Kitchen Cabinets

Parent Q&A

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  • We are exploring keeping costs down for our kitchen facelift by using Ikea cabinets with fronts provided by an alternate company, which will provide more color and style options. Does anyone have experience with Semihandmade, Nieu Cabinet Doors, or other such companies? If so, what did you love or dislike about the experience and the final product? Thanks!

    I used Semihandmade for two Ikea bathroom vanities. The quality of the drawer fronts is excellent -- I used the Sarah Sherman colored line for one, and a natural wood grain for the others. I had great customer service throughout the process and can recommend. 

    We've had a terrible experience with semihandmade. Looked great to start but they are all warped / peeling now after just a few years of very light usage (it's a second home).  I would not recommend them at all. We are going to have to have them all replaced. 

    I used Nieu and found the quality to be good and I love the color I selected. I found the customer service to be so-so but am overall very happy with the finished product.

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  • Hello!  I'd like to repaint our kitchen cabinets and would like to find a painter where I could drop off my cabinet and drawer fronts at their offices/spray room to have them painted, then pick up the fronts when they are done.  (I'll repaint the boxes in the kitchen and reinstall the doors myself).  Can anyone recommend a painter who has done a similar project for you, or who you think would take a small project like this on?  Thanks! 

    I recently used Platypus Painting for an outdoors project and was planning on hiring them to paint my cabinets. They specifically said that they do those pieces in their studio, so you may want to contact them!

  • We want to update the kitchen cabinets without completely replacing them. They are currently a cherrywood and in great condition, but I would like them to be off white to brighten up the kitchen. Can anyone who refinished cabinets recommend if it’s better to hire a professional or make it a DIY project? We are not very handy, but willing to try through tutorials. However hiring a professional is my preferred choice if the cost is reasonable. Would appreciate any insight on this. Thanks.

    I highly recommend Ted Crocker. He did a fabulous job restoring our 100-yr-old+ windows for us. 650.740.3295 westsail43 [at]


  • Has anyone purchased kitchen cabinets from Ikea? Are you satisfied with them, and are they holding up well? Did you have them installed by the contractor that works for Ikea?

    Has anyone purchased kitchen cabinets from Cabinets-To-Go ? Are you satisfied with them and did you have them installed by your own contractor or the contractor that works with this company?

    Just don't get particle board. It falls to pieces in short order. 

    We remodeled our kitchen and bathroom 10 years ago with all IKEA cabinets and still could not be happier with the decision.  People tried to talk us out of them, and I probably read a million IKEA kitchen cabinet forum postings, but at the end of the day, it's what we liked that we could also afford with such a major remodel (structural work, floors, the whole enchilada).  They're holding up fine across the board and still look good -- we have cabinets above, and cabinets and drawers below, and they're all good.  The "soft close" cabinet latches occasionally come off, but then we just screw them back on -- that's the only problem, and it's really occasional.  We had our contractor install them  -- we actually had to find a contractor that was willing to deal with IKEA cabinets, as not all are.  

  • I need 2 small (24" & 18"), very simple cabinets built to match my 1946 vintage kitchen: wood with slightly rounded corners on the doors. Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced cabinet maker to work with me on this project? Thank you, Celeste

    We used MGM's Cabinets to build a new cabinet door that matched our existing (40's-50's era) kitchen cabinets, and were very pleased with the quality of work. It wasn't what I'd call "inexpensive", but nothing around here is.

    I was pleased with the work of Michael Maszk, owner of Level & Square Fine Carpentry when he designed and installed a new custom cabinet, mirror and small shelf in my bathroom. He is creative, easy to work with and very accommodating. You can reach him at 541-219-6421 or mike.maszk [at]

    Pam Condie

    I'd like to recommend Lowell Hicks, a retired general contractor and journeyman carpenter.  He helped me fix up my mother's house in El Cerrito which was built in 1953.  His phone number is 510-612-9988

  • Our cupboard doors and drawers are terrible, old, overpainted so they don't close and the paint chips off and sticks to the floor. Does anyone know of someone that could make new doors and drawers or strip and re-paint the old ones? I don't want to spend a lot but want to improve this situation. Thanks!

