Kitchen: Paint the cabinets, lose the laminate or both?
June 13, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Hi! I'd like your advice. Our bungalow came with a kitchen that's about 20 years old. The maple (well we were told they're maple) cabinets are a little rickety but in decent shape, and reddish brown. The countertops are gray laminate (looks a little blue in the picture but it's gray). The backsplash is grayish-white square tiles (not hip subway tile, I wish they were!). We're on a strict budget so I'm not sure how to fix this for a few grand. Should I paint the cabinets white so they go with the laminate, or lose the laminate (including the built-in table) and try to work with the wood? Are the square white tiles neutral, or do they stand out as ugly? Any advice is appreciated!
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I would paint the cabinet in cream,replace these chairs,and paint the table or cover it...
June 13, 2014 at 2:39pm      Thanked by simigis
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I would change the hardware on the cabinets, but keep them as they are as painting them yourself doesn't come out nearly as well as you'd think it would. I remember an episode of Renovation Realities where a couple decided to paint their cabinets, and the wife commented through tears that they certainly didn't look like the cabinets you see in kitchen showrooms, but they had the satification of knowing they did it themselves. That's all well and good, but do you want nice look cabinets, or a DIY job that you aren't going to be happy with? We painted some old wood cabinets white when we first moved into our house, and while they looked fair, they always looked like we just slapped a coat of paint on them as they didn't have that glazed look you're after.

What I would do if I was on a tight budget is to replace your countertop, sink, faucet and backsplash. You can get laminate for anywhere from $21 to $30 sq ft plus installation. You can get a Karran acrylic undermount sink for $300 plus another $140 or so to attach it to the countertop. We did this, and are very happy with it. We got a huge single bowl sink that has a 50 year warranty. [see]. If your husband can do the plumbing, you can save the cost of having the installer do that.
June 13, 2014 at 2:54pm      Thanked by simigis
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Oh we definitely wouldn't paint the cabinets ourselves! I'd hire a pro to do that. I'm just not sure if the money is better spent replacing the laminate with better-looking laminate (no room in the budget for quartz or other pretty stuff).
June 13, 2014 at 2:59pm   
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I actually like a lot about your kitchen, but the cabinetry doors are too traditional for the subtle midcentury look you've got going on (square backsplash, awesome chairs, laminate counters, etc.). I'd just get new doors for your cabinet boxes, something with a plainer, unadorned face, and new hardware. I'd also check out for a lot of real-life midcentury updates and preservations that aren't huge-budget magazine spreads. Mid-Century Butler's Pantry Mid Century Modern Kitchen
June 13, 2014 at 3:51pm        Thanked by simigis
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I don't think the cabinets are that bad. I would lose the built in table and put in an island with new counter-tops and back splash and put a warmer color on the walls. Add a nice rug or two and accessorize and you will have a great kitchen
June 13, 2014 at 4:08pm      Thanked by simigis
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kellyography, thanks for those awesome photos! I now feel less bad about my laminate and square backsplash. :)
June 13, 2014 at 4:53pm   
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The space is enviable. If you can clean those cabinets well, I'd keep them and replace the counter and possibly the backsplash and handles/knobs. I do think I'd lose the table and chairs in favor of a sit at island, if room's available for that. Laminate counters have come a long way, definitely look at those as well as very large format porcelain. (Look up Neolith The Size.) There are even stick on tile covers available for backsplashes. Take time you'll be happy with your effort.
June 13, 2014 at 8:30pm      Thanked by simigis
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