How to Lighten Dark Kitchen Cabinets - On the House

How to Lighten Dark Kitchen Cabinets

By on March 4, 2014
kitchen cabinet replacement

Question

Our old kitchen cabinets are dark brown and are made of some kind of plastic laminate. We want to lighten up the kitchen, but our painter says he can’t do the doors of the cabinets because of the material. Is he right?

Dan, Reno NV

Answer

Your painter is right; you can’t paint over your plastic laminate doors with any degree of success or lasting quality. What you might want to consider is door replacement. A local cabinet shop can order or make new doors from a material known as medium density fiberboard (MDF). MDF takes paint beautifully and is a warp free material. Later when the paint begins to fade or chip a new coat can be easily applied. At the same time that you order the doors, consider a different style. This will give your kitchen a new and interesting look. You may also want to change hinges and pulls as well. Finally, you may want to have the cabinets themselves refaced with a real wood laminate (which is paintable) although this is not an imperative if the casework is in good condition.

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