    While you're comparing prices, I might recommend looking at Ikea kitchens (and I think they might have an annual sale- apparently it was 15% off in 2016).  Great fixtures, lots ways to customize to what you want.  As one data point, I think we spent about $5-6K for all new cabs- about 25 lineal feet.  This includes all internal fixtures and finishes (but not countertop).  We just love, love ours.  Good luck!

    Have you considered refacing?

  • We're looking to replace our kitchen cabinets and would love some recommendations on affordable cabinets. So far we've looked at Ikea, Sincere Home and Home Depot. Ikea's price is nice, but we'd like to have plywood construction for the cabinet boxes. Sincere Home has a more affordable line with plywood construction that we like, but are wondering how they rate on delivery and cabinet quality. Same with Home Depot - most of the reviews I've read on Home Depot have to do with how bad the installation sub-contractors are. A contractor relative will be doing our installation with our help, so there we won't be using the store's contractors. 

    KWW Cabinets in Oakland.  Best bang for your cabinet buck, though there is a cost for the money you will save... which will be a lot $$$.  Their prices are incredible... though quality might be a bit less than Sincere.  Depends on your needs of course.   Read their largely positive Yelp reviews as they are not for everyone.  I find the ladies who work the counter endearing, especially Sonia.  But it's frequently a state of organized chaos when you cross the threshold.  Sonia, is usually juggling multiple customers at once (they do high volume work w contractors), running to the back to move something with a forklift, barking in Chinese to the warehouse guys all with an unrelenting ringing phone stuck in her ear.  All that said, after shopping around extensively, we've bought three kitchens worth of cabinets there since 2009 through this year, and we don't look back.  Plywood boxes and solid wood doors.  Treat the ladies right, and they will take good care of you.  Expect it to be something other than it is and you likely will not be happy.  I'm an extrovert who throws humor like frisbee's so it's been all good for me!  We get compliments on our KWW cabinets and granite always.

    Take a look at Grant Expo.  We've been very pleased with the cabinets they have.  HomeDepot has cheap, mid-range and very expensive.  We went with Kitchen made and are very pleased.  I would only go for all plywood construction, no MDF or particle board or plastic if you want it to last.  Ikea stuff looks nice, never bought it as the stuff as it looks so fragile once it breaks it can't be fixed and has to be replaced.  Just look at the display in Ikea.  Lots of time they have broken pieces.

    I would not buy any cabinets with plastic edging around the doors if you want the stuff to last. IT's used on cheap and mid-range cabinets and if around the stove or sink will begin to unglue in just a few years.  Once that happens it can't be fixed and the doors or cabinets have to be replaced.

    Good luck.  I'm helping my daughter with her kitchen remodel.

    We bought our cabinets from Sincere (the bamboo ones) about 2-3 years ago. So far they are holding up well and still look great. The delivery was not a problem. Good luck.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Painting & Re-facing Cabinets Buying & Installing Cabinets Related pages

Spray Painter for Kitchen Cabinets

April 2014

Does anyone have a recommendation for a painter who has the equipment to spray paint some kitchen cabinets? Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda area please. Thanks! Linda

We just had some paiting done at our house and I just wanted to recommend this fantastic team of two people. They do indoor and outdoor painting, did a fantastic job on my cabinets, and are thorough, fast, and extremely considerate regarding protecting the floor from drips, etc. and clean up. The job they did is truly excellent and for a great price. Please contact Martin Orozco at 415-261-0090 and tell him Elizabeth from Albany recommended him.

