I'm broke, would you be my kitchen designer? ;-D

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Ok, are you hooked on HGTV remodel shows like I am? I just wish I could have someone walk in and tell me how for $2,000 they're going to make my kitchen (ok, my whole house) look awesome!! Well, since that's not happening and I'm no designer, please take a moment to look at these pics and tell me what you might do. I'm open to anything, but affordable is key. Also, we are not diy'ers, (unfortunately), but I'm willing to try.

I am bothered by the cabinets. They are busted up in a lot of places and even the "nice" sections look overglazed from years of trying to spiff them up. Also, there are no windows in this kitchen, so it seems dark to me. I am contemplating painting the cabinets to lighten up the look. Our open floor plan means you see the cabinets when you first walk in the door.

We are definitely replacing the floor. I would love laminate, but we found some affordable self-stick vinyl tile and are putting it in our entryway tonight. Dh thinks it should match that and it actually does look good, so I think we'll go with that. It is a fake stone look. If we were to replace the countertops (which I would LOVE to do) would it need to be a really subtle design, since there is one on the flooring?

Also, we added cabinets and shelving to the dining room to create a computer space. I will attach pics. It has a green/taupe/black speckled laminate countertop. The walls are painted a yellow beige. (the computer area came AFTER I had painted the yellowy color on the wall.)

I think we could swing a new stainless and black microwave. That seems like an affordable upgrade that would be very visible. Other appliances will likely have to stay. (Maybe something could "accidentally" break down soon?? hmm....) I also want to get rid of the 1980's shiny brass light fixture, but not sure what I would want in its place.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ANY INPUT!! Be honest, you won't hurt my feelings. I thought this would be a lot of fun to get some input from others.

Robin ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

walking into my kitchen - isn't it enormous! lol! ;-)

There is actually VERY little counter space for working, but see how much there is if I were to replace it?

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Here's the image from the living/dining room.

Oh yes, that's Sam. lol! :-)

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

standing in the kitchen, facing out.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

and the cabinets in the hallway just outside the kitchen.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

That pic above looks darker than it actually is - but see how bunged up the woodwork is? Whenever I've used something to try and blend out scratches it soaks into those really really worn spots and they show up even more.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Here is the dining area that the kitchen overlooks. We added a computer counter and some shelving above (which is REALLY junky looking right now - time to sort some paper piles! Please excuse!!)

This pic is taken from the hall so I could show the color of the cabinets.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

A close up of the woodwork and counter in dining area.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

here's the new tile we are most likely using.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

You could paint your cabinets and then glaze them
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hi_kitchens/article/0,2037,DIY_13925_2480370,00.html
I would use black. I'd also add some nickle knobs or pulls onto the cabinets. You don't have any turns or corners in the counter tops that I can see, so HD or Lowe's has counter tops in stock, for not much money. If that's where you got the one in the DR, I'd use them again in the kitchen. They appear to have black in them? For the light fixture which I can't see, if you like the stainless steel look, go for something in nickel or black or a combo of the 2. Either spray paint the one you have, or go to HD or Lowe's and find a cheap one. I'm not big into yellow and the paint color will depend on what you want to paint the cabinets. If the counters do have black in them, I'd go white with a black glaze. I'd probably lean towards a more mustard color on the walls.

All in all, I think it's a cute kitchen with many many possibilities. You just need to figure out what you want.

Oh, I wanted to say that I have a black and stainless microwave. I know wish I just had just gone with black. In your kitchen, I think I'd go for the white ones. White cabinets with a black glaze, nickel knobs or pulls and white appliances......since your sink is white and looks like it's in good condition.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Hmmm...that's an interesting idea about using the same counter as in the DR. I hadn't even thought of that and it would certainly be about the most affordable way to go as well as add cohesion to the two rooms.

Here's a close-up of the counter next to the flooring we'll likely use. Do they go together??

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

In my opinion Robin, yes, they go together. It would add cohesion, otherwise it'll just look all jumbled. Rooms don't have to be the same color to me, but they should flow together. Plus, I like that counter top!

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

My head is just swimming with ideas now. I am a "silver" person and would love to add some silver hardware, but there is so MUCH brass in this house and some of the replacements we've done over the last few years has been the brushed bronze type hardware, I may stay with that. (Especially if we end up not replacing any appliances and there is no stainless to capitalize upon.)

