Help! Hate these cabinets but can't afford to replace at this point
Tambra Reap
August 15, 2013
Any thoughts on how to make this kitchen more palatable until I can replace the cabinets? Can't paint them because of the type of material. Definitely removing the dated wallpaper and repainting....my style is trying to get to sort of a Craftsman/Mission look eventually
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bschr
Is that wood trim with melamine fronts? If so maybe paint out the wood and replace the handles.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 15, 2013 at 8:37AM
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certdesign
I think once you remove the wallpaper, the cabinets will look a little better. You can do cabinet refacing which is basically removing the doors and replacing them. You can paint just about anything you want, including the cabinet fronts. You just have to do a little homework and make sure you have the right kind of products.

Before paiting them, you will definitely need to prime them first (You may have to sand them a little to roughen the surface so the primer will adhere.) Once painted, you can add new hardware (door and drawer pulls).
11 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Genevieve
Remove the paper , paint the trims of the cabinets, change knobs and you are done.
5 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:45AM
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0825sam
If that is real wood, I might try to stain it a darker richer color so it's not so orange. And change the pulls as suggested above. I wasn't finding a pic of exactly what I am envisioning, but something along the lines of these photos and a reverse effect of the ideabook kitchen.
Christoffersen
Ideabook: Kitchen of the Week: Practical, Budget-Friendly Beauty in Dallas
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:48AM
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217happy1
I moved into a ranch style home in 1996. We bought this to down size and loved the view on a hill top. My cabinets were ugly brown. So I purchased KILZ a primer. Gave 2 coats and than purchased a high epoxy paint and gave 2 coats. I used a very small roller and dk blue for counters and a high white for cabinets, They turned out beautiful. I got rave reviews. Than when I had the budget I put on current updates of just the doors and hardware. It was risky but a cheap fix. I don't have pictures because its a tif file.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:48AM
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217happy1
I don't know if this works but I tried. These colors were used in 1996 so you have many choices now.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 15, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Tambra Reap
thank you all...I hadn't thought of redoing the trim, only the white parts, but hmmmmm. I plan to tile behind the stove area, so i like the backsplash idea. I was told that repainting the melamine would not hold up much more than maybe a year as the paint will start to peel. has anyone had any experience with painting melamine?
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Genevieve
I think that by just painting the trim in the same colour would suffice but if you intend to paint the whole thing here is your answer
http://homerenovations.about.com/b/2009/04/18/painting-kitchen-cabinetsor-painting-melamine.htm
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 15, 2013 at 9:08AM
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PRO
MS Colours Inc
On the back of one of the cabinet doors clean lightly sand, then prime a small area with XIM pigmented primer. Paint over the primer then after 48 hours try scratch it off a key. If it does not scratch off you can paint the cabinets.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Tambra Reap
In researching the above answers, pretty sure the cabinets are "Thermafoil". Does that make any difference in your suggestions of painting?
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Tambra Reap
of course, this would be my dream look
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Tambra Reap
Thank you MSColours, I will try that.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:27AM
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groveraxle
Paint the face frames to match the doors. Replace pulls with satin nickel. Paint wall and backsplash a neutral color in a medium tone. I wouldn't do anything else if you eventually intend to replace the kitchen.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 15, 2013 at 9:31AM
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
You are not gonna get Craftsman until you gut this kitchen, or buy a new house. What you can do is remove the paper, paint, put nice backsplash up, get a nice runner *rug, and make the very best of what you do have. Nothing is wrong with it... they look like Merrilat cabinets from about 20 years back, but they are probably functional... OR, you can get new Craftsman or Mission style doors for these cabinets.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
I like groveraxel's idea up there. Or change out the doors.....
http://www.scherrs.com/cabinets/doors.htm
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Donna Harrison
take it from me you can paint ANYTHING.....cupboards, tiles, benchtops... just need the correct primer.... another reasonably inexpensive makeover is to cover everything including cupboard fronts with pressed tin panels..... which you just glue over existing surface. we used on our splashbacks and they look great...
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:25PM
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PRO
Coda Design + Build
We would suggest painting the cabinets. We had to match existing cabinets with new ones, and the existing had faded in a short time. For a mission style a darker, cherry color would be most appropriate with satin nickel hardware and pulls. You can also add a simple trim crown detail to soften the soffit above the upper cabinets. Attached is a photo of the cabinets we had to paint.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 15, 2013 at 5:58PM
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PRO
sstarr93
This was a Photoshop accident, but I liked it. Not very close to Craftsman tho.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 7:31PM
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PRO
Staged for Perfection
Amy Howard makes a paint the you can paint on formica so I imagine you can use it on these cabinets. It is the one step paint. It comes in soo many colors
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 7:59PM
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soberg
People do paint these.......just make sure to use the right prep and paint.

