SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
newenglandgradenerct

50 year old wood cabinets paint or stripped and stained?

I would love a new kitchen but it is not in the budget. I have 50 years old birch cabinets. The door closures and draw glides are failing. The stain is shot, but the the doors, bases and shelves are solid wood. The tile floor is cracked. I would like to paint or stain the cabinets and replace the hardware.


replace the floor, back splash, counters and refrigerator. The cabinet over the fridge would have to be shorten to fit a new fridge or I would have to settle for a smaller one. Here is what the kitchen looks like and what I would really like.

Comments (112)

  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I do appreciate some of. the feed back. What don't appreciate is being made to sound like are idiots because we can't design, rip out and build a kitchen. There must be some solution between spending tens of thousands of dollars and living with this kitchen for ever.

    I was liking that gel stain idea, but what you all are saying these cabinets can't be painted, stained or stripped because of the products I have used over the years trying to keep them presentable? I would not redo them my self I would hire a painter. We have tried some small projects, mostly it takes 5 times as long and do not look or work as well as having a pro do it.

    As for Ikea I have never been there, is the cabinetry in the store, can look at, is there a person to talk to who knows what they are talking about? If I call a local GC to install them are they going to tell me that Ikea is junk?,

  • mocxr
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teressa Bocci - Google "ikea kitchen installer" in your area. In my town there is at least one. Ikea also has an installation service.

    Ikea has kitchens set up in their showrooms that you can see. They also have designers there and there are online design firms who only do Ikea kitchens like https://inspiredkitchendesign.com/


    None of us can tell you what your local GC will say - Ikea sells tons of kitchen cabinetry. If one GC tells you it's crap, find another one. Your Ikea may even have a list of contractors.

  • Related Discussions

    Old Hoosier Cabinet, Paint it? Stain it?

    Q

    Comments (14)
    That's weird, I've tried to reply 2x and wasn't able to. Anyway, Thanks for all the advice and memories and help. You are all wonderful. I decided to paint the interior bright white and the exterior a soft gray. The white would be pretty, but we're not white cabinet kind of folk. My kitchen is dark, and a Big White Cabinet, might overwhelm the rest of the room. The color we picked matches my Great Grandmother's Spatter wear roaster I think it's from the same era, so they'll look pretty nice together. Floyd, it's actually a Hoosier, I found the original shipping tag. It was from 1929, and just for fun I did some research on the name. According to the 1930 census, public marriage records, and city maps--all available to me via internet one rainy afternoon. The piece was purchased in March of 1929, according to the shipping label. According to the marriage records, the name on the shipping label married in June of 1929. As listed 1930 census, they lived on the groom's family Dairy farm. The farm is gone, but the family still owns the house. I'm afraid to ask any more information though. What if they claim it was stolen and want it back? Ugh. That would be my luck. Messy, messy. So, I am looking for an Ad or milk bottle from the Dairy. I only live a few miles from the origial owner's house, the stuff might show up at a flea market or an antique shop. Thank you all again.
    ...See More

    Would you bother stripping/staining these solid wood doors?

    Q

    Comments (26)
    Thank you HollyKay! Olychick, my momma didnâÂÂt raise no quitter lol. Sometimes itâÂÂs unfortunate that I donâÂÂt give up on some things though but itâÂÂs not in my blood. Now that they are done IâÂÂm glad I kept at it. Marcolo, nice to see you! I donâÂÂt think they looked great to start with either. However, I do like the idea of saving some original things no matter how bad. In my mind I like to envision the original owners coming in and still being able to recognize stuff⦠but with a spin. ThatâÂÂs why I didnâÂÂt take the whole Fred Flintstone fireplace out. I just removed the upper half and added a mantel. The âÂÂbeforeâ door finish also went around the entire house ceiling molding and looked horrible with eight foot walls. The moldings are now painted the same as wall color but in a semi-gloss (the ceiling looks like it grew a few feet higher), except master where the molding is in the baseboard color. ItâÂÂs amazing how little things can make such a difference in this little 80âÂÂs house.
    ...See More

