facelift for 1960's kitchen

ssnewbiegwJuly 22, 2014

Hello All.
I am new to this forum (and home renovation), we are redoing a house that was built in the 60's and has until now been lived in by the original owners. It is a big project, but we are excited to have a house to make our own!

As we have lots to update, we are trying to be as cost conscious as possible. And since it seems like the most important room we are starting with the kitchen!!

We currently have 2 of the kitchen walls with knotty pine cabinets in good shape. We would like to add another row of upper (glass doors) and lower cabinets (solid doors) to one of the empty walls. It would function as a butler's pantry/bar area.

The current cabinets are knotty pine with planking and black strap hinges. We plan to paint them a light color. White/cream/pale beige? We will also swap out the strap hinges, and fill the holes.

My main question is how can I pull the new cabinets together with the grooves in the older cabinets? Seems like changing out the doors would be harder than it sounds. Will it look ridiculous to have 2 cabinet styles?

Thank you again. Any and all advice appreciated!

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If you could post some pictures that would be great.

Two cabinet styles could work especially if they are separated--it can be done to look intentional.

You would probably get a certain amount of advice to keep the strap hinges. (I probably would). They have character.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Pictures and a to-scale drawing of your current and propsed floor plan really are ideal when asking for design advice.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:38AM
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You might want to research how to paint knotty pine. Particularly if you do not like a rustic look. Knots bleed through is a predictable issue.

As far as matchy-matchy? I suggest a search on unfitted kitchens, two-tone kitchens, etc. More than a million examples. Maybe even a zillion.

The easiest unifying element would be having the two different cabinets the same paint color, but IMHO, what's the point. I'd make the difference a feature.

Are you sticking with MCM or going with the country-ish feel of the knotty pine?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:45AM
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I agree with CEFreeman. Also note that the knotty pine will not disappear under that paint.

If you don't like the look of the cabinets, I might start in another area and save up more $ to replace them with something you prefer.

Disagree about the need to keep the strap hinges. Our reno is similar. 1960 house lived in by original owner who made no improvements in 50 years (a good thing!). We had these strap hinges before we demoed a few months ago. They were not user friendly--set off at this bizarre angle that is not how the human hand works--and they were very sharp edged. If if cut myself on one I'd probably rush to get a tetanus shot they were so old. But I prefer the MCM-inspired look and these were countryish so if that's your taste you might keep them as they are certainly "vintage."

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:31PM
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What about bleached pine, gesso, and wax? Or white washed?

Picture of whitewashed pine kitchen, half way below thread

Here is a link that might be useful: white washed knotty pine

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Thanks everyone! Sorry for the delayed response, my children seem to know when I am about to try to do anything...The two toned/ unfitted kitchen search has been helpful!

I wish I had pics to post, but we aren't in the house yet and all I have are the MLS images which are copyrighted (i think).

I am pretty sure we will paint, not whitewash. I think paint looks a little 'dressier'. Because there is so much to do to the house I think it will be several years until we would have the money to replace the cabinets.

I think I am just having trouble envisioning them painted, or maybe it is just that they don't match the other things I like... adh673's Kitchen is just about perfect to me, and I am pretty obsessed with this line for backsplash.

Do you think the planked cabinets can be dressed up with hardware, or will they still scream country kitchen and need pictures of ducks in gingham? And any suggestion as to door style to try to match? Can I make them work to what I want, or do I need to go a different direction.

they look a lot like this (only darker knotty pine)

Thanks again for all your collective wisdom!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:14PM
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I think you could post the MLS pictures as long as you source them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:43PM
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ok palimpsest, hope you are right. These are all off mls listings. here is one of our future kitchen, an updated kitchen with the added cabinets, and one of the same layout with the cabinets painted. We will have dark wood floors, stainless appliances, granite or quartz counter, new backsplash.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:37PM
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I think with the exception of the box hood with the scallop that your kitchen cabinets are kinda sweet.

I like the completely new kitchen of course, but I think the painted updated pine (#3) is kind of dull, and think your kitchen in original condition has a lot more personality.

I think the pine would look good with stainless hood and appliances and an updated counter.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Wow, I agree with Pal:
I actually like the existing kitchen very much. It has personality in a good way, and I can imagine it going very well with perhaps freestanding painted cabinets.

Here are some updated pine kitchens


Maybe a SS farm sink?

Examples of unfitted hutches, shelves....

Or I'd try finding cabinets with those plank doors (oak, whatever) and paint those in a color. You can also check for outdoor storage cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Reuse Kitchens

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:58AM
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If you do decide to paint the knotty pine, it IS absolutely possible to keep the sap from the knots from bleeding through.

