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Tips on Remodeling to Sell

Sellers hit snag with kitchen paint, drawer choices

by Paul Bianchina
Q: We are planning to sell our home next year. We tried the easiest route to brighten up the kitchen: painting the dark wood cabinets a lighter color, as we have a faux wood laminate countertop. We went with a two-toned effect, with the cabinets done in white and the doors and drawers done in a semigloss beige. It does not look all that great and the doors stick: What would you suggest?

Also, the drawers are an odd rail system with a wheel on an arm at the back of the drawer that hooks into the rail above the drawer — they always come off and stick horribly. Any advice would be wonderful and highly appreciated, as we are on a very tight budget.


A: When remodeling to sell, always stick with colors and materials that are as universally appealing as possible. In the kitchen, I would go with all white on the cabinets, since the two-tone look is not something that will appeal to most people.

It’s hard to say why the cabinet doors stick. If they didn’t stick before the paint job, my suspicion would be that you got paint on the hinges, or you built up too much paint in the area of the hinges that is binding the door, or you closed and/or reinstalled the doors before the paint was completely dry.

If you are going to repaint the doors, I would suggest sanding them down to bare wood before you repaint — putting another coat on at this point is probably asking for trouble. I would also replace the hinges.

The old-style drawer slides you mention have always been a problem. I’m not sure those things worked right even when they were brand new! I would start by removing each drawer, then checking to be sure that the wheel, track and other components are well secured.

They were often held in place by a staple or a single screw, so they work loose and drop out of alignment quite easily. Install more screws as needed to keep them in place.

Over time, the plastic front wheels wear out as well, which also messes with the alignment and operation. You can order new wheels and also complete replacement slides from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware at

Finally, make sure you clean everything thoroughly with a degreaser.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at [email protected].

Copyright 2010 Inman News
See Paul Bianchina’s feature, 6 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal.

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