    help with facelift/layout for 50 year old cottage kitchen

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Thanks guys. The cottage is about 5 hours north of Fargo right on the lake. Great location and much of the expensive stuff has been done (decks, roof, levelling). We acquired it from my in-laws legally in the last little while, but we've been using it for many years. Now that it is ours and they no longer are able to make it out there, I am ready to (slowly) fix a few things. They took great care of it, but somethings just need to be changed - aesthetically and functionally. The backsplash is just sheet laminate (I think that's the right term?) over top of the fake wood panelling. The cabs are really solid, but nailed (big nails) and built right in place. I'm worried if I try to take them off, they will be toast. The backs of the cabs are all one piece and then the fronts are nailed to the one long back. However, I think I will try to (carefully) pry them off on the fridge side and see what happens. The stove is as old as the cabin and while the elements (usually) work, the oven does not and it keeps blowing fuses. I had an electrician in this past weekend and he says it wouldn't be hard to run the electrical for the stove to where the micro is and then I could get a 30" stove. I'm just not sure I want to be cooking with my back to the room (altho I just realized that is my set up at home and I don't mind it). I'm thinking that if I can get the upper cabinets off, I could have someone come in and drywall just the 3 walls of the kitchen. That would be doable financially and open up more possibilities. I keep putting off painting the fake wood ( I know it's awful) thinking of different solutions (paintable wallpaper, adding vertical wood strips and then painting to make it look like board and batten rather than painted panelling, taking down the panelling and doing vertical shiplap, etc.). Thanks for ideas so far.
    ...See More

    Stripping 100 year old paint

    Q

    Comments (23)
    OP, what is your original, first layer on that wood? Have you tested it yet with a heat gun? Reason I ask is if its shellac, and if its mostly a reasonably thick layer, you will find that that first layer melts like butter and will take away all the top layers with it. Then you would use denatured alcohol + steel wool to remove the remaining paint /shellac residue. That really is the best way, and would elimimate your need for the toxic strippers and not leave the wood color blotchy like the harsh strippers do. The shellac will have protected the wood from paint getting stuck into the pores and thus require not a lot of sanding to smooth. If youre lucky they did a bad job prepping/sanding and theres still a lot of shellac in good condition! If so only another new layer of shellac is needed. if you just slap stripper right onto multiple layers of paint then that can create a mess as the paint + shellac + stripper combine into one big goopy mess which gets into the pores requiring a lot of work to get it out (incl sanding). If shellac was NOT the first layer, then the paint likely has gone deep into the wood pores and if so - you may want to simply repaint (although its worth removing the layers to get a good paint surface)
    ...See More
  • KD
    4 years ago

    They might tell you Ikea is junk if they have something they want to sell you instead. But generally speaking Ikea is decent quality for the price. We have a very old Ikea kitchen cabinet that moved around internationally with my SO’s parents extensively before ending up with us, and while it shows a few signs of wear, it’s still plenty sturdy. We have it in the basement for extra storage. And it wasn’t the highest level of finish on the doors when they bought it, just the cheapest plain white stuff. We also have a drawer unit base cabinet we put in the kitchen to fill in a too-small eat-in area, and it’s rock solid and SO much nicer to use than the old cabinets. (We also have ~1950s era cabinets that we haven’t replaced yet.)

    Ikea will have an array of mini-kitchen arrangements using different options and door styles and so on, and you can poke and prod to your heart’s content. I like to especially look at the ones that are easy to get to, as they get the most wear and tear so you can see how things are holding up. (You can also look in the as-is department, where they sell old display pieces, to see how abused they got. Usually stuff looks in pretty decent shape.)

    Ikea does also have kitchen designers and kitchen design software. I expect like anything the skill and talent of the different designers varies somewhat. I’ve never had to use them so I have no experience there.

  • roarah
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I have used gel stain over all sorts of finishes with only a degreasing and and quick swipes with steal wool and have had great results. Colonial birch by general finishes might look like your inspiration.

    Although time consuming gel stain is not a hard DIY skill. The most important part is to take your time. Remove the doors and number them than clean and rub with steal wool. Go light with each coat. I brush on than wipe off. And most importantly wait at least a day between coats and always lightly sand with steal wool between coats.

    I used it on a laminate topped curb side find and it looks like a lovely piece of furniture now.

    i also did my fiberglass door and garage doors with gel stained

    My ten year old helped me with these projects. Not hard just time consuming.

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked roarah
  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    IKEA is only really an option for DIY. By the time you pay other people to do all of the work associated with IKEA, you might as well buy already assembled cabinets. To call Ikeans designers is a pretty big stretch.

