Jan 24 2011
Look familiar? This can be easily updated!

Do you have an outdated 80’s kitchen?

You don’t need to spend 20,000 to renovate your kitchen. It’s amazing what you can get done with very little money to update your 80’s kitchen. Wether its for you to live with or when you are ready to sell, this is an easy way to bring your 80’s kitchen to the 21st century. How you ask?

It’s easy. First you will need to paint the wood “handles” at the bottom of the doors to blend in with the colour of the door itself. This may take a few coats but if you use the right paint, and tape the door, so you will get the paint only on the handle where it belongs, you will see, you can get this done in 2 coats.

Kitchen after our update. Try it yourself, you will love it!

Once that is done, you will need to purchase long stainless steel handles from IKEA or Home Depot, where ever you find a better price. Careful, when installing, make sure you measure correctly so your handle is not too low. If you have upper cabinets that are separating your kitchen from your dining room, remove them. Yes, as simple as that, take them out. Today’s style is towards the open concept look. You will be amazed how this will open up your kitchen and dining room. it will feel like a whole new house.

Last but not least, change the appliances to stainless steel. Very important. Today you can purchase stainless steel appliances for almost the same price as white or black. The appliances together with your new handles will do the trick.


  1. We have similar cabinets but the laminate is cracked and pealing, some are missing chunks of the laminate. Any suggestions what to do?

    1. Hi Mark, if the laminate is cracked, I don’t think you can make it look good. if the cabinets are in good shape and you like your kitchen layout, than you can get new doors made for your existing cabinets, but if the kitchen is getting old and cracked, its best to invest in a new kitchen. Remember, its always a good investment to put money in your kitchen, just make sure you choose the right colours. When its time to sell your house – you will get a better price if your kitchen is up to date. If you like, you can send me some photos of your kitchen and I can help you make the right decision.

    2. Did you have trouble drilling the holes, I read you could crack the laminate if you don’t clamp a board with it when drilling.

      1. Hi Tammy, I was not aware of this issue, we didn’t have this problem yet and we did many. May be it was a particular kind of material they were talking about…

  2. We primed the wood part only and painted, we brought a drawer to the paint store to match the color to the rest of the cabinet. I believe it ended up being CC40 Benjamin Moore, Cloud white.

  3. Is that a tile back splash or the sticky kind that you can now buy??? I have the same old 80’s theme going on in my kitchen and think I am going to try updating it the way you did. I’m super excited!

    1. Hi Cynthia, this was the sticky stuff called “smart tile” i believe my client got it from either home depot or similar store. glad you like it!

  4. Hi, the updated kitchen looks beautiful! I have white laminate cabinets and drawers with an upgraded good quality wood trim. What did you do to prime the wood trim and are there certain kind of brushes to paint with? I will have to paint the frames in the cabinets as well. What are your thoughts on using contact paper to cover my med/dark gray formica counter top?? Lastly, can you paint over traditional square backsplash tiles?? Any advice would be kindly appreciated.

    1. Thank you Shelley, regarding the primer, i think any primer would do. The reason for the primer is to make it easier to paint. I believe you can buy a paint with a primer in it as well. any brushes will work. Make sure you tape the area where you don’t want the paint to go on.

      You should NOT use contact paper on counter tops – when you put something hot on it – it will burn. Its not a good idea. Yes you can paint over any tile. You should get tile or melamine paint for that. Hope this helps!

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