Questions about replacing cathedral arch oak doors before paint

juddgirl2April 26, 2014

Before painting my oak cabinets, I'm considering changing out the upper doors that have a cathedral arch. They're solid wood, raised panel, and are in good condition but I thought changing them to match the lowers might give the kitchen a more updated look (along with new ss appliances and possibly a new countertop). I was quoted between $25-45k for new cabinets and that's not in the budget right now.

I have 17 upper doors and half of them are 42" tall so even replacing doors might be a more expensive update than I thought. I have 2 questions:

Do you have any sources for less expensive oak replacement doors? I found a few places online that sell doors that look like mine, but at 42" tall they're over $100 each before shipping costs. I don't want to spend thousands on doors only!

If I do buy replacement doors, should I buy paint grade maple or oak? The goal is to try and cover the wood grain as much as possible in the painting process, but I was thinking I should buy oak so the final paint finish on the replacement doors matches the other doors and bases. Does that make sense or should I buy maple to save work in covering the grain for these doors?

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Here are photos of my cabinets. I already ordered the KitchenAid stainless steel appliances, which are on hold until I figure out the cabinets and counter.

I might replace the granite with a honed black granite or DIY soapstone that should work better with painted Antique White cabinets as well as my slate floors. I do love my floors.

I'm also going to modify the open cabinet with the wine storage, and either install a door here or just have open shelving for some of my pretty cake plates. The current dish display opening will be modified for wine storage. Not sure if I want to keep the cabinets over the cooktop or replace with a stainless hood to break up the wood.

The cabinets are solid, with all the pullouts and lazy susans, etc., and the layout is fine, although I would have changed a few things if I could afford to completely remodel the space.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:27PM
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I priced out a 21" x 42" Windsor door in unfinished paint grade maple and they were $60.95 plus shipping. I priced them at . There are a bunch of places online, but a few of them you need to email them for pricing. There is and a bunch of Conestoga dealers that you can inquire in.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:54PM
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What do the backside of the doors look like? Are they flat? You could consider flipping them inside out. Since you're painting, you can fill the holes where the hinges are and paint over them. I'm not sure if that's a look you'd like with the raised panel lowers, but it would save some money.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:01PM
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I think that current wine display would look GREAT st up for cake plates!

I also think that is a lot of cabinetry, lol! Barker Door is a great place to shop for doors, and I would definitely get paint grade for the cost savings. You can use a prep product for the oak doors that will reduce the look of the grain, and in the end you will hardly notice the difference, I think.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Chicagoans - that's a great idea but, unfortunately, the back of my doors are also routed in the cathedral arch shape.

Yes, I do have a lot of cabinetry! My sea of golden oak :) I do have great storage though. If I redo the upper doors I thought of having a few with glass inserts to lighten up on the wood.

Thanks so much, aries and greenhaven, for the Barker Doors source info. I just spent a few hours on that site pricing doors! They look really nice. Not including shipping, if I just replace the upper doors it looks like it would cost around $980 for solid red oak, $900 for paint grade alder with maple panel, and $730 for uppers in paint grade alder with MDF panel. So I could save $250 by going with alder and MDF.

I'm just wondering if there would be a noticeable difference in the painted finish between the alder and the oak, especially for my pantry cabinets where the upper doors are so close to the lower doors.

Another option I'm now considering is to replace all doors and drawers in the paint grade alder and MDF panel. This would cost $1700 but I could get a more simple door style that I prefer (Shaker raised panel or the New York), painting would be easier, and I would get free shipping. Also, I'm not sure if it's possible, but maybe I could order larger sizes to achieve more of a full overlay look. What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Also, remember that you are probably going to have to order new hinges too. Barker also shows you how to order for door sizes other then what you have.

Not sure how Conestoga is going to price out, but you should give them a shout. There are four online resellers that I'm aware of: The Cabinet Joint, The Cabinet Authority, Northern Granite and Cabinetry, and Cabinet Makers Choice.

There are a bunch of places to order new hinges online. Not sure who is the cheapest.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:35PM
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Check eBay. I purchased paint grade maple doors there. I didn't have any 42 inches though. I got 10 doors in different sizes for $160.00 including shipping.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:40PM
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I remember seeing your kitchen a while back and that your grown children and their significant others spent lots of time with you in the kitchen.

