As someone whose home was built in the 1980’s, I’m all too familiar with the common design tropes of the time. One of the big sellers back in the day was oak cabinetry; walk into almost any house constructed in that decade and oak, or veneer approximating it, was the order of the day. And not just a touch of it here and there; as was all too common in that age of excess, it was all the cabinetry, all the time.
While there is no denying that natural wood finishes have a certain timeless beauty; consumer tastes do change over the long haul and the adage that less is more didn’t get that way because it isn’t true.
Have you got an 80’s era home or are you considering buying one? Are you less than dazzled by oak finishes and wonder if there is an alternative to ripping out and replacing the cabinetry? Well take a look at this after photo…
Kim from thekimsixfix.com demonstrates beautifully just how an outdated 80’s kitchen can be brought into the 21st century at reasonable cost and (if you possess the right skills set), without calling in the professionals.
Check out the complete kitchen makeover here: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2012/08/kitchen-reveal-80s-to-awesome.html#
Also be sure to click on this additional link which provides a six month update and a FAQ that details the actual work involved: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2013/04/my-kitchen-update-6-months-later-faqs.html
In brief this spectacular kitchen makeover started with an appliance upgrade. Taking advantage of a Black Friday “buy three and get one free” deal, Kim purchased a stainless steel refrigerator, range and dishwasher (plus a stainless steel microwave as the “freebie”). Cost? $2400 after cashing in a manufacturer rebate for $500 on the three appliance purchase. Rather than spend an additional $500 to $1200 in replacing a built in trash compacter that no longer matched the other appliances, Kim found a $25 kit that enabled her to transform the compactor front into a faux stainless steel finish to match.
The oak cabinetry was painted without even removing contents! Rather, Kim removed doors, sanded frames, cleaned and cleared the dust created by sanding and then primed and painted the cabinet boxes. Next came the drawers, which she emptied; sanding, priming and painting took place in her garage, and once the paint dried, drawers were taken back to the kitchen and filled back up. Next step the painting of the cabinet doors, which she laid out like an assembly line. Doors are a bit trickier than drawers and cabinet boxes, in that both front and back surfaces need sanding, priming and painting. Kim outlines (with photos) her technique here: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2012/08/how-to-paint-your-kitchen-cabinets.html
Additional steps in the upgrade included installing a new pencil tile backsplash; mounting new cabinet hardware; staining of the kitchen island cabinetry and drawers; converting one cabinet to open shelves (leave off the doors and paint both the interior and exterior surfaces); upgrading the lighting from recessed florescent box to LED hanging can lights; and replacing the kitchen sink faucet fixture.
Total cost for the entire upgrade? Right around $5000! Amazing!