Updating 80’s Builder Grade Kitchen Cabinets

What a week this has been!  I love working on this blog, posting pictures, writing articles and basically fluffing everything up to make it pretty.  What I don’t enjoy is the backend technical stuff and it seems that’s all I’ve been dealing with this week!  As you might have noticed, my site has been down more than it’s been up lately, which makes me sad.  After more than three hours on the phone with my  hosting company, though, it looks like my site is up and running again.  Fingers crossed it stays this way!  Now I can finally get back to the fun stuff.

 

So let’s talk kitchen cabinets!

 

When I was cleaning up the kitchen last night I started thinking about the makeover we did when we first moved into the house some years back.  So today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite kitchen updates that is small but makes a huge impact – trim and molding!

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinets

 

We have 1980’s pink oak, builder-grade cabinets.  (Yes, they really are pinkish.  Yuck.)  The previous owners had painted the cabinets already, but they used two different colors and so when we moved in, I wanted to repaint them to be just one color.  Now there’s no way I could have painted the cabinets myself – way beyond my skill set – so I hired a painter/woodworker for the project.  He suggested that I add crown molding to the top of the cabinets and trim to the bottom to update them.  I can’t believe how much these two details changed the look of the cabinets!  They now not only look updated, but also custom.

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinets Stove

 

My kitchen has drop ceilings (under 8′) so I didn’t have a lot of space to add crown.  We had to use a smaller piece in order for it to fit, but can you imagine what an impact crown would have if you have taller ceilings that can handle a larger, more dramatic piece?

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinet Crown

 

If I remember correctly, the trim around the bottom of the upper cabinets is actually two different pieces put together to create the right shape and angle.  It’s a small amount of trim so it doesn’t hang too low or take up much visual space between the cabinets and counters, but adds a lot of character.  What’s also nice about this trim piece is that if you add under cabinet lighting, the lighting fixtures will be hidden.

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinet Trim

 

I should mention that we didn’t update the 80’s cabinets solely with paint and trim.  We also replaced the doors to reflect a raised panel style and changed the hinges from the exposed type to the European hinges.  But I can’t imagine if we had gone through the painting process and not added the trim pieces because they are now my favorite part!

Tidbits&Twine Updated Old Cabinets

 

 

Painted kitchen cabinets are still quite popular and so if you’re thinking about painting yours, consider adding some molding and trim to give it a more custom and contemporary look.

 

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

 

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10 comments on Updating 80’s Builder Grade Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Chattanooga Cabinet Refinishing
    October 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM (4 years ago)

    Your kitchen cabinets looks lovely. I wonder if your going to add more color to it aside from white. I think you can add green r blue at the border of your cabinet doors. Well its up to you but your kitchen still looks good.

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      October 27, 2013 at 11:27 AM (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  2. jaime
    November 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM (4 years ago)

    I love your cabinets. Did you add trim to the actual cabinet doors or only around the base of the cabinets?

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      November 20, 2013 at 6:38 PM (4 years ago)

      Hi Jaime – Thank you so much! We only added trim to the base, not the door. We did replace the doors, though, as the originals were very modern looking. I will try to look up and see if I can find the brand/name of the doors we selected just for reference.

      Reply
  3. Karissa Groharing
    June 4, 2014 at 8:29 AM (3 years ago)

    Just a thought – a before and after pic would be wonderful if you have one!!

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      June 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM (3 years ago)

      Hi Karissa – I wish I did! We updated the kitchen long before I started blogging so it never occurred to me to take a picture of the Before. :)

      Reply
  4. Name*Lois
    August 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM (3 years ago)

    Cabinets look lovely. We wish to add trim to the bottom of our upper cabinets. But how?? Glued? Nailed? Please help! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      August 27, 2014 at 6:50 AM (3 years ago)

      Hi Lois – I believe our trim was glued to the bottom. Good luck with your project!

      Reply
  5. Sarah
    July 26, 2015 at 6:22 PM (2 years ago)

    Any chance you recall the color you choose to paint them?? Love it!

    Reply
  6. mary
    July 3, 2017 at 7:57 AM (3 months ago)

    can you share if you did a gel stain on these?

    Reply

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