Funny you should ask about a 1977 house W/dark cabinets. I live in such a house and have lived here since it was built. At the time, it seemed to be the thing I liked but now I guess it was time for a change. I started to strip the stain off 36 cabinet doors but it became too overwhelming so I decided to use elbow grease and sand them I more or less ruffed them up real good. I then primed them, sanded again, and painted them with a semi gloss off white paint. Magnolia petal.They turned out beautiful. Because the cabinets were all in great shape, I chose only to paint the doors, leaving the cabinets themselves dark. I put new knobs on everything and what a difference. I love the contrast with the dark background. This I did a year ago and they still look good.This was my biggest concern with kids everywhere... I'm working on doing some stencils on them next. Good luck !!