What is the best way to up-cycle my 1980, Formica/oak custom cabinets?

q what is the best way to up cycle my 1980 formica oak custom cabinets
What is the best product that is very durable to up-cycle my 1980 Formica/oak custom kitchen cabinets? The cabinet interior/exterior is in excellent shape. The doors need something. I am open to all suggestions. I am willing to change the color, the handles etc., etc., etc., but I do need to keep the cabinets because they are custom and built for the kitchen.
  8 answers
  • Alixann180 Alixann180 on May 18, 2017
    I would put new doors on that match the trim. Then a marble counter top. Just an

    • Mis5593747 Mis5593747 on May 19, 2017
      My thoughts exactly. I just keep getting told that I'm crazy. Thank you 😊!

  • Jacks Beta Jacks Beta on May 18, 2017
    White chalk paint for the cabinets, funky knobs that add a pop of color. Butcher block counter tops? I bought my counter tops at Ikea for cheap.

  • Mis5593747 Mis5593747 on May 18, 2017
    that was another idea I had, but is there a special chalk paint for Formica/cabinets?

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 18, 2017
    I like them. They have a Scandinavian look. Butcher block top would look nice. I'd look at the same Scandinavian style for a couple of accessories or a piece of art. Would clean off the top of the cabinets and maybe have some artificial greenery.

    • See 1 previous
    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 21, 2017
      Can't see the rest of your kitchen, but I am a frequenter of Thrifts, garage sales, etc. Think anything slightly modern or streamlined would fit - not crazy modern. Your wrought iron cup holder above the sink is really close if the top part weren't curved and had leaves. The cups are great - simple design. As I mentioned, clear the cab top and place some artificial greenery in a simple little pot to soften edges. Any semi-abstract art with a simple frame or no frame would work if you have a spot. Don't be afraid to inject some colour through art or accessories. If you have an Ikea store, this is a source to browze. If not, you may be able to view online. I ldefinitely wouldn't replace the cabs.

  • William William on May 19, 2017
    Yep! 1980's European style cabinets. They were the craze. Laminate over cheap particle board. Came in white and almond that yellowed over time. When I was a home builder I installed tons of them. Requested by the home buyers. I DON'T KNOW WHY! You can paint them and put on some nice modern door hardware.

    Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123. Then paint with your color. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.

  • Mis5593747 Mis5593747 on May 19, 2017
    Thank you 😊, the answer I was hoping to get! Now I know where to start!

  • Judith Judith on May 19, 2017
    Two years ago, I put two coats of primer, two coats of paint, and two coats of polyurethane on my oak and formica cupboards. I sanded between every coat. It was a lot of work, but I don't want to do this again for twenty years. So I did it right, and they are holding up to the very rough banging around that happens in kitchens. Put on new handles, while you're at it. My cupboards were in good shape, so it would have been silly and expensive to replace them. They are gorgeous now, and they'll look good for many more years.

    • Mis5593747 Mis5593747 on May 19, 2017
      Did you use a certain type of primer/ paint or sealer? My kitchen is used hard, it is the one place in my home that everyone just seems to end up in.

  • O.shag O.shag on May 19, 2017
    Unfortunately have the same cabinets. Sure you may paint them, ours have been painted about 6 times over the years and stenciled once( just primed and painted, no sanding before or sealing after) but they were still the same boring plain Jane. Last year had trim added to sides to match top and bottom and beadboard paneling added to middle, then painted. Added handles for first time and no more plain Jane! Man are these cabinets heavy!

    • Mis5593747 Mis5593747 on May 19, 2017
      I hadn't thought of the beadboard. That is an excellent idea. I thought of the trim, only not to match, just new trim. Thank you 😊 I absolutely love when the minds eye finally opens!