We just had some old cabinets rehabbed (stripped and repainted with new hardware) but Abraham Rosas. We did not want to toss away the wood and were nervous about how it would turn out, but it's beautiful. This was his second time painting around our house and we entrusted him to do it while we were out of town (with a neighbor letting the hiim and his crew in, in the morning). You can contact Abraham at (510) 520-0631 and tell him that the Carters are his happy (two-time) customers. Good luck. Oakland Carters

Refinishing cabinets and baseboards

Jan 2013

Here is my dilemma. Our clear-finished maple kitchen cabinets (approx 17 years old) are both mucked up and somewhat water damaged. They are looking tired and declining. It seems like they should be in better shape than they are, but they're not. We had a painter look at them for a sanding and refinishing estimate but he said that, in many cases, the water damage was too deep for that to be an effective strategy. We had a furniture cabinet refinisher look at them who quoted over $15,000 for the job. At the same time, we need our flimsy floor kicks (thin veneer bender board installed at the same time as the cabinets) and perhaps our wood floors refinished. Who to call (painter, carpenter, and floor refinisher or is there someone who could do all of this?),and what service to ask for? Maybe replacing all cabinet doors (and drawers?) but not the cabinets themselves? Is there one firm that would do all of this work? I've been stymied by this for a while; I'm interested in ideas and suggestions. Thanks. Anon

Josue Landa (jbpainting001 [at] does this kind of work. We used them to paint our windows, but he also provided a quote for us to do almost the same work you need. We decided not to move forward with the project at all, but he does this kind of work. We hired Josue, based on a recommendation from friends. anon

Want to paint kitchen cabinets white

Dec 2011

My kitchen cabinets are dark wood and look dated. I would like them painted white and I would like new handles. Has any one hired someone to do this?It sounds like the prep work is important so I do not want to just hire any one. I am also not sure what is a reasonable price for this. Thanks

Hello- If all you need is your cabinets painted (no new doors, drawers, hinges, etc) then contact Davila's Finishing ( for an estimate. They specialize in cabinet/furniture finishing only. I use them for my cabinet refacing projects as needed. They also do the finishing for my friends' custom cabinet shop (Shaw's Cabinetry Good luck in your search, Dave

Kitchen cabinets can be a bit of a chore when you get right down to it. Cleaning grease and dirt, then primer plus two finish coats is typical. I always use Roland DelaTorre of Thousand Oaks Painting for my projects. Born and raised in Albany, he offers a good price and top quality workmanship every time. His number is : (510) 205-2552. Call him, you will be glad you did. Bruce

I don't have a name, but prep, prep and prep! We had a painter come who didn't and now 4 years later the paint peels off at the drop of a pin. Sheesh! The problem is that the old paint is not very grippy/porous, plus there is usually a layer of old cooking oil JM

Marco Florian, is a great painter and handyman. He has done numerous painting jobs in our home and properties as well. He did a great job painint some furniture we wanted to have an antique look. He has other great skils as well like plumbing,tiling,carpentry, etc. He has also experience remodeling bathrooms and kitchens. He can work on weekends or evenings if needed; Marco always goes the extra mile and his rates are very reasonable. He is reliable, polite, creative, good nature man. You can reach Marco directly at 510-301-5629 or marco.a.florian [at] Ana

Gate View Painting repaired the peeling paint and rusting nails on the side of my house last week quickly and with great attention to detail. I'm sure they would prep your cabinets well. Call Jim for an estimate 510-620-0164. They do great work! Michele

Hi, I had my kitchen cabinets painted last year and I can recommend my painter unreservedly. His name is Ulises Vasquez, and you can reach him at (408) 489-4433. Despite the phone number, he's located in Berkeley.

Ulises worked with a carpenter to add trim to my 1970's era cabinets and paint them (instead of me ripping them out and replacing them). I worried that this would end up looking very 'homemade', but it looks amazing. You would think the cabinets came new from the factory after they were finished. I have a new kitchen. If you contact him he can show you before and after photos.

Ulises used a multi-step process including sanding and painting multiple times. He used a spray system that created a perfect finish.

