Before & After: Plain Particleboard Cabinets Get a Cheery Spring Paint Job

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Burcu Ozturk)

Rebecca’s landlord graciously upgraded the “dismal” linoleum floor when she moved into this rental apartment in Astoria, Queens. But the cabinets — the kind of cheap, beige particleboard cabinets you find in dated apartments — were in serious need of something to make them more attractive. On a tight budget, Rebecca turned to paint and a cheery color palette.

(Image credit: Rebecca Johnson )

Even with a kitchen with not a lot of natural light, you can tell the new color palette is a huge improvement!

From Rebecca:

Well the reason we’re in a low-rent apartment in the first place is because we need low rent. So we couldn’t undertake a replacement project. But paint was definitely doable. So we used high-gloss white (Behr Polar Bear 8075) to paint those awful taupe-y tiles in the backsplash and side wall.

Then we wanted a high impact, high contrast colorful palette to brighten up the dinginess of a room that doesn’t get much light. Lime green, teal blue and orange were our choices. The exact colors we used were: 123-7 Tangerine Dream by Pittsburg Paints; 156-6 Montego Bay by Pittsburgh Paints; and Key Lime by Behr.

We sanded, but didn’t use primer. I think we should have, as the paint chipped in a couple of places which we had to retouch. In any case — this is the result, for less than $100 including painting supplies and three quarts of paint.

Thank you Rebecca!