How to update this 80's kitchen on a budget?

susanb_2010March 16, 2010

HELP! I am moving into a new home and I am leaving my beautiful newly redone kitchen complete with aga red stove and soapstone counters!!! And I might add i got most of my ideas from this site....thank you. So here i am back again for some help. New home is great except the outdated kitchen. All cabinets are in good shape tho. Trying to post pictures not sure how but it is an 80's euro style cream with wood trim on bottom cabinet. Can I paint? Or should i reface? I need help posting the pictures. don't see anything about uploading pics as the instrutions say.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First let me help with embedding your photo :

Is the face of the cabinets laminate? One crazy idea might be to get some wood molding, glue it on in an inner rectangle, paint it all and make them look applied moulding doors. I don't know if refacing is an option here, but if you want to buy new doors you could try that.

As for the rest of it, I'm assuming you are taking down the wallpaper. Though many will likely suggest taking out the soffit, I would consider putting a display shelf in front of it. Something like here (click for link that shows how it was done):

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What stays and what goes? Are you keeping the cabinets and is everything else fair game? Are you downshifting from an Aga to an entry level range? Provide some more information and the suggestions will be more constructive...if we know what your parameters are :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What stays and what goes? Are you keeping the cabinets and is everything else fair game? Are you downshifting from an Aga to an entry level range? Provide some more information and the suggestions will be more constructive...if we know what your parameters are :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my. I've seen that kitchen before! Here's mine. I didn't have a soffit but I had the wallpaper (it was black to match the black ceiling!) I tried painting the wood trim and it looked good for about a week. I can't tell from your picture but on mine the wood trim was a finger grip so when I painted them the crud that gathered there was a daily chore. I kinda like the black tile. If I was keeping your layout I would reface the cabinets and save money up for a new counter.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, giving us some more information and some more pictures of the kitchen will help. What can stay and what can go and with all your money going into a new house what now is the current budget to update the 80's kitchen to be acceptable to you?

I would either reface the cabinets with new doors and hardware or if possible to paint them, I would have them all be the same color with hardware on the doors to get them updated. I love the shelf idea where the soffits are. I may just leave mine since I am on a budget also even though I wish I could remove them.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not sure what your budget is but you could always do things in stages while keeping a nice look at the same time. Look in craigslist for a nice used white micro and non-green sink. Change the top cabinets to Ikea Tida Oak horizontal cabs with glass and stack them (they are 14 ¾ h and 135 ea). Remove green tile and use Ikea wall panels for now $12.95, you wonÂt feel bad if you want to ditch them down the road when you can afford a nice countertop & backsplash. The Ikea Tida Oak glass doors will blend fine with the bottom cabs you now have as they have some oak on them in the handle grip. When your budget allows change out bottom cabs and countertops. You will not be limited to oak on bottom just because they are on top; you could do a painted color.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had cabinets like that and they painted well -- inside and out. (In fact, I didn't even take them of their hinges -- I just opened the doors and painted them on the spot. Just LOVE latex! My expectations were low at the time, you may be fussier.)

I also took the doors off some of the cabinets for a shelving-like look, adds a little variety.

If you do it over the sink it might break up the slab-o-cabs on the wall, while giving you a break from the door-in-your-face as well.

(Also not crazy about the micro.)

I found that once I removed the top few most repellent offenders, the remaining things in the kitchen didn't seem so bad at all. It honestly has a kind of halo effect. Even things you swear you have to replace -- just take it one project at a time. You MIGHT be lose the urge, and save some money, or put it into something else you really need more, or better quality elsewhere.

For example, if you remove the wallpaper, paint the cabinets a nice color, you might never love that black backsplash, or the counters, but by the time you push a few appliances up against it and maybe get a couple of fancy cutting boards or platters it might not bother you enough to even consider it worth the money to replace one or both.

If it were me, I'd have a wallpaper removing and cabinet and wall-painting party weekend -- when you get settled. Those things are easy and cheap. Don't agonize over colors, just pick it fast and DO IT. Your head will be clearer then.

Enjoy your new home!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all getting to me so quick...I WILL be taking down the wall paper and I do love the shelf idea above thanks for that. As far as for whats staying and going all appliances are staying so yes I am DOWNGRADING from my aga :o( I don't have other pictures yet as I am not moved in yet. I also like the idea of glueing molding on to make it look like inset cabinets. And also the sink and tile back splash are green....not black i hate that too so I would like to change that and counter as well, so I am trying to get away with just some how redoing the cabinets as I would like new counter , backsplash and sink. I am posting the kitchen i'm leaving so you can see my style.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you glue molding on, be careful of taking it too close to the edge--you don't want to interfere with the opening of the doors.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pretty kitchen susanb! Now I know I was way off track

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

Here's the kitchen she is leaving:

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes. A lot of white paint will make you feel better.