He's always been reliable, on time, and his prices are very reasonable. He is attentive to small details, which makes a big difference in the look of the work. I've used Ulises for four projects now, and every time I'm thrilled with the results. Allison

Repainting existing kitchen cabinets

Jan 2011

We're looking to do a relatively quick and inexpensive refurbish of our kitchen to make it tolerable until we can afford an overhaul. As a result, we'd like to keep the existing cabinets as they are but update the color. We would like to either have them restained or painted. Does anyone have a recommendation of someone who can do this job well and at a reasonable price? Older posts on BPN focus on refacing, but we do not want to replace anything, assuming that would be more pricey? Thank you so much! anon

Repainting cabinets, doors and drawer fronts is a very good way to freshen up a kitchen. The secret is in today's primers. They are so good that the old nemesis of chipping & peeling paint is history. After a lot of experience repainting cabinets I definitely recommend spraying the doors and drawers, preferably outside to avoid over spray, fumes, etc. I have painted everything from 60 year old doors with multiple paint layers to cheap 80's condo cabinets, all with remarkable success.If you are reasonably DIY adept you can rent a sprayer from a paint store for a weekend or borrow one from someone like me. Sometimes I work alongside the homeowner to save some money. Jim

Hi, We just had this done this summer and we also added trim to the existing flat-front cabinet doors. I could not be happier with our painter, Ulises. He was incredibly attentive to detail and did an amazing job. After sanding, patching and priming, each coat of paint was sprayed on and lightly sanded. It looks like we have new cabinets. The contact information is Ulises Vasquez, USV Painting (408) 489-4433. Contrary to the cell number, he's actually located in Berkeley. Good luck! Allison

Hi, I recommend Athens Painting Co. (510) 637-8973 if you are looking for beautiful results. I love the way my kitchen cabinets look now! They were very professional and neat. I get a lot of compliments and I am very happy I went with them. Sophie

I can recommend Antonio Chavarria at De Colores Painting (Cell: 510-390- 2307). A couple of years ago my wife and I were planning a kitchen facelift, but didnt want to remove the original 1940's cabinets which were still good. There's a lot of them and I knew it wasn't going to be easy to clean/sand/patch/prep the kitchen. After talking with Antonio I knew he was the best I had spoken to in the hunt for a skilled but reasonably priced painting company. They set up a full spray booth in the garage and after lots of prepping sprayed a nice new surface on all the draws and doors. They also painted the built-in parts,walls and ceilling which still look great. After the first coat was up, we CHANGED OUR MINDS ABOUT THE COLOR! No problem for Antonio, I bought the new paint and he finished the job with all the extra work on budget. They had to put in more hours than estimated but he gladly held to the bid. Nice person to work with. He's the guy I call first for any future painting around here. Peter and Diane

Do-it-yourself cabinet installation?

Sept 2006

my husband and i are thinking of installing kitchen cabinets ourselves in an attempt to save money.We absolutely do not have a clue on how to go about this.We are starting to read up on it but thought it will help to talk to someone who has done this before. Any recommendations as to where to get the cabinets,a must have tool or is this something we should leave to the professionals.Any helpful tips will be much appreciated.thanx

We remodeled our kitchen in Oakland ourselves with no prior experience: this included tearing out the skanky old cabinets and installing new ones. We bought cabinets from Ikea and they come flat-packed in kits with everything you need. Most inexpensive cabinets like these come in certain sizes: 24'' deep for lower cabs, 12'' deep for upper cabs, and then each cabinet comes in widths of 15'', 18'', 21'', 24'', 30'' or 36''. The key is to see what widths are offered, in single-door or double- door styles, and plan out what combination of sizes will add up to the space you have available.

Basically you screw a strip of steel channel along the wall, and then each cabinet hangs from this channel by two fasteners, which can slide along the channel as need be. The doors are hung afterward. They also provide adjustable feet for the lower cabinets, and lengths of baseboard that you clip onto the feet in the toe space.

The 36'' wide cabinet has caused the counter to sag a little bit; 1/2'' countertop plywood does not span very well over 36''. I would recommend sticking with the narrower cabinets or using thicker countertop material. If your sink can only fit into a 36'' case, then definitely increase the countertop thickness.

Also, we chose one of the least-expensive Ikea finishes, a white enamel-like finish over particleboard. This does not hold up well in a wet environment - some water leaked onto the doors and caused the particleboard to expand and crack the coating. Choose the wood over the particleboard.