I'm glad the sink LOOKS nice, we did replace the faucet and sprayer. I think the sink is porcelain and is pretty scratched up. I can use Clorox CleanUp on it and it looks nice, but gets dingy again in no time. Also, the rubber thing in the drain by the disposal is ratty and torn up and the "catch" on the right side of the sink is completely gone, so I keep a strainer in there all the time for fear of losing silverware or something worse down it. I actually looked at some sinks online last night. I was sort of entertaining the idea of a stainless sink, but now that I think about the green and black countertop, maybe a recessed (underfitted??) black sink with silver hardware would look cool?! Sounds expensive, but might really make the kitchen a "wow" factor. I originally did not want to buy this house because the kitchen was so small. I said no immediately and didn't even consider the house until we continued to look and couldn't find anything in our price range.

One thing I neglected to mention is this. I am motivated to make this house nice WHILE we are living in it and at the same time know that we may not be here much longer. (1-4 years at most) So WHEN we move, I really hope to have the luxury of selling quickly and for a nice price. (I think we got a good deal when we bought it and the area is really expanding with a new high school nearby and lots of new shopping, etc.) I mentioned those HGTV shows like Designed to Sell and it kills me that people get granite countertops and all these updates right before they move! I wouldn't want to leave!! ;-)

Thanks a bunch for your input, Terry, and I would LOVE to hear from anyone else, no matter what your ideas may be!!

Here's a pic that lets you see the light fixture and more of the "bar" area. A neighbor extended the upper counter top and installed shelves & drawers underneath. If we were to do that, it could match the opposing wall, but would make the dining area MUCH smaller. For me personally, I would rather have a place to sit at the computer and extra storage space than a spacious dining area. If we were to do something like that, we could even do flooring to match what we do in the kitchen to get rid of the carpet, (which I hate underneath the eating area anyway. Maybe we could accentuate it as a bar area? Probably trying to squeeze too much in a small space. Just thinking though...

Thanks! Robin ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

Your kitchen is small and dark, so I would NOT paint the cabs black. I think you'd find that with an open plan, the eye is going to be drawn to a "Black Hole" when walking in the door.

I agree your floor tiles and countertop look good together. Take a clue from the photo you posted under "here's the new tile we are most likely using" - your white appliance looks great with the tile, and would be fine with the countertop as well. Be aware that there are a zillion shades of white, so take your time and pick a shade to paint your cabs that will work with all three elements: appliances (usually a cool white), tiles and counters (which might respond better to a warmer tone).

Find a new light fixture on sale. Try craigslist, eBay, or even amazon.com's 70% lighting sale. You need something stronger; I'd be using at least three 75 watt bulbs and would prefer three 100-watt bulbs. If you prefer silver, use silver. It'll match your faucet, and nobody will care that you have a different metal in the kitchen fixture than in other places. I've found very handsome fixtures that use both chrome and brass trim, so you could use something like that to 'bridge' the two.

Do you plan to use the new countertop pattern to replace the counter between the kitchen and DR as well? If not, I noticed you have nice sharp edges on that laminate. You could tile it VERY easily, and that would add a beautiful design element to your kitchen. Take a class in tiling at HDepot or Lowe's, and you'll find that with a little care and very minimal expense, you can do it just as well as any pro. Rent a tile saw, or even borrow one from a handy friend.

I would also not buy a black sink, unless it's the charcoal granite-patterned type like Silgranit or Swanstone. Black glossy sinks are like stainless steel - unless you wipe them down after every use, they will water spot and look horrible. If you don't like that kind of constant maintenance, get something more sensible that needs less upkeep. There are some stainless sinks with the new brushed surface that spot much less (or actually, you could just "brush" an inexpensive stainless sink yourself with a scrubbie and Comet cleanser, to produce instant "patina").

Painting cabs takes a lot of time. Prep work is everything, and will take you far longer than you think. If you don't do the job properly, however, it won't last. You can't take the "I'm not going to be here very long" mentality, because actually if you ARE going to sell, you really do not want to have to go through the whole painting thing twice (e.g., doing it again before you sell because it looks like crap again).

Go to a good paint store and talk to the salesmen - preferably during the weekdays when they have more time. Tell them what you are doing and that you intend to prime, paint, and seal your cabs properly. Latex will work fine, but you want good brushes, not el cheapo ones. Pick your paint color. Get several sample jars, if you need to, and paint a few 8x10" foamcore boards, or anything with a base white coat, to hold up under various lights to make sure the shade will blend next to your appliances yet work with the tiles/counters.

