Updating an 80s kitchen

Embrace the wood look and pick a paint color accordingly.Before I had done anything else, removing the creamy countertop and painting the walls a cool gray-white really made a huge difference in the look of the cabinets.Find a cool, light neutral you like, even a cool white, and your cabinets will feel much more modern. In my kitchen, the pops of green paired well against the warm cabinets.In terms of the cabinets themselves, they really rang orange…. To tone them down and bring them more into the realm of brown, I waxed them with Briwax in Tudor Brown (check out this post for more details). You never saw black cup pulls, like these, on 80s or 90s cabinets, so just adding them brings the cabinets forward a couple of decades. But if they’ve been around since the kitchen was built, you probably will need to replace them anyway.

Take note of all the materials, lighting, and details that, when taken in together, read “Dated!

But in short, it’s easy (no sanding or top coat), it makes your cabinets look and feel new and clean, and it brought out the natural woodgrain. Find something modern – like some statement-making square bar pulls and go for it. Ok, so maybe you don’t need to replace the cabinets, but if you have a laminate countertop with a matching 4 inch backsplash, it IS going to be hard to bring your cabinets out of the 90s. Sometimes, with labor, laminate be almost as expensive as solid surface or stone, so go shopping without preconceived notions.

Oh and one container costs about – I did the whole kitchen, the stair railings, shelves, and I still have a good amount leftover. Find something simple with minimal action, and don’t even think about adding a matching backsplash!

Keeping the edges simple gives it a clean look, and helps the budget.

Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you may be able to find premade laminate countertops that will work beautifully with your décor and your budget.

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