Just an idea, but if you are going to be painting your current cabinets, is there any chance at all that they can be pulled out, reconfigured, and reinstalled in a floorplan that works well for those family gatherings? If you are painting, you could buy just a few paint grade cabinets to fill in the ones that might need to be different than the current pieces and the doors to go with everything else.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Marissa - that's a great deal! I'll check ebay too.

aries - thanks for the other online sources and the tip about the hinges. I didn't realize we wouldn't be able to reuse our hinges, but I'm reading the Barker website about ordering larger doors and drawers to get the full overlay look, and they have a tutorial about overlay hinges too. I would like to switch to soft close anyway to avoid slamming doors (can't blame the kids - it's usually me!)

laughable - yes, that was me :) I've been going back and forth between a full remodel and a mid-level update for awhile. DH is just finishing up a bathroom remodel and then it's time to start on the kitchen! I would definitely consider reconfiguring the cabinets although I was hoping to use the same floor. I love my slate tile floors and we would save a lot of money by not replacing it. The prior owners didn't install the flooring under the cabinets, unfortunately. Even if I don't do the full remodel and reconfigure the layout I can still use part of the plan and put in the banquette and beverage bar on the other side of the kitchen, which will help for entertaining.

I'm seriously considering replacing all the doors and drawers. The ones I have now are in good condition, but I think replacing them might give me a much more updated and consistent look. It will also save me from a lot of labor filling and sanding the oak grain!

Question, most of my drawers are only 5 1/2" tall. Slab and 5-piece drawer fronts are available to match the door styles that I like. If I replace the drawers should I get slab fronts or would the 5-piece work even though that would only leave me with a 2" middle panel? The Barker site indicated that slab fronts aren't recommended over a certain width - I think it was 10" or so?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:25PM
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I bough two doors from Cabinet a Door World recently and was very pleased.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet doors

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:32AM
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I hate the cathedral arch look. Hate it with a passion, so I understand your urge to at least get rid of that design element. But I wouldn't spend a dollar on new doors for that kitchen.

I've always wondered whether it were possible to just go to a custom wood shop and get a quote for a re-vamp. Tell them you want the cathedral obliterated and see what they recommend. That would mean one new rail for each upper door, and they'd have to re-router the raised panel, but shouldn't this be do-able?

The other option of course, is to just think how much more beautiful your kitchen will be with those cabinets painted and live with the blasted arch. Maybe break up the look by adding a few glass panels. Think of how much more gorgeous the other elements could be if you're not spending money on new doors.

A word regarding Antique White - it's going to be yellow no matter which company's Antique White you choose, and you're trying to lessen the grain AND color of your existing cabs that are a yellow brown. Consider two tone cabs, dark on the bottom, light on top, and colors in addition to black and white. Or just browse on Houzz until you see a look that you like. Don't go to all this effort and expense for Antique White. Unless you love the color.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:19AM
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I am just about finished with a low-to-mid-level facelift in my kitchen. I decided to do this now rather than wait for a full reno because my layout was sooo ridiculous!

I m not sorry I did it, but I would definitely have spent less money in some areas to make it easier to swallow doing a full reno in 5-10 years. I put in quartz countertops at the urging of my DH instead of just doing laminate. I would have saved about 2k, even though the quartz looks amazing!

My point is that if you are still going to be doing a full reno in a few years, save your pennies in every place you can. Paint makes a world of difference, even on cathedral arch doors. Add some hardware and you will hardly recognize the space! The 1700 bucks you do not spend on doors now can go a long way when you are ready for a full reno.

If, instead of going antique white you pulled the greige tones out of your countertops and went a shade lighter or a couple shades darker you could even use those current countertops and the kitchen would have a fabulous tone-on-tone look that is very updated and soft-modern/scandinavian.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Do I remember correctly that resale is an issue for you? I may have posters mixed up and if so I apologize. But if you are planning to sell in the next five years or so, I would try pretty hard to get rid of the arches. Painting that many doors and drawer fronts is a big task. And even a good home paint job will not be as durable as a factory finish, IME. So if replacing all the doors and drawer fronts with ones that come already painted is financially feasible, I would probably do that keep the painting work down to just the cabinet fronts.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Thanks so much for all the great advice!

crl - I agree that painting the doors and drawer fronts is a big task. It would be much easier if they were smooth, and we do have a nice sprayer that we've used for the rest of the house (and on furniture like the hutch in the bottom picture). Barker does sell prepainted doors in Dover White, which is just one shade lighter than the SW Antique White we have on our doors and trim. That could be an option although it would add to the price significantly for this many pieces.

