Asked on Jan 17, 2012

We have all solid wood kitchen cabinets...maybe mahogony...not sure...need to replace all the doors..

Beth GeeTerra GazelleKMS Woodworks
+48

Answered

where would be the cheapest yet still good cabinets...solid wood? We live in IL. Thanks.
50 answers
  • Are you planning on replacement or refinishing?

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Not sure...was wondering which would be cheapest and still look good...The cupboards used to be a really dark, dark brown and my husband sanded them all down and put a light stain on them but I dont think he sealed them correctly and now they look like that! The woodgrain looks terrible too and the doors look so outdated to me...I hate seeing the hinges and the big front ones are a bit warped. What's your advice?? Thanks.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 17, 2012

    I was just asked a question...still needing ideas/solutions/advice...thanks.

  • Lisa S
    on Jan 17, 2012

    have you looked at barkerdoor?

  • Mike N
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Hi Shirley. The boxes appear to be in nice condition.........so a good alternative on a budget might be to consider replacing the doors and drawer fronts with a sturdy, paintable product like MDF. The price per door will be less than $20 each. With a nicer, more modern style door & drawer, and a well done paint finish (don't skimp here!)........topped off with new knobs / pulls, it would be a total transformation. While I love stained wood cabinetry, painted can be equally elegant. Don't spend the $ to match the hardwood. You will likely not match the existing boxes anyway without a major sand & refinish. You may also consider further transforming the look with a full overlay door and drawer style, hiding the face frames and really updating. See the example of a full overlay, shaker-style painted door in the picture I've shared. This kitchen was completed just before Thanksgiving. I'd also lose the valence and, if one had to be there at all (hiding surface mounted light fixture?), replace it with a straight line and clean up the look. This would be a good time to look at your back splash and room color, also. A cool & funky glass or subway mosaic can be found on the cheap if you look hard enough. Check with tile suppliers or big box stores for discontinued product and haggle. They want that dead-end inventory OUT! Just some ideas!

    q we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinetsq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinetsq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, View from butler s pantry toward kitchenq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, As you can see we ve mixed and matched painted and stained in this kitchen and a separate paint color in the butler s pantry And then there s the cobalt blue Viking
  • Shirley G
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Would it be very hard to transform the look into a full overlay drawer and door style?? I love what you did with the cabinets and countertops on the pics you sent me!

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Should I try to get different doors and then just paint everything to match or would you recommend just painting what I have? As I said, one of the front doors, under sink area is a little warped. Where would be some good suppliers to get doors like those in your pics? Thanks so much for your ideas!

  • Jerrod W
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Cabinets look to be in good shape, except for the one next to the dishwasher. A dark red, mahogany stain, and varnish plus new hinges and knobs.will do the trick. paint the kitchen... give it a little life.. put the money in a new counter and back splach.. replace the range hood and dishwasher to one color, match it to the stove..

  • Renovation by Design
    on Jan 17, 2012

    your best bet is a small local cabinetry shop can make your door / drawer faces and use your existing cabinetry

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 17, 2012

    @city wide tile...not sure what you mean ...make door/drawer faces with existing cabinetry??? what is that exactly that would be done?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 17, 2012

    Shirely...check out my refacing article...BTW your cabinets appear to be maple Veneer over a built up "core" http://www.networx.com/article/about-cabinet-facing

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 18, 2012

    KMS, my husband just got home from work and said our cabinets are actually solid wood....he thinks mahogony, but there is no veneer anywhere. We've looked at getting new cabinets and none that we look at seem to be solid wood like ours....that's why he said he'd like to keep them but I think the doors look really dated and either we need to replace them or paint them.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 18, 2012

