Kitchen Cabinets - Paint, Stain or leave alone?

barfootmApril 3, 2012

Thank you so much for all of your beautiful examples � this site has truly been inspirational to me! I have been lurking for a while, taking in all of the beautiful kitchen improvements that have been created. I could really use some help from those who have been there! To make a long story short, we made some changes to this kitchen when I moved into it 5 years ago. It was so bad that I just wanted CHANGE, but did not have a budget to change everything and was in such a hurry to change it that I didn�t really think a lot about any of before doing it! Here is what we completed in the first year We removed the pink and blue wallpaper and painted the walls, removed the kitchen carpet (gross!) and replaced with laminate floor, replaced the almond colored appliances with black and stainless, replaced hardware on the cabinets, replaced the rectangular fluorescent light fixture over the island and added a few recessed lights, replaced the blue and pink speckled, wood trimmed countertops with laminate "faux granite" ones and tore out 3 plate glass windows to make a sliding door and built a deck outside of that. We later added a backsplash and just last month, we replaced the island with a longer custom island that has roll-out shelves and functional drawers. We put a granite countertop on the island. We are very happy with how the island turned out. Here is where I need some help. I am ready to make changes to the cabinets but again we are on a small budget and don�t want to spend thousands to make just a cosmetic change on this house that we plan to be in for only about 5 more years. My first thoughts are to paint the cabinets a lighter color and just leave the countertops as they are. This would still give a contrast to the island countertop and would contrast the cabinets with the darker island. Since the cabinets are oak, I know this is going to take an intense method of sanding, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, painting and painting again. We are willing to do this but have also thought about having some MDF doors made and just painting those. This would eliminate some of the sanding and would also allow us to have the doors made with full overlay so that we could remove the center stile on some of the cabinets. I have attached photo of our kitchen before the island was added. Trying to figure out how to add a second photo with the new island! Hoping I can get some suggestions for painting the existing doors versus custom MDF doors and also suggestions for wall colors. The kitchen opens up into a great room, so we would probably extend the wall color all the way into that room. The end of the kitchen where the counters and cabinets are does not get a lot of natural light, so we�re hoping whatever we do will help make it all look a little lighter. We are not completely opposed to also replacing those counter tops with something solid but we don�t want to replace the backsplash, so we need something that will work with that. Can you help??

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