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Kitchen cabinet refurb. 3 years in the making

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Project by JoeinGa posted 06-13-2016 03:53 PM 2473 views 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Kitchen cabinet refurb. 3 years in the making
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Our house was built in 1956, so it’s 60 years old. Bonnie’s dad lived in it the last 20 years of his life, and we have lived in it for the past three years now. The kitchen and den were walled in old T&G pine boards, which wouldn’t look so bad, except that about 10 years ago somebody convinced my father-in law that brushing on hi-gloss varnish would look good. GRRRRR!

Well, you can imagine just how that varnish has yellowed, and Bonnie has hated the dark kitchen since way before we took over the house. So a few weeks ago Bonnie accompanied our daughter to The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. While she was gone I decided that I’d try to surprise her by re-facing the kitchen. Someone at our church had GIVEN ME, ( yes, that’s right, for FREE) EIGHT sheets of 7/16 birch plywood, so I had the wood. I just needed to find hardware that would look good which was also affordable on our already tight budget. E-Bay to the rescue. I found someone selling hinges and handles which he had taken off a brand new house they moved into that his wife didn’t like. I got enough pieces to do mine for less than 1/3 the price of new hardware from the big box stores (gloat!)

These cabinets were built 60 years ago, either by the “Low bidder”, or maybe the contractor had his brother-in-law do it to save a few bucks in materials cost. They paneled the entire kitchen walls first, and the cabinets were built over top of the paneling. (I say “built”, but they were really PIECED TOGETHER! )

Nothing about this job was done with a tape measure! No two cabinets or drawers are the same size. And there’s several places where they cut little 2” and 3” pieces to piece together parts of the frame, rather than cut one piece to fit correctly. They used the same thin T&G paneling to make the cabinets and on the drawers they actually had to double the layers so the drawer fronts would be sturdy enough. When it was new, it probably looked nice, but no longer !

And so begins my kitchen re-furb journey.

Here’s what I started with..
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First thing was out with the old.
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. Some of these old doors are pretty badly warped. Several had 2 or 3 different latches added over the years.
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. Next it was wood filler to patch all the old hinge screw holes.
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. And sanded all the face frames.
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. I painted on 2 coats of Kilz primer
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. I did number all the doors as they came off, knowing I would have to measure each cabinet opening separately, and try to make doors that at least LOOK like they’re the same size. Some of these cabinet openings are different sizes by as much as an inch !
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Once I had everything measured out I cut the new doors, making sure to mark each one as to where it would go back up.

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. This was the temporary workbench I set up in the carport.
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. New doors, all sanded and then 2 coats of primer on each, followed by 2 coats of hi-gloss white paint.
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. And here, 3 weeks later, is our “new” kitchen. Wow! What a difference. And I even put up a new curtain valance over the windows.
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. The original stove was a 40” wide model. When it crapped out I was SHOCKED to find how much those 40 inch stoves cost! So we went with a standard size stove. You can see here how I filled in the space beside it.
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And yes, that old yellowed linoleum floor really sucks, but it’s probably gonna be next year before I can afford to re-do the floor.

Oh, and one last thing… did I mention that someone had GIVEN me all the wood? Yeah, that was a real blessing. And because of that I was able to do this entire job ( includes hinges, handles, primer, paint and the new curtain )

for LESS THAN $150 !

As Porky Pig used to say …


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Comments, critiques and questions welcomed. Thanks for taking a peek at my project.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward





25 comments so far

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1680 posts in 1039 days


#1 posted 06-13-2016 04:35 PM

Beautiful job Joe, and really resourceful!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View ConnieReed's profile

ConnieReed

58 posts in 700 days


#2 posted 06-13-2016 05:01 PM

That was $150 well spent! Wow! What a huge difference. It looks so much more bright and modern. I mean, even the linoleum looks better! With the old wood, everything was yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow (augh!) The white has a distinct calming influence, but, you still have a lot of color … which is awesome, because too much white looks sterile. That valance is very lovely too.

