Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>Replace countertops or paint cabinets?
15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

We are going to be selling our home in the next year due to expanding family and not enough room. Our kitchen has black appliances, wood laminate countertop, and 1980's standard wood cabinets (the wood color on the laminate and cabinets are very different and clash together). I want to get the most bang for the buck. I am tempted to leave the countertops that goes up the wall and paint the cabinets. I repainted the whole house with a bright white trim and thought the cabinets would be nice this color, but don't know if that works with black appliances. My other option is to just revarnish the cabinets and do countertops and backsplash. I just don't want to drop a lot of money and not get it in resale. I don't know if I should do granite countertops or formica. Any ideas or what is the best for the market? I am so confused. Thank you.

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

First you have to define your goal.
Which one is it:
1. Sell the house quickly.
2. Invest the least in the kitchen.
3. Get the highest return on your investment.
4. Do nothing, sell it "as is".

When selling a home, you have to forget "what you like" and focus on what most people like, or can live with for the time being. What's accepltable to you may not be acceptable to the next person.

Once you know your goal, you'll see that you don't us to tell you what to do.

A. Spruce
Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

DJ is right, you need to define your market, your homes value, and then weigh the cost/benefit/return on any improvements made to is.

If you're selling the house I would NOT install stone tops, they're very expensive and you won't recoup the investment. If the counters are in good shape I'd leave them alone. I'd go for painting the cabinets if you must change anything. If you do it yourself it will cost next to nothing and it will give a fresh and more modern look to the room.

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

Are the cabinets in good shape or would they need to be replaced at some point in the near future? If they are in good shape and the color is just out dated painting them will be a cheap way to freshen things up. I would skip changing the counter top though since most people who buy a house will want to change things anyway to add their own likes and personality to the house. If the counters are in tough shape though you could go with a cheep new laminate top just to make things look better. Good luck in your project and I hope you are able to sell your house quickly.


Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

If you can find the right price, granite countertops are great for people who are busy bees in the kitchen. Plus, if you found a cheap contractor to reface the cabinets, it'd be worth it, too. Although, my only question is how bad do the cabinets look? Would they give the kitchen an antiquated look, because some buyers love antique-style kitchen setups.

victoria stiles
Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

You can choose black or pink marble or granite countertop which will really look beautiful and classy with your ultra white painted cabinets.

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

Good advice up above and when selling, always put the least amount into it which definetly rules out granite counter tops. Paint is always the cheapest cleanup and sell solution.

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

Check out rustoleum cabinet and countertop transformations. The kits are fairly inexpensive (about $100 a kit) and it works well on laminate. Can be found at home depot and lowes. I would not replace. The countertop finishes you get with this look like granite. We did this to my mothers old tired kitchen and bathrooms right before they put their house up for sale. It cost us about $400 to do the counters and cabinets in the huge kitchen and two bathrooms and feedback from buyers was Beautiful kitchen!

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

I agree with Victoria, it's a good combination

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

I am not sure that I would agree with the paint route. depending on the information you have received from your realtor if your home is not the highest price then you can gain a lot of ground with adding high end countertops and a splash of paint to the kitchen.

your investment of a couple grand can also increase your marketability and attract more opportunities to sell. Keyword in the advertising is "Granite Countertops" Pulls in the buyers.. people want "better" than they have today. Granite is currently at the top of that list.

Re: Replace countertops or paint cabinets?

Here I speak from experience. You will NOT recoup any $ unless it's ten years from now. 80's wood cabinets aren't bad and likely have a veneer finish - it's tough to get paint to adher to. I hate painted wood. I'd scrub them w/wood soap & refurbish them to a gloss. Then add nice hardware. done. Yes granite is the fav but most folks really don't have the $ to pay for that plus groceries for a big family. I'd save it for moving costs. (I priced it for my counter, only 6', installed est. over $10 K) Ask a realtor in your area what the comps are, be realistic, if other houses similar have granite then maybe you could go with granite-look tile. Watched a DIY show and the finish was great. Otherwise, leave it. So the appliances stay? That's not a 'rule' either - everything you see on TV aint so no more.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.