I recently purchased a 5 year old home. The original owner did not do
any 'upgrade' at all, just had gotten the basic fixtures that come
with the house from the builder. I love the house, but I hate 2 parts
of the house.
1. The kitchen cabinets are all laminate type. The cabinets look of
good quality (ie: the newer types, the one that doesn't scratch or
anything) but I just wish the colour matched the rest of the kitchen!
What options do I have other than to completely replace the cabinets?
Refacing the cabinets with a different color laminate sounds like an
option, but it looks like an expensive and tedious job. Any ways to
treat it to look a bit darker?
2. The bathroom and kitchen counter tops (these are laminate too) are
the most awful of all, the ones in the bathroom are PINK! I'd like to
replace the entire counter top, but is there a cheaper alternative?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
If you have a laminate trimmer or the right bits for a router replacing the
mica isn't really that tough. The counter tops are usually just screwed down
with a few drywall screws under the counter so they are easy to take outside to
The cabinets are a little harder but they are usually just up there with a
frightening few number of screws.
I have found that if I need to seam the mica I am usually better off matching a
factory cut to a factory cut so plan it so all of your cuts are off the trimmed
edges and you match up factory cuts. (unless you are better at making straight,
smooth, chip free cuts than me).
I hope you don't mind me butting in and suggesting a better way to cut
seams in plastic laminate.
A simple jig made of 2 pieces of 1x4 (straight) about 32" long tied
together at the ends by a couple of 2" wide pieces about 7 3/4" long.
This leaves a long slot about 5/8" wide in the middle. With the 2 end
pieces down on the table top lay the pieces you need to seam across the
top and clamp them down, lapping one piece over the other, making sure
they are set up at least 1/2" too long. Take a bearing trim bit and cut
both pieces at once, using the slot as a guide for the bearing.
One pass and you have a perfect seam! Works first time every time!
Look underneath the countertops. They may be just screwed on. If they
are it is not too hard to cut the caulking around them loose, unscrew
them and replace them. If the cabinets are already laminated you could
laminate over the existing face frames and buy new doors and drawer
fronts. It won't be cheap but if the basic boxes are in good shape and
the layout for the kitchen is correct it would be better than complete new
Refacing the cabinets can be expensive, if you go with the best you can get.
But one thing I would look into is having a company do it, most can get it
done in one or two days. To me that time frame is worth the expense.
In the bathroom, as long as you don't need the little storage that a vanity
gives I would go with a pedestal sink. They have many very attractive
choices, and then you can do something creative with the storage you might
need. Such as a standing closet. Spend the time you save doing the refacing
of the cabinets and build something nice for your bathroom.
On 14 Dec 2003 16:35:19 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Apkesh) wrote:
Paint them. Scuff sand the laminate (about 240 grit), then apply a
coat of melamine primer. After that you can paint them any colour you
I've used two melamine primers. One (from International Paints) worked
well, but was hard work to use - lots of trouble with runs. The other
(ESP brand) looks like water and is _much_ easier. If you're painting
doors like this, take them off and paint them horizontally.
Replacing worktops is generally cheap, but a fair bit of labour - much
depends on your layout. The ubiquitous round-edged paper-laminate fake
stone particleboard worktops are at give-away prices. Biggest problem
is forming corner joints, which need either an ugly plastic filler
strip (very cheap and quick though) or hiring an expensive jig, a big
router and a big cutter to form the joint. Don't try to just saw a
mitre in them - gives a lousy finish.
What ? Me ? Evil Dictator of Iraq ?
Nah mate, I'm just a Hobbit, honest
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