question re painting kitchen cabinets

I have 25 year old kitchen cabinets with a very dark stain. Structurally they are in very good shape, just very old looking. I looked at new cabinets which would cost me $15k, refacing would cost around $3k.
Given that I would like white cabinets anyway, how does painting hold up? Any tricks to making it look nice, and any special kind of paint that I should use for durability?
Thanks, Don
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On 25 Nov 2003 18:25:47 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (Don) wrote:

I did the exact same thing, simply sanding, priming and then using melamine paint applying it with a small foam roller. It has stood up very well for several years now.
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15K for cabinets?? Where the hell did you go??
I painted knotty-pine kitchen cabinetry in my old house. I hand-stripped years of urethane, sanded, prepped, primed, and painted inside and out with Benjamin Moore Super White in gloss finish. New handles all around, too. It took upwards of 3 coats to cover some of the darker knots. Over time, the paint chipped and scratched pretty easily. After all was said and done, I felt I should have replaced the cabinets..
Fast-forward to a different house with an original (22-year old) kitchen. This time, I gutted it and went with white melamine lowers and uppers with a plain-old formica countertop. The total for the cabinets AND the countertop was less than $4,000 (delivered), and it took me about 8 hours to install an L-shaped kitchen. I'm not trying to thump my chest here... if you can hang a picture, you can install cabinets. The melamine looks great, cleans easily, and wears very well. Nicks and chips are easy to touch up with a wax-like pen available just about anywhere. I got the cabinets from a wholesaler who deals with the public (Kitchen Warehouse). They sent a guy out to check my measurements before placing the order. Do yourself a favor and reconsider replacing yours. You will benefit from modern hardware (hinges, drawer tracks, etc) as well as the advantages of designing in features to suit your needs. In my case, I ordered cabinets 42" high and removed the useless soffit box. This gave me extra room inside and on top, plus the ability to raise the wall cabinets an extra couple of inches over the standard countertop height to allow for a more open workspace underneath. YMMV.
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C.J.

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Lowe's. I've got a large kitchen - 3.5 sides plus large island. I asked for moderately priced cabinets, and then of course if you replace cabinets you need to replace surfaces, so this also included a moderately priced new surface.
One of the cabinets is very large with 4 doors.. Just the price of the doors for the DIY refacing doors was $200 each. $800 for doors for one of many cabinets. It really adds up fast.
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Factor in the cost of replacing the worn hinges (fairly low cost) and possibly the door handles / knobs (excruciatingly expensive). Try to find hinges that are the exact same size as your old ones - that way you don't have to re-drill new screw holes or mess around trying to make new hinges fit on your existing doors.
Are your exisiting doors the type with the handle in the middle of the door? "She who must be obeyed" might want knobs at the corner of the door. This would require you to patch the holes where the old handle went & carefully sand it absolutely flat/smooth prior to priming.
After cleaning & sanding the entire door I'd suggest a coat of Bin primer (to seal any bleed through). I recommend melamine paint painting the doors laid flat (so you obtain a nice hard, smooth finish) - with careful sanding between coats. Don't forget to paint the inside of the cupboards at the same time (Melamine is great for preventing water damage from wet dishes).
Use good quality brushes or rollers made for melamine. Have fun - it should look great when you are done.

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On 25 Nov 2003 18:25:47 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (Don) wrote:

I'd use oil base, Don...spraying will give the best look. Latex just looks too thick.
Nothing lasts forever. Someday, you'll hafta do some touch-up.
Good luck.
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving season...
Trent
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