You want satin or semi-gloss paint. I'd prefer satin because it's more forgiving. Semi-gloss will show up every imperfection when the light casts shadows downwards.

Take the doors off. Remove all the drawers. Wash everything down with TSP, twice if you have to. Sand everything properly - doors, drawers, and framework. This is why your "touchups" don't work. You need to take ALL the finish off and then refinish them properly.

Prime them; let dry, then paint. Two thin coats are better than one thick one. Finish with a polyurethane; make sure the poly is the same finish (satin or semi) as the paint. Allow ADEQUATE drying time between all coats. Do not take the suggested times on the paintcan as gospel truth. Drying time varies enormously, depending upon temp and humidity. Longer is always better.

Remember that all paint, bar none, does not fully cure for 30 days! Treat everything very gently for the first month and after that, fairly minimal care should suffice for at least 5-10 years, depending upon wear & tear. Keep your kids out of the kitchen with their toy bikes and stuff (which wouldn't be safe anyway in such a small kitchen) to avoid the dents and dings that will mar your paint surface since painted surfaces cannot be repaired easily.

Done properly, you'll find it easy to clean the painted surfaces. Never use ammonia; it will strip the paint away. A light hand with the sponge and soapy water should suffice.

Good luck!

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

BTW, make sure you check out this thread in the home decorating forum: the OP is painting their cabs (three coats with sealer!) and you can see how it looks. The white cabs and tile floor are very similar in colors to what I envision your kitchen to be.
http://davesgarden.com/forums/fp.php?pid=1081133

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

In my head, the amount of brass in the rest of the house doesn't matter. I redid this kitchen when we bought this old house. We bought in Dec of 05, kitchen was done in something like May of 05. We didn't live here, too much to do! Anyway, my light fixture is the burnished bronze, but my hardware on the cabinets is nickel. I went with a porcelain sink, because it just seems to go with an 111 yr old house. You can change out those strainers in there and keep the sink. Being that you're not going to really be there long, I wouldn't put in a whole lot of money, but rather do things to make it more up to date.

I guess I haven't seen Design To Sell, because I've never seen any of the fix up before we move shows, do any granite. Granite works if you're in a area where granite is expected. I don't live in such an area, and I like laminate anyway...lol. I'm not really understanding what you mean when you say that there's a lot of brass. Light fixtures and door knobs? Fixtures are pretty cheap at HD, I'd change them out when I had a few extra dollars. I wouldn't worry about the door knobs.

I'm going to toss in a couple pictures of my kitchen so you can see the light fixture and then the nickel knobs and pulls that I picked. This room is really hard to take a photo of because it always seems I'm trying in the afternoon and the room faces west.

I see some one else has posted since I first started this, this AM...lol. I'm not talking about painting your cabinets black, I'm saying to use a black glaze over the white paint. It can be as dark or as light as you like. Personally, with kids and my own preference, white cabinets would never work for me. I looked at homes that had white cabinets when we were moving to TN and I passed them over because I didn't want to deal with grubby hand prints all over the white.

Thumbnail by terryr
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Here's the other side. This is an old house and the kitchen is laid out weird. I have 2 windows, a door that goes outside, the opening to the DR, the basement door, the opening to the servant stairs, and the door to the 1/2 bath. All in one room!

Thumbnail by terryr
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I am simply wowed by all the helpful comments and suggestions! Thank you SO MUCH! Keep 'em coming! ;-D Terry, your kitchen is REALLY beautiful! Love the light fixture! ;-)

I've noticed when I look through magazines and I see a kitchen I love, it often has beautiful wood cabinetry, sometimes with dark hardware and sometimes silver. (Terry, if my cabinets were as beautiful as yours, I would be thrilled!) So a part of me thinks it might be a mistake to paint, but the purpose is to lighten the room. So tonight I thought, why not start with the extra bathroom? I *know* I would like that to be painted white and it 's a very small job. I could see how I like it and how difficult it is. It just seems somehow like the wood in the kitchen "spreads" so far. There's the pantry in the hall and all this trim, I feel like I would be unsure where to stop exactly.

