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Replacing kitchen vs changing cupboard doors etc.

(76 Posts)
fiorentina51 Fri 10-Jul-20 10:27:38

Our kitchen is showing its age and I'd love to change it but can't face all the mess etc involved. I'm happy with the layout and have been thinking of just replacing doors, panels and work surfaces.
Anyone out there gone down that route? Advice please. 😊

Sparklefizz Fri 10-Jul-20 10:32:04

I had my cupboard doors changed because, like you, I was happy with the layout and the cupboard carcasses were fine.

My original units were old and Imperial sizes but all readymade replacement doors are metric. The handyman who fitted the new doors said he could find metric sized ones to fit. I have to say they are not a good fit, and although it was a cheap way of brightening up the kitchen, I am not particularly happy with them and will change them if I can ever afford to.

I wish now that I had painted the old doors as there are loads of specialist paints which would have done the trick.

annsixty Fri 10-Jul-20 10:44:17

My friend moved into a bungalow recently and although the kitchen looked fine to me she didn’t like the colour of the units.
She painted them white using paint recommended by B&Q.

She is a meticulous worker and they look really good and do match the colour of the tiles better.

Ilovecheese Fri 10-Jul-20 11:12:03

We changed the doors. The only problem was that we could not find a door to fit one particular cupboard. Next time I think I would be tempted to ask a joiner to custom make new doors. More expensive than ready made but considerably cheaper than a new kitchen.

fiorentina51 Fri 10-Jul-20 11:18:07

Many thanks for the replies. I've been really disappointed with the quality of our kitchen. It was replaced by a highly regarded local firm of kitchen manufacturers.
We had a whole raft of problems with the installation and within a year or so the trims around the doors started to peel off.
That's why I'm reluctant to go down the "rip it out and replace" route!

Welshwife Fri 10-Jul-20 11:36:10

We put in an Ikea kitchen 17 years ago and it has white units and a wooden worktop which has only ever been oiled. It is still all ok. I would really like to move the kitchen to a different part of the ground floor and wish I had insisted when we put this kitchen in but now I know I would not deal with the disruption very well so will stick with what we have as I would probably still choose a similar kitchen. Will have the worktop sanded and then refinish it.
We have a relative who is very successful with changing and developing houses. He always puts Wren kitchens in with quartz worktops. They seem to last well.

Saxifrage Fri 10-Jul-20 11:59:02

We had a kitchen which was all dark oak wood, but good quality units and I didn't want the disruption. We got a painter in to paint all the units a pale olive green. Delighted with it, that was 3 or 4 years ago and it’s still looking good.

phoenix Fri 10-Jul-20 12:10:43

I had the same thing fiorentina!

Layout perfect, so no need to redesign. Got a quote from Kitchen Magic, ridiculous amount, £5,311 for new doors, drawer fronts and cornices etc shock

So, ordered some new doors online to replace the ones that needed it (bit of water ingress on the one by the sink etc) then bought some Ronseal cupboard paint, new more modern cornices, and voila! Job done for a fraction of the price.

Oh, and new handles, very inexpensive but really made a difference.

Loislovesstewie Fri 10-Jul-20 12:13:55

Another vote to change doors, maybe worktops too and taps. If the carcasses are fine keep them, less mess,less hassle and the results will be fine.

Coolgran65 Fri 10-Jul-20 12:28:48

Last year we replace door and drawer fronts and new cornices top and bottom. There were a lot of Cupboards. We had replaced the handles the year before and kept them. The worktops and taps were still perfect and we kept them.

We used a local company who specialised in only replacement fronts. One door was made to measure.
One man fitted the replacements in six hours.
Cost £1200
We are very happy with the end result

fiorentina51 Fri 10-Jul-20 15:26:34

Your replies have got me thinking! Many thanks. 😊

HootyMcOwlface Fri 10-Jul-20 15:34:43

Whereabouts is that company Coolgran? That sounds amazing, I’d love to do that and could manage a price like that. Mine have been scratched to bits by a wheelchair so not really possible to just paint.

MiniMoon Fri 10-Jul-20 16:04:17

In our first house we had the doors and drawer fronts changed. I would never do it again. The cutlery drawer front, after a few weeks of use, fell off.
The man came back and fixed it, but it kept happening. In the end I glued it myself.

I vowed never to do it again. Always go for a new kitchen.