    I think your room as a lot of potential! The most conservative option and easiest DYI is to keep the doors you have. A) easy to change to a conceal hinge. Post a picture up clse, r bring a door/hinge to home depot to make sure you get he right overlay size. B) remove the dated style valance w/straight board C) invest in appliances that all match D) new fun handles --- they can be the jewelry of it all! E) if you go s/s appliances, a fun (splurge) could be s/s toe kick cover (check with local cab shop, they could get you laminate that looks just like ss!) F) add small crown molding on wall cabinets and at ceiling! (see painting note**) G) paint those cabinets! yes they are simple, but not outdated if the other elements are addressed! If you have rough areas, consider faux options to hide any imperfections. **paint the soffit aka bulkhead, over the wall cabinets and both sets of the crown molding the same as the cabinets! This will give the illusion you cabinets are taller (more trendy), and it will also make your room feel bigger... Almost like the ceiling got higher! If you crown at the ceiling around the whole room, consider transitioning the cole of that trim to match baseboard/casing f your windows,etc. And yes... New tops and backsplash would make it all go pop! You have a lot of potential... Don't be so down ;)

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 18, 2012

    @BeckySue....not sure I understand completely....Do you have any pics of any kitchens you've done this way?? The part about painting the part of the wall that sticks out and is above the cabinets....painting that the same as the cabinets and adding crown molding to both....I'd love to see some examples/pics if you've ever done this! I've never seen it done that way but I'm listening and interested.....Also, your I didnt understand what you meant by "transitioning the cole of that trim..."plz explain. Thanks!

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 18, 2012

    Sorry, I thought that was a hard pointer to spell out with words only! :) Basically you are trying to give the feel that the cabinets are bigger than they really are. By adding the crown molding to all the tops of the cabinets (you may need to actually apply the trim to the bottom edge/face of the soffit) - and again at the ceiling - then paint it all.. along with the cabinets, the same color! See photo.. These cabinets are painted, so it should help show you how tall(er) they are too! As for transitioning the crown - I cannot find a photo on hand and I know I have one! Backing up, if you are on a strict budget, then this may not even be a concern. You could just get your bang for your buck by adding the crown to the cabinets - don't worry about adding it to the rest of the room. This was a BIG suggestion w/o seeing the rest of your home. If no other rooms have crown, or if you ceiling is continuous w/o breaks of headers - this may be something you do not even want to consider right now. If you still do - (let me try this again) - at the miter/corner where the crown begins on the drywall, change that color to match your baseboard below. Its ok for the 2 to be mitered together, yet change colors. I do this a lot when clients have painted cabinets and stained trim. Any trim on the drywall (not the soffits tho!) should be treated as a part of the house, not the cabinets. If you would like help with colors on the cabinets? Please take some more photos! Creamy whites, gays and pale blues are are trendy right now. By what I can see? I think I would go with something like Sherwin William's Creamy White. Its classic, timeless. Putting a trendy color on older cabinets like your can sometimes (sometimes!) be risky .. bringing a little too much attention to the fact they are not new. Please share photos of what you see from the kitchen - nook - living? Will give a better idea to help the kitchen be a part of your home.. a part of your style.

    q we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 18, 2012

    Shirley...Your cabinets are a combination of solid wood and Veneer...as opposed to more modern cabinets, that may have a particle board core with a veneer. You can clearly see in your picture where the "face grain" of the door fronts do not match the end grain of the beveled edges.. as I pointed out in your picture. If this door was solid ( not veneer faced) then the edges would carry the same grain as the face. In the second pic these are solid "raised panel" doors...In Mahogany...where you can see the grain follow into the edges. The third pic shows more end grain / face grain on the edge of a table top. You can see where the color of the top "wraps" around the edge. I have been building custom furniture for over 30 years, and I can ID many woods on sight... I don't mean to burst your bubble...but those cabinets do have veneer facings (doors and drawer fronts) and there are NOT Mahogany... Your cabinet are buit in the "face frame" style with standard ( surface mounbted) hinges. Higher end and more modern hinges are of the "cup" design and can still be used on "face frame" syle cabinets. These are available in various "overlays" ...Overlay is the amount the door extends beyond the opening.

    q we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, Veneer wood frontsq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, Raised panel door in Mahoganyq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, End grain on table edgeq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets, cup hinge
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 18, 2012

    I have also seen dozens of door similar to yours where a layer of 1/4" thick ply is adhered to these faces...or to a simple rail and style frame (normally the backside) A close up pic of the edge would clearly show this.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 18, 2012

