Help me solve a dispute with my husband!
March 2, 2013 in Polls
I hear people say all the time that they dislike 90's golden/honey oak cabinets - even if in good condition. Do people say that because they truly are ugly, or because they simply feel they are out of style? My husband feels that they are simply wood from a tree, therefore, how can a tree be outdated? Can they look updated in the right kitchen?
oak cabinets are ugly
oak cabinets are out of style
oak cabinets can never go out of style
oak cabinets can look updated in the right kitchen
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There isn't a right or wrong answer. Most honey oak cabinets look dated against other 'dated' finishes in the kitchen. Here is an example of how updating other elements could potentially change the look in the kitchen.

March 2, 2013 at 3:24pm     
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Trost Custom Homes Inc
To me,it's all about the cabinet maker. I look for quality of construction and details. But I understand that I'm not a normal buyer. Seems like buyers now want white or dark, ebony colors.
March 2, 2013 at 3:26pm   
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Susan H
I don't think it's necessarily the type of wood as it is the stain color that makes them look dated. You could always stain them darker to update them.
March 2, 2013 at 3:30pm     
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HERE Design and Architecture
My feeling is that the detailing on those cabinets is usually pretty lumpy, and then the coarseness of the grain emphasizes that lack of refinement.
March 2, 2013 at 3:57pm   
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One problem with them is that they were overdone. Every kitchen had to have them! So, every kitchen has them, and like anything else that everyone has there's little individuality.

Let your husband know that dead leaves come from a tree, too, and after you've raked enough of them they can definitely be out of style!
March 2, 2013 at 4:10pm     
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When one has lived in substandard living quarters, moving "up" to golden oak is a luxury. It all depends on your point of view.
March 2, 2013 at 4:26pm     
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I appreciate everyone's honesty. Thank you for your comments and votes. So far it's pretty close. Olldbobbi, that's funny, but the bright side is that when everybody paints over their oak cabinets, then the golden oak will be individual again! :)

Susan Hardin, I've thought about staining them like you said, but the guy at Home Depot said to change the color I'd have to sand all the way down to the bare wood. Ugh! The work! I don't know if I could use that stain and varnish in 1 and not have to sand them first and make them darker?

Extia, I know where you are coming from. These are quite a bit better than those in my last place. Watching those decorating shows on TV tend to make people spoiled and want what they can't have. Thank you for reminding me. :)
March 2, 2013 at 4:46pm     
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paradisecastle, I mentioned on a different thread about oak that I believe in 10 years or so if we all check back here there will be a mass of postings about how to remove white paint from oak cabinets and brick fireplaces!

I personally like oak. I used to like the honey oak a great deal but think we overdid (like so many people!) I still like the grain but now find that I prefer either the darker stains or the much lighter cerused.