You must prime with shellac base primer. I recommend Zinsser BIN white pigmented shellac primer (check the label carefully because all their primers have similar labels).

It is thin and it drips and it dries so fast that you can't really go back and touch up anything after 30 seconds have passed. The alcohol odor is very strong even with good ventilation, so it would probably be a good idea to invest in an inexpensive respirator. I have the 3M 6300--it's only around $20-22 on Amazon, with filters---works GREAT and is comfortable!

This is the only primer that works on knots. It also works on Sharpie, crayon, cigarette and cigar odor, and I believe any stain that bleeds through paint.

Here is a link that might be useful: white pigmented shellac base primer

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:59AM
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junco East Georgia zone 8a

I would keep your cabinets and do the additional ones in black. Perhaps there would be a way to move the refrigerator to the new wall? I agree that a stainless hood over the range would be an improvement.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:51AM
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I'd check for additional cabinets, e.g. see below. I bet it's negotiable. Also check Habitat for Humanity.

For upper glass cabinets, you could get regular glass pane doors, e.g. http://www.cabinetdoorworld.com/glass-pane-doors-1/

Here is a link that might be useful: knotty pine cabinets

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:40PM
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If you think that painting knotty pine will be a "simple" solution, it's not. (Or should I say "knot"?)

As others have mentioned, covering those knots is almost impossible. Ask me how I know, lol.

I live in a summer community where knotty pine was the original choice, back in the 30s and 40s. Then in the 80s and 90s, a lot of people ripped the knotty pine out.

Now they are sorry.

I have mine intact and original, and I'm the object of much envy.

That being said... in my opinion and experience, knotty pine with black hinges looks best (and freshest and most contemporary and gingham-free, lol) against white walls. (See the first photo posted, above.)

So I vote for keeping your knotty pine.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:57PM
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I LIKE those cabinets. They aren't the ornately edged fake colonial ones.

I'd clean them, polish them and use them. Hardware and all. It's so far outdated it's trendy again. :)

You have a nice beam across the ceiling, too.

I agree with Palimsest ... get rid of the hood covering, get a more "rustic modern" light fixture to replace the old one. A slightly rustic work table on casters as an "island. Paint the walls.

And call it done for a while.

As for adding on another wall - that would be the place to put the painted or different style cabinets. Also consider getting something unusual, like a big old TV media center and outfitting it as a pantry.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 1:46PM
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I'm not a big fan of rustic or knotty pine or strap hinges, so I'll go against the grain above and say do change them out. If you're adding granite and SS and tile, it sounds like you want an updated look, not a rustic one.

If so, consider painting the cabinet boxes but replacing the doors altogether. Barkerdoors.com makes them in custom sizes (to the nearest 1/16") for around $25/door. Then you could get your additional unfinished RTA cabinets from Barkercabinets.com, paint them the same color, and you'd have a like-new kitchen!

While you're at it, you might convert some of the base cabinets to drawer bases. Barker sells door box kits as well.

Voila: a kitchen transformation without breaking the bank on all new cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I love your kitchen. Wish the POs had left mine original. There are so many options for your kitchen beyond painting. And they do sell doors with insets like yours. Ikea has them: Link below.

Pal and Lazygardens are in the right direction. You can add unfitted pieces in any color wanted. Changing out pulls would add a bonus feature and leave the hinges, those are not inexpensive.

Did I miss your direction regarding style? Is your home rustic, cottage, traditional? Agree also to live with it for a while and then make changes. There have been a number of kitchens on GW like yours which were cleaned up well and some added features....they turned out beautiful.

I'd love to play with your kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:31AM
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Man, if I had those adorable knotty pine cabs with strap hinges in a vintage space, I'd embrace them and work the space up to be a cozy cottagy back in time place when life was quieter, simpler, and more peaceful. I love those cabs!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Thanks everyone. I was hoping to come up with a plan and get things done before we moved in, but now I think it will be better to live with it as is until I know how the kitchen functions with its current layout. I still feel a little conflicted in that I know there are lots of people who would love these "cool vintage" cabinets. I feel like changing something so old is a little wrong. However, I am not rustic. At all... And it talking about the kitchens character seems a little like calling someone the "funny sister". I am hoping to find some way to dress the cabinets up a bit, molding? The other thing is I like light kitchens and not in love with the idea of black hardware, cabinets, etc. I agree that is a great idea for this kitchen. But do I bend my style to it or try to bend it to me...the rest of the house is probably best described as colonial. I will stew on it a few months, again I appreciate all the ideas!

This post was edited by ssnewbie on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 18:48

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:23PM
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Whitewashed knotty pine in our 1953 "beachy ranch"

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:44PM
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