    KMS...so, are you saying I should get someone to reface the cabinets then? If so, we've had several people come in and they wanted around $1500-$2500 to do that....we cant afford it...I was trying to decide whether to re-stain, paint or just replace the doors...whichever would look the best and be cheaper than replacing entire cabinets....Are cup hinges on inside or outside of door?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 18, 2012

    You could refinish the "face frame" portion of the cabinets..or do a refacing. As in most refacing projects the doors and drawer fronts (or complete drawers) are replaced. The primary benefit is that it does not disrupt the kitchen as much as a gut or tear out remodel. From a cost perspective, it is cheaper than replacing but not hugely so. Online door manufactures list basic cherry raised panel doors in the $22 to $25 per square foot range....so some cabinets like a basic sink base may have $150 worth of "doors"...then add in labor hinges etc. In a lot of cases the reface option comes in at 1/2 to 3/4 the cost of basic cabinets.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 18, 2012

    KMS - I agree and saw the edge grain/veneer in her original pictures .. just wondering, do you think she cannot paint these? Realizing the edges may not be as smooth as the face, I did not think it would prevent painting what she has as being a viable option. Based on the age of the cabinets, I would not invest in new doors.

  • Mike N
    on Jan 18, 2012

    I tend to agree with BeckySue, however with a budget that cannot exceed $1500-$2500, I'm not sure what to do other than paint with some new MDF doors?? (MDF doors and drawer-fronts would cost about 350 - 400, guestimating) Heck, a good painter in the DC market would charge nearly 1500 just to provide a proper paint finish, if not more. Of course one could paint themselves, but it will likely look like it, too. I'm stumped.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 18, 2012

    Agree Mike .. same here in Atlanta. not likely to get a painter onsite for less than $1k (based on her job size) but if she choose to do it herself, she could do it for a few hundred herself.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 19, 2012

    We had a lady here in our town (professional painter and says cabinets are her specialty) come look over the cabinets and said she could paint them all for $800...but, now we're worrying about if painted, would we have to be concerned about chipping within a year or so?? If so, wouldn't be we better off with maybe just re-staining them a different color or go MDF doors?? We live in a very small town (approx 6,000) so prices are pretty low here for cost of living, etc., I think compared to other areas. ; )

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 19, 2012

    good question Shirley. The downside of painting is that they can chip. But.. the rewards are rich (the look) so Id question .. do you have small kids .. cats.. etc that increase your risk? Refinish or reface? IMO... again IMO, I would not invest the money in this because of the age of the cabinets. Often when people consider this option is for short term benefit. Otherwise, from a resale perspective, people are going to look at the details .. how are the drawers constructed.. how are the runners - are they soft close, etc. Buying MDF + painting.. I would (suspect) to be higher than $800 to paint what you have. Based on what I have understood or heard (which is little) ... I think painting at $800 is a bargain and a great choice! We ALL have a budget.. and have to make difficult decisions. Return of your investment v.s. quality of life have to the contributing factors in order to make the right decision for YOU!

  • Donna McCrummen
    on Jan 19, 2012

    Yes be concerned about chipping, especially on the silverware drawer that gets heavy use. If you go with paint remember latex paint can take up to 30 days to fully cure. I had my cabinets painted about 2 years ago by a pro. The doors where sprayed and the finish looked fantastic for a short while - then the chips and it's awful. I'll be repainting them myself with AS chalk paint http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/Painting_Kitchens_using_Chalk_Paint.html

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 19, 2012

    There is a reason commercial door manufacturers use Cat lacquer for many projects...it drys fast and is pretty bomb proof. If your painter is good and does proper prep...the results can be great...at least for a number of years.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 19, 2012

    @ Becky....Here are a few more views of my kitchen....as you asked...

    q we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinetsq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinetsq we have all solid wood kitchen cabinets maybe mahogony not sure need to replace, kitchen cabinets
  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 22, 2012