GrannySomerset Fri 10-Jul-20 16:15:25

We have done both, replacing doors and work surfaces in a kitchen whose layout suited us perfectly and then moving house and doing a major new kitchen taking down walls etc. Both worked well, and five years on our Howden’s kitchen still looks like new.

It depends on your budget and how radical you want to be. And of course how much upheaval you can contemplate. The new kitchen entailed new ceilings and floors as well as walls down, but the space created suits us so well so it was worth it.

gulligranny Fri 10-Jul-20 16:29:23

We had doors, drawers, worktops, flooring and tiles replaced by our local franchise of Dream Doors about 7 years ago and it's been great. The layout of the kitchen was fine and the carcasses were sound, so it seemed to be the best bet. There was a large gap which the previous owners used with stools as a breakfast bar which we didn't want, so they built a cupboard and a stack of drawers which have been so useful, and also put in a large shallow drawer under the gas hob which is where I keep all my wooden spoons, rolling pin, etc. The work was done really quickly and professionally and the whole job came to half of what we'd have had to pay for a new kitchen.

grannypiper Fri 10-Jul-20 16:36:12

My units went in during the summer of 1971 ( i was 3) i know because the receipt is still on top of the units. They are great quality and in very good condition. I choose to have them wrapped rather than replace the units or the doors, half the price and done in no time.

Franbern Fri 10-Jul-20 17:46:00

In my last house, I had a long galley kitchen, Loads of cupboards and all with good, solid wooden doors. But in dark oak - made it all very dark.

A few years ago, I looked into brightening it up. Could not afford, or even really wanted a whole new kitchen, I was quite happy with the layout as it was. Looked into new door and drawer fronts. Not only was I horrified by the quotes I recieved for these, but it would be replacing those lovely solid wooden doors with cheap plasticy ones.

Then I found a company that came in, took off all doors and drawer fronts, took them away for a week and sprayed them (could have had any colour - I chose white), brought them back, carefully re-fitted them all, ensuring they all hung well, even put some new knobs on them for me,. Cost me about a fifth of what new, cheap doors, etc would have cost. Very little hassle. Indeed,having a week without those doors gave me the impetus I needed to clean and tidy all the cupboards.

Would really recommend this way of brightening up any kitchen.

Franbern Fri 10-Jul-20 17:52:07

Couple of piccies to show you before and after the spraying in that kitchen. When I moved, some five years later, they were all still in good order.

Moll22 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:57:56

We’ve twice tried keeping the carcasses and replacing the door and drawer fronts etc- both times we’d wished afterwards we had just replaced the whole kitchen. The carcasses are the least expensive part of a unit, you can also decide to have more drawer units or re-jig the layout of you wish. I would recommend looking at the kitchen as a blank space first rather than looking at it as it is- just to make sure you are really happy as it is before you spend any money on it.

fiorentina51 Fri 10-Jul-20 20:55:16

@Franbern What a difference!

Chewbacca Fri 10-Jul-20 21:28:42

I'm another, like Franbern who had my kitchen doors resprayed and would highly recommend it. They did a very professional job and the cost was nothing like a new kitchen or even relaxing doors. At the same time, I asked if they would respray the pine dining table and chairs in a similar, but not exact colour as the doors and they did a very good job there too. It gave a whole new lease of life to tired furniture and kitchen.

Callistemon Fri 10-Jul-20 21:34:12

I've thought of changing the doors, fiorentina but I rather like the idea of having deep drawers instead of cupboards. We may have to change the whole lot to do that.

I think spraying would work better as they change the sizes of doors fairly frequently. Is that a ploy to get is to buy new?

Chewbacca Fri 10-Jul-20 21:40:13

If your kitchen is from B & Q, Magnets or IKEA, you'll still be able to remove one of the cupboard units and replace it with drawers Callistemon because they tend to keep their unit sizes.

jdga Fri 10-Jul-20 21:54:34

Callistemon: I changed to having all drawer units instead of lower cupbrds, & it’s so much easier on my back & neck!

Callistemon Fri 10-Jul-20 22:05:44


If your kitchen is from B & Q, Magnets or IKEA, you'll still be able to remove one of the cupboard units and replace it with drawers Callistemon because they tend to keep their unit sizes.

Thanks, jdga.

The kitchen was in the house when we bought it new, Chewbacca, umpteen years ago!
It was very good quality but the firm is no more.