    Even off the shelf at Lowes would be an improvement over the existing. They are ruined by all of the witches brew products used on them and cannot be salvaged.

    The only way to not spend tens of thousands for new kitchen is to get off your duff and DIY and bargain hunt obsessively. Things you are not willing to do. I seriously cannot believe that everyone is having to have this conversation with an adult.

    You need to get your husband involved. Maybe he owns a screwdriver. Or would be willing by to learn how to use one.

    Otherwise I’m inclined to believe troglodyte under the bridge is the situation here. No one is that deliberately helpless. No one can afford to be that helpless that wouldn’t have already called the chauffeur around to take them off to Christopher Peacock and told him that the 3rd beach home needed a refitting and call when it’s done.

  • bubblyjock
    4 years ago

    Oh, Teressa - ignore her, for Pete's sake - life is too short to get upset by internet dragons!

    Brew yourself a cuppa and go browse Ikea's website and look slowly through their kitchens. Even if you don't like the doors, try not to be distracted by them; you may find you like the layouts, or other things that catch your eye. They're cleverly put together to suit different tastes, young and old.

    It's just a start, but every adventure starts with a single step, right!

    Sending you a wee hug, as I think you might need one. If the world were full of Sophies, well, we wouldn't all be here on Houzz, would we. ;)

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked bubblyjock
  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    We know a very good painter that we have used in the past I am going to talk to him about gel staining, then I am going to talk to a tile guy about granite tile countertops and a back splash. We will see what they say.

  • bubblyjock
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I was thinking a bit more about your kitchen, Teressa. We rented a house with an identical layout, awfully similar dimensions, for a couple of years. Those cabinets had been painted white, thick old gloss white, and the countertops were sky blue formica. Ratty old vinyl floor, an assortment of tasteless colours on the walls. For s&g I made up a replacement design using the Ikea software, I'll see if I can dig it out for you. It wasn't expensive!

    /... in the meantime - I just made up your current kitchen on the Ikea software, guessing at the dimensions, and the replacement cost, for materials alone - that'd be simple basic cupboards, plain fronts, formica-type countertop, sink, no appliances - is a bit under $2k. Add the same again for installation, generally, plus whatever it'll cost to fix and/or update plumbing, wiring, walls, floors, lighting, paint colours, backsplash, etc, which might be 2x the same again, and that gives you a VERY rough idea what it might cost to replace what you've got with the same again. If you upgrade the cabinetry to the best Ikea offers, with lots of clever pull-outs (vs cupboards), nicer fronts, nicer handles, etc, it doubles the item cost, but everything else will - should, pretty much - stay the same.

  • roarah
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    If you are hiring out labor and adding granite it is a good idea to also get quotes from kitchen places, or IKEA even homedepot to see if it is actually a better return of investment to just redo.

    If you are on a budget than I would try DIYing a door your self and see if it is something you can indeed save money on. You might be surprised and actually enjoy doing it. A good book on tape can help pass the time. Then, I would totally play up the vintage age of the cabinets and use a fun vintage Formica or if you want to emulate the above inspiration picture use a Formica that looks like stone. Some regular non fx formicas are lovely. A new floor and call it done. Do not spend too much on counters though. Oh and save some flooring incase you do decide to do a full blown Reno down the road.

  • GreenDesigns
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Wood with all of those products on it will not allow gel stain or anything else to adhere to it. Even if you were to sand it back to bare wood, the silicones are deep in the pores and will contaminate any attempts at any type of refinish.

    The only thing that will stop silicone bleed through is shellac as a sealer. Shellac and gel stain are not compatible. A pigmented shellac like BIN could be a first step to a short term paint makeover. It won't fix the underlying issues of age breakdown though. You will still need to plan for full replacement in the not to distant future.

  • House Vixen
    4 years ago

    Hi Teressa --

    Good luck exploring options! I read through the whole thread but just have a few things to add.

    1) If you end up staining/painting, make sure you or your pro also labels hinges -- I'm a fan of a baggie for each door.

    2) Lots of people hate to DIY cooking, and sounds like you can cook for the masses! Maybe some bartering could happen with an experienced amateur (or anyone who sees the value in what you could offer).