You guys are probably right, I shouldn't worry about all the gold stuff throughout the house and what I think really sticks out, I should just replace. The dining room has the silver accents and the sink faucet, but I really like the brushed copper look!

Here's a sample of a hardware I was looking at:
black
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100355142&N=10000003+90401+524085&marketID=401&locStoreNum=8125

brushed copper
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100337257&N=10000003+90401+524085&marketID=401&locStoreNum=8125

silver
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100000283&categoryID=524085


I'm pretty unsure on what type of light fixture would work well, but here's something I was considering (have no idea what size would work best - I would not be buying these online, just window shopping):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GFT7QW/ref=wl_itt_dp/103-9226232-7215806?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2TCSSJTIPEKKJ&colid=3TBGS1KPVS9KI

Oh and here's a black sink. I would for sure want a "matte" finish:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=30154-1475-DGR3322-1&lpage=none
(Not thinking too seriously about replacing the sink - I think dh would think I'm nuts, but it would look GREAT if I did the green/black counter top in there!!!)



This message was edited Jul 31, 2007 11:34 PM

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

and the other single cabinet. This shouldn't be *too* difficult and as you can see, it NEEDS it! A nice creamy white, maybe some light sage green walls and I'd either be a painting pro or sick of painting! It would give my husband a chance to see the cabinets painted. When I subtlely mentioned the kitchen project to him tonight, I think he said, "no way." lol I'm going to have to do this slowly and sneakily. ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Oh, and by the way, I'm not discounting the tile idea either. I think it might be more work (depending on if my husband will help me install laminate counters,) but potentially a really cool look! I feel it might better address the issue of the laminate that creeps up the wall so high. I might have to use some tile anyhow. ??

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, if you want to keep the woodgrain you could always whitewash it, but the problem with that is two-fold: your oak cabs have a very strong grain and whitewashing frankly comes out better when the oak is less strongly grained (I have a whitewashed oak bath cab). More importantly, whitewashing is really "out" as a look and I don't think it would be a great selling point. In your situation you will need to consider resale if you are serious about selling soon (anything within 5 yrs in RE is considered 'soon').

I would also strongly suggest you urge your DH to consider changing out the sink when the cabs are done. It is much easier and less work to change both at once, and a good-looking sink is a real pleaser when buyers are looking at your house.

If you paint the cabs white, rethink your microwave. I'd get one to match the cabs instead. I started in 1990 with a black stove in a bisque cabinet kitchen. When I replaced the stove with a bisque colored range in 2001, I was pleased by how much better it looked. When I look at the photos now of my black range amidst light-colored cabs, it really does look like a 'black hole', LOL!

BTW, I can't tell - is your backsplash area painted white or is that laminate? Anyway, if you go with white cabs, I'd pick a nice medium-tone paint to spark up the kitchen. It's such a small area, you could give it that "wow" factor without spending too much $$$.

Also, the wood that faces the DR, underneath your dividing counter? I'd leave that section alone and not paint or stain it, just refinish it. A little wood is nice, it's just that too much is overwhelming in your small space.

All the knobs you picked are nice, although very expensive. The lighting fixture is beautiful, but way underpowered for what you need. Uplights need to be much stronger than downlights to have the same effective illumination. I'd like to suggest undercounter lights, either fluorescent or xenon, but you've said you're on a budget so I know that's rough. It's hard to tell if you have a molding around the bottom of your upper cabs - if you don't, you'll need to install one to hide the undercounter fixtures. Not only is this more work (you want it to look good, not "pasted on") but it reduces the space available between your uppers and base cabs. This can make it difficult to have your small appliances out so you need to be careful about this.

This message was edited Aug 1, 2007 8:41 AM

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Well, since you asked for any input, here it comes...without knowing the floor plan, etc., kind of a shot in the dark, but I'd be thinking about losing the counter between the kitchen and dining/living room. Put the sink where the fridge is now, counter around the corner to where the bulletin board is, and put the fridge where the tall cabinet is.
All hypothetical, of course, not knowing anything about the rest of the building.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Wow, thanks so much for all the diverse suggestions. Claypa, that's a bit involved and actually one of the main benefits to this plan is that I am facing the action of the house (the computer, the dining table, the tv), when I am standing at the sink. It contributes to the open feel and I like that part of it. I WISH I had money to make this kitchen exactly the way I like, but we WILL be moving in a few years, and I just want to enjoy it while we're here and make it attractive to potential buyers.