I do hate the melamine and oak handle look, I once owned such a kitchen and I just %^$#* hated it. Didn't even look good back in 1983 and has been getting uglier by the year. But paint will make a world of difference.
4 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:34PM
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
Paint them, or change doors if you want a change, look around the rest of the house to make certain you are not letting the horse run away with the cart here... sometimes, when you improve one room, it makes the rest of the house intolerable to live in... good luck to you. In any case, your kitchen is still functional and clean.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:41PM
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megherardi
Paint the cabs and the wood trim the same off-white, and change the pulls. I would remove the border at the ceiling level, as it looks dated.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Tambra Reap
Thank you all, GREAT comments. I can't afford door replacements at this point, paint is the way to go. I realize it won't be craftsman but I can definitely update it
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:18AM
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Tambra Reap
Coda Design: could you give me more specifics on the type of paint and primer you used? thanks
    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:21AM
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toddnj
Paint brown trim to match doors Or all if possible. Remove wallpaper above cabs-paint and add crown molding. Tile backsplash. Change all hardware and paint countertops... You can paint cabs and countertops with this product http://rustoleumtransformations.com/
    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 16, 2013 at 5:57AM
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PRO
Coda Design + Build
The technique is as critical as the paint. We sanded, primed and sprayed the cabinet fronts with a Prather lacquer paint and primer. Glad to assist - best of luck.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 16, 2013 at 6:06AM
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myriamojazz
Hi. If the cabinets interior are good and they're standard size you can change the doors and the pulls to better fit your taste. If there are sections among the lower cabinetry that are not standard size, you could use something different there. I used bricks as an accent in my own kitchen -on the island sides- and looks very nice. When you get rid of the wallpaper everything will inmediately change, you'll see. Could be that changing only the pulls and the trims will do. Good luck!
    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:21AM
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sjkingston
Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations paint kits will work on melamine. Go to their website and check the photo gallery from customers around May 21 of this year. There's a pic of these types of cabinets redone. Probably more pics if you scroll back through. I used it on old bath and laundry room cabinets and was very happy with results.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:39AM
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cindyeeson
There is a special primer just for Melamine which we used years ago to repaint the built in furniture of my daughter's room when she outgrew the original pink color. The furniture painted included her bathroom vanity, desk surface , and bookshelves with beds on top where the shelves were also used to climb up to the beds.So it got pretty heavy use but still looked great 5 years later when we sold the house.
    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:07AM
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PRO
MS Colours Inc
The primer XIM will stick to tile, glass, and just about anything
    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:33AM
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Tambra Reap
Thanks all, I've been investigating both XIM and the rustoleum product, and REALLY like the Coda design project with Prather paint (Coda: color name if you remember?) I think I will bite the bullet and sand, prime and paint all the doors and stiles...you guys are the BEST. Wait til you see the bathroom!!!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:19AM
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
I also think that after you remove all the wall paper and paint the walls, you may be surprised at how clean your cabinets may look... throw some tile backsplash up, get a nice rug, a new light, and save your $$$ for your next/ dream house kitchen..
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 16, 2013 at 10:31AM
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house2514
I had the same kitchen-trust me- I tried everything to make it look better-lived with it for 10 years and just did American Wood Reface. They installed the quartz countertops first-which showed me it only make old cabinets look worse. I would save my money and wait till you can do something with them.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Stacie Wilcox
i believe general finishes gel stains work on melamine. Check them out, they may have a shade that you like. Def would paint or gel stain them! and the wall paper/border...dear lord...
1 Like    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:08PM
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sjkingston
Also, if after you paint you want to update the countertops on the cheap, check out Little Green Notebook. Jenny did a recent post on a easy concrete countertop product that is slathered on rather than cast and it was really inexpensive. She also had a link to a couple that really knew the product and colored their so it looked like soapstone. Either with light cabinets, or a painted wood look, your kitchen could look great. Just head house2514's comment not to sink $$$$ into a temporary solution.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 16, 2013 at 8:23PM
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brickln
It's hard to get a craftsman look with light cabinets. I would just paint the oak, paint or switch out the hardware and live with it. Bring a door to the paint shop for an exact match. Get new laminate counters- don't spend $$ if you're going for a remodel later.
A wide arts & crafts border at the soffit might fulfill a little of that craftsman dream!
You might also try gluing some molding to the melamine to break it up.
At least you have a beautiful floor!

