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A few months ago I bought a condo that was built in the mid 1980's. It came complete with those almond melamine cabinets where the doors have an oak strip on the top or the bottom. The kitchen is small. It is 8 x 9. There was a drop down light area where there were two fluorescent bulbs that you would find in a workshop or garage that made it look even smaller and made it feel closed in. I removed the drop down and put in a new light fixture. I didn't want to spend a lot of money but wanted the kitchen to be look a little brighter and somewhat updated. Even with a new smooth top range, new dishwasher, new countertops, new sink and a new faucet it cost less than $1800. My kitchen is definitely not high end but it looks a heck of a lot better and now I actually don't mind spending time in there. The cabinet process was LONG and tedious and the hardest part for me was having the patience to follow the instructions exactly as they were printed. In the future I would think twice before doing this but they did turn out well and the specially formulated formica paint and new brushed nickel hinges cost me $100 total which is WAY less than the cost of new cabinets. Maybe one day I will replace the cabinets. I still have to put trim around the top of the cabinets but I am very pleased with myself and my results.