Resale is a consideration as we are considering moving out of state in 2 years or so (DH wants to, I'm on the fence) and I'm remodeling not just so I can enjoy the new space but also to make the kitchen fit better with the rest of our house. We're in an area with higher priced custom homes, and we've updated almost everything inside and outside of the house except for the kitchen, which was done by the previous owner just before we moved in.

A 10-15k update if we might sell is doable, a 50-60K update is not. We can afford the minor update now and I don't expect to get back 100% when we sell, so the update is partly just for me to enjoy, whether it's for a few years or several!

greenhaven - I definitely hear what you're saying and if I thought we'd be doing a major remodel in just a few years I wouldn't be thinking about changing the counter or doors. My layout is actually pretty good and the cabinet frames are in very solid condition with nice pullouts, so if we end up staying these changes will keep me happy and hold off a major remodel for over 5-10 years. If I just paint the cabinets and don't change the doors or counter, I would definitely want to remodel much sooner (but DH won't!). I have been seriously considering painting the cabinets a color like or similar to Edgecomb Gray to work with the pinkish undertone in the counters, and that's still an option. I'm just worried about having a completely gray kitchen, between the counters, floors and cabinets. I prefer warm neutrals.

EAM44 - I'm trying to love the cathedral arch! I really am. I'm just afraid we're going to go through so much work painting the cabinets and I'm still just going to see the arch when we're done and want to change it anyway. I do like Sherwin Williams Antique White though, and we have this color throughout our entire house, on all the doors, trim, and millwork. It is a yellow-based, creamy white, and I love how it looks softer than bright white against our warm walnut stained floors, as you can see in the picture. I have considered painting the kitchen cabinets SW Dover White though, which is one shade lighter.

Antique White in our house:

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Fri, Jan 16, 15 at 0:09

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:20PM
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OK, I'm completely into white kitchens. I have had one for 20+ years and will replace it with another white kitchen.

However, to get rid of the oak grain will require a lot of work, and in the end, your cabinets may still end up looking like painted oak cabinets. Also, not sure if it's so great to replace these cabinets with cheaper maple/MDF cabinets.

I wonder whether something like this would work. Yes, it's traditional, but maybe you can play that up. Your house looks kind of rustic/traditional with a twist. In Europe, the darker oak is making a come-back and it's already at IKEA.

There will always be people who are in the market for more traditional wood cabinets. In fact, I was shocked when a very non-traditional friend of ours recently pronounced that anything but wood cabinets seem "cheap" to him.

I'd add some glass doors and maybe replace the hood.

This is a house that sold recently in my area.

1.7 mio

To throw you another curve ball: Is there a way you can replace the backsplash?

Another option, check link below. They covered the arches with strips of wood. Not sure how it looks from close up, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: painted and removed the arches

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:45PM
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Thanks so much for posting the pictures of kitchens with a darker stain, nosoccermom. I'm not sure that's a direction I'd like to take with my cabinets because I'd like to lighten up the kitchen overall, but I think the arched cabinets do look much nicer with a dark stain as opposed to the honey oak. It would definitely be an improvement if I decide not to paint.

Re replacing the hood, would you recommend removing the cabinets over the cooktop and using a chimney style stainless steel hood or just a stainless hood under the cabinets with a taller profile than the slide-out we have now? The one we have now is not functioning so it needs to be repaired or replaced anyway.

I saw the kitchen where the arches were covered with pieces of wood before but didn't see any tutorial or how they did it.

We would replace the backsplash if we replace the counters, but I hadn't thought about a new backsplash with our existing counter. That's an idea. I just saw Fireclay brick tiles on another post that I really like and thought might work well with a dark counter and ivory cabinets. They look similar to a subway tile but a bit more rustic, which could work well with my slate floors.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Is there an oak piece that you could practice on to see how much work painting is and whether you'd be happy with the results?

