Ugly kitchen cabinets in apartment, what can we do?
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Ugly kitchen cabinets in apartment, what can we do?

We have a beautiful apartment, except for the kitchen. The cabinets are a light oak color, and the doors (on the cabinets) are like a white fermicca (sp?). Any ideas to liven it up a bit? We can’t paint and I don’t want to glue anything to them.
Did I mention the counter top is cream?? I like the tiled plywood idea…
Unfortunately there is no hardware to spice up and we live in a complex where every kitchen is the same ugly design :(


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15 Comments

  1. pinkpicklebox says:

    I know you don’t want to glue but you can buy a adhesive film that you can peel off later .

  2. Pat C says:

    I would go with the suggestion of removing the doors and storing them. Order new door fronts a Home Depot, without center inserts, Basically they are just frames. Go to the section of the store that they have the panels that go over the fluorescent ceiling lights. Find a style you like. Cut the panels to fit the openings of the doors and attach to the back of the openings with mirror clips. The cabinets look especially neat when the have lighting inside. When you move to your new home , take the doors and design a wall unit around them. Maybe in a family room or home office.

  3. BECKBY says:

    Someone suggested the adhesive paper to cover the doors which is great. It also comes in a metal/chrome that looks like your appliances if you want a more modern look or industrial look.I saw it used on a decor. show.You can also use a colored tape to go around the edge of the doors in a color that matches/coordinates with the kitchen decor. Another way is to use starch(like you starch your clothes with-the liquid and use it pretty thick) and put material on the doors to match your curtains,like wallpapering but easier to do and to remove. This would give you more color and easily pulls off and washes clean when you move or decide to change decorations.Best wishes!

  4. kokopelli says:

    I also used mactac (sp) it looks professional and peels off when you move . . .

  5. yakgal@sbcglobal.net says:

    You can try some window clings. They’re like " Colorforms"- made out of really thin vinyl and just cling to surfaces, mirrors, windows etc…They are not permanent so you can move them around. If you’re sort of crafty, Michael’s has a product called Gallery Glass. If you used their pre made shapes you could at least add some color and pattern to your cabinets. You make them on a vinyl sheet and when they ‘re dry you can peel them off like a sticker and they will cling to almost any smooth surface. Hope this helps!

  6. ♫♫♫ EL Dindo says:

    add color that will cover the texture… wall pictures

  7. oracle says:

    Go to http://www.superkitchens.com then click on cabinets then on Kraftmaid–gies you illustrations, ideas even a Free 128 page remodeling,design and so on book that you can order on line.This manufacturer has worked with TV shows on House.kitchen and so forth makeovers and you can also click and see what they did. Dificult to give ideas for you do not wish to paint but perhaps once you see all the possibilities???or You can Glaze. Also do not know how much money you have to devote to this for I have always loved the cabinets with glass inserts esp tinted glass. My real love is stained glass and since a bit high am doing each cabinet as I can afford but the effect is really stunning esp amber/green Did a quick search IE-clicked on the magnifying glass and asked the question: Where can I find remodling Kitchen Cabinet Ideas—Love the lttle dog withIE Search

  8. Samlet says:

    I know these cabinets well! They must be very cheap as they show up all over the place.

    I hated them too and got myself a few rolls of Mac-Tac adhesive paper, which I applied over the white. It’s available in hundreds of patterns including wood grain, Grids, florals, and abstract designs. You can apply it easily over the formica and when it’s time to move, just peel it off. Use Nail Polish Remover if it gets gummy. The nice thing about this is that you can also change the pattern whenever you feel like it, and the cost is minimal (99 cents a roll here in Canada.) It’s available at most dollar stores, but the nicer ones you can get at Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart.

  9. the shadow knows says:

    You might try a stiff plastic wall paper cut to size and then stuck on the doors with the tiny round velcro dots you can get in any notions department in Kmart and WalMart. Use one dot at each corner.
    If the doors are really a hard surface like formica, you can easily remove any stickum left over when you pull of the velcro dots, with nail polish remover.
    Right now I have a piece of cardboard stuck to the top of my computer sitting on the floor, using these velcro dots. That way I can keep drinks on top of my computer w/o worry of spills ruining the top. When the cardboard is dirty, I can easily replace it.
    Works great. I have used these dots for many other purposes.

  10. Cassie says:

    My daughter just ran into this in her new home…..so she decided on red for an accent color….bought a dining table and used red windsor chairs………..she has so many accents in plants, dish cloths and even put lights under the cabinets…can get at Lowes and Home depot…makes such a difference……added a bright floral table cloth
    make it your own and get a little crazy as long as it ties into living room, etc..

  11. PopcornMommy says:

    Too bad you can’t paint the cabinets. We own our home and had the same issues… light oak cabinets. I painted our walls alvacado green, had the cabinets painted white and changed all the hardware to a brushed nickle. It looks amazing and we get compliments all the time.

    Aside from buying all new doors and storing the old until you move out, I don’t know what options there are besides paint or adhereing something to them.

    As for the counter you can create a ‘cover’ with tiled plywood that can go right over it. All you would need to do is caulk around the sink to give the illusion of a tile countertop.

    Good luck – beg the owner – maybe they will bend on the painting thing.

  12. Dr. Sam says:

    What CAN you do? You are renting. Maybe you can find identical sized doors at Home Depot or Lowes and make a temporary swap.

  13. Brandon says:

    tape black plastic garbage bags over them. it looks really neat.

  14. janisko says:

    I’d play up other areas of the kitchen using bright colors. I’m assuming you could paint the walls and put up attractive wall hangings and accessories. You could even put in attractive ceramic door handles and drawer pulls, being sure to save the old ones to re-install before you move out. Doing anything to the cabinets themselves would go against your lease.

  15. jidwg says:

    Find a fabric print you love and cut pieces to fit each cabinet door exactly then soak each piece in liquid starch and squeeze out excess,then apply to the door front smoothing out bubbles as you go….like putting up wallpaper. This will stay up without damaging the doors until you decide to pull it off. The fabric may eventually get dirty,so just pull it off,treat the stains and launder,then reapply with fresh starch. The bonus is,when you tire of the pattern,get a new one. No gummy messes to clean up.

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