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Updating Laminate Cabinets
athena2786
February 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi Everyone:

I am needing some help with my future kitchen! My fiancee and I are moving into a home that has laminate cabinets. The cabinets are actually in great shape with flat front doors.

I am going to have to deal with the kitchen in it's current condition until we get the money saved up to update it to our standards. However, I would like to give the kitchen as much of a make over as I possibly can. I really like the look of shaker cabinets and would like to do that on the current cabinets.

Does anyone have any experience on adding trim to the front of laminate doors? If so, what materials do you use and how did you do it?

Thanks so much!!!!
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mjlb
If you plan to update it in the future, I would not fiddle with changing the doors. That said, I really like it as it is! The graphic black and white look is classic, vintage, and trendy all at the same time, You may come to like its idiosyncratic look.
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 6:49PM
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athena2786
mjlb...
I'm not sure how long it will be till I can update the kitchen....if it was up to me, it'd be yesterday, but alas our pocket books aren't allowing for such things when considering paying for a wedding, honeymoon, and the house.
I actually don't mind the tile that much, but I prefer something different.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:02PM
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athena2786
Interiors...
Thank you for the information. I actually just finished painting the kitchen cabinets in my condo (omg...so much work, but worth it!). I'll give the balsa wood a look. Thanks!
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Ironwood Builders
3I! Balsa wood? So soft you can cut it with your fingernail? On cabinets? athena2786, adding moulding to a cabinet face can be a problem. Doors can hit each other and bind at the hinges..and then they would need to be painted..always a chore and harder because paint doesn't like to stick to laminate. How about you change out the counter top to get some color and detail in the room and let the cabinets move to the background? Although, one alternative is just replacing the door and drawer fronts. Look at Rockler for unfinished cabinet doors and drawer fronts to paint and install yourself. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5986&site=ROCKLER
5 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Bohnhoff Woodworking
I would live with house and save for the things you really want to improve upon. Adding trim to the fronts of doors could be a problem just as stated by Ironwood Builders.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Keating Studio
I'd change out the pulls and be happy with it. You'd be surprised what a difference bar pulls can do for simple slab doors. http://www.houzz.com/long-bar-pulls
3 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Darzy
I'm with keating design. Update the hardware and fabulous lighting and that alone will do wonders.
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Lizabeth
Janka hardness rating of balsa is 100. Janka hardness rating of Doug Fir is 660, Janka hardness rating of oak is 1360, Janka hardness rating of hickory is 1860.,, Hmm, yes this rating tells one how much force it takes to dent wood . Paint does not add strength. almost too silly for me to respond. I am thinking of an ED late night commercial that might show an aging man with some spray paint. LOL sorry it is late and what I can I say. Please I hope someone sees this as funny as I do.
3 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:35PM
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aniluap2
I'm with Darzy and keating design, change the hardware and lighting until you have the budget to do what you really want. Refacing is expensive and not worth it in this case because you will have wood doors and laminate boxes. It is a cool kitchen embrace it and add your touch until you can afford to redo it they way you want.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Lizabeth
Keating Thank goodness cause I am thinking Ironwood and balsa. pretty clear choice from where I stand.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 7:50PM
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PRO
Studio Homes
you could ask a cabinet builder the cost of just getting new doors. I priced this once a few years ago and was shocked how cheap it was.... like $10 a door. They can use MDF and paint it which is cheap.

They also may have other suggestions to help.

But if you are saving up and want to get a kitchen quickly and cheaply... I gotta say IKEA is awesome! I do about 4 Ikea kitchens a year....ranging from $2500(smaller with less features but still not using their cheapest finishes) to $6500(full blown with lots of pot drawers in a high end finish and extra cabinets to the ceiling)...

worth a look....and actually amazing quality that is a dream to install. Its what I see a lot now on tv remodel shows.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Lizabeth
You know I started my comment with a very thoughtful attitude toward helpfullness and them I just devolved as I realized what I was writing.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 7:59PM
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lewis + smith
Save your money, change the pulls and reuse them later. With all due respect, the balsa suggestion is one of the worst recommendations I have seen on this site.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
I had to go reread your post, it was funnier the second time. 8-)
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Ironwood Builders
Umm, what is the Janka rating for Brazilian cherry? Or Black Gum? Both with the nickname "ironwood". Am I risking more jokes here? Sure...can't laugh at yourself, might as well crawl into a hole.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Ironwood Builders
OOPS!
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
yes, this cabinet style is actually on the upswing believe it or not. Given you have black & white, embrace it for the moment. consider a jazzy light over the island and perhaps a bright "HOUZZ" green for wall or orange or ???? Aqua. that will take it to a more current feel. What ever bold tone is your favorite. Get inspiration from some of the European suppliers like SieMatic....
http://www.siematic.us/The-new-S3/SieMatic_Die_neue_SieMatic_S3_EN.htm

if you look at this link you'll see some inspiring contemporary kitchens, some with bold accents.

Make the most of what you have, save & plan & then do the complete redo. In the meantime be thankful you have a smart, well coordinated, clean kitchen. So many don't.

As already mentioned.. don't waste your time or money with moldings (they won't stick) or replacement doors.

you might be surprised all your friends are inspired by your bold, new style!
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 9:42PM
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athena2786
Thank you everyone for all your responses!
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 6:21AM
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pattysopinion
I can understand why the person who suggested balsa wood deleted the posts. The resulting posts were rude and uncalled for. If you didn't agree there are more ways to make your point without insinuating stupidity. I hate to see anyone's ideas treated so unfairly. Maybe it was just an outside the box idea.
@Ironwood you at least were respectful.
@lizbeth you were just plain condescending and rude. I guess you knew that though because you are such a sharped tonged expert on the Janka ratings. I will have to watch your posts for things I disagree with so I can blast you.
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 6:38AM
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Darzy
The poster who deleted the comment is a fabulous designer whom I follow and we all value his comments. I too will suggest "outside the box" thoughts that I know many would think "what IS she thinking"? But, if we all suggest the same things, what good is multiple opinions or suggestions here on HOUZZ? Different ideas and eclectic or quirky ideas are needed. Who wants their house to look exactly like everyone elses?

I once suggested a wood veneer backsplash installed horizontally to exactly match the vertical wood cabinets. It MAY look cool but could also be a train wreck! Thanks for not blasting me. :)
2 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Don't touch the cabinet faces!!!!!! Think 50's Kitchens. Walls need a boot in the pants (paint) and the oak windsor chairs gotta go!
1 Like   February 26, 2013 at 5:28PM
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athena2786
Darzy: I am actually going to consider the balsam wood despite many protests against it....
Jeffrey B....50's...not my era of design taste to say the least, the walls will definitely be painted (I can't handle red paint)....the chairs are not mine at all and never would be!! haha
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Darzy
Keep us posted athena! We'd love to see what you decide.
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 7:05PM
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