    Looks like you have a blank canvas! The color you email me? Baja Dune... Looks a little darker than I would recommend, and Onscreen looks like it has some peachy under tones that I don't think would be very complimentary. If you have more brown tones, I'd consider a light taupe... Or a simple off/creamy white. A light color give you a very fresh look. Then dress it up with some jewelry (aka handles). Here in Atlanta, Creamy White, Dove White and Navajo White have all been very popular choices with new custom cabinets I've sold. Check out that before and after on my page here... Perfect example to show the transformation of stain to light paint.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 22, 2012

    Thanks so much for all your help/advice and replies! I have decided to hire someone to paint my cupboards. They are going to start this week on them and I'll post pics when they are done! ; ) Becky, we decided on a dif color...a much lighter one...thanks to your advice! We have also decided to add a small bar that comes off the wall...on the other side of the cabinets...where I have just a wall with a small outdoor table that I use to serve my sons breakfast in the a.m....think I'm going to go with a color I found a chip of at Menards...called Sedona Trail. The lighter colors in it will match my opposite counter and cabinets when they are done.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 22, 2012

    GREAT! cannot wait to see the photos, good luck!

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 22, 2012

    BeckySue....What do you think of Cedar key by Benjamin Moore?? I am still undecided about what color exactly to use. I really dont like the creamy whites as they tend to look like faded/dirty white to me...I already have white trim throughout the house... Am I doing the right thing or should I just sand them all down and stain them again?? We went and looked at our neighbors cabinets today...they were painted last summer by the same painter who is going to do ours....they had little chips here and there in them...that's what I'm scared will be a forever job once painted...always touching up paint from there on.......wish you were here to just decide for me! : (

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 22, 2012

    busy evening for me .. will reply on color later. If your neighbors had that work done last summer and it is already chipping, DONT USE that painter. Paint is likely to chip over time, but within one year... means they are not doing it properly.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    What do you think about us just re-staining them all? Do you think this would be a good look for the kitchen? My husband said he can would only have to do a light sanding since he didnt really poly it after last time he sanded them...about 5 or 6 yrs back. It would be less trouble to sand and restain even 5 or 10 yrs from now than to have to try and scrape and re-paint, dont you think?

  • Donna McCrummen
    on Jan 23, 2012

    There's nothing worse than an poor paint job. I agree with BeckySue do not use that painter. They did something wrong - not cleaning the cabinets or using an inferior primer, etc. Or you neighbors where not advised that paint can often take up to a month to fully cure. The biggest mistake people make especially with painted furniture is using it too soon.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    Hmmm...she did say that herself...that it was hot and humid and she wondered if she used them sooner than what she should've...so...possibly that could have been but, dont you need to use your cupboards? Also, we have 2 dogs and 3 cats...always rubbing up against the bottom cupboards...so that could be an issue for us too. The painter told us that she takes off all the doors and sprays them ....she uses a small roller she said to roll the paint on the sides of the cabinet that show...near the windows. She said it would take about a week and when I asked about a guarantee against chipping she said they would not chip. I know I sound wishy washy but just getting scared that I'm making a bad decision now....worried about all that can go wrong and just wondering if I should just stick to restaining instead?

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 23, 2012

    There is no denying that re-staining is the easier route! I just question whether you would be happy with the look? If you would rather minimize your risk, considering a really dark espresso color stain. It would give a more modern look, hide the variations of the wood that your are seeing, and save you $ As for paint - maybe consider keeping the doors off for a few weeks for them to cure. Sounds like she avoiding answering the question re: chipping warranty? If she gives no guarantee.. let that be another red flag.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    Do painters usually give a chipping warranty? She is the only one that I know of in our town who specializes in painting cabinets...says she has over 20 yrs experience. What type of guarantee do most painters give and for how long?? I think I'll be doing some more research today....thanks again......and, sorry for all the indecision.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 23, 2012

    Maybe a painter can chime in here .. but w/o warranty of some kind, its a red flag in my book. Don't be sorry .. you are doing the right thing by taking your time. This is a big decision and investment in your home. Do not rush into it - be confident with your decision so you have no regrets later!