If you spend some time with the Ikea catalog and talk to the kitchen planners there, you can figure out what needs to be done - go for it! tiff

Cabinet design businesses

April 2005

I wanted to let other parents know about Custom Spaces, a locally owned design and cabinetry firm that we have used twice to help us tastefully modernize our Craftsman kitchen and bathroom. They have a keen sense of how to maximize the use of a given space and were able to work within our budget. They have great design and color ideas too! Check them out satisfied customer


Our contractor recommended that we get our cabinets from Bay Area Cabinets in San Leandro. It was a bit of a drive for us (we live in Albany), but the quality of the cabinets was high and they were a better deal than Home Depot. -Linda

Other store-bought cabinets

When we remodeled our kitchen we considered Ikea but they weren't cheaper and you have to put the cabinets together. We then decided to get our cabinets through Home Depot but the customer service was HORRIBLE. First you need to make an appointment which is hard to get, they don't seem to know too much about the different choices and after I made the order I wanted to change one thing the next day and then go pay my $3000 but no one would help us since we didn't have an appointment we would have to wait until next week. After that I ripped up the Home Depot order form went to Yard Birds and was helped on the spot, they were great, I love the cabinets, they were cheap and I like the fact that Yard Birds is not a huge chain. bell (April 2002)

We just remodeled our master bathroom and did extensive research on costs for product. We found that while Expo had very nice products, they were quite expensive. We found many of the same products (higher end faucets, etc ..) at Lowe's in Vacaville. It is quite a drive for most of us, but we went up there with a list and got almost all of it in one big trip. They deliver as well, for a fee, of course! Might be worth a try. The cabinets we put in our bathroom are actually from the kitchen dept., and they had quite a nice selection. Good luck! It is in the lot next to the old Nut Tree. Trish

Refacing/rehabbing cabinets

May 2007

We are looking for an inexpensive way to improve our kitchen and I'm told that cabinet refacing could be an option (e.g. new facing on the frame and completely new doors). I really like our kitchen's layout and countertops but I just hate the cabinet doors. I checked BPN already and there weren't any recommendations. I already had Sears come out which ended up being a huge debacle because the guy was a total jerk and quoted me 10K. I've seen ads for Kitchen/HomeWorks in the paper but was curious if anyone has used them for refacing? I've also found a few guys on Craig's List that seem more affordable but I'm just not sure what the range is. Has anyone out there had a good (read affordable) experience with refacing? Thanks in advance! Lisa

Hi Lisa, We recently replaced just our cabinet doors and are extremely happy with our decision to work with what we had instead of replacing. We bought the doors from Home Depot - you'll have to do the measuring if you don't reface the frames too (they'll send someone to measure if you do both). Ours were very tricky because the frames are not square at all, but our installer was FABULOUS! The frames had to be planed and the doors hung evenly in the openings to keep them from looking funky. With the wrong installation, it could have been a fiasco. I HIGHLY recommend Alan Burne 510-290-6181. Since then, we also used him on a tricky window trim job where he, once again, did a beautiful job. He is skilled, but also takes the time to do it right. Feel free to email me if you want more info. Nicol

June 2004

My husband and I are locked in a debate over whether to only replace the kitchen countertop (old, ugly white tile) or to replace BOTH the countertop AND the cabinets (dark wood, possibly from the '50s or later, that he painted white on the outside.) He would like to put in a nice, new, granite countertop and leave the cabinets alone. I think a very nice, new countertop would look funny on top of such old cabinets, and that we will regret not doing the cabinets after it's done. We've gone back and forth on this and seem to go in circles. We can afford the bigger change, but it's still a chunk of money, and we don't want to do it if it's not ''necessary.'' And we can't decide whether it's a good ''investment'' or an ''indulgence.'' We both enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in the kitchen with our 1- and 3-yr-olds, so investing in our kitchen is on the brain. I'm just really afraid we're going to regret not doing the cabinets along with the countertops. Can anyone give us more ideas or another perspective on this issue? Indecisive

RE: Update cabinets, counter, or both?
If the cabinets are in good condition and you like the size, number and layout you have, and your problems with them are aesthetic only, then don't replace the cabinets. Consider repainting/refinishing or even re-facing (new frame, doors and drawer fronts installed on top of the existing 'boxes') instead, which will give you a nicer look at a much lower price. You might even consider something like cutting panels out of some or all of the upper cabinets only and putting in plexiglass or decorative screens, instead of a complete refacing.