  • Lyndee Lee
    4 years ago
    If you try shellac, be sure to use the clear dewaxed shellac, not amber.
  • Chessie
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teressa Bocci "but what you all are saying these cabinets can't be painted, stained or stripped because of the products I have used over the years trying to keep them presentable? "

    No.

    "You have put so many products on those cabinets, that nothing is ever going to stick"

    Also, no.

    There IS a lengthy process you would need to follow in order to prepare those cabinets for painting, and yup using Zinsser B.I.N. is included in that process (skip the KILZ.) And IF that process was followed, you could have a great result, for not much money, but a LOT of effort. Unfortunately, most folks skip steps (effort) and wind up disappointed.

    That said, from reading your comments it does not sound like this is anything that you are up for. I would agree that you should consider IKEA. I expect you would get much more for your money than to pay a pro for a proper paint job

  • Aurora Tee (Zone 6a)
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teressa, I am one of the commenters suggesting the Gel, then decided it would not be good for you given the amount of products used. Chess is right to say the Zinnser Bin white primer would work for sealing the contamination if you were to paint. But, you would still need to strip, sand vigorously, clean, prime with the BIN, paint. No step terribly difficult but oh so time consuming. Now for a medium stain you would have to seal the wood with a clear, DE-WAXED shellac (same as the BIN but without white pigments) instead.

    One of the problems I have had with hiring some painters is that I now know a lot more than they do. I say "some" not all. You will get a lot of BS answers from the bad ones. Luckily, I can spot them now. For a good painter who knows what they are doing, it won't be cheap. I received a quote for my kitchen that was over $3K and it was smaller than yours.

    I think you have received some good advice about starting afresh rather than all the work or expense involved in hiring a qualified painter.

    I only come out of lurking every now and then. It is some of the comments that continually get posted that keep me from posting or participating more. Crappy, negative comments are unnecessary. I understand being realistic but I don't get being rude just for sake and thrill of it.

    P.S. About Howard's -- it is great for lots and lots. I love it. But it does not play well with a lot of lacquer items from the 1960s. Once again I learned this the hard way!

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Silicon, it's a relatively small kitchen (11x15), but there are cabinets on all 4 walls - lot of cabinets in this kitchen. The $28,000 includes removing the soffits and putting new drywall up (plaster ceiling-cheaper than patching), some electrical had to be moved from where soffits were- new junction boxes, removal of existing countertops and sink, uninstall dishwasher, disposal and sink plumbing, demo the cabinets, install the new ones, reattach countertop/sink, reinstall dishwasher, new garbage disposal, re-install undercounter lighting using existing fixtures, paint ceiling, woodwork, walls, and large bay window over sink, remove existing wallpaper and tile, install new Carrera marble subway tiles on all back splashes. I used Shiloh cabinets (high mid-range). The cabinets alone were about $19,000. Most of the other $9000 was labor for everything else.

    I find it hard to believe one could do this for less in a HCOL area. If I had added new sink, faucet, new countertops and flooring and all new mid-range appliances, and had to do new ceiling lights and buy new under cabinet lights, it would have been at least $20,000 more. In my city, most midrange kitchen redoes are between $50,000 and $60,000. A friend who is a kitchen designer and her husband a contractor, tells me that a mid-range kitchen in Westchester County where they work, is usually $100,00 to $150,000.

  • friedajune
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teressa - I haven't read every post in this thread, but I want to tell you that you are not alone in not doing DIY. We are sisters! I know my limitations. I have tried at least 4 DIY projects, only to call a contractor (painting, tiling, electrical, plumbing, etc.) in the end to do it. We all have our strengths, and for me DIY is not one of them. That is who I am, and if there is "DIY shaming" on this forum, too bad for those people.

    Having said that, and because I know well my DIY limitations, I saved for 4 years to re-do my kitchen properly. Depending on the state of your kitchen--or at least mine--the small freshening bandaids would have been trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear (to continue the porcine theme). I knew my kitchen had to be a total re-do. I was very disciplined in my saving - didn't spend my work bonuses, stay-cations only, no fancy clothes purchases, no expensive restaurants. I also purchased my appliances, fixtures, electrical myself, and bargain-hunted and negotiated for those things. I also did a lot of research about kitchen renovation to avoid costly mistakes, and to speak to contractors intelligently, and also get a sense for when they knew what they were doing or not.

