June 28, 2010

DIY Cabinet Upgrade Part I

Our orangey oak builder-basic cabinets have been screaming for some attention since we moved in.  Plus, yesterday I realized that the cabinets in my kitchen at home are the exact same cabinets as the ones in the kitchen at work.  Little tidbit for  you :)
So here are some before pictures:
IMGP0655 Right after we moved in
IMGP0804 At Christmas
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After we painted and had the light fixture replaced with recessed lights
Alright, so first thing to do here is install some trim.
I picked up some 1x2s, some molding (I chose a shorter and squattier version of crown), and some brass brackets.  I spent about $30.
I cut the 1x2s to size with a hand saw.
I cut the trim angles with a miter box.
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I used Liquid Nails and brads from my staple gun to attach the trim to the 1x2s.
Then I countersunk all the brads and filled the holes in with wood filler. 
Then I coped my one inside angle with a coping saw. 
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I discovered an “oops” at the same time.  (See below)
Then it was time to install!
I set each piece on top of the cabinets and originally intended to use the brackets to attach it from the back.  No dice.  I don’t know what the deal was, but I couldn’t get the screws to screw into the back of the cabinet facing.  I’m thinking maybe I’m not strong enough to give it the pressure it needed, or I couldn’t get enough leverage (standing on the counters doesn’t give you much leverage) or both?  So I made do. 
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I ended up using 2” wood screws and because they weren’t quite long enough to go through the 1x2 AND into the top of the cabinet, I had to use the weird little hole-making tool I used on the guest room headboard.  I drilled the holes probably a quarter inch into the 1x2 and then my screws were long enough.  Then I could just drill a screw straight down through the 1x2 and into the top edge of the cabinets. 
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The picture above was from my headboard project, but that’s the little tool I used on the cabinet trim as well.

And now the cabinets are ready to be sanded and primed!
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So the one “oops” I discovered was I needed to cut the crown one inch shorter than the 1x2 in the inside corner.  Otherwise, the 1x2 that butts up against it will be impeded by the crown.  But I installed my molding and THEN realized I should’ve cut it shorter.  My solution was cutting a notch out of the other 1x2 so that it would fit in nicely UNDER the crown of its neighbor. 
If I’d thought more about this project before I started, I might’ve realized that.  But when you’re impatient to get going and you think you can figure it out as you go, I guess you have to deal with the bumps as best you can.
Next: SANDING and PRIMING!

Curious to see how this project ended?  Go here.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, this is going to look amazing!!! Looks like you got a great start! Can't wait to see the final result :)

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  2. Ah, yes, the builder orangey-oak cupboards. When we had this, our first, house built almost 8 years ago, that is what we put in (I didn't really know what I liked and we were rushed in our decision-making). Now I would love to paint them white. However, with building a new house in 2 years, I can live with it just that much longer! I look forward to seeing your results. Thanks for stopping by!
    Chantelle

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