If, however, the interior of the cabinets are in poor shape (splintered wood, warped drawers that stick, six million layers of old Contact paper on the shelves, whatever) or if you are frustrated with the size or layout of the cabinet space, then it's worth tearing them all out and replacing them with a new layout that will make the time you spend in your kitchen more pleasant. Wishing *I* could afford a re-do!

You need to check the pricing of refacing the cabinets vs buying new cabinets. If you need to reface the whole kitchen then more often than not it's cheaper to buy new cabinets altogether since the custom labor is the expensive part. We redid our kitchen recently and we decided to go with new cabinets(beautiful maple all wood) that proved to be a cheaper option than the refacing!!! Plus you get exactly what you want. We bought them from Diablo Valley Cabinetry in San Ramon. Best prices and excellent service from Dee. Simona

Feb. 2002

My husband and I are hoping to brighten up our dated kitchen and had Sears in to give us an estimate on cabinet refacing. We were shocked at how much it would cost- $12K for our moderately sized kitchen. The price was around $300/linear foot. Since we don't plan to stay in our home forever, we don't want to sink a lot of money into this project. I have looked at the UCB Parents Network recommendations for kitchen remodeling but didn't see anything on this specific topic and am hoping someone might have some info for us. Is that price the going rate? Has anyone used Sears and been happy (or not) with it? Or are there other recommendations folks might give us? We'd appreciate any feedback! Thanks. Liz

Depending on the condition of your cabinets, you might consider Kitchen Tune-Up. It isn't really refacing, but more like a deep cleaning, which was all my 10-year-old cabinets needed. He cleans, scrubs (with steel wool and a razor!), varnishes and oils the wood in one day for $500. It won't change the color of your cabinets, or repair badly damaged wood, but it does take care of all surface scratches, nicks, and worn-off finish. He will come out and do a free demo and let you know if it will help your cabinets. Jaime

I had Luke Bowman do my kitchen cabinets and spent far less than 12K (around 4K, I think). However, I had to have them painted in oil, which cost more than actually having the cabinet fronts made. Luke can give you good ideas for saving money. We saved some drawers and he built some new ones. We used all of our old boxes and put on all new fronts. He also built some new units for me. He uses solid maple. And best of all, he's a really nice guy! His shop is in Marin Co. but he lives in Berkeley. Maria

I'm a general contractor (and a professional cost estimator) and I'd say that's WAY too much money to pay for refacing. You can get nice new prefinished birch cabinets for less than that. Depending on whether you replace the existing cabinets with new ones in exactly the same configuration, there may other costs involved such as plumbing, electrical, and flooring. And you'd need to put in new counters as well. I'd recommend talking to City Cabinets (in the phone book). They do custom sized, moderately priced, cabinets in a variety of styles. They'd also price just replacing the doors, if you wanted them to. I'm not sure if they'd come out to measure for an estimate; you might have to send them a list of the door sizes you need to get pricing. (Their cabinets, by the way, are MUCH MUCH MUCH higher quality than Home Depot cabinets, and by the time you add in all the filler strips, and additional labor it takes to install the stock sized Home Depot cabinets, City Cabinets usually ends up LESS expensive.) Alysson Baker

April 2004

We are embarking on a kitchen remodel, and looking for additional information that is not posted to the web site. Where did you buy your kitchen cabinets? (semi- custom, I think they're referred to) ''They say'' that you can get a better deal on similar cabinets than Home Depot, but where exactly? There are a couple of places in San Leandro / Hayward that have been mentioned by others, but we'd love to talk to recent remodelers who have actually used a place before diving in. Under consideration: Expo (possibly too expensive), Home Depot (mixed review?), Airport Appliance (the kitchen designers may not be tops?), and PC Cabinets (didn't hear one way or the other). Has anyone used these, or de-selected them for particular reasons? Where is ''the'' place in the East Bay to purchase good quality (not extremely ''high end'' but not ''el-chapo'') kitchen cabinets? Comments, suggestions, etc. are welcome. Seeking kitchen cabinet source

