Asked on May 12, 2017

What are some tips or ideas to modernize traditional oak cabinets?

FlorentColimbia1Heather Fredeking


14 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 12, 2017

    Put hardware on them that will make a big difference in the appearance.
  • Caseyem11
    on May 12, 2017

    You could paint them, but this is a big job. Your do not have any hardware now but adding some would make a difference.
  • HF Martek
    on May 13, 2017

    I recently updated the hardware and my appliances and I can't justify getting rid of or even painting my blond oak cabinet's! I added a colorful backsplash and unless you just can't stand the oak, leave them! Ain't nothing like the real thing!
  • Patricia
    on May 13, 2017

    I agree with the other comments - paint and/or hardware. Good luck!
  • Abbigail Hunter
    on May 13, 2017

    It is a good bit of work but so worth it, but if you lightly sand them use a sanding sponge so you get into the creveses then use the stain that you like ,I use Varathane Wood Stain it covers in one coat and dries over night. Plus the grain comes through and looks great I personally love the sunbleached . When dry then wax with a good quality wood wax. Then put some stylish hardware.
  • Sandy
    on May 13, 2017

    I used high gloss white paint. After it is dry I dry brushed dark wood stain along the edges. Wiped with a clean cloth to smear the stain so that it looked old and used farm kitchen cabinets.
  • 17532838
    on May 13, 2017

    You could try General Finishes Gel stain to change the color and add new hardware.
  • Marylu
    on May 13, 2017

    I wanted a dark expresso color instead of honey colored oak... so I concocted an oil based ebony stain mixed with Rustoleum Leather Brown... no chipping of paint these three years. Oh, I rubbed on polyurethane with a soft cloth.
  • Stephanie Burns Short
    on May 14, 2017

    You can have your cabinets refaced. It's a little more than painting, but you can really transform your kitchen. My company is located in St Louis. Though, there are probably several refacers in your area.
    , Before, After
  • Sandra Howard
    on May 14, 2017

    Why not add some trim! Try some 1x2" pine boards cut in a rectangle For each door. Paint them a soft grey and add some nice hardware. The doors will be in the Shaker style so you could add country or traditional style hardware. Or your could do a white on top and a dark on bottom! So many options for paint! Good Luck.
  • Heather Fredeking
    on May 14, 2017

    Remove the center and insert glass. Also color can do wonders, bleached oak anyone.
  • Colimbia1
    on May 14, 2017

    I agree that adding hardware can make a great difference. My kitchen cabinets, although not oak, are solid wood and after looking at them for a couple years I put knobs on the upper cabinets and matching pulls on the drawers and it gave the whole room a different look. There is so much beautiful hardware and so many places to buy it. Recently I found drawer pulls on line at Hobby Lobby that I was unable to find anywhere else. I have never tackled painting kitchen cabinets, but have seen cabinets that others have painted and were absolutely beautiful. Below I referenced a couple posts on Pinterest that I thought might be helpful because they explain what you will need but also truthful information about doing it. AND I will add one more I think reading postings on Hometalk and Pinterest you can find many, many honest opinions, just like those posted here, and some in great detail. Hopefully you will post what you decide to do so we can enjoy your new look.
  • Florent
    on May 14, 2017

    Resin paint is the best way to do it If you want to keep your old doors, especially in the kitchen. It just need to be washed to keep any grease of, but it's quite expensive. You'll just need some roll and brush to apply it in one single layer for dark paint, or maybe two layers for light colours. Once dry, it's exceptionnally hard and resistant.
    Or you can just replace your old doors with same size new panels. It's a bit more difficult according the hinge employed, but the result is just like new furniture. Just paint it afterwards.
    An other to modernise yours doors is to apply thin panels made of what you like on the doors. Just cut them or make them cut smaller than you doors and use neoprene glue. You can ad nice screws to ad styles after having paint them if made of wood.
    Make your choice then... ;-)
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