Simple, Inexpensive Updates to 50's Kitchen

The Chirping Frog
by The Chirping Frog
This kitchen was so dated and in desperate need of a makeover. The cabinets were missing doors, were covered with a layer of dirt and grime, and seriously needed some love! We were looking to update without spending too much- paint to the rescue.
This is what it looked like to start (except for the ladder). I took all the doors and handles off then got down to the backbreaking job of giving them a good cleaning-hardest part of the whole process.
Here's the other side of the kitchen, again except for the ladder this is what I had to work with.
Doors removed and getting a good cleaning.
The first thing I did was give everything a coat of primer.
Next, I wanted to add a little something to the doors so I used moldings and trimmed out the door fronts.

FYI.... you can buy these pre-made at the hardware store... more expensive but quick and easy.
I ended up caulking the inside of the framework and gave them a couple coats of paint.
The handles were soaked overnight in ammonia. Amazing how well that cleaned them up...amazing! The doors have some issues and need some magnetic latch replacements. I am also working on the backsplash. That nasty paneling had to go!
So easy to work with. They cut with scissors.
Here's a glimpse at the finish-looks so much better. The countertops are original to the home, built in the 50's. I cleaned them up and bleached the sink and they look like new. Still a vintage kitchen with original fixtures but looks so much more presentable and livable.
When the doors were removed a piece of support was also cut on the upper cabinet above the microwave. I still need to replace that. I also want to add a curtain, almost done!
The Chirping Frog
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Jean Hamelin Jean Hamelin on Jan 07, 2019

    Did you paint both sides of the doors? How did you adhere the moulding? How did you adhere the backsplash?

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  • Judy Parkey Judy Parkey on Feb 17, 2015
    I believe you read "my mind's eye" with your remodel! I'm ready to take my '50's kitchen on as a project. I have considered using the door molding but the house has settled so much I'm a little afraid the linear look will present a problem. I've also been toying with the idea of using the same backsplash.
  • 169756 169756 on Feb 18, 2015
    Excellent update. What a great place to work in.