You didn't mention IKEA. As someone who used cabinets in her kitchen that weren't from Ikea, and then proceeded to work with the Kitchen dept. at IKEA, I can wholeheartedly say that the quality of material used is the same of that sold at Home Depot or Expo. The difference, of course, is it is unassembled and that can be a hassle for someone doing a full kitchen remodel, though Ikea does have assemblers they can recommend (I also have one, and their familiarity with the product would enable them to install in a day)IKEA's downfall is only that they don't have a lot of traditional styles to choose from--mostly what they call Scandinavian Mondern...but it's certainly worth a look. They also have some logistical issues but you cannot beat the prices....let me know if you have any questions.

For cabinets, I recommend working with Rick Kalem at Rex Cabinets. He makes all his own, beautiful, custom cabinets in his shop which is right next to his showroom. Since we didn't have an architect or designer, we worked with Rick on every detail of our kitchen design. We appreciated his ideas and flexiblity when he helped us design a kitchen (with a desk area, mudroom, and bar area) which uniqely fit the way we live. He is great to work with and his leadtimes and estimate were reasonable. After seeing our kitchen, our neighbor started working with him and is sending her friend there as well. Feel free to contact me for follow-up. Jennifer

Formaldehyde off-gassing in kitchen cabinets

May 2003

We are planning to do a major remodel of our kitchen in the coming year. I am concerned about the formaldehyde level (and off-gassing)in most comercial kitchen cabinets. Has anyone already done the research about specific levels of off-gassing in current brands? Have you found and installed any low- or no-formaldehyde cabinets? How do prices, function and durability compare to the standard ones? Thanks for helping keep our home healthy! R.K.

My name is William Walker of Silver Walker Studios, I am a Certified Green Building Professional, licensed contractor, designer & cabinet maker. I am responding to formaldehyde off-gassing issue in cabinetry. Formaldehyde off-gassing is a huge indoor air quality issue, and it can be minimized substantially. If you have children you should be especially concerned as formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to learning disorders in children. The biggest formaldehyde offender is particleboard and paints & finishes. In order to reduce emissions in the home specify a formaldehyde free MDF or plywood as well as low VOC. paints & finishes, they do exist! There are other techniques as well, such as sealing all suspected formaldehyde products with 2 coats of low or no VOC paint or sealer. Go to which is the Alameda County Waste Management Authority for a wealth of information on Green building techniques and materials. You can also call or email me for more information, I design & manufacture Green cabinetry and would be happy to consult with you free of charge.
William Walker Silver Walker Studios 510.215.1266 bill AT Liza AT

The worst for outbgassing formaldehyde is particle board. Everyone should stay away from that. You might try getting used cabinets at someplace like Omega or Urban Ore. Or try this website: Many new materials used in remodeling can offgass: paint, vinyl floor, carpet, fabric. There are less toxic solutions if you look for them. a remodeler

I have been doing some research b/c we are remodeling our kitchen. Neil Kelly Cabinets out of Portland and Crystal Cabinets have ''green'' options. You can find them both on line. fullhuis

Recycling cabinets


Don't throw out your cabinets! If you can't find someone who wants them then sell or donate them to Urban Ore (one on Asby and the other on Gilman.) They will sell them to someone else and the landfill will stay a little emptier.

DeWils Kitchen Cabinetry

Nov 2007

We are considering maple DeWils Cabinets for our kitchen -- has anyone had any experiences, positive or negative, with this line of cabinets? We're looking at both the frameless and the face frame styles.

We just installed cherry cabinets made by DeWils about 6 months ago. They're beautiful, work well, and our contractor frequently works with them. I'd recommend them! Myla