Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kitchen cabinet dilemna

I really need some advice.  I think I've mentioned before that our kitchen cabinets don't match.

There are the orignal cabinets (house was built around 1930) which are stained a cherry wood color.   Although, as you can see in the pictures below, even those cabinets seem to have different color stains.

The other set of cabinets are circa 1970 and my husband got them for free.  He added them when he added extra counter space & a peninsula in our kitchen.  These are more of a brownish color.  Notice the grooves in the cabinets.

The surface on both sets of these cabinets is pretty worn.  They could both use a facelift.  The cabinets themselves are still pretty solid.  And, we can't afford to put in new cabinetry anyway.  In our 5-year plan, we hope to purchase another home & keep our current home as a rental property.  So, the objective is to give them a fairly economical facelift.  And, while we live in our home I'd love for our kitchen to have a brighter, more uniform look.  I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen.  Happy kitchen.  Happy me.

This is where my need for advice comes in.  Which of these folowing options should I pursue?
1.  Paint the cabinetry.  I love the look of white or off-white cabinets.  I think they look bright, clean, and crisp.  Paint would be a good option too because we could use wood filler in the grooves of that second set of cabinets.  Then, when painted over they would look like a solid piece of wood, thereby making them like the first set of cabinets.  Add some new hardware on both sets and they would almost look like they go together.
   Drawbacks to painting?  Once you paint wood, it's pretty much going to stay painted without a huge amount of work to reveal the wood grain again.  Also, as  much as I love white cabinetry, I know my house & my family.  I'm afraid it would show a LOT of dirt.  Can this be avoided by using a certain kind of paint?

2.  Sand, and restain the cabinetry, plus new hardware.  The wood filler trick wouldn't work here, so I'd still have 2 different style cabinets, I'd just be making the wood color more uniform.

3.  Continue to ignore it for 5 more years and hope that future renters wouldn't care.

I would love to get your thoughts on this project.  And, if you have any other options I haven't thought of, I'd love to hear them.


  1. So funny you posted this...I've been wanting to paint or cabinets too. A couple of months ago I jotted down the name of a blog that had one of the best kitchen cabinet makeovers I have ever seen! The lady did her kitchen for $100 and it is beautiful! She has a tutorial...8 or 9 steps of how to do it exactly like she did. Her blog is

  2. I too have white cabinets and love them. I just wipe them down every couple of days (my 2 yr old son helps) and if you have a good sturdy paint they will withstand just about anything. Another thing you could do is paint them white with a light coat and then sand the corners and edges giving it a rustic, "shabby chic" look. New hardware will make a big difference in matching as well. Good luck with your kitchen!

  3. I agree, fill, sand, and paint away. My personal preference is a cream color, and I like Melodie's idea about adding a bit of a distressed look, as long as you can achieve a consistent, balance--not too overdone look. It will make your kitchen SO much brighter!! Also, I thought I'd mention that we were just at the re-store, and I begrudging walked away from some BEAUTIFUL marbel slabs that appear to have been salvaged from previous use as old bathroom dividers. They need to be cut and polished, but there is enough there to cover a good amount of counter space...and only $50 a slab. I'm half tempted to go back for it! It's gorgeous stuff!


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