Cabinet Door Problem! Help!

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Help! I am SO ready to start over with these kitchen cabinets ! I asked for solid wood/solid panel front cabinet doors bc I did not want any "raised" areas -- cleaning raised panels from a previous home was a pain !! The carpenter built these solid wood doors, however, the exposed plywood edges (as in photo 1) is ugly and just shows an "unfinished" look.

The he sides of the cabinet door is "ok", it's the top part, on the bottom cabibet doors, that really show !!

The cabinets have yellowed bc they were painted 22 yrs ago during our last remodel!
I am in the process of painting my walls a very light sage green.

Can anyone out there give me ideas of what to do with my cabinet edges?
I have to sand the cabinets down to repaint -- should I still go with white ??

I have over 23 cabinet doors, so the color IS def. very important bc that all you see when you walk in--- cabinets !!

i will be the worker in this job! I'm 61, and ready to tackle this !!

any help is appreciated !!!
q cabinet door problem
Solid plywood door -- I like the solid bc the raised panel kind is very hard to clean; but I'm very open to suggestions/pics/etc !!
q cabinet door problem
Top of door that gets scraped
q cabinet door problem
Side view of door that's raw also, but does not get the wear like the top part
  13 answers
  • Kathy Lacy Kathy Lacy on Jul 13, 2017
    Trim door top to stop scraping. Then add molding to create more design on the doors
  • DP DP on Jul 13, 2017
    when sanding you could maybe round the edges so they aren't so square? maybe find some molding that would fit on the top edges to protect them?
    • See 1 previous
    • DP DP on Jul 13, 2017
      yep, I forgot about using the poly, it makes the paint last longer and they clean up easier too
  • Teri Teri on Jul 13, 2017
    As you dont want anything but a flat panel....thoroughly clean your cabinets using TSP ...once dry use painters tape about 1/2 inch from the edge of the front and back of cabinet. Using the same color paint as the new wall color paint the top and edge of the cabinet. If you want a more daring variation you can also use the painters tape to make a pattern on the doors (note where tape is will be original color of cabinet ) ...imagination is the only limit.
    Tip: for pattern use a favorite piece that you always have in your home as the inspiration.


  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Jul 13, 2017
    I would clean and sand these well, then paint with a kitchen specific paint (enamel based and easy to clean with soap and water) so that the simple and elegant design shows through .
  • Molly Anmar Molly Anmar on Jul 13, 2017
    TSP/Trisodium Phosphate/Sugar Soap will clean those cabinets up as well as they can be prior to painting. It's commonly available at hardware stores. You'll want to use gloves as it can be extremely drying to the skin.

    Why don't you paint the uppers a glossy white and the lowers another color...perhaps forest green to complement your sage green walls very well or charcoal, which is a pretty good neutral?
  • Denisenewby Denisenewby on Jul 13, 2017
    I agree about trimming the top of the door to stop it rubbing - if you are going to sand them down to repaint, hit the edges and take the top down that way. It would be time consuming, but maybe use wood filler on the exposed edges of the doors, sand them down when dry, then apply your primer/paint.

    Good luck!
  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Jul 13, 2017
    Looks like the area gets well used, might want to consider a darker color so they don't look like they need washed as much. I like DP's suggestion of rounding the edges. Even routering the front side will give it a more finished look and not cause them to be more difficult to clean
  • Sage green on the walls sounds lovely and a great color. I am partial to white, so I say stick with it. Your cabinets were certainly made by someone not schooled in the art of cabinet making, and I would add a simple, easy to clean, low profile trim piece before painting, making sure that they have proper clearance when opening and closing cabinets. Wash the existing cabinets with TSP then add trim pieces then prime, then paint. Take your time, be patient and it will turn out great!
  • Bobbie Bobbie on Jul 13, 2017
    You can use an iron on wood trim on the edges to make them smooth and then paint them to match the rest of your cabinet doors
  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 13, 2017
    Don't know why they are scraping as they are set outside of cabinet, but I would first fill any divits with wood filler, sand them, then buy some wood veneer tape, you iron it on, then trim with a sharp single edge razor blade. Then prime and paint.
  • Charlee Hunter Charlee Hunter on Jul 13, 2017
    Oooohhh good idea Bobbie, I've seen the iron on trim and think that might just be the finishing touch she's looking for.
  • Margaret Margaret on Jul 13, 2017
    I'm SO excited to get all these options! Thanks everyone !!!

    I know it'll be a lot of work, but I think I'll do a few "practice" cabinets (on their back side) with the different ideas and see which one might work best for our situation -- since this will be our last remodel on kitchen cabinets !!

    I thought about doing a marine varnish for "protection" as a top coat, but it's very expensive.... I also like that "factory gloss coat" look on cabinet doors --but i was told that that procedure is expensive too .....

    .......so it's back to me and all those doors looking at me, begging for a face lift !! :)

    Thanks everyone for the great ideas !! Can't wait to start trying them !!




  • Charlene Ferguson Charlene Ferguson on Jul 17, 2017
    Hopefully ivwill find the Iron on Trim at Home Depot. Do know-how wide the trim is?