Cure the Dark, Shiny Cabinets – and Mute the Pink Tile to Boot?

I can’t stand the slimy, wet look of the dark stained kitchen cabinets. Add to that bubble-gum pink counter tile ringed with chocolate brown bullnose tiles, and dingy white walls, and it’s just hideous.

Kitchen Before
The cabinet doors are good old birch plywood with fur-core, from the days when plywood was sturdier and made w. hardwood cores.
Kitchen Sanded
I sanded the cabinet frames and drawers (under the pink, I discovered not Tori Amos but fire-truck red paint). I repeatedly sanded and filled the cabinet doors until smooth.
Kitchen Sanded
I primed the cabinet interiors and painted them white, and I removed the old, deeply scarred built-in plywood bread board, and fabricated a new front piece on a brand new cutting board that slides in just below the counter.
Kitchen After
Pure white on the cabinet exteriors match the appliances, now. New door and drawer pulls came cheaply from Dollar Tree. Apple Crisp paint on the walls mute the effect of the tile, making it look intentional, according to visitors. I’m calling it brick-red instead of bubble-gum pink, now. I found a couple of chairs at Goodwill to go with the breakfast nook table, added matching wall frames with wedding photos, etc.

Experiment…. worked!

11/23/2010: Three years later, to the day, and I’m remodeling the kitchen again – getting the house ready to sell. I’ve contracted with a guy to build and mount new doors and drawer fronts with hidden hinges. A local company I like a lot, called T&L, is coming out to install granite countertops and a stainless steel sink, and I’m about to buy two stainless steel appliances on Black Friday. We got three years of great service out of our nice kitchen, but now it’s got to be better than nice, for sales purposes. Oh, and I managed to turn a dishwasher into a brushed stainless steel dishwasher with a trip to a [local metal shop].

Update 3/5/2011: The look we achieved was great for us, but to sell the house, we’ve added dark, granite countertops, stainless, and new cabinet doors. Here are the new doors before finishing. We’re painting them white. Next photo will show the new counters.

Kitchen After
We decided to replace the doors and the counter surface.
Kitchen After
Now it has new hand-made maple doors and dark granite. We added new brushed stainless hardware, painted the wainscotting white, and the kitchen a pale lemon.

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