With the hood, I was looking into replacing our OTR microwave with a chimney style hood but then realized that it needs more space left and right for code reasons. So, basically the cabinets would need to be rearranged/exchanged. I think you may run in the same issues, so I'd just go with a nice SS hood under a top cabinet. Also, we actually use the top cabinet for stuff.

Not that I want to talk you out of painting, but I think with new SS appliances instead of the black ones and a light backsplash, darker oak could look stunning, especially if you replace some of the uppers with glass cabinets. And maybe just paint the side of your peninsula where the stools are.

Or I wonder if you could go lighter, like this:

Or at least two-tone:

With respect to "attaching" molding to the fronts, this is what they say:
"To give the dark, grainy oak cabinets a fresh, Shaker-style look, they attached 3 1/4 -inch-wide strips of wood (mitered at the corners) to the front of each drawer and cupboard. "We purchased contractor packs of pre-primed baseboards, with 10 or 12 pieces for around $30," she says. "Once everything is cut to size, we attached the strips to the cabinet fronts with the nail gun."

The cupboards were sanded and then painted with several coats of semigloss in a palette of creamy white (for the upper cupboards), charcoal (for the lower cupboards) and French gray (for taller pantry storage and the wall oven cabinetry)."

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:21AM
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There was a great kitchen done with cabinets from CabinetNow. I wish I had the time to research the post, but I was amazed at how beautiful they were and how little they cost - These were cabinet and drawer fronts. If I can find the other post I'll send it your way.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabinetnow RTA cabinets.

This post was edited by lynn_r_ct on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 14:22

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:21PM
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nosoccermom - thanks for posting all the beautiful pictures of kitchens and great ideas. I didn't realize I would need a larger hood if I used a stand-alone chimney. Maybe I can ask DH if he would build an enclosure for a hood, like this:

I think staining the cabinets, changing the backsplash, and using a light creamy granite would be much nicer than what I have, but I'm not sure that it would work well with my slate floors. I'll think about that though. I can order a sample door to practice on, and I'd order one anyway if I decide to replace the uppers with the same doors.

Which doors do you suggest replacing with glass? I was thinking maybe the 4 doors at the top of the U - over what is now the open dish display but might become wine storage.

lynn - thanks so much for the link. I'll check out CabinetNow!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Here's an often posted picture for the open shelves but she painted the cathedral upper doors and they look great here. Using some glass inserts also would help a lot in lightening the look.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Honestly, I don't see using white in this kitchen. I'd do a light warm gray paint (SW Eider White maybe?) on the existing cabinets, keep the granite, and leave well enough alone. The counters have gray in them, and so do the floors. The right shade of gray will bring those two elements together, and since the counters already go well with the floors, it will be all you need to have this kitchen be "updated". There's no way I'd get rid of the granite or even put new doors on this kitchen if I were moving in 2 years!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Scrappy, thank you for the link. I like that kitchen and the cathedral doors aren't as noticeable as mine. Those doors are also full overlay, which I think lends to an updated look. I don't dislike the partial overlay I have too much though.

live wire oak - thanks so much for your input and suggesting Eider White. I looked at some photos of this color on Houzz and like this lighter option more than Edgecomb Gray. If I keep the counters and doors I have, would you suggest a 2 tone look with a darker color on the lowers or just one color? I have Antique White crown molding and trim in the kitchen so hopefully that would work with the cabinet color.

Also, if I do decide to replace the granite counter and backsplash (we have to cut the apron to get some appliances out and I'm not sure about paying someone to repair the apron and lock them back in) would you suggest a honed black granite or soapstone or a lighter stone instead? I would definitely want natural stone. It's what I prefer and it's also expected in my area for resale (even ugly granite seems to be preferred over the nicer looking laminate alternatives).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:48PM
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With regards to the chimney hood: I thought you were taking about something like this:

In that case, you'd have to figure out how this hood would fit over the burners but also still have space left and right to the upper cabinets. I like the link to the remodelista site if you can achieve that!

