Good Questions: Should I Paint These Cabinets?

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Hello AT,

We moved into a house (hope that doesn't disqualify me) that has awful cream colored laminate cabinets. I can't tell if they were once white and have aged in the last 20+ years, or if they were just poor 80's taste.

We can't afford to replace the cabinets at the moment, but have no problem spending the time and energy it takes to paint them...

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Our backsplash is a very pale blue (I think behr mineral water), and the kitchen opens into the livingroom, which is painted behr cup of cocoa.

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck painting their cabinets, and how they held up (assuming I will sand + prime, then paint)? And if anyone has done the frame of their cabinets one color and the doors another (I am hoping that this will give the one dimensional cabinets a little more visual interest) I would love to see pictures.

PS We also plan to add some handles or knobs once finished.

Thanks, Courtney

Dear Courtney,

We've not done it personally, but we believe that if you do a careful job, it's worth a go. We'd actually test on cabinet first to see if the finish you get is what you want. Also, consider replacing just the doors in order to give the kitchen a facelift.

Here are some helpful links:

Good Questions: Painting Melamine?
Nu-Facers: Cabinet Face Lifts

Anyone else?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.