You could even paint the backsplash if you were planning on demo-ing it fairly soon, just to make it be quiet.

For what it's worth, having to think and be creative can make you come up with solutions that you really own and love. I'm truly sorry about your Aga, and this won't replace it, but you can make this yours too.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for posting the pic Stacey :o)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The cabinets look like they are in good shape (are they?) If so, then I think some good "sticky" primer and a coat of white paint will work. I'd recommend that you really really scrub all the oil and grease off the cabs before you paint so you get a nice clean result.

With white cabs and walls, I might spend a bit to get a new sink if the green one bugs you. That's an item you're going to use morning and night and IMHO is worth the expense to swap out for your own choice.

If the budget could bear it, maybe swap out the formica for a new countertop. I've seen some very nice IKEA butcherblock counters here, including one stained black with india ink and sealed, that looked great with white cabs. If no new counter is in your immediate future, there is also a poster over on the Home Decorating forum who faux-painted her bath formica to look exactly like granite and poly'ed over it. Came out fantastically, too. (FYI She posted a tutorial on how she did it.)

In the reflection of the microwave, it looks like there is a nice chandelier. It might not cost too much to get fresh new white shades for it.

Best of luck in the upcoming move. I'm sorry you are leaving behind such a beautiful kitchen. It shows you have good taste and design ideas, and I believe your new kitchen will improve by miles when you take your hands to it, too!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would peel away all the rest before I would touch the cabinets. They are in decent shape, and the only thing that makes them 80s is the oak strip. Some companies still actually make this cabinet, and the contemporary slab cabinets offered by IKEA and others are essentially this door without the oak strip. All in all they are pretty neutral, I think it is the rest of the finishes that make it look so aged.

The selective replacement with the oak door is a great idea. or,

If you used a European style bar pull, you could try mounting that horizontally on the oak portion, or you could try painting the oak portion to blend more with the laminate and then apply hardware. I would rather have dullish laminate cabinets in good condition, than a painted laminate that doesnt have a great paint finish. I know people say it can be done, but I've never seen it.

I think you would go a long way by removing the wallpaper, and green tile and sink and then evaluating what you have to work with .

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oooooh! I've got to dash off to HGTV to see if I can find my favorite Designed to Sell episode ever, where Lisa LaPorta turned a kitchen just like yours into, if I am remembering correctly, YOUR OLD KITCHEN!! Not Kidding!

She trimmed the cabs out and painted them made me wish I had that style of old cabinets so that I could do it, too!

I'll post back if I can find the link to the episode....


    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well Sandy I hope you find that for me that would be great!! And i have been doing some research and has anyone done or seen in person a tin backsplash? I have come across a website that has many different colors and aged finishes. Thanks again for all your ideas it is very hard to leave my kitchen but i'm sure I will make it work. The rest of this house is great so I will just have to save up. After a seperation I am down grading quite a bit....

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ugh! I can't find the HGTV episode anywhere! Did anyone else save the link by chance? (it has been posted here a couple of times)

It was such a memorable episode because of the simplicity and ease with which they transformed an 80's kitchen into a sweet little shaker number. I think they used 1x2's to trim out the doors and drawer fronts, then painted the whole thing. It turned out great!

Best of luck with your new kitchen, susan!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry about the separation. I think...if you are!

on to the new life!

I heard recently that HD has something new out to paint over laminate counter tops - check it out. it might buy you a yr or so to save up, settle in and decide what you really want to do.

can that hgtv show be searched by 'shaker c abinets' or something?

can that strip of wood come off w/o ruining the doors? if so, you could have it replaced with something you like!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are the counters white or off white? I saw this picture once where someone took their old 80s cabs and put on moulding like others have said, then painted her cabs black...with the white counter and a stainless sink it would update your look tremendously. I would take out the backsplash though and change it to white so it wouldn't seem so dark! Search for someone here who did a black kitchen--it turned out really pretty!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks again everyone

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Link to a tin ceiling backsplash.

Here is a link that might be useful: tin ceiling backsplash

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't remember that Designed to Sell, but maybe they could send you some info if you sent an inquiry.

Are you looking for an interim look or something for a longer haul?