I've never done the process of sanding down and restaining. I've seen the result though and it IS spectacular! Particularly if the cabinet doors are a more modern style (slab or shaker). Everything I've read from the people who have done it successfully suggest using the gel stain.
March 2, 2013 at 5:09pm     
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Design & Decor By Shelley
I agree with pretty much all of these comments, and especially like olldbobbi's comment..Having said that, I say what's the budget? If you cannot replace these cabinets right now work details in your kitchen that you can afford to up-date the space..
A little decorating, new backsplash perhaps, a nice new paint colour and possibly replace the counters if need be..
You can always be creative and make your kitchen beautiful!
March 2, 2013 at 5:12pm     
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On the fence, thanks for the tip about the gel stain, I just don't know if I've got the ambition to sand them down. They are a "cathedral style" so the curves, etc. would be a pain...
Design &Decor by Shelley, I haven't discussed a budget with my husband yet, but I enjoy being a DIYer. I hate to replace perfectly good and functional cabinets, and if I can keep them that leaves more money for counters (which are in desperate need of replacing - worn, warped laminate) backsplash and light fixtures. I'm just trying to make them work into a cohesive plan. I'll paint them if I have to - I'm just scared I'll ruin them! It's a Tudor house, and I like the rustic look, but the floors are an off-white tile (I hate to replace that too) and we have replaced the appliances with stainless steel over the years. Trying to find inspiration photos of kitchens with oak cabinets and white floors is about impossible! This site is AWESOME however! I only have a few thousand more pictures here to look at! (Today is my second day here.)
March 2, 2013 at 6:32pm     
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Interiors International, Inc.
Golden Oak cabinets are the past tense of white cabinets today. Everybody is painting their cabinets white. Wood will come back again. What goes around comes around.
March 2, 2013 at 6:39pm     
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Depends on a lot of things....the main reason I am going to do something with MY 1993 golden/honey oak cabinets is that they have sort of an orangy stain color; plus they are the cathedral arch style and look reallly outdated; plus they are a busy, heavy oak grain (which I dislike). Good luck!
March 2, 2013 at 6:58pm   
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Julie77777, that's funny. Just today I was looking for a brown paint color that might look good on the walls next to the cabinets and I realized that mine were orange (not brown) too! That's a +1 in the column for painting them. Thanks and good luck with yours too!
March 2, 2013 at 8:10pm     
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Design & Decor By Shelley
Good Morning paradisecastle, I thought I would attach a few inspirational photos with honey oak cabinetry..You can do updates without having to re-finish (labour intensive) and still have a modern up-dated look..Counters and backsplash would be the biggest transformation..
March 3, 2013 at 10:00am     
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Our home was just built new in 2002 when we bought it and came with the "Natural" oak cabinets- a lot of them. I have just made our first update (other than painting) and changed the counters, added a backsplash and refreshed the cabinets. I debated painting the cabinets as many of my neighbors have painstakingly done (with oak and maple) but decided an easy change was to cut out the raised panels on the 7 tall uppers and replace with frosted glass. I taped up tracing paper to envision and get used to the idea of it, which I loved!
The result is simple but interesting and different, plus it forced me to clean out and rearrange the dishes.
February 2, 2014 at 8:20am     
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sunnydrew - Thanks for posting those pics! Very nice! I am planning to use those exact same backsplash tiles (except a slightly different color) -- I love that size -- getting ready to purchase in a couple of weeks.
February 3, 2014 at 6:26am   
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If you like them enjoy. If not then revamp them or tear out. Design is about you and your preferences not for anybody else.
February 3, 2014 at 7:17am   
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I completely agree with Interiors International. As soon as all the wood and brick in the entire world has been painted, natural will be back in style.
February 3, 2014 at 7:20am     
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Brandi Nash Hicks
You can paint them with Annie Sloan chalk paint ,no sanding and it will not chip off
February 3, 2014 at 7:22am   
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JULIE- Please be aware about the large ( 4" x 12 ") glass tiles. I have not posted my issue with them yet (trying to work with installer first) The glass tiles scratch easily- be sure to look at each and everyone of them coming out of the boxes. Discuss with installer what happens if they are cracked or scratched during installation. They are awful to pullout and replace. Any cuts will leave ragged edges that will show. Also- my other problem- the tiles were left with a haze that shows when the light reflects on them. They look greasy or dirty, when they should be clear. Find out exactly what they are using for thin-set and grout first. Do not pay in full until everything is clean and inspected by you. Hope that helps. otherwise they are beautiful.
February 3, 2014 at 7:25am   
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sunnydrew - Thank you so much for that info!!!!! Mine will be 4"x12" also but will actually not be glass tiles (mine will be ceramic), so I guess I'm not using the EXACT same tiles. But I still worry about some of same issues, as this is all new to me (have never had a tile backsplash of any kind). Thank you for watching out for me!
February 3, 2014 at 7:41am   
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Thanks and have fun with it.
February 3, 2014 at 8:45am   
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Sometimes when we see a look for many years we feel 'same-old/same-old' which doesn't mean the look is bad, it's just becomes tired looking and a reflection of the past.
I don't think the issue is 'honey-oak' I think the issue is a fresh look with a different blend of colours.
We have to stop throwing out perfectly good cabinets. Old is solid is particle board and some veneers.
You could sand, stain (don't paint) & poly BUT, I would first look at paint, backsplash and countertops and floors before 'ever' changing cabinets....and only if 'you' feel your kitchen needs a fresh look. Don't be ruled by other opinions and the taste of others; go with yours!
February 3, 2014 at 9:50am     
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I also think oak cabinets are going to be coming back in style in another 5 to 10 years, and people will be trying to restore the ones they painted when it they were out of style.

I suspect oak cabinets are out is because younger people don't want to move into something that looks like their parents' home. I can appreciate that, but it's foolish to get rid of perfectly good cabinets because you grew up in a home with them. Where's their concern for their carbon footprint??

I also think all the home reno shows have convinced us that perfectly decent homes are outdated. I marvel at the house hunting shows where people are shown perfectly lovely homes that were renovated 10 or 15 years ago, and they emphatically state they could NEVER live in such an outdated house! These couples are the Bridezillas of HGTV!
February 3, 2014 at 10:15am     
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I have had the honey oak cabinets for the last twenty years. Waiting on painted cabinets to be finished now.... And I can't wait! Had been soooo tired of the oak for years but not until we had a water leak that damaged the cabinets would I have changed them. I'm not a fan of the remodeling process so I would have just lived with them.
February 3, 2014 at 2:47pm   
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