray, it is different. Your ceiling treatment works with your concept.
0 Likes   February 24, 2014 at 8:03AM
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mhteb
Mary Poulos, The color is BM's Misted Fern. Here is a pic taken from what in 1980's was called the Club Room. You can see how the dropped ceiling looks from the other side. Breakfast room is open area off to the right.
0 Likes   February 24, 2014 at 11:29AM
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