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Old Cabinets - What To Do

I have a nice 15 year old house I bought a year ago. Tile floors, tile counter tops, built-ins, etc. My problem is that while the entire house is very nice, it looks like they ran out of money when they got to the kitchen. My major problem is that I really don't like the look of the cheap, light oak cabinets in the kitchen. The shelves and interiors are 1/2" particle board covered with laminate. the outsides is pretty straight forward light oak colored wood. I don't think it is real oak. My problem is what to do to up grade them. I can't afford the rip them all out and replace with something nicer. Looking for ideas.

Here is my main question - I've seen cabinets get painted on shows. Is this a viable option that will at least make the out side look nicer and higher quality than it really is?

Re: Old Cabinets - What To Do

You can definitely paint them and there are plenty of threads on this site that can help you do this.

You can also add some decorative touches to your cabinets:

-Stencil some interesting design onto the doors.
-Paint the doors a different color than the boxes.
-Change the hardware (knobs and hinges).
-Add an interesting panel to the front of the door. You can find these at cabinetBLAST.com
-Cut out the middle of the door and add glass.

Hope this helps!

Re: Old Cabinets - What To Do

We bought our Colonial 5 yrs. ago. The original 2 story was built in 1939 (the newest home I've ever owned). The kitchen is like stepping into the '50s. I got estimates for custom cabinets and although it was probably a fair price $35,000 did not include new floor, lighting or countertops. I re-thought my strategy. My maple cabinets got a new paint job and new self-closing hinges. (men don't know how to close cabinets) and hardware. I did not paint the interior. I absolutely love it. What a transformation. I went with all oil base paints. Kitchens have to withstand lots of abuse.
Good luck with your project.

Re: Old Cabinets - What To Do

Painting may or may not be a possibility. Some cheap cabinets have a plastic lam on them to look like wood. Some plastic lam will not hold paint well . If you are able to paint them painted kitchen cabs should have a clear coat to stand up to the grim, use and grease.

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