What would you do with these fake barn wood cabinets?

I am not sure how I want to do this kitchen. I do know my colors are aqua, red and white. I tend to lean more towards old farmhouse mixed with some modern. I was thinking white cabinets. The counter tops are leaving as they are the old gold speckled counter tops from the sixties or maybe even the fifties? I don't know. I just know it all has to go. lol. I am open to suggestions. Thanks :)
q what would you do with these fake barn wood cabinets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
Don't mind my clutter or mismatching appliances. It will all be fixed when we do the remodel.
q what would you do with these fake barn wood cabinets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
another view...
q what would you do with these fake barn wood cabinets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
we are thinking about putting a pantry where the trash can and cabinet are. The upper cabinet on the end will come out.
q what would you do with these fake barn wood cabinets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
Here we are thinking of turning the island to the right and opening up our kitchen. My husband likes to can in the summer and we need all the space we can get.
  31 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 16, 2015
    Definitely paint the cupboards. Maybe the creamy colour of your micro and oven so it blends in. And your flooring is on the browny/beige side so would make the kitchen look larger visually. I don't see too much wall space. You could go with aqua on the walls (or checkered /plaid wallpaper) and do the countertop a deeper aqua,, and have some red accessories. Can't have too much counterspace. I'd opt for bottom cabinets instead of a pantry to extend your workspace. One part of the lower cab could contain a slide-out garbage bin. Can't tell about changing the island orientation

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 16, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt thank you, I am leaning more towards the white cabinets. I am also considering your idea for the extended workspace. I don't have a ton of wall space so I will using my red and aqua colors for accents. Thanks :)

  • Becky Becky on Jan 16, 2015
    I'm not a fan of ALL white. Remember smoke of any kind will stain that white and change the color immediately. I'm loving the barn wood look. I would hang flat framed photos on the doors... If you're going with the farm look, go with tractors, roosters, silos, etc. Or if you paint, go with a lighter medium shade of brown or a color out of the cabinet top/laminate.

  • Noreen Shuart Noreen Shuart on Jan 16, 2015
    I'm liking the idea also of creamy color for the cabinets.... but maybe do the top cabinets only creamy and the lower in a shade of aqua. then accent with Red... bowls.... towels.... love the rooster idea too. maybe a red and aqua stencil above all the cabinets and do the same stencil on a curtain or valance for over the sink for some color there....moving the island will definitely make the kitchen appear even bigger.... as long as the space on the other side of the island is not being used for a sitting area? and I like the pantry idea if you are going to move the island.

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    • Rachael Provost Rachael Provost on Jan 17, 2015
      @Noreen Shuart Love this idea... I have painted my orange oak a creamy white on top but left them original on the bottom to please my husband who loves wood. Since it is the top of the cabinets that show the most in my living room, I can live with that (for now :)) I would love to paint the lowers a beautiful turquoise someday... Not a fan of theme kitchens, I did that back in the 80s and easily tired of it. Love the idea of red accents though with the white top and aqua bottom cabinets.

  • Noting Grace Noting Grace on Jan 16, 2015
    Great bones! We're in the middle of a kitchen remodel and are trying to achieve that same farmhouse feel. We painted the top white and the bottom gray. You could add framing to the doors to give the doors more oomph. You could also opt for open cabinet doors next to the fridge. You could even paint the interior of the cabinet in your aqua or red for a flash of color. I think painting the cupboards is the way to go. If your doors have a raised grain, look into chalk paint as that covers the grain. Hopefully we'll be finishing up our kitchen this weekend and I plan to post about it here. Maybe that will give you some inspiration? Best of Luck!

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    • Melissa Melissa on Feb 03, 2015
      @Noting Grace I just checked it out and it's very pretty. I love the light that your father in law gave you. How cool is that? You did a very nice job. I wish I could get started on ours but it seems that our upstairs bath has to be done first and soon, our bathroom faucets are leaking because they are old and need to be replaced. So we must prioritize. Enjoy that new kitchen :)

  • Terra Terra on Jan 16, 2015
    I like the barn wood look, especially if your theme is farmhouse. Before I made any commitment to paint, I would consider adding glass to some of the cabinet fronts and painting the inside of those cabinets and accenting with dishes that match your color scheme. You could also update your hardware with newer, bold oil rubbed bronze hardware and pair it with a matching oil rubbed bronze kitchen faucet. But, paint is always an option as well...good luck.

