Need ideals on 70’s kitchen update 4 in-laws with very lil to no $?

  6 answers
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Oct 04, 2018

    Hello Lea,

    Would it be possible to post a photo? If reviewers can see what you have to work with we will then be able to offer realistic and economical suggestions on how you might be able to improve it. Usually paint is an universal suggestion.

  • William William on Oct 04, 2018

    Could use more information. What is nit that you want to do?

    Paiinting walls, painting cabinets, countertop paint kits would be low cost and a start. Peel and stick vinyl plank flooring is low cost.

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Oct 04, 2018

    What most people will likely tell you is to chalk paint the cabinets and/or take off the doors for open shelving and use one of those fake granite paint kits to redo the countertops. I am not a fan of chalk paint (I think it is trendy rather than timeless). Open shelving is a pain in the kitchen because things get dusty and greasy. I also think the granite paint kits look like exactly what they are - sponge painted countertops.

    What I will tell you is to clean the cabinets the very best you can.

    If the cabinets are already painted, you absolutely need to find out if they were painted with lead based paint (allowable until about 1973). If not, then you can sand them a bit to rough up the finish and repaint them. If they have a lead based paint, DO NOT SAND them. Instead, try a chemical deglosser, but make sure to wear gloves and a good mask to avoid introducing lead into your body. Either way, use a good primer before repainting so that you can use a latex paint no matter what the underlying paint is. Don't skimp by buying low-quality paint. I would really say go to Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. And a semi-gloss will be easier to clean than a flat paint. Use a foam roller where ever possible to avoid brush marks.

    If the cabinets are stained and you just want a different color, use polyshades in a darker color than is on the cabinets currently. Because the color is in the polyurethane, it simply sits on top of the finish that is already there, so it won't highlight the grain as well as stripping, staining, and top coating, but it is a WHOLE lot less work.

    If the cabinet boxes are good but the doors are super dated or broken or chipped or whatever, you could consider replacing the doors and drawer fronts by cutting new ones out of plywood. I would strongly suggest trying one as an experiment first to see if you like them and can get them to hang correctly. You will then need to sand and possibly wood putty the edges and they will likely look better painted than stained. If the doors are okay, but you want something different looking, you could cut the centers out of the doors for the top cabinets, rout out the edges, and replace the cut out sections with glass, giving a more open look, but still protecting your stuff from dust and grease.

    For the counters, you can either get them replaced, replace them yourself, or improve them by replacing the laminate if you have some skills. Check out local stores for architectural salvage and get creative with countertop ideas. A store near my sells reclaimed bowling alley wood, which is maple about 4 inches thick. How cool would bowling alley counters be? Yes, they would be a lot of work to prep, but they would be awesome. Lumber Liquidators near me sells butcher block slabs. If you have the tools to do the cutting, you could buy those and install them yourself. They aren't terribly expensive, depending on how much counter space you have.

    Changing out the door and drawer pulls will go a long way toward updating the space. But that can be costly, too. Look at antique and other sorts of used stuff stores for used cabinet hardware. You might be surprised at what you can find for reasonable prices. It usually takes some serious cleaning to make it look really good again, but it can be well worth the effort. If you can't afford to replace the hardware or like the shape of what you have, you can clean it super well and either spray paint it or, depending on what it is made from, you might be able to cover it in something like polymer clay to redo it in a unique and fun way. You could also choose to do something totally unusual for hardware like rope pulls or bent silverware from the thrift store.

    To change the flooring, check into the stick on vinyl tiles that are available at hardware stores and such. If using them, adding additional tile adhesive will help even the cheap versions stick well. Just make sure to follow the tile adhesive instructions and as soon as the floor is stuck down well and the adhesive has had the proper cure time, clean the floor and apply a couple good coats of something like Future floor finish. The tiles usually come pre-coated, but by applying the finish after installation you help keep water or other liquids from seeping under the tiles and causing them to lift at the corners and edges.

    Backsplash ideas abound. Anything from actual tile to plastic tile to painted tiles or even tile printed contact paper can look great. There's also a plastic product called Fasade that is cut with a utility knife and installed with double sided tape or construction adhesive that comes in a variety of finishes and styles and looks great. (I used Fasade in my kitchen and people think it is actually stainless steel.) If the walls are in decent shape, you can even just paint them. Adding some under cabinet lighting using LED tape light will also make the kitchen look much more modern.

    If appliances are older and you're wanting them to look newer, there are adhesive films on the market that mimic stainless steel or you can paint them with an enamel paint.

    I am not sure if these were the kind of ideas you were seeking, but that's what I came up with.

    • Leasa Leasa on Oct 04, 2018

      We HAVE to replace the appliances. With is where the $ is going. The cabinets are in great shape n just need painting. It’s the counter top, the floor, which the wood underneath is in great shape. I’ve actually thought about painting it with marine (boat) paint and water seal it. The main thing is getting everything CLEAN!! It hasn’t been kept up in years. It’s so dark in the with no real lighting and blackout curtains. I really didn’t realize how bad it was, I never went further than the formal living room. GROSS, she boarders on being a hoarder. The smell alone...

      thank you for you help.


  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Oct 04, 2018

    I've actually heard of people putting contact paper on their countertop. That's an inexpensive fix for them. To brighten the kitchen, a brighter light fixture and undercabinet lighting is great. Painting the cabinets will help if they're a dark color.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 04, 2018

    You can paint the hardware with RustOleum hammered paint. The white is a piece 16 years after I painted the hinges. Not one chip. The nightstand is after 2 years, the drawer pulls are still perfect.

    You can paint the countertops with Giani kit but the smell is so strong that unless they can relocate, I wouldn't recommend it. Contact paper is probably the best way for that.

    Clean the cabinets with OrangeGlo If there is any build up, make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide then scrub with a child's soft toothbrush first.

    Flooring depends on budget. If you go with press and place tile, highly recommend using a glue first. Get the kind of glue that it says to put down and wait until it's tacky to the touch before laying the tile.

  • Oliva Oliva on Oct 04, 2018

    Home stores offer some paints at reduced prices, as does Habitat for Humanity. If your in laws are older, consider matte finishes over gloss, which can be distressing for people with cataracts. LED bulbs will enhance lighting, if the color rendition index (CRI) is 90, and Kelvin rating is between 2400 and 300 Kelvin. Dimmers are a wonderful option, if this appeals to them.

    Drawer pulls should be evaluated for the users dexterity level, prior to purchase (arthritis makes using some pulls annoying or impossible).

    Floor surfaces should be skid resistant. Comfort gel mats make standing much easier. Area rugs should be considered only if they have a non skid backing, to prevent falls.

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