    With all of that, I spent about $30k, and I was lucky not to need any expensive structural changes. In hindsight, I wish I'd set aside another $5-7k for a few things I didn't get. So in conclusion my non-DIY-sister, while my kitchen renovation wasn't the labor and sacrifice of DIY work, it was labor and sacrifice, hours and hours, just a different kind.

  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
    4 years ago

    I would LOVE not to be a DIYer. Poverty is the Mother of Invention. But no one believes me! :)

  • eam44
    4 years ago

    It’s easy to miss a post when a thread gets this long. In mine above, I advocate having your cabinets painted, putting tile laminate over your existing tile, and waiting till Ikea has a sale to replace your counter tops. This plan improves what you’re living with at a reasonable cost and with limited upheaval. It also represents a reasonable investment in an older kitchen. Remember, perfect is the enemy of good.

    Good luck whatever you choose to do, and you’re welcome!

  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    This isn’t “the good”. This 50 year old material is at the end of the life cycle for the whole space. Things wear out. Things break. That is the case here. This is a project that should have been saved for after the initial band aid 25 years ago. 25 years of saving should be enough to tackle a gut redo.

    Cracking tile is not a viable substrate for any material to go over it. It has asbestos tile under the incorrectly done substrate under the tile. The entire sandwich has to come out and the asbestos remediated.

    The cabinets have failing internal components and are overall not going to last another 5 years, much less another 50. Rebuilding them could happen, but is not cost effective over replacement. Labor is the largest component in a redo. Rebuilding cabinets wastes that commodity on the pig that really can never be the prom queen, or even the runner up. You can’t slap 6K worth of a professional paint job over things that are falling apart. That is just folly.

    The rest a needs to go too, but the two major worn out and failing components set the bar for the needed scope of work.

    These are conditions that I frequently see in my volunteer work teaching low income people how to maintain their home. There are people who don’t understand that you have to change a furnace filter! There are people who don’t own a caulk gun and couldn’t seal out a draft with weatherstripping to save their life. They don’t know how to patch drywall, or clean the overflow in their bath drains. They don’t own any tools, and are at the mercy of dishonest contractors that can tell them anything about anything and charge the earth for a simple problem.

    Owning tools and DIY is empowering for a lot of people. The look on someone’s face when they find out they CAN change out a faucet themselves is great.

    Fear keeps you helpless. Kick fear in the ballz. Stand up and DO something about your situation if the other half won’t.

  • H202
    4 years ago

    I never understand why people are so scared of Ikea. As someone posted high above, the OP's dream kitchen literally looks like a shot for shot of an Ikea kitchen. Ikea has 20% off sales all the time. Go the store and have fun looking at all their stuff. Plan a kitchen online and be ready to pull the trigger when it goes on sale. It will cost no more than $3000 for their midrange cabinets on sale for your small kitchen. You can get your countertop there too, which, during the sales are always significantly cheaper than Home Depot or a countertop fabricator. You say you want to do floors, counters, backsplash - which, if not DIY, are all going to cost at least $8000. Hiring a painter to do your cabinets is going to cost at least $3000. Why wouldn't you just pay an additional $3000 for an Ikea installer and get a brand new kitchen with soft close everything?

    PS don't think you're too good for ikea. In our high COL former neighborhood, lots of $1.5m homes selling with new ikea kitchens.

  • Aurora Tee (Zone 6a)
    4 years ago

    A dose of medicinal honey is a lot nicer than a dose of medicinal vinegar! Thank you.

  • eam44
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Sophie, you’re wrong.

    Your expectations may be different from those of others. The floor can be fixed, the cabinets can be improved, and the words “should have” should be reserved for your children, not grown adults seeking input. There is absolutely nothing wrong with improving what’s there. I understand that you’re trying to save the OP from throwing good money after bad, but there is a middle ground whether you see it or not.

    Also, I think you read asbestos where she wrote asphalt.

    Life is rarely digital, ones or zeroes, all or nothing. Taking the view that it is limits the ways that you can be helpful. Sometimes life needs a little less hammer, and a little more nail.

    H2O2, none of us is too good for Ikea, but all of us are above that comment.

  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
    4 years ago

    Clean an overflow in a bath?
    [looking furtively side to side]

    Good thing I don't have a tub.

  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Or vanity sink. Those are the worst. A good dose of peroxide in a funnel regularly will keep alive things from creeping out though. And then bleach and water in the sink, allowed to rise and spill through the overflow. Bottle brush what can be reached.