With regards to the upper glass doors. I think it depends on what you have currently in the cabinets and where you can store things. I have a jumble of spices and food items to the left and right of my range, so it wouldn't be very attractive to have glass doors. So, yes, the uppers to the right in your kitchen would be nice for glass doors and open up the kitchen a lot. maybe even some of the smaller uppers on the fridge/pantry side.

I think the granite choice would depend on what you decide in terms of cabinet color (i.e. light paint or stain). What stone do you have right now?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Here's another idea. Not sure whether you like this or how feasible it would be. Getting the stain out and using a grayish driftwood finish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gray oak cabinets

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:41PM
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nosoccermom - I love the whitewashed oak kitchen in your second picture - so pretty - but I'm not sure that would work in my house or if I could achieve that finish.

I was talking about the hood you've shown at first but do liking the idea of building a decorative cover instead. My DH is pretty handy.

For the cabinet finish I'm leaning towards a light painted finish, either in a creamy white like Dover White or Antique White, or one with a bit of gray like the Eider White livewireoak suggested. 2 tone is an option too, with the lowers either stained or painted (if the lowers are dark I think I'd prefer a light counter). I have a quote for soapstone and black granite and the fabrication cost is the same but soapstone material would cost $1500 more than granite.

I could do glass inserts either next to my cooktop, since that's where I store my pretty servers and white dinnerware, or in the cabinets to the right that store glasses and stemware. The upper cabinets on the refrigerator wall store not so pretty food items, alcohol and odds and ends.

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 17:57

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Well, it sounds like you're getting closer to figuring out what direction you want to take. It'll be exciting to see how you proceed!
Probably the next (big) step would be to see how much work painting is and whether you'd like the results.

Good to have a handy (and willing) husband :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:28PM
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Thanks, nosoccermom! I've received some great input here and have a lot of options to consider before we start the project next month.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Please keep us updated and good luck!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I saw a local decorator take her same cabs and paint them black. The kitchen looked fabulous even with the tombstone doors. Really striking.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:44PM
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i was thinking of you when I saw this kitchen makeover:



Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen makeover

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I too am doing a "minor" kitchen facelift. The cabinets are in good condition, so we are just stripping and restaining the oak a gray brown. If you add some gray to the stain, it tones down any orange in the red oak. For this to work, of course, the cabinets need to be completely stripped of previous stain. We have the cathedral arch on our upper cabinets,and I don't care for it either. I really wish it was just the smooth arch. On the larger doors, I don't mind it the cathedral, but on the smaller doors, the cathedral arch looks like cowboy hats to me. We have quite a few cabinets, and refacing was almost as expensive as completely new cabinets. We decided not to replace the arched doors. I've look at enough before and afters where people have painted or stained their cathedral oak, and I know it won't bother me when all is done. The new color, molding, hardware, counters, etc, will make the cathedral arches fade to the background. Google cathedral oak refinish, and you'll see a lot of photos. Also, you'll see some photos where the grain isn't covered. I prefer this unless you plan to glaze (then the glazed grain looks really dirty). Stripping is a lot of work, but it's the only way you can get a lighter wood color or get new stain to absorb evenly. I had experimented with a gray paint mixed with transparent glaze to just tone down the orange in the cabinet. The results seemed to be ok, but since we ended up ordering some new cabinets, we needed to strip and restain to match.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:31AM
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nosoccermom - I love before and afters! Thanks for posting the pics. If we painted the cabinets 2-tone, those colors would likely work with my existing floors and counters.

updating - I like your analogy to the cowboy hat for the tall, narrow cabinets :-) I actually like the slightly rounded arch, but the cathedral not so much. My kitchen doesn't have much natural light and the floors are dark, so I'm thinking a lighter cabinet color is what I need, but a gray brown stain would be a huge improvement over the current orangey finish. Please post pics - I'd love to see your results.

I'm still going back and forth between just painting the existing cabinets as is, replacing/fixing the uppers to get rid of the arch, or replacing all cabinets for an updated look with better functionality. I'm pretty undecided right now but we're still working on a bathroom/office project so I have a month or two to decide. I might call our carpenter and get a quote for him to rework the upper doors. Could be the same price as replacing them, but at least they would exactly match the lowers.

Besides the arches, the gray/pink undertones in the granite has me stumped. I just don't know if it will work with the creamy white that I want to use for the cabinets, and using a grayed white on the cabinets might not work with the warm tones we've used throughout the rest of the house. I do have several off-white paint samples and will be painting boards today.

