New Solution to an Old Problem, Part 2

A kitchen is a key component in any household, but for us it seems to be the one room with the most attainable drastic improvement. By that I mean, it has huge potential to be something impressive. It could almost be the cornerstone of our whole home renovation project, constantly evolving, and constantly improving on a solid foundation. The kitchen itself is fairly large given the size and age of our home. It also has a good amount of natural light, considering the size and style of our windows. We just had to allow it to shine in. I’m not trying to say that we are master renovators or anything, but I do feel strongly about what we’ve done. And how little we’ve actually spent on all of it. There are some obvious things that could be done, that are a bit out of budget for us at this point. The most obvious of those is new counter tops, but even that doesn’t seem unattainable.

Refinished Cabinet Door

Back to the matter at hand, the cabinet remodeling. So with the beadboard in place on the cabinet doors, the logical next step was to hang them. We bought the hardware for these ages ago. Sounds like good planning, but with this house, nothing seems to go perfectly right on the first try.

Cabinet Hardware

To make a long story short, the cabinets were evidently a custom build and none of them are exactly the same size. They also don’t exactly meet the standards of today’s cabinet hardware. None of the hardware we bought at Lowe’s went on without a little bit of trial and error. No matter how much I measured before hand, as soon as I threw the door up, I’d need to make an adjustment. Eventually they were all up, in the right place and complete with new hardware.

Freshly Painted Drawer

The other part of this project that we’d been waiting on finishing is the new cabinet/drawer that was installed with the dishwasher. It was installed out of necessity because the old cabinet and dishwasher didn’t fit in the same space at all. It came unfinished and we never painted it.

Painting Around Cabinet Hardware

Painting Hung Cabinet Doors

We painted the drawers and also touched up the cabinet doors.

Freshly Painted Cabinets

Now, 5 months later, we’ve finally finished our kitchen cabinet project. It seems like nothing is without trial and error, and this kitchen was no exception. I guess no one gets anything right the first time, and no one’s first draft is ever their final draft. At times this felt like a dark cloud looming over our heads, but now that it’s done and it makes sense it feels pretty good.

Kitchen Cabinet Before and After

New Solution to an Old Problem

As you may already know we had been sitting on our kitchen cabinet project for quite some time. We were living without doors on our cabinets for a few months. The cabinet project as a whole was a bit ambitious from the start, and saw a few roadblocks along the way, but I’m happy to say, it is complete.

Kitchen Remodel Before & After

You’ve seen the dramatic transformation twice before when we did a lot of work early on. We had some big ideas about using polycarbonate Lexan and replacing the old clear plastic brown windows. This proved to be more difficult than we had planned, and I ended up cracking some of it by using the wrong tools. Side note: the recommended tools used from scoring and snapping the Lexan don’t work too well either.

Beadboard Paneling for Cabinets

We put Plan B in motion while we were off from work between Christmas and New Years. It developed very quickly and at a much lower cost than anything involving plexiglass. We re-purposed some beadboard to fill in the cabinet windows. This is the stuff that would normally be used as wall paneling, usually with wainscoting.

Cutting Beadboard with a Jigsaw

This stuff is easy to cut, and since I already had the measurements from the plexi attempts, this was a simple job for me and my trusty jigsaw. However, after making the first few cuts, I noticed the edge where I was sawing was starting to fray. In a moment of mild concern I called the mill work department at Lowe’s and asked them how they’d do it. They suggested using blue painter’s tape along both sides of the cut.

Using a Jigsaw to cut Beadboard for Cabinets

Cut Beadboard

The blue painter’s tape really saved the day and stopped any and all fraying.

Liquid Nails for Cabinets

The next step was to pop the cut pieces into place. For this I used Liquid Nails. This stuff has been our go-to for strong holds and worked really well when we needed to get new molding to stick to our tile wall in the kitchen. With the beadboard in place, I just had to weight it down over night before mounting the doors back up onto their respective cabinets.

Cabinet Doors

As it turns out, no two of our cabinet doors are the same size (fun!) and it was a bit of a challenge to figure out which one went where. Stay tuned for part two of the final phase of our kitchen cabinet project – pictures of the finished product will be included!

Kitchen Cabinet Conundrum, Part 2

So, we’ve made some serious progress with the kitchen, but we’re not quite there yet.

One of the biggest unexpected challenges was cleaning and preparing the cabinets for painting. First we removed the lovely scalloped wood above the sink. This is just one small step in our process of brightening up the entire house.

scalloped woodbrighter windowAs we started doing our small scale demo and got serious about prepping the cabinets and all of the wood around them, we stumbled upon a disgusting discovery. Everywhere we wiped we wiped up a nice layer of brown crud. Was it remnant of some sort of wood finish that was applied in the 60’s or was it just an accumulation of years of cooking? I understand that this is just what happens in a kitchen, and that this dark wood was actually hiding the true mess, but c’mon! Look at that paper towel!

kitchen crudYuck. And that’s just one wipe. Well, at least our new white paint will keep us on top of our cleaning. After everything was given its proper cleaning, we sanded everything down with either 180 or 200 paper depending on the thickness of the crud and gloss. The 1-2-3 Primer worked out real well and was super easy to apply.

1-2-3 primed cabinetsThe cabinets were removed and moved out to the backyard for their priming. The Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer dries pretty quickly, so it was a bit of a challenge to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs from making a permanent final resting place in the primer.

primed cabinets backyardFast forward to a few hours later and we’re inside painting the primed cabinets. The Valspar paint we chose required 2 coats, and it was a lovely shade that they called “Du Jour”. We even used it to paint the window molding.

Valspar Du Jour cabinetspainted window mouldingFast forward again to 24 hours later and we’ve got Mike from Hammertime removing the old and moldy cabinets from under the counter top. Also, since this house never had a dishwasher before (how’d they do it?!) we needed an expert to install the plumbing and wiring.

dishwasher drawer installMike also installed our new drawer. Since he lives “in the neighborhood”, he even came by to fix an old piece of PVC after I got home from work the next day. Seriously, what a guy!

new dishwasher drawerLooks pretty awesome. It’s a real step in the right direction (this century!) and we’re seeing some great progress in the kitchen remodeling process. Now we’ve got to get the new hardware and the new cabinet windows installed on the cabinet doors. Welcome to the millennium, kitchen.