It's not the style of your old kitchen, but I'm thinking don't fight it if you want to go budget. I would try to make it and updated version of the basic kitchen architecture. I was wondering if you could replace the wood strip with a metallic one (or paint it). To go with that, I've seen tin or even inexpensive sheet metal (stainless sheets from Home Depot or the like) used for a backsplash. Just apply it right over the tile -- you're only losing a small fraction of an inch, and caulk. You might or might not need to replace the counters, but I would kiss that sink goodbye for sure. Remove the wallpaper and pick a favorite color to paint the walls (would a gorgeous red be fun or too painful?). I guess I see it as a clean, semi-retro, semi-contemporary, semi-funky place to have some fun. I think you can do that with very little and then change out certain elements or save for a total overhaul if that's what you want.

There was someone here in Houston who updated a mid-century ranch and kept it true to the style of the house and totally updated at the same time. That feel, if not the look (which I don't remember as well), would be my inspiration.

I like the idea of using Ikea too. Between these and the add trim to the cabinet doors idea, you've got some different directions to explore. Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is the link to the "Designed to Sell" episode. It's called "Desparate Times" episode HDTS-1602.

Here is a link that might be useful: Designed to Sell episode

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just watched that entire episode. What an update! And that may be more the style you are comfortable with. My only question is how well you can paint the cabinets if they are laminate. If they are wood -- easy. If not, maybe you can order new doors -- even if you apply the trim yourself.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of my concerns with Designed to Sell type fixes is reflected in the title. The fix is meant to make things look refreshed enough to get an offer. Its not called Designed to Last: I wonder what some of these fixes look like a year or two later.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 8:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW thank you corgimum for posting that link to the design to sell episode. THAT would be perfect to do to my new/old cabinets! That is the look I'm looking for. I would just glaze over to give an old country feel. You guys have been great! I think removing wall paper, changing sink counter top tin back splash and possably new micro can make this kitchen more me. This kitchen is open to an informal dining area and to my living room so I just need to make all the colors work. That will be my next post for color ideas....thanks again everyone

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Palimpsest, my thoughts exactly! I have watched so many of those shows where they do not use primer before painting furniture many shows where things are not properly prepped, it drives me mad I tell ya.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Regarding the "how well can you paint the cabinets if they are laminate" question.

A very good question that I can perhaps answer.

I had what appears to be the same cabinets in my kitchen.

I hated them and wanted to paint them for what I thought was going to be a year. Turned out to be about 4 1/2-5 years before they were demo'd, and they definitely could have gone much longer.

I got up one Saturday morning and started slapping on water-based Kilz with a little foam roller. After I'd done most of them I realized I'd forgotten to wash and de-grease them as I'd intended. Too late.

So they had the 1 coat of Kilz, 2 coats of blue-green Benjamin Moore latex eggshell. Not cabinet coat, not anything fancy, no gloss coat, no tricks. In fact, a friend who had never painted before helped on a few cabinets. Actual painting time was short -- the only thing that made it take awhile was drying time between coats.

I painted the insides as well, including the horizontal contact surfaces.

I stored heavy crockery on those shelves, which I scraped across the painted surfaces, and I saw only tiny scratches on those particular surfaces by the time I demo'd. The cabinet fronts were perfect. I don't have dogs who scratch at cabinets for their treats, or kids who play "carpenter" and hammer on them, but they definitely held up well, particularly for the extremely casual way I painted them.

If you take a little care, there's every reason to believe your results should be at least as good, if not better.

Their slab surfaces made them extremely easy to paint by roller and brush.

On mine, the oak strip was a component of the cabinet and could not be removed without leaving a big gap. But I believe several companies made cabinets like this, so yours may be different.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 3:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Kitchen colors....need something happy and vintage :)
I want to try to go a bit vintage with my low-dollar...
So many kitchen reno questions
Hi, My moniker was changed when Houzz and Gardenweb...
karin_mt & Marble Owners Who Have Been Able to Remove Etching
I've read that some have been successful at removing...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Does this butler pantry addition add or detract from my kitchen?
My midcentury home has a very open plan and lots of...
Sponsored Products
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs
Home Depot
Albero 2-Tier Chandelier by Eurofase
$3,960.00 | Lumens
Vino Jars - Set of 3
$179.99 | Dot & Bo
Scooba Hardfloor Cleaning Solution
$12.50 | FRONTGATE
Moby Dick Bottle Stopper Set - WHITE
$48.00 | Horchow
Dualit 27171 2 Slice Vario Classic Toaster-Red - 27171
$239.99 | Hayneedle
Spa Ice Cave 1/2x2 Brick Pattern Metal & Glass Tile
$16.49 | TileBar
Reusable Turkey Timer
$9.99 | zulily
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™