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 16, 2015
      @Terra I have already decided that open cabinetry is a must. I may even do some with glass. I have also considered leaving the lower cabinets as they are and just painting the upper ones and changing the hardware. Thanks :)

  • Brenda Roth Brenda Roth on Jan 16, 2015
    Melissa.......... is that contact paper on your cabinets? and can you add any pictures for more views of the kitchen?

  • Melissa Melissa on Jan 16, 2015
    @Brenda Roth I added two more photos. As you can see I have to paint the paneling a white to lighten up the place and the big picture window over our steps leading down to the basement is on the left. The other photo is of my kitchen sink. Its kind of dark so i hope you can see the cabinets and get more of an idea of the layout. I do believe it is some sort of paper on the cabinets, although I am not sure? I figure paint would just cover it up after they are sanded down. At least I'm hoping :)

  • Judy.burton Judy.burton on Jan 17, 2015
    Textured bead board wallpaper with creamy white paint. You can see lots of examples on pinterest

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 17, 2015
    The barn wood cabinets would suit me fine but the floor and backsplash would have to change to enhance them. Turning the island would give the room more visual space if there's room to open oven, dishwasher and cabinet doors all around it.

  • Jo Jo on Jan 17, 2015
    Hi, years ago in my old house the cupboards were awful, so I painted them aqua/teal color and did a heavy glaze with a dark brown stain and wiped them down while still wet, they turned out beautiful I even send refrigerator out with one of the finished cup doors and had it painted to match, they did a wonderful job, when they were all done I sealed them with a varnish..easy to wipe down later. I'm thinking do doing it again. Wish I had a picture but needless to say I haven't. Good luck on what ever you do...Jo from Mn

  • Pamela Pamela on Jan 17, 2015
    Clean w TSP, Prime them all, sand lightly, prime again, sand lightly. Paint with chalk paint, sand lightly, paint again, sand. coat with soft clear wax. wipe off. let cure overnight, buff and apply the antiquing dark wax to area you want to make it look antiqueee. Wide off the apply another coat of clear wax. All this take about 5-7 days. Buff the heck out of it! I did this... My kitchen looks so awesome I smile each tie I walk into it. PS. It was my first project and turned out awesome! Good luck I used Old Ochre and Versailles to trim paint colors- from Annie Sloan- They look much different than the can and I am pleased- despite that I wasn't so sure about the colors at first. I followed the instruction and it came out great.

  • Daphane Daphane on Jan 17, 2015
    I would use Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation kit. They have an array of colors to choose from, no sanding, easy to use. I used on my kitchen and bathroom cabinets and they look great.

  • PattyV PattyV on Jan 17, 2015
    My suggestion is to add some dimension to the cabinets by creating a frame around each on of the door (if you want to take it a little further, you can insert beadboard). I would then prime and paint a cream color and use red as the accents in the kitchen (such as a little red valance of the sink). Perhaps for the doors on the upper cabinets over the sink you can replace the doors with chicken wire frame in wood to break up the tons of cabinets. There seems to be some moulding at the top of the cabinets, perhaps you could use that as an accents in red or black. Then I would replace you handles in black.

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 18, 2015
      @PattyV very good ideas...I love the idea of framing the cabinet doors. I also like the idea of using the trim as an accent color.

  • Cynthia Madore Cynthia Madore on Jan 17, 2015
    This what my wonderful handy son did for me on improving my galley kitchen in my manufactured double-wide home, enclosing a pictures, hope it helps. I'm truly in love with the transformation! Cindy

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    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 18, 2015
      @Cynthia Madore sounds like a plan...thanks :)

  • Laurie Powell Laurie Powell on Jan 17, 2015
    If I were you I would the pantry on the right side of the refrigerator. It would be larger than the spot where the trash can is. Then use 2 out of the 3 cabinates from the left side & move them to the right side, where the trash can is. This way you will have a longer counter space for canning, plus a larger pantry, for the canned goods. *Please let us know what the cupboard doors are made out of, wood or covered with a vinyl type contact paper. :)

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    • Laurie Powell Laurie Powell on Jan 18, 2015
      @Melissa Getting all of that sticky backing off of the wood doors will be a nightmare, if you try to remove it! Look at the inside of the doors & that will tell you if they are real wood or not. If they are then you could paint. If they are contact type paper, you will have to forget it altogether! You would have to replace all of the door fronts but not the cabinates. If they are real wood, you might be able to flip the doors over & use the inside for the fronts & then prep & paint. If you can flip the doors you will have to patch the old hardware holes & of course drill new holes.