I took some detail pics in case it helps. I know it must be hard to not be able to walk through a space and look at things up close. What is behind the oven is the beige laminate. It creeps up pretty high on the wall, in several places, like by the coffee maker. Kinda weird, but it does keep it easy to clean.

I went to Lowe's today and looked at counter tops and tile. Can someone just tell me very GENERALLY which is cheaper? I get the feel that a laminate countertop would be cheaper than even a basic tile, but I guess it's hard to say. I found the chip of the counter we used in the computer area, and while I think it is a TERRIFIC idea to join the two with the same counter, I think I would be defeating the purpose of trying to lighten the kitchen. It is a DARK pattern.

So I got the idea that maybe a sage green tile or peachy sandy (or combo) of tiles would work and tie the two rooms together, without them "matching." What do you think? I took a pic of the backsplash area behind the sink with some green colors there. Also, my spoon rest is a pretty (but darker) green, so I laid that there too.

I think that would be a reasonalby affordable project spread over time:
* flooring (the vinyl tiles are really affordable, $30 a box, and dh is already sold on this idea.)
* perhaps tile to dress up the counter and backsplash areas?
* paint or refinishing supplies for cabinets, plus new hardware
* new light fixture

These are all things that I can buy a few of at a time if I have to, the spread the cost out.

Let me know what you think!!!!!!! Thanks SO MUCH for the suggestions - I love everyone's advice!!

Robin ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Here's a close-up of the sink area and some "greens" I was thinking about. See how dark the green counters would be if the computer counter were used? If I did that with a light cabinet, I feel I would not be upping the lightness of the room at all, just switching it from counter to cabinet, know what I mean? What do you think?

Robin ;-D

This message was edited Aug 1, 2007 3:03 PM

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Jkom:

Hi! Thanks so much for all the advice! I bought paint today for the bathroom and I'm ready to get started!!! This will be like a "test run" for the kitchen project. ;-D

I'm rereading your tips on doing the cabinets. What is TSP? Forgive me! lol! ;-)
Also, what do I prime them with?

As for the sanding, do I start coarse, then go fine? Use fine only? There are a few small gouged parts. Do I use some type of wood putty in those areas? Also, any suggestions on how to best sand the grooved parts? They are the most damaged, (from years of water droplets) and yet they seem the most difficult to sand properly.

I bought Martha Stewart satin paint in Milkweed Pod (light green) and Putty Pink (creamy white). My hydrangea print inspired me. :-D

Thanks in advance!

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

I have a light in this room, the parlor, that is similar to this one and it puts out a lot of light

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100030040&N=10000003+90401+500910&marketID=401&locStoreNum=8125

You say your sink is scratched up. How badly is it scratched? Mine is porcelain and I clean it at least once a week. At my parents second home, the sink is porcelain also and has a few scratches, but Ajax or Comet cleans it up in no time. If the sink isn't that bad, I would spend my money in other areas instead of getting a new sink. I'm not in the camp that anything dark in color makes a room appear smaller. It depends on the accessories that are used also. All the rooms in this house were white or had light colored wallpaper on them. I've repainted them all in dark rich colors. They look the same size to me. If your cabinets are light, but your counter top is dark, I don't think that makes for a dark room, but that's my opinion. Especially if you re-use the white sink and use white appliances. Now if you painted the cabinets black and used all black appliances, then yes, the room would probably appear very dark. My girlfriend has used a new spray paint that's for wood furniture, but I think it could easily be used on cabinets. Somebody here has a post where they used just ordinary spray paint and painted the small upper cabinet (like above the stove and fridge) black. I thought it turned out well. I like the last silver knob you linked, but I would add something like the below link to any drawers.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100355003&categoryID=524085

Thank you for the compliment. The cabinets and counter plus install was less than $4000. I was pleased since everyone else was giving me quotes of $7000-8000 for cabinets alone. These are by far much more superior in quality than anything I looked at. They're maple, just like the floor. Which reminds me....how does a house or a room have too much wood in it? I don't understand that comment at all. I don't care how small the house is.....my grandmothers house was barely 900 sq ft. all wood floors, wood cabinets in her galley style kitchen, wood table and buffet in the dining room and it wasn't too much wood in a small space? I also don't have any undercounter lighting in my kitchen. I simply don't care for them at all.