  • Mike N
    on Jan 23, 2012

    I'm not a painter, but I've dealt with many over a number of years, and unless you have a long-standing relationship with a reputable one, chances are better than average they'd blame the existing cabinetry if chipping became an issue. Because it couldn't be THEIR work, right? Reputable trades-people won't do that and my painter and I have a great relationship. I trust him completely and have been working with him for nearly 10 years, but I burned through plenty before I found him. And.......I can bring a painter well over 100k annually, so you'd think I could use that leverage to have someone do acceptable work and then honor a warranty! It's even harder for a homeowner who hasn't much to offer but a small project. Do your research and pay more for the guy who comes heavily recommended. If you're not sure where to go for references, visit a paint store. The folks there will surely know who the right contractors are in your area.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 23, 2012

    "My husband said he can would only have to do a light sanding since he didnt really poly it after last time he sanded them...about 5 or 6 yrs back." This is a red flag to me...If you plan to stain them then all of the poly will need to be sanded away...stain needs to work on bare wood or stained wood (as in stain over stain) If it has been five years since these were stained...and no poly was used this may be a big reason why they are looking a bit shabby. Stain is not a final protective layer. If you do plan to restain...you will need to do some thorough prep work. TSP and thinner wipe down as a minimum. This would also hold true for a paint job...the minor amounts of "grease" THAT ALL KITCHENS HAVE will need to be completely removed before any refinishing efforts

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    So do you all think that re-staining or painting would give a better look in my kitchen?? White paint or darker stain then??

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 23, 2012

    Shirley...this is more of a question you need to ask yourself...color choices have a lot to do with personal choice...to me I find white kitchens to be plain and boring....even though I have seen a good number of them tastefully done. As a woodworker I love the look of real wood...wood that is very dark does not appeal to me as much as wood that shows its own grain and Character...a natural dark walnut is 5 star in my book...but oak or maple stained a dark walnut only 1 or 2 stars. I love to see wood in its more natural state...My office furniture is a mix of Mahogany and Walnut...all done with clear finishes that let the natural wood color come through...my kitchen (currently in process) is also in Mahogany...though a fancy "stripped" version. It is also finished "natural". http://www.hometalk.com/Kevin/project/2598 http://www.hometalk.com/Kevin/project/2590

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    Wow...maybe that is the problem here!? I'm just not sure what I would be happiest with...all white...dark stain...light stain....Ugh!!! To many choices and afraid of making the wrong one and not being happy with it.... I do have white doors and trim throughout the house and a dog who is constantly laying against them and making them dirty so, I know that would be an issue....if white...but I do like the brightness of the white. On the other hand, I have also always loved seeing the woodwork of wood but....the wood showing thru on the cabinet doors in front of my sink looks really ugly.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 23, 2012

    go to some show rooms and see how your brain reacts the the light / dark ...Ying /yang...good / evil...issue. then try to picture it in your place...your gut or your heart will steer you down the right road

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 23, 2012

    I wish I had a magic wand and could turn all my cabinets white, then a darker stain and then decide! lol KMS what would you do about the ugly two doors in front of my sink if I just had my dh sand down and re-stain everything in the same light color they are currently...but sealing them this time?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 24, 2012

    Sanding out the "dark" end grain may be a challenge...I have had some limited results bleaching dark stained wood like that. Another option would be to replace just those two trouble doors with "new" that were custom made to match the rest. If you go with a dark overall stain you may get away with out having to bleach.

  • Shirley G
    on Jan 26, 2012

    Ok, it is over....decided to go with the paint, since our woodgrain is not all that beautiful anyway....and dh and I are very good at any diy projects so we hired out. The project started a couple days ago and is supposed to be finished by Monday. We bought all new hardware for the drawers/doors and I'm looking forward to the finished product. The color is a cream color...I'll post pics as soon as their all done. Thanks again for everyone's advice here.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 27, 2012

    looking forward to the pics

  • Terra Gazelle
    on Jan 23, 2015

    Shirley, how exciting! Please post pictures..

  • Beth Gee
    on May 28, 2015

    I wouldn't replace the doors. Go to general finishes website or Facebook page and pick a stain. Only requires light sanding.

Your comment...