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!

You Can Call Me Al (Borland)

I’ve never in my life felt like much of a “handyman.” That seems to come with a negative connotation and conjures up visions of faulty wiring and not-so-level shelves. On the other hand, owning a home kind of forces you to become a “handyman.” I’ve also never really thought of myself as being any good at building things. I think I’m much better at the whole “taking it apart and putting it back together” thing. I’m more of a tinkerer or modification expert. I like to think I’m good at finding creative and practical ways to alter something for my own use. My Dad seems to think I’m pretty good (a regular Al Borland of Tool Time fame), so let’s take his word for it.I don't think so, TimWith that being said we’ve been quietly working on a lot of different small projects that involve a good bit of handy skills. We’ve also done some fairly basic things that have improved the quality and practicality of our living space. The kitchen has been a big point of contention for us in the landmark case of Megan & Andrew v. House.

kitchen before listing photoThat’s the kitchen before. Those are the listing photos, but they are really the most dramatic “befores” we have. The way the kitchen was in this condition just lacks the kind of storage we need. It also lacks the practicality that we crave. Mornings are crucial for both of us, so we decided to build a coffee bar of sorts.

coffee bar ikea stenstorpThis was a simple build, and is a combination of 2 IKEA units. The top shelf is a Stenstorp, and the bottom is a Lyckhem. The table also lets us make great use of the Kuerig we just got and the shelf has built in mug hangers for our new mugs.

target pull outOne of the best things we were able to do with the table was put these cloth drawers in the cubbie holes. We found them at Target and they just so happen to be the right size and the perfect fit! They match and are easy to pull out. Awesome!

flower pigAlso featured on the shelf is this pig that my Grandma gave us a year ago. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a flower pot or if maybe it is supposed to be a pitcher or maybe a watering can? It seems to be working fine right now as a decorative pig with flowers.

tools on the floorTo end this post, I’m gonna bring it back around full circle. Here’s some shots of me working with various tools on the floor in various pants and short. Note the sparks coming off of the Dremel in the last one. Also notice the not-safe-for-the-workplace open toed shoes/flip flops. Would Al Borland approve? I don’t think so, Tim.