tropical craftsman


Wallingford Farmhouse
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:44AM
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belleandlucy
I have a 50's house small kitchen with 4 doors on bottom cabinets, they get dirty all the time from the dogs (cabinets are white) so I found some nice contact paper and reface with that and new hardware, looks amazing.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 4:28AM
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PRO
Destin4 Interiors LLC
Paint the stained wood for sure and loose the wallpaper. You can sand the melamine prime and paint. If you add a simple flat trim to frame out the doors first they can look like the shaker style and updated hardware. Laminate countertops have come a long way many look like granite and are hard to tell unless you touch them. Please post after pics
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    August 26, 2013 at 1:55AM
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Tambra Reap
Thank you all, I will post pictures as they come along, though it will be awhile. I've taken down all the wallpaper and it is better already. I'm going to paint the cabinets all one color, neutral, and change out the hardware...
1 Like    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Tambra Reap
So I've painted the walls and added hardware and new plate covers. What should I do for the countertop?
    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 3:52PM
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brickln
There's a company called panyl that sells vinyl overlay for cabinets. They specialize in Ikea remakes, but it can be cut to size. I still say laminate counters if you're on a budget- many style options. New hardware looks great!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    March 28, 2014 at 4:24AM
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nmshea
I would do a zebra wood backsplash and upper wall, or a zebra wood countertop.
    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:53AM
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Tambra Reap
nmshea, like the idea of a wood countertop (altho not sure around the sink?) I plan to tile the backsplash...
    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Tambra Reap
brickn, I'll check out "Panyl"!
    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:10AM
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littlemy17
Tambra, I just saw your post and I know that I'm late to the party here, but you CAN actually get your mission look out of these cabinets! Just add batten strips of moulding (say 1/3" x 2-3" wide) to the face of your cabinets and the end pieces in your mission-style pattern with short brad nails or a glue product called "No More Nails". Caulk them in and paint. Voila. Mission style. My two cents; I would then paint them a dark espresso brown color (no sense in trying to mimic the varigated, amberish orange varigated wood), and use a backsplash tile that had lots of brown marble/ceramic and amberish orangey glass pieces in them to really get that mission feel. For countertops, I have wood (Numerar from Ikea--cheap and great) and I LOVE them! You can even stain them the orangey wood color to further pick up the amberish-orangey wood, and the amberish-orangey glass in the backsplash and it will give you what you want at a low pricepoint. Add a mission-style fixure, and you're done. If the cabinets are in good enough shape, you may even have a long-term winner here! Good luck.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    March 31, 2014 at 7:37AM
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littlemy17
Forgot to mention...the batten strips are flat, square-edged stips of moulding sold in the moulding aisle at Home Depot or Lowe's. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:43AM
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Tambra Reap
littlemy17...great ideas! this is a slow project for me as I can do things only every few months, but the aggregate of ideas here will make it super!
    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:49AM
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ideas90
Tambra,
You may be interested in this link on how to update your cabinet doors- http://www.thediygirl.com/shaker-kitchen-cabinet-update-before-after/

I am also wanting to do a kitchen update without spending a lot.
I'm considering changing the cabinet doors and refinishing the boxes. I want to change the counter tops & back splash. I may need to change the floor as well.
We haven't moved in yet, so the pictures are the previous owner's furniture etc.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Tambra Reap    July 9, 2014 at 8:02AM
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zanne4848
Check out Breakthrough Paint. It's used by painting contractors, especially for kitchens.
    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:53PM
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