What Can I Do To These Cabinets? Help!

mc_huddMarch 11, 2008

Hi. My DH & I are fixing up a MH (I'm sure some of you have read my previous posts.) Anyway, the cabinets in the kitchen aren't much to look at in their current state, but we don't have the budget to change them out right now. I like the layout of the kitchen & the cabinets are pretty roomy, so I can live with them, I would just like to know how to make them look a little better.

They are solid Oak (I think) doors, but the frames are like paneling or something... That's the problem I have w/ them. The paneling part looks like a completely different color than the doors... How can I fix this w/o painting? I like the doors (they need cleaned up in the pic... drywall dust, etc.), so I want to stay w/ the natural wood look if possible, but what can I do about the frames? If I stained it all a little bit darker, would the doors & frames come out the same color? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. :)

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The frames might be a vinyl overlay. If so, careful cleaning and starting with a bonding primer such as XIM is one of the ways to change their appearance. There are companies that do kitchen remodeling by putting thin overlays on the face of existing cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Bus~ The frames aren't vinyl, they're just like the cheaper wood paneling you can buy... They have texture to them. What do you mean by "overlays"? I have seen wooden veneer & thought maybe that would be an option if I could find an exact match for the doors... Are these the same thing? Thanks! :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Okay, ready? First you should purchase some wood veneer from your local home store, and attach it to the front and sides of your cabinets. Next remove those handles from the middle of your doors and drawers. Then cut off that ladder molding from the top of the cabinets. Your doors have a very traditional design to them, great to work with. Stain everything an expresso color. Attach some new steel or chrome handles to the edges (not middles) of your doors. This will be a great contrast between the expresso and the cold steel. Very utilitarian or commercial kitchen. Next choose a nice calming gray color from your tile backsplash, something not too cold and paint your walls. You can wrap up with a pop of color here and there. Just about any color will do, just throw it in with accessories (dishes, towels, whatever you want.(or already have))

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:44PM
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PS if that backsplash isn't gray, choose a calming spa like color version of whatever it has in it. Also a new stove hood would work wonders, consider a microwave hood, it's great for space and usually not to terribly expensive.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:48AM
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You can check into resurface. It's putting another layer on top of the current cabinets. I think they remove the trim on doors and then do them the same way. My mother in law had it done and they really looked new (didn't care for her choice of wood) then update everything with new hardware.
I painted the cabinets in my bath white with drybrush overlay. Added brushed silver hardware - I liked the finish.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 7:22PM
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I also live in a manufactured home, and I updated my particle board with wood-colored contact paper cabinets with a colored wood stain. You can also use a light coat of gel-stain. It is amazing how much nicer wood looks with a light coat on it, and it just coats the surface and is not absorbed into the wood like regular stain.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:09PM
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