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 11:12

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:04AM
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Staining is more work than painting because you have to get out all the old stain. My husband is just getting the lowers back in. The uppers aren't stripped yet. Here is a pic of the before color.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:13PM
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Here are the restained base cabinets (cutting board is still orange). The hardware is up with sticky tack but I think I'll be going with this antique brass pull. I'm really happy with how the color turned out. It was a tricky application because we matched some newly purchased cabinets for the island. We ended up buying the stain and toner from the cabinet manufacturer.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Last year I refinished orange oak cabinets for my laundry/mud room though we still haven't gotten all the trim up. I had to strip to bare wood, then I stained with rustoleum sunbleached (now called driftwood) and let this really absorb before wiping, even sometimes applying a second coat to get a very gray base. Then I did a very quick wipe on and immediate wipe off of rustoleum dark walnut to warm up the gray. I really like how this turned out too. It Is a little more weathered looking than the new kitchen cabinets but a very similar tone and effect. I like oak grain and love how the gray cancels the orange.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Updating - your cabinets look great! You can really see the difference between the new and original finish when comparing the cutting board to the surrounding cabinets. I'm sure that was a lot of work but worth it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:55AM
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My kitchen got a facelift. I kept my old golden oak boxes and got new doors and drawer fronts (plus hardware, etc.). Everything was painted soft white. The new stuff was paint-grade maple from Decora. In person, if you look real close, you can see the oak grain on the frames, but with full overlay, it's just not something your eye catches. I think all the Decora stuff (including end panels for pantry and peninsula) were in the $1.5K range.



    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Wow, linelle! Your kitchen cabinets look completely new! Very nice. Was it difficult to figure out the right measurements for the full overlay replacement doors and hinges?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Hi juddgirl2, thanks. I forgot to mention that whatever I paid included crown as well.

My KD did all the measurements and ordering for me. She's a peach. My GC, who I would never hire again, cheaped out on hinges and left some gaps between doors. My KD hired someone else, at her own expense, to redo the hinges. They weren't soft-close, so I added Blum adapters myself, easy and inexpensive.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Thanks, linelle. Sorry you had problems with your GC but sounds like you had a great KD. I think I'll price out new doors, drawers and end panels from Decora and a few other places mentioned and compare to replacing the cabinets.

I have a new quote from the cabinet shop and it will be 15k to replace the cabinets if I stay in the same footprint. By doing this I could get frameless quality construction, add a second lower lazy susan for storage, move the fridge over so it's flanked by 2 pantries and no longer right next to the wall oven/microwave, and replace the lower cabinets with drawer banks. So, I'd get more function than I have now. But after seeing your kitchen I think I can also get the updated look I'm seeking and save money just be refacing the fronts and painting.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:11AM
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For a small kitchen (10x10), I love the footprint of mine. That being said, I have 4 blind corners and only one bank of drawers on the bottom. But there's just me in the kitchen and I knew I was keeping all the bad with the good. I don't think my life would be better if I had spent more money on new cabinets. I stayed within my budget, paid cash, and am thankful everyday that I have a house to call my own.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Linelle, that's a great attitude! We're going to pay cash too - not going into debt for this kitchen. Just need to figure out how big or small the budget will be :)

After thinking about it and taking everyone's advice into consideration, I think I'd be happy with replacing all doors and drawers to get an updated look, and don't necessarily need to replace the cabinets since the boxes are still good. I'll get DH's input on this option vs replacing cabinets for better function. He said he's fine either way but I need to be sure he prefers saving money over the extra work that comes along with keeping the boxes.

I'm trying to make peace with the arched uppers but don't want to keep them even after seeing all the great before and afters. Modifying or replacing just the uppers and keeping the lowers would save some money but I'd still have the oak grain to deal with as well as the partial overlay, and wouldn't have the same updated look as replacing all.

I'm also leaning towards replacing the counter, which I think would have a big impact and will let me use paint colors on the cabinets and walls that will flow better with the rest of my house. We have the budget for this and it's a compromise between the full "gut and replace" project I originally wanted (moving plumbing and electrical) and just using what I have.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 3:49PM
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