Time Capsule: DIY Cabinet Upgrade Part I
Jump back in time with me to see what we were working on a year ago this month!
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. (Crikey.)
So here are some before pictures:
Right after we moved in
After we painted and had the fluorescent light fixture box replaced with recessed lights
That should give you a pretty good idea!
Alright, so first thing to do in our upgrade 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.
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.
Finally, I coped the single inside angle with a coping saw.
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.
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 boring tool I used on the 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.
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!
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!