HomeTuesday TipsUgly Cabinet Makeover & Spring Action Plan: 2Tips-2sDay

2Tips4 2sDay2Tips4-2sDay #2 (ironic, that…)

I was swamped this week with paperwork, showings, presentations, homeschooling…oh my.

Tip #2 is more of a project than anything, but it will make your dated-but-not-quite-retro kitchen shine and look like new. The first tip is a link to a great article I found that I’d like to share.


It’s time to get your spring cleaning done, ESPECIALLY if your house is on the market. Buyers HATE dirty andRobins are Into Clean Nests dingy homes. They say “If they’re going to be selling their home wouldn’t you think they’d want to clean up?”. I’ve heard this more than once, and secretly heave a sigh of relieve that MY home is not on the market.

SO SELLERS – what if you’re like me, paralyzed by what you must accomplish? The answer is HAVING A SYSTEM. Set up a system and keep working the system (it takes faithfulness) and you can have your house “Spring Clean” clean every day in less than 20 minutes. Here’s GREAT article from REALSIMPLE.com: The Keep It Clean 19 Minute Plan of Attack. Lots of good ideas there!


Usually, when you’re in the “thick” of things trendy, you have no clue that what you adore today will one day become joke inspiring blog fodder. Take the 1980’s for instance. I for one LOVED my puffy, feathered hair, even though it took me 45 minutes to get it right every morning. I loved my pastel sweaters with metallic threads (naturally with football player shoulder pads.) Bon Jovi had great style. I never would have thought my tapered-leg jeans with no back pockets (with two or three pairs of bunched up socks layered on the outside…finished off with cute little white tennis shoes adorned with friendship pins…) would be out of style.

ugly kitchen cabinetsHowever, there are some things that you see at the height of its fame, and you think “Wow, that is some kind of ugly!” and you wonder why, why, why, it’s so popular.

That’s how I always felt about melamine cabinets (Yes, even as a teenager in the 80’s, I had a sense of home style and yep, I thought they were UGLY. I did think of things besides Knight Rider and Air Supply! ) Melamine cabinets should never have been invented, and must be obliterated from any home cursed with them. If you have melamine cabinets and love them, then please, move on. This blog is NOT for you and you should go back to crimping your hair, or maybe dig out that old banana clip.

Watching Designed To Sell, one of my favorite shows, I saw a nifty trick that made ugly, dated melamine cabinets look like slick, timeless, shaker-style cabinets – for a little sweat equity, some new hardware, putty, moldings, and paint. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last ten hours searching for a video clip of that particular episode, but I can not find it. I did find lots of pictures of Bon Jovi, though.

BACK TO TOPIC: find this House and Home Message board, which has not one, but two different Melamine Makeovers mentioned and pictured in the thread. Since it was too late to contact the owners of the pictures to ask for permission to use them, I am just going to post a link to the thread.

The method – it’s simple but not easy, if that makes sense. You have to put some work into it but it can bePretty Cabinets done cheaply, and you’ll have a sleek new kitchen when you’re done.

1. Scrub, degrease, clean, & rough up the melamine surface. (Use sandpaper to rough it up.)
2. Prepare 2 long and 2 short strips of molding for each door and drawer front. Prime.
3. Prime the cabinets.
4. Nail the trim to make a raised panel look. Use putty to fill in nail holes and to smooth over the seams. This will cover up that ugly oak colored strip that runs along the edges of many of these cabinets.
5. Paint, with a thin coat. Let dry, repeat.
6. Add modern hardware and you’ve got new looking cabinets for a fraction of the cost.

Now, if you’re not particularly handy, (i.e., you’ve been accused of emulating Lucy and / or Ethel in the past) I suggest having someone who’s good with this kind of stuff do it – Weekend Warriors, while enthusiastic, can create more havoc than they realize!

This concludes the second installment of 2Tips4-2sDay.

Thank you to Kevin Rosseel for providing his lovely robin picture via MorgueFile.

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Karen E. Rice is a real estate agent working in Pike & Wayne County of Northeastern PA in the Pocono Mountains. Lake Wallenpaupack is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular destinations for vacations, retirement, and purchasing a home.

About Karen Rice

Karen Rice is a full time real estate agent with Davis R Chant Realtors in the Lake Wallenpaupack / Northern Poconos region of Northeast PA. In her downtime, she enjoys being a casual shutterbug and spending time with her family and her crazy, zany black Lab, Trixie.


Ugly Cabinet Makeover & Spring Action Plan: 2Tips-2sDay — 2 Comments

  1. My partner is considering selling his house. I definitely have to take a look and see what his cabinets look like. I suspect they might, in fact, be Melamine. God, I hope not.

    Thanks for the tips.

  2. Hi dOgBOi – thanks for the comment. Well – if they are the melamine cabinets, don’t worry – they’re pretty common in the area. 🙂 But if you’re handy with tools and wood – they can be prettied up fairly cheap. Sure is cheaper than refacing the whole kitchen.

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