How would you update these cabinets?

Teddie Simpson
by Teddie Simpson
I don't like the rugged look of my cabinets and can't afford new ones. The molding you see in the photo is wood and the cabinets are dark although it looks light. What would you suggest. I'm a senior and not up to sanding.
  19 answers
  • Katherine Katherine on Jul 12, 2015
    These would look phenomenal painted cream and then a darkish wax highlighting the beautiful rope accents. Then you could choose any new knobs/pulls that strike your fancy!
  • Grace Leary Grace Leary on Jul 12, 2015
    This is something you may not like but could be worth a try: take off the doors and just leave them open! If you like it and want to keep it that way, paint the frames.
  • Debellen Debellen on Jul 13, 2015
    I would just change the knobs. I hate to see beautiful wood covered with paint. It is so hard to remove paint from wood to restore it's natural beauty.
  • Elizabeth Butterfield Elizabeth Butterfield on Jul 13, 2015
    I would change a thing, they are beautiful. Use some pledge on them.
  • Kathy Kathy on Jul 13, 2015
    I would paint the cabinets. Since the rope detail is there you could go nautical. Either paint them white and change hardware to a satin/polished nickel pull and knobs or paint an antique white and do an antiquing glaze over. Then change hardware to bronze pulls and knobs. Good luck! Kathy from Lake Forest, CA
  • Debra Grieve Debra Grieve on Jul 13, 2015
    I love your cabinet doors! I wish I could trade. However, you don't. Have you tried prying off the trim? If it is glued on you probably won't be able to, but if it is nailed with small brads there is a chance it will come off. Then you can paint them. Do you know anyone who could spray paint them for you? Not with cans, but with a spray gun. That would come out the best. Even with the trim on. Change out the handles for sure. You'll be surprised how just doing that will change the look of your cabinets. Or you can change the type of trim on the doors if it comes off. That will make a big difference also.
  • Teddie Simpson Teddie Simpson on Jul 13, 2015
    I think all the trim is glued on; I popped off one of the little squares and it was easy to remove; not to say the rope part would come off that easy.. Taking the trim off will result in flat panels which I don't want. Adding new trim is something I won't attempt myself. These cabinets are all throughout my home. I'll start with a good cleaning and shop for some different hardware. Will see if that gives me a look that's not so harsh. My home was built in the 70ies so I'm doing a lot of upgrading. Currently getting estimates on replacing all my interior doors that are flat paneled, brown. My hallway seems dark as a cave. Thanks for all you suggestions.
  • Sharyn Diaz Sharyn Diaz on Jul 13, 2015
    I agree with Debra Grieve :)
  • Nancy Nancy on Jul 13, 2015
    We used Rustoleum's "Cabinet Transformations" kit. You can opt for the dark kit or the light kit, and you can finish them with either a solid color or a glazed/antique look. I did the whole kitchen with 1 1/2 small kits (each now $70). We were VERY happy with the results, and 4 years later, the cabinets are still easy to wipe clean. My husband had a carpenter cut out the inner doors for our top cabinets and he installed glass that the local glass store cut to size. Much cheaper than new cabinets!
  • Nancy Nancy on Jul 13, 2015
    p.s. to the last post: there is no sanding involved with Rustoleum's kit -- you use a liquid "Deglosser" included in the kit instead. I did the work at age 62.
  • Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle on Jul 13, 2015
    Teddie, I'm with Nancy. We did our bathroom AND most of our kitchen cabinets with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit. Here's our HT post. NO SANDING, NO BAD SMELLS, LATEX so easy clean up. We're both retired and handled the work just fine between the two of us. Your trim is so unique and adds such interest and texture. I'd leave that on the doors, if it were me.
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    • Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle on Jul 16, 2015
      @Susan E I liked it because the pattern edge gives just a little detail but isn't too much. We like clean lines. Hey, visit the website when you get a minute.
  • Vel1629730 Vel1629730 on Jul 13, 2015
    HI...when i saw your cabinet doors the first thought was a shabby chic look...If you're into traditional decor. Leave the trim...paint with milk paint (haven't used it myself, but all the projects here on hometalk use it and apparently you don't even have to prime the wood!) Use a light color, then add a glaze to emphasize the molding. Replace the hardware (very easy...just make sure the new hardware screws match up with the original hardware.) I think some really beautiful paint/glaze combos would be white or off white with tan or brown glaze, swedish blue-gray with tan glaze, or pale aqua-blue with tan glaze. Change light fixtures to work with the new hardware and you've got a brand new kitchen! Hope this helps.
  • Pat Pat on Jul 13, 2015
    • Teddie Simpson Teddie Simpson on Jul 14, 2015
      @Pat Yes Pat 1972. I like the rope, just don't like the little wooden squares. I will be changing out the hardware for sure.
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Jul 13, 2015
    There are a lot of custom cabinets with rope trim. I agree, paint them out and change the hardware!
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    • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Jul 15, 2015
      I'd paint it out a solid colour with the cabinets!
  • Janet Frausel Harvey Janet Frausel Harvey on Jul 13, 2015
    If you hate the rope trim, perhaps you could turn the doors inside out and finish anyway you would like.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jul 14, 2015
    If you don't want to sand, just ''wash'' them lightly with liquid sandpaper and steel wool, then wipe them with a well wrung-out damp cloth (rinse the cloth often). Let dry well before priming with a high or super adhesion primer. This is what I have always done--it is much faster and easier than sanding,and removes grease and other gunk too. If you paint with a light colour, the trim will blend in. Alternatively, you could use the afore-mentioned liquid sandpaper technique and use gel stain for a darker finish (You can't go lighter with it). It is fast and easy to apply with a brush, rag or even old gloves or socks.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jul 19, 2015
    I like the rope trim. I would keep and paint with one of the suggestions above. Also, there are tons of cabinet refinshing on HomeTalk. Just write " cabinet refinshing" in the search box above. Good luck.
  • Sandy Sandy on Jul 19, 2015
    I agree about removing the 'squares' on the rope trim, switch handles (take one with you to make sure the screws are spaced to fit), paint cabinets, and think about using two amazing colors. One for inside the rope trim and one outside?
  • Judy Steffen Judy Steffen on Jul 21, 2015
    Perhaps you could remove the square detail on the doors and replace the bottom piece of rope trim, which make the doors look dated. Then you could paint and replace the handles to complete the update.