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80s Kitchen Update Reveal

My 80s kitchen cabinet makeover is finally complete! Check out all the before and after photos and get the details on the products used in this amazing transformation.

Do you have an ugly 80s kitchen with melamine cabinets and oak grab bars? Put off remodeling and paint your kitchen cabinets instead! With the right paint, new hardware and contact paper for the countertop, you'll have a fresh, modern look! | kitchen | kitchen ideas | paint kitchen cabinets | how to paint kitchen cabinets | kitchen makeover | melamine kitchen cabinets | oak cabinets | cheap kitchen update | cheap kitchen ideas | cheap kitchen makeover
I never thought it would happen, but our ugly 80s kitchen isn't so ugly anymore! It's been a long process updating these melamine and oak cabinets, but it was well worth the effort. Just in case you missed any of my previous kitchen-related projects, let's recap the journey leading up to this point. Click on any of the links to go to the full post.

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Way back in 2014 when we first bought our house, we had visions of a new kitchen. But that dream would have to wait, because the deck was rotting and needed immediate replacement. 🙁 We doubled the size of the old deck and moved the back door from the kitchen to the dining room. A new fridge was installed in the former door space.

Moving the deck door to the dining room instantly made more space in the kitchen.

In the space where the fridge used to be (are you following all this?), I added a new cabinet from the salvage yard that I fixed up and modified with pull out trash and recycling drawers. I applied contact paper for countertops over the existing laminate, which held up extremely well!

kitchen cabinet with pull out trash drawer

I started painting our 80s kitchen cabinets white to match the new cabinet, working in sections so the entire kitchen wouldn't be out of commission at once. I began with the island (can you still call it an island if it's floor to ceiling?) and it instantly made a HUGE difference. That side of the kitchen suddenly looked brand new. And no, we didn't replace the counter tops...I just covered the old ones in heavy-duty contact paper!

Check out how my contact paper kitchen counter looks two years later!

It's amazing how painting kitchen cabinets can change the entire look of a room! These 80s cabinets now look bright and modern!

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I decided to take a break from painting kitchen cabinets, which ended up lasting a few months! My husband kindly gave me a weekend to myself without the kiddo, so I knocked out the big section of upper cabinets in just a couple days.

painted melamine cabinets with oak grab bars with new hardware

The final leg of the project lingered unfinished a couple months longer. But my desire to get rid of those hideous blue counter tops overrode my laziness, and I painted the lower cabinets over the past week. The 80's kitchen is finally gone, and in its place is a bright and cheery space!

blue and white kitchen

close up of contact paper counter top with vase and cookbook in background

white painted kitchen cabinets with blue backsplash

full view of painted kitchen cabinets with blue backsplash

Here are some before and after pictures to show just how much things have changed. Such a huge transformation!

before and after photos of painted lower kitchen cabinets

before and after photos of painted kitchen cabinet drawers

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Sign up for my email list and get a FREE 10-page guide and checklist to help walk you through every step to updating your 80's kitchen cabinets!

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This before picture is from the house's real estate listing, so you can get a sense of how far this 80s kitchen has come!

before and after view of entire kitchen after painting cabinets

I also build an additional pantry cabinet on the other side of the fridge for even more kitchen storage!

how to build a pantry cabinet - before and after

Have your own ugly 80s kitchen cabinets to tackle? Here's the rundown of all the supplies I used to transform ours.

  • Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit
    • I used the Pure White version that didn't need to be tinted at the store.
    • The small kit covered the entire kitchen.
  • Shellac-based Primer
    • If you're attempting to cover up oak, you need a shellac-based primer that will prevent tannin bleed. I used a water-based primer for the first section of cabinets, and it took multiple coats to stop the white from looking orange!
  • New door and drawer hardware
    • These are the door pulls I used. The drawer knobs can be found here.
    • My cabinets used grab bars rather than pulls to open, so I had to drill holes in the doors and drawers to accommodate the new hardware. These templates make all those measurements super simple and the holes matched up with the hardware perfectly.
  • Heavy-duty contact paper
    • I used DC Fix adhesive film to cover our hideous blue countertops.
    • Similar products are available in sizes wide enough to cover your entire countertop without seams. If I had to do it over again, I think I would go this route for a seamless look.

Click here to check out how I successfully tackled painting 80s kitchen cabinets!

Postpone that kitchen remodel! I'll show you how to paint 80s kitchen cabinets so they look bright and modern! | kitchen makeover | kitchen ideas | budget kitchen | cheap kitchen makeover | melamine cabinets | cheap kitchen remodel

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Do you have an ugly 80s kitchen with melamine cabinets and oak grab bars? Put off remodeling and paint your kitchen cabinets instead! With the right paint, new hardware and contact paper for the countertop, you'll have a fresh, modern look! | kitchen | kitchen ideas | paint kitchen cabinets | how to paint kitchen cabinets | kitchen makeover | melamine kitchen cabinets | oak cabinets | cheap kitchen update | cheap kitchen ideas | cheap kitchen makeover

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