And what I’m totally jealous of… all of your cabinet space is used. You’ve got the corners, over the sink, over the stove, all the way to the ceiling… great storage! My kitchen has a total of 6 ‘home depot bargain’ sorta-regular sized cabinets, and 5 stupid small ones (the 2 over the fridge barely count). And two drawers. I have to stack stuff on top of the cabinets (messy, but at least it keeps the cats down – usually), and I have to store dry goods in the small pantry in the dining room. I had to find another place to keep my crockpot, serving dishes, etc. I also had to buy one of those rolling island things for extra drawers, storage and counter space. I’m not a gourmet chef… but I do cook for a family of four and sometimes entertain. I swear, one of these days my husband is going to come home from work and find me taking out a wall with a sledgehammer… (but, yeah.. money… first win the lotto, then break out the tools of destruction…)

-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1346 posts in 1523 days


#3 posted 06-13-2016 05:39 PM

Magnificent restore! So much moreful brightness to prepare the meals in. I’m quite suer it’ll please Bonnie imensely and make her enjoy her time in the kitchen so much more. Absolutely wonderful.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@outlook.com

View Eddie_T's profile

Eddie_T

191 posts in 1462 days


#4 posted 06-13-2016 06:29 PM

You did a great job. I know what you mean about different size doors and drawers. When I built my house I knew nothing about cabinet making and just did what a builder did in my neighborhood. I essentially built shelves for upper cabinets and divided the spaces with upright pieces much like what you dealt with. If I ever redo it it will be limited to refacing or painting current doors. I redid my countertops with Formica 180fx and did away with those long miters by seaming laminate at inconspicuous points. The cabinets are not quite as red as the pic came out.

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

599 posts in 1430 days


#5 posted 06-13-2016 07:42 PM

Super job, Joe!! Looks like you earned your keep on this project. You really brightened it up in there. And, free wood to boot? Nice. Very good looking job, buddy. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View crowie's profile

crowie

1344 posts in 1342 days


#6 posted 06-13-2016 09:05 PM

Now that’s a 100% improvement Joe…well done…
You’ve updated to a very clean looking kitchen adding value to the home….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1669 posts in 454 days


#7 posted 06-13-2016 09:20 PM

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7246 posts in 1398 days


#8 posted 06-13-2016 10:05 PM



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3g1__BOIRQ

- Mark Wilson

now THAT was funny !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1153 posts in 1020 days


#9 posted 06-13-2016 10:08 PM

I’m getting a mixed message.

Is someone there in love with. or sentimentally attached to, the scrolled wooden valance over the sink?
If not, I’d say ditch it.
Same goes for the drapery.

But since you kept the wood-paneling backsplash, maybe the backsplash/valance/drapery combo works.
The term for the new style might be Gingerbread-Modern.

Bottom line—It’s beautiful and it looks like home !!!

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7246 posts in 1398 days


#10 posted 06-13-2016 10:22 PM

I am not actually too fond of that scrollwork myself John. But remember when I said this whole setup was cobbled together? Well that hand-cut (and pretty uneven) scrolled piece is the lower face frame for those upper cabinets. Short of using a Sawzall and making a heck of a mess, I decided to leave it.

The curtain (drapery) hides the mini blinds that the wife insists we leave up. I guess she thinks the neighbors will be peekin’ in or something.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7482 posts in 1771 days


#11 posted 06-13-2016 10:31 PM

You really brightened the place Joe.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

4972 posts in 1434 days


#12 posted 06-14-2016 02:05 AM

Great transition with the cabinets Joe. It’s as if they were bought new. It’s amazing what a few doors and some paint can do. I helped my son in February and pretty much did the same thing only his cabinet were oak with that dark orange-y look to it.
We bought the cabinet paint at home depot, your favorite store. Did you buy the same?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7246 posts in 1398 days


#13 posted 06-14-2016 02:06 AM

Thanks for the nice comments folks…

And a Top 3 to boot !

WOO HOO !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7246 posts in 1398 days


#14 posted 06-14-2016 02:16 AM

Thanks Dave. Actually the big orange box is about 45 miles from me, so we dont go there too often. I got the paint from a more local (12 miles away) hardware & lumber supply store. Their prices are surprisingly close to both HD and Lowes (45 miles in the opposite direction)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

1938 posts in 1559 days


#15 posted 06-14-2016 11:32 AM

Joe your kitchen is now looking much better! And that with a few chancing.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

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