Kitchen cabinet facelift ideas/thoughts/etc

Old 03-10-16, 06:20 AM
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Kitchen cabinet facelift ideas/thoughts/etc

Over the winter, my girlfriend got the idea in my head to somehow refinish my kitchen cabinetry. I tend to agree as the surfaces of the doors and some spots of the cabinet facing do show some wear. None of the drawers or doors have pull hardware on them so the areas where one might grab the door or drawer to open it are the main spots of concern. Here are a couple pictures of my kitchen...note that I'm in a townhouse that has kind of a split-foyer layout. The first two pictures are panoramas, hence the slight distortion in each:

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Her thought was to "paint" them. I'm hoping she means staining because I can't really see actually painting these. My first idea when I initially moved in was refacing but now I don't know if I want to put forth that much effort and budget. Could staining them be a viable option? Even if it's the same shade, to at least eliminate the worn areas? Replacing the cabinets is also not something I'm wanting to do as that's even more effort than I'm willing to put forth and it just doesn't seem necessary. The hardware is in good shape's not like they're falling apart or anything.

I *definitely* would want to replace the doors as there is some major inconsistency there. Refer to this picture:

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Notice how there are 3 different sizes and styles of doors. The left-most cabinet is how I'd like them all to be as the doors touch each other (well, there is a 3/16" gap between them when they're closed).

The next set of cabinets to the right of that has the doors that "overlap." If I only want to open the right door on that cabinet, I still have to open the left door first because of the "flap" on the right door. I really dislike those doors and I've got 2 other cabinets down below that are like that. I definitely want to get rid of those doors.

The right-most cabinet has two independent doors but there is a center stile in the cabinet. I'd like to get rid of the stile and have the full face of the cabinet open but I'm not seeing an obvious way to get the stile out. The cabinet above the stove is also like that and I'd like to eliminate that stile as well.

Another concern, should I stain them, is this panel that's under the bar-style counter. It's just one large 3/16" thick panel fastened on with finishing nails. Would seem easy enough to remove but how easy would it be to match to the new color that I'd select?

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Another thing that bugs me is the quarter-round all around the base of the cabinets. I may eliminate that but I'm not sure how it'd look without it.

I'm also thinking about adding pull hardware to the doors and drawers so that it'll cut down on wearing whatever new finish I might be applying.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this project? Would staining be okay? Or should I go the reface route? Thanks for any input!

Last edited by fshannon3; 03-10-16 at 06:46 AM.
Old 03-10-16, 08:18 AM
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Stain needs to absorb into wood to be effective and your wood is sealed with stain and top coat. Hence, re-staining would require first stripping them back to bare wood.

Personally, they don't look that bad to me, I would try a light scuff sanding and a coat of polyurethane.
Old 03-10-16, 08:37 AM
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How big of a color change are you hoping for?

If you do decide to paint this might be helpful -
Old 03-10-16, 09:27 AM
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My first idea when I initially moved in was refacing but now I don't know if I want to put forth that much effort and budget
Refacing can be as simple as painting the face frames and purchasing and installing new doors and drawer fronts. It would be a good time for new drawers and slides if budget allows.
The middle stiles can be cut out prior to painting.

Your kitchen looks like about $1,400.00 in doors and euro hinges, a rough estimate that could go up or down.
The new doors and drawer fronts along with crown molding and hardware will make this kitchen look very nice.
Old 03-10-16, 09:50 AM
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The door issue will require you to have new doors made as the cases with the middle stiles are half overlay doors. This might mean that doing a refacing is a better option.

The quarter round at the base of the cabinets is there to cover where the cabinets meet the floor. There is likely a gap, or the wood flooring does not meet tight to the cabinet base. That will likely need to stay.

The odd colored panel is because it is a veneer or a printer veneer. You can also see the grain is not going the same way.
Old 03-10-16, 12:04 PM
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Thank you all for the input thus far.

I guess my main area of focus in this potential project is the cabinet doors. The inconsistency of size and type does bother me and I would at least like to get them all on the same page.

And yes, overall they are in good shape. They don't particularly need a restain or color change aside from the few spots I mentioned at the inner corners of each door where you'd grab them to open them. The cabinet under the sink is the worst offender...but even still they're not all that bad since it doesn't show up in the pictures. But in real life one can pick up on it.

@Handyone: Is that number just for the material, or would that include any labor from a contractor? I would definitely like the Euro/hidden hinges...the cabinet above the sink already has them (that's the cabinet with the doors that I'd actually want all the cabinets to have). All the other doors have the hinge hardware exposed.
Old 03-10-16, 12:42 PM
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The estimate is for DIY. The contractor price you don't want to know

Are you set on real wood doors? If not do a search for RTF doors, Rigid Thermofoil.
Some of the RTF doors look very nice and are easy to maintain.

Either way, when you reface you're a liberty to change opening sizes and eliminate middle stiles.

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