  • Barbara Thompson-Gauld Barbara Thompson-Gauld on Jan 18, 2015
    If your existing cabinets are srtucturally sound I would remve some doors and go with open areas for accent displays. When looking at your pics. it sure seems like alot of cabinet doors! The high ones probably never get used!

  • Barbara Thompson-Gauld Barbara Thompson-Gauld on Jan 18, 2015
    Definitely paint!

  • Barbara Thompson-Gauld Barbara Thompson-Gauld on Jan 18, 2015
    maybe some punched tin or chicken wire could be incorporated....since this is a farm house...just throwing ideas at you! lol (I love re-dos)

  • Melissa Melissa on Jan 18, 2015
    @Barbara Thompson-Gauld I have thought about that also, I am toying around with open shelves somewhere also. I may have to lose a couple of cabinets but I love the look of open shelving. Thanks for your ideas :)

  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Jan 18, 2015
    If these doors are pressed wood with contact paper you might want to take a door from one of the Cabinets you want to have open Shelving on and use it to Experiment with painting a section, to see if the Contact paper will take the paint. and how it looks...? You could paint the Doors but leave the Cabinet frame the wood look?

  • Cynthia Madore Cynthia Madore on Jan 18, 2015
    I have painted different furniture with homemade chalk paint, & the beauty part is no sanding or stripping! which is a big time saver, just a good cleaning to get rid of dust, grime & oily material. Cindy

  • Melissa Melissa on Jan 18, 2015
    Laurie Powell we can't flip the doors because they have a rounded edge on the outside. I am going to take one of the doors to my local hardware store and see if they know what I can do to cover the paper or whatever it is? I thought maybe i could sand them down and then paint them. Hopefully I will be able to do that. Fingers crossed :)

  • Marcella T Marcella T on Jan 18, 2015
    you could pickle or whitewash them. you could even tint the whitewashing with a paler shade of your aqua.

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 19, 2015
      @Marcella T That is a good idea, I will have to see some photos of cabinets already done that way. Thank you :)

  • Barb Vault Barb Vault on Jan 19, 2015
    I painted the cupboards in a mobile home. I used KILZ after I used Lestoil to clean the nasty cupboards. Then, I painted them sandstone.

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 20, 2015
      @Barb Vault Yeah, I figured I would have to use some sort of primer on them before painting them and definitely clean them too. Thanks for the idea :)

  • Susanne Happ Susanne Happ on Jan 20, 2015
    what do you think about this:

  • Susanne Happ Susanne Happ on Jan 20, 2015
    sorry forget the pic ;)

  • Susanne Happ Susanne Happ on Jan 20, 2015
    my advice is: cabinets aqua/white combination and a glossy grey counter top

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 20, 2015
      @Susanne Happ I think it's pretty but too much aqua for me :)

  • Melissa Melissa on Jan 21, 2015
    Barbara Thompson-Gauld I am leaning more towards the punched tin somewhere in the kitchen. Thanks for the idea :)

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Feb 23, 2016
    TSP first, then primer, then paint. Get rid of the upper doors and paint the inside bright white to create an open look. Or, remove a couple of cabinets and install floating shelves also for a spacious look. If you can rearrange that L shaped cabinet, good. If not, deep six it and build or purchase a portable island that would meet your cooking needs.

  • Linda Linda on Apr 05, 2020

    I would paint them.

  • Melissa Melissa on Apr 09, 2020

    My husband has made new doors and we painted them and over the existing cabinets. We just refaced them. They are not all finished yet. We are still working on them. Thanks for answering my question. :)