Remember that HD and Lowe's always have sales. I bought my pulls and knobs on sale. My faucet was another sale item. Just keep a watch for when they have them and ask an associate when they're having a sale.

You posted while I was previewing. TSP is Trisodium Phosphate, I buy mine at Ace. And yes, start with course to fine. Hand sanding in the grooves should work fine. I'd use a palm sander for the rest of the sanding. Wood filler is what you want, not the putty.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

You are awesome -- thanks -- I'm on my way to buy TSP. Hope it's cheap, my husband is not totally on board. He thinks if it's fine, you should just leave it alone. ;-)

Can't I just do an extra coat of paint as primer?

That light fixture is beautiful! Would coordinate well with the silver we have happening in the dining area on our shelving. $100 is a little steep, but I am sure I can find something similar or on sale for an affordable price.

Oh and I hated to post SO MANY pics and links, but the drawer pull you posted is exactly what I would choose, whether I go silver or bronze. ;-)

Despite my husband, I am going to paint the bathroom tonight! Hope it turns out well and I can convince him to let me do something to the cabinets. Do you think the colors are neutral enough? (for resale purposes).

Thanks again, everyone! Keep the help coming!
PS The wood in this house is just overpowering and beat up. If it were prettier, I would love it.

Robin ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh! I totally forgot about primer. No, you need a good blocking primer. It will block the grain from showing, and just block out anything from bleeding. I prefer oil based primer, but again, that's my like. If those cute little kids up there are yours, I'd just do a water based primer, something like Zinsser or Kilz. They can tint your primer to the color of your paint and in my opinion (again!), it justs makes it easier to the next coats to go on. They have TSP either in liquid or powder. I'm not familiar with the liquid, so I'd ask for the salespersons opinion. Buy some good latex gloves too. I don't use them, but I know some people have sensitive skin, plus I think the box tells you to, I just don't ever bother. Your colors are neutral enough in my opinion.

Remember that inventory is always changing and they always put the "old" on sale.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Take a look at the sheet vinyl flooring too, it's not expensive. It's even easier to lay than the adhesive tiles, and it's a lot better floor. Stores often have scraps big enough for your kitchen.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I'm listening to all suggestions. Thank you and keep them coming. I've been really absorbed in this the last few days. THINKING about the kitchen while WORKING in the bathroom. It's been slow going (we have 2 kids), so no cabinet work yet. :-(
Plus we are leaving town this weekend, so that will slow the project down for a few days, but here is what I am tentatively thinking about for the kitchen:

I REALLY want to find a way to get a fancy, beautiful new countertop in. I think I will go with silver hardware and light fixture. I am even thinking about getting a solar tube (skinny skylight thing) over the sink or bar area, ideally 2 of them, but $ may nix that idea.)

I am also thinking about vinyl tiles or sheet flooring in a pretty light wood pattern.

What do you know about the "soft touch" vinyls? I saw something about them on the Armstrong website, and while it was a different product, saw one up close at Lowe's today. IT WAS ON CLEARANCE for 6 CENTS A TILE! Isn't that incredibly cheap? I am tempted to go ahead and get them!! Would they be durable? Could that be why they are on clearance? This particular display had the products labeled as "Good" and "Better" and it said "Better." (There were no "Best" displayed.) I forget the name, but they seemed brand name. Would they gouge easily? I will have to do some research on those. I think light painted cabinets, a honey/peachy/sandy beige flecked counter of some sort, and wood like flooring would be pretty.

Thoughts??

Robin ;-D

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Can I get some specific advice on the cabinets? I am really perplexed about what to do here. I'm attaching pics. My husband says these are particleboard. (I thought they were oak.) He says there is such a fine layer, I cannot sand the grooves or the edges at ALL. They look horrible! Boy, these pics really show it too. In other, low traffic areas, like up high, they are very heavy grained and super glossy.

I bought "TSP substitute". I was unsure at the time, but with 2 hungry kids, I was in a hurry. ;-) I may return it and go to Ace Hardware looking for TSP powder and fine steel wool? Will fine sand paper work? My husband thinks I'm going to ruin the cabinets. (He is thinking of the bathroom cabinets, but they are the same.)

