The night before Chris and I were going to tackle painting the kitchen cabinets he decided that he wanted to ask the landlady permission to paint. I got really anxious because there was always the slight chance that she would (ridiculously) say no. Mind you I already had taken off all of the upper cabinet doors along with all the hardware that went along with them. Did I also mention he had no part in helping with that? Ugh. Boyfriends.
I’m not going to lie, growing up I was always a rule follower and asked permission for everything. I just couldn’t stand the thought of my beautiful white cabinets being torn from my grasp when I am so very capable of painting them myself. She didn’t say no, but she did say she would have to ask her husband. Her husband said NO. AGHHHH. I was furious because I felt like he just didn’t understand, and he hardly does much with the rentals anyway. I wanted to scream and tell her to woman up and realize she doesn’t need her husband’s approval. However that probably wouldn’t solve a thing and I would still have ugly cabinets. So instead I decided to have Chris give these reasons why they should change their minds.
1. Cabinet Damage
Our cabinets have several spots where they are obviously worn down. There are scratches on one cabinet door (no idea how those got there), finish worn down near handles and edges of doors/drawers, and even after I thoroughly cleaned/degreased everything twice the edges of the cabinets are gummy feeling because they are simply just old and worn out. Also on a few of the cabinets when I run my hand across the front they feel gritty and not smooth like some of the less worn down doors. This is not unusual for cabinets that are really old because they get a lot of use, but the damage really makes the kitchen look like no one cares about it and it’s run down.
2. Easy to Clean and Repair
Going along with the previous point, painting the cabinets will make it much easier to clean and repair any spots that get worn out. Putting myself in the landlord’s shoes I know I would want to efficiently clean and make any repairs from the time one tenant moves out, and another one moves in. It’s harder to see dirt and grime on the cabinets the way they are now because the color of the cabinets exactly matches grease that might splatter out of a frying pan. What kinds of dirt, grime, or food do you know of that is white and will cling itself to a kitchen cabinet? none (okay maybe marshmallow fluff? 😉 ). In another setting cabinets that hide grime are a good thing because they create less work and hide the dirt. In a rental setting white cabinets make it really easy for a landlord to see how dirty the cabinets are, and to make a quick estimate of how long it will take to clean between tenants.
3. New Update for Cheap
Or in our case a new update for $0. It really cannot get any better than that. I understand and completely respect it if the landlord’s are hesitant because they really like the look of wood and they don’t want to cover it up. However, we have plenty of leftover paint and primer that they already paid for to paint the walls. It would be the same amount of work if not more to sand and re-stain AND it would end up costing them more money in the long run.
4. White Paint Opens up the Space
The kitchen in our apartment is really small and feels very claustrophobic because of the dark colors. Using light colors tricks your mind into thinking the space is actually bigger than it is. I especially noticed this when I took the upper cabinets doors off because the insides are actually already white. Having a decent sized kitchen is on a lot of people’s wishlist when it comes to homes, and at least white cabinets will make it not seem so cramped. Our home is located in a residential area only a block or two away from the school. This means the property should really be trying to attract small families, and families generally do a decent amount of cooking so it only makes sense to have a kitchen that will fit those needs.
5. Painted Cabinets are Popular
All over Pinterest there are images of painted cabinets, how to paint cabinets, and why you should paint cabinets. These days people are ditching the wood for a crisp paint job. Generally brains over beauty is the way to go, but in this case painting the cabinets white is both brains and beauty. Especially in the business of rental properties it is critical to understand what a vast majority of people will be looking for in a home, and not just a select few. I can safely say that a vast majority of people are NOT looking for retro yellowy weird wood grain cabinets.
Obviously I want my living space to be appealing to me, but I also understand that I do not own it and some day someone else will have to work their style into the home as well. Throughout all of my projects I have held this mentality and that’s why it is frustrating to me that they said no to painting the cabinets. To me it seems like a well thought out business move. Hopefully after explaining these points to them they will change their minds.
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