    Read about asbestos in sheet goods and old tiles. It’s asbestos. Guaranteed.

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    Teressa, I haven't read every single post thoroughly and I'm sorry if I missed if you stated what your budget is.

    Six years ago my then-21-year-old kitchen got a facelift. The layout remained the same, although I did have the soffit and cabinets above my peninsula removed and it made a huge difference.

    My cabinets were builder's grade golden oak with raised panels. I kept the boxes and got new shaker doors and drawer fronts in paint-grade maple. Purchased through a kitchen designer in 2012, they cost a bit over $1K, including crown molding. I had the cabinets painted professionally and it wasn't cheap, about $4.2K, but the finish looks brand new today, aside from some claw punctures on the upper edges of the lower doors which my naughty cat uses for purchase when he opens the cabinet doors. They aren't visible to anyone but me.

    Despite their humble origins, the cabinets are gonna outlive me. The original owners took care of things and I do too. Now they're 27 years old and are solid and they do not smell bad either.

    After my husband died, I've taught myself some DIY skills (thank you GW and the internet at large), but I don't know if I'm up to DIYing a kitchen. If I had a willing (and knowledgeable) partner, I'd love to learn how. My favorite thing is wielding tools and accomplishing something all by myself. If I can change all the interior door hinges myself with a non-ratcheting screwdriver and only two hinges per door which necessitated great care and an elaborate shimming system, you can also wield a screwdriver.

    Aside from my cabinets and the soffit removal, I got new quartz counters, a sink, faucet, electrical, lighting, backsplash, and miscellaneous for $20K. That included materials and labor. I bought a new fridge and DW separately.

  • roarah
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    H2o no one is down on IKEA in this thread, but the reality is that IKEA is only a steal if you DIY the job. The op said she will not build or paint herself. In that case IKEA with labor may still be out of budget. In my area a good IKEA installer is way over $3,000.


  • AnnKH
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I am a DIY queen, and my 3 favorite words are "Some Assembly Required"! But if I were to do an Ikea (or other RTA) kitchen, I would have a blast assembling all the cabinets, and leave the install to a professional. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a licensed (and talented) contractor, who has done a ton of jobs for me, big and small. Even as a capable DIYer, I know my limits - I tend to subscribe to "good enough for me" standards (so I hung cabinets in the laundry room), but in public, I have a higher standard. For me, hanging cabinetry falls in that category (as does drywall patching).

    Both my sons, who did not like to use hand tools nearly as much as I do, have successfully assembled Ikea furniture in their homes. I understand the instructions are amazing. I'll bet anyone who can follow a recipe can put together Ikea - but that doesn't mean everyone would WANT to do it.

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    my 3 favorite words are "Some Assembly Required"!

    AnnKH, same here! When I got a media cabinet from C&B and took everything out of the box I thought, no way can I do this. But it was in the middle of my living room floor and I decided to see how far I could get. I got to the "I did it!!!" stage except I'd assembled it upside down (as per instructions) and needed help to get it in an upright position. My neighbor helped with that. The screwdriver C&B included in the pack remains my favorite.

  • H202
    4 years ago

    I don't want to beat a dead horse (!) but I think the labor involved in assembling 15 Ikea cabinets and hanging them is WAY less than the labor involved in properly painting the same number of cabinets. If you google it, apparently Ikea charges $100 for cabinet. But you can do way better by hiring the company directly. Even still, that's a pretty small labor cost for a small kitchen like OPs. Agree it still may not be in budget, but OP said her plan is still to hire a cabinet painter. If she can afford that, she can definitely afford Ikea cabinets plus install (I think!).

  • cpartist
    4 years ago

    Regarding Ikea quality.

    A few years ago DH and I were thinking about buying the condo we rent in NY if we could have gotten it for the right price. The condo has crappy builder grade cabinets and very cheap laminate flooring.

    This is in an expensive building where the price of condos go in the high six figures.

    I told my DH that if we got the condo, we would redo the kitchen using Ikea cabinets. I said we could put the boxes together ourselves and hire someone to install them.

    I also would have used Ikea for the bathrooms too.

  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Well we got some pricing. We are going to reface. the cost to redo the lay out is not worth cost in this house. Refacing cabinets, new granite counters, hardware, back splash and faucet will cost a 1/4 of a total gut. For us it was a no-brainer.