Thanks for any advice. I'm driving myself crazy. I wouldn't want to pain "beautiful" oak cabinets, but I don't think that's what I've got here. I want to lighten the space and we are definitely selling in a few years. I'm not one for giving myself knicks to constantly worry about, but it almost seems like an easier thing to touch up than this grubby gouged wood I have to deal with as it is now.

Thanks, everyone!!!!!
Robin ;-D

What follows is embarrassing pics of my nasty "oak" cabinets to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

over the range and microwave - can you see the lovely packing tape holding the front of the micro on? Nice, huh? ;-D

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I wouldn't call it beautiful, but it's not ALL bad...

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I wonder what they would look like if they had just installed hardware back in 1987?!

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Robin, you don't need to sand the finish all off, you just need to scuff it up (make the gloss not glossy) and clean them. I use steel wool when I'm stripping wood, but after the wood is dry, I use sandpaper. It's all what you're most comfortable with. I think the only way to make them look good is to paint them. Some people are just hard on cabinets, so it's hard to say if they had knobs on them, what they would look like. I would take back the TSP substitute and get the real stuff. Sand them down first, then clean them really well. Take the doors off and sand and clean those outside, in the garage or anywhere where the dust won't bother you. I've had wood or ceramic tiles in any of my kitchens, so I'm not familiar with any linoleum out there.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Thank you, Terry. I am excited to see how the bathroom turns out and I hope it inspires me to do the kitchen in the same way.

I have had a lot of help from the design studio at cambiausa.com.

While this is miles away from what my kitchen would really look like, I'm going to try and post a pic of a kitchen that uses similar colors to what I'm imagining if I repeat the green/black speckled formica in the kitchen. It would certainly be an affordable way to go. With cream cabinets and "hardwood floors" (vinyl) I think it would be a nice look. Maybe we could even spring for one of the solar lights and a new sink.

Do you think that green counter would be good in terms of RESALE? Sage walls?

I REALLY appreciate all the suggestions. Thank you so much for your help, especially, Terry! Where can I send you payment? lol! ;-D



This message was edited Aug 3, 2007 12:20 PM

Thumbnail by robin_joey
Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

I do think you shouldn't be afraid of using that green laminate, even if it's darker. It'll add a little "punch" to the space without taking it over. In 2003 we did new countertops and I picked a beige granite-look Swanstone over our bisque laminate/beech trimmed cabs. I'm really sorry now I didn't get a nice rich brown countertop color instead. Now it just looks too bland to me.

I think the sage green wall paint is lovely, and would accent the space without making it look closed in. Very nice choices!

Yes, you have an oak veneer over particleboard. Nothing wrong with that - particleboard is very stable and an excellent substrate for cabs. You won't be sanding through the veneer, anyway, even though it's thin. As Terryr points out, you are scuffing it up for paint adhesion.

Because particleboard swells when wet, keep the water/TSP solution OFF any unveneered edges. Keep a dry towel handy so that if they get wet, you can wipe off any water quickly.

Actually, I would clean with TSP first and THEN sand. Water will raise the grain, so you'll have to sand again with extra-fine sandpaper. Wipe it down properly afterwards with a damp lint-free cloth (NOT a microfiber cloth unless you want to be picking little grains of wooddust out of it forever!) to remove all dust before you paint. Those little specks become hugely magnified when added to a layer of paint!

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I was planning on using microfiber, but now that makes total sense. lol

Thank you for all the helpful comments!

Now to find a sandy/peachy/beigey off white that would look nice on the cabinets!

Maybe some affordable, but distinctive tile for some punch at the sink backsplash? Or would that ALL need to be the formica? Ugh! Decisions! Decisions! It's a good thing finances are going to make this a slow process so I can torture myself over every detail. If I had the $ in the bank, I'd already have people in there doing it for me and would probably keep changing my mind on them, driving them nuts! lol!! ;-D

Robin

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I returned the "TSP substitute" and Home Depot was out of the real stuff. What a pain.

I will go to Ace Hardware this evening for TSP powder. So should I use coarse grain sandpaper at all? Extra fine only? Sorry to be such a novice!! I so appreciate all the hand holding. :-D

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

You can start with medium; then go fine, then end with extra-fine. Wipe off between each sanding. Run your fingers over the surface to feel for spots you may have missed. You'll use more sandpaper than you think, LOL.

Again, remember you are dealing with thin veneer. Sand lightly and evenly. Do not grind the sandpaper in furiously; it isn't necessary.

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