  • _sophiewheeler
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Does Mr Refacer have a contractor’s license and liability insurance? You’ve seen both ? Called the insurance company? Called his references? Seen actual past jobs that he has done? Where does he order his doors from and what does he finish them with? Housepaint?

    The only way that refacing is 1/4 that of new is if a hack is doing it with hack products. You’d really better look into that.

  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    A+ BBB rating, solid wood doors and draws, 1/4 inch plywood on the boxes all stained in a local stain shop. Their work looks very nice in person. less than 15k

  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
    4 years ago

    I'm veneering my credenza drawer fronts as we speak. I'm taking a break. If you watch and read the available info available everywhere, including the veneer company's own sites, it's time consuming, but the results are incredible! So DIYers out there? Don't be afeered.

    Next up? Some face frames I built...

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    4 years ago

    Are they going to build all new cabinets for you then?

  • PRO
    n/a n/a
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teressa, they charged you $15k for Refacing cabinets, new granite counters, hardware, back splash and faucet? I can't help but wonder if purchasing all material such as prefabbed cabinets from Home Depot or Lowe's with the tile of your choice and the granite would have been a bit cheaper and only have to pay for installation labor....

    Are they building new cabinet faces for you? If so, that pricing seems more fair.

  • Melissa Gallagher
    4 years ago
    Are you kidding me? My IKEA kitchen with quartz and new appliances was cheaper than that.
  • Melissa Gallagher
    4 years ago
    You’ll still have 50 yr old cabinets.....

    No thanks.
  • mocxr
    4 years ago

    The ikea kitchen sale is going on now. It might be worth checking it out.

  • KD
    4 years ago

    The Better Business Bureau ratings aren’t worth much these days. I’d do way more homework.

  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Not doing Ikea would not know where to start, I don't know where you all live, but we got a price last year of over 3000 just to replace a 36'' bathroom vanity. Just the labor the vanity from an "outlet" store would have been 1000 fro the cabinet, top and sink. We feel we got a good price for nice quality.


  • Melissa Gallagher
    4 years ago
    Ok, I’m in the wrong business.
  • eam44
    4 years ago

    Let us all know how it goes. By all means post pics!

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked eam44
  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    The Kitchen floor is in the finishes have been picked out, the kitchen and bath have been measured!


  • Louise McCarthy
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Teresa, I never post here. Rudeness seems to be the M.O. I was raised way better.

    i did a refresh on my very small galley kitchen. Repainted the cabinets, new hardware, ended up replacing the floor (big leak and mold) in that awful trendy grey wood look tile, and non stone (I used a lighter shade of wood look tile) counters. New appliances (cheap and black). No backsplash (what are those actually for anyway) other than the counter material going up about three inches. All together way less than $10,000. And my "art" comes from generic places too lol. DIYer is so not me. I am good at using my phone. I have an EXCELLENT handyman. Through Home Advisor. I also have used Handy for putting furniture together.

    i also lived in a very dysfunctional kitchen before my divorce. Raised seven children and entertained for all twenty five years. Parties of well over one hundred. In a very ordinary 1800 sq ft home. I miss every bit of that.

    I am glad you went ahead with YOUR plan. I hope to see photos soon!

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked Louise McCarthy
  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
    4 years ago

    I haven't thought of this thread in a while. Glad you've come to a decision. Looking back at your pictures, I don't see anything wrong with the cabinets as they are, but if they don't work, they don't work.

    I'm thrilled with the veneering I'm doing and I'm an amateur. I think if someone is picky, or a perfectionist, you should come out with a beautiful kitchen. Did I miss it? What are you going to have them refaced with?

    I also look forward to pictures.

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • thankurnmo
    4 years ago

    I didn't see this thread when it was posted, but since it just got reborn- I too would love to see the updates with photos. Another non diy person. (well minor diy yes but kitchen cabinets and flooring------no).

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked thankurnmo
  • Newenglandgardenerct
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I have not been on here in a while and thought I would post a pic. We did reface, granite countertops, backsplash

    new floor new & fridge

  • Aurora Tee (Zone 6a)
    4 years ago

    Looks great!

    Newenglandgardenerct thanked Aurora Tee (Zone 6a)
  • Dana
    4 years ago
    Looks great!
    Newenglandgardenerct thanked Dana