Sunday, March 17, 2013

Update a Builder Grade Kitchen with a DIY Custom Cabinet

I have been on a quest to upgrade my kitchen for years now.  I call it a quest because well you know these things take time.  My kitchen cabinets are a builder grade maple.  Maybe they are a notch above builder grade I don't know but they are not very fancy.  My goal is to add some character to this kitchen.  I decided to add a custom cabinet to my builder grade kitchen.  

Here's the before.  Dark ceramic slate looking tile back splash and counter with standard 30" cabinet above the sink.  The ceiling is very low because the kitchen is part of the original log cabin our house was built around.  It was dark.  I thought about just removing the doors on the old cabinet and adding brackets underneath but I didn't like the center support brace in the middle of it.  I thought about cutting it out but then decided against ruining the cabinet.  Why not just build exactly what I want?  My next step is to replace the counter top, purchase a new sink and eventually paint the cabinets. The mismatched appliances work fine so they will just have to stay for awhile. 

Thankfully the tile came off pretty easily.  I installed the tung and groove using a nail gun nailing into the groove side so the holes aren't visible.  Only one outlet so it was pretty easy. I primed with oil based primer before installing.

I painted with two coats of semigloss white (Oyster White by Glidden from Walmart.)  It really brightens up the place.  I know it seems weird to replace the back splash before the counter but I wanted the back splash to go behind my new cabinet.  I left a gap between the counter and the bottom of the boards so hopefully there wont be much damage when we pull the counter out.  I plan to use either quarter round or some sort of trim to finish it off anyways which will cover the gap.  (the trim is just sitting there for now for the photo shoot.)

To build the cabinet I used two 1 x 12 x 34" pine boards for the sides.  (Keep in mind 1 x 12 pine is actually 11.25" wide) The bottom 9" I cut out a decorative bracket shape.  That was the hardest part deciding on that shape.  

Total cabinet width is 30" so I cut a 1 x 12 x 28.5" board for the bottom shelf and glued and screwed it to the sides.

Then I stopped taking pictures for some unknown reason.  So I will attempt to show the rest by typing all over the finished picture. 

I wanted the top portion of the cabinet to be deeper than the lower plate rack section to make the cabinet look more interesting and custom.  To achieve this I glued and nailed a  1 x 2 x 12" piece to the 1 x 12 sides.  Then to make the shelf the right depth I added a 1 x 2 to the back of it.  That way the seam was in the back so the constant sliding of plates wont bother it.  

For the top of the cabinet ideally I would have used a 1 x 12 and a 1 x 2 like the shelf but I didn't have anymore 1 x 12 so I used what I had.   I added a 1 x 4 to the top back so that I would have something solid to screw through to mount it to the wall.  Underneath the bottom shelf I added a 1 x 4 and drilled holes for the pegs.  I finished it off with 1/4" plywood on the back. 

I didn't think I was going to add crown molding but when I installed the cabinet it looked plain.  (the before looks bald kinda doesn't it?) I do love me some crown.  

I made a little crown molding hat for the cabinet that sits on top.  I haven't nailed it in yet because I eventually want to paint the ceiling.  Once I do that I will attach it and caulk the seam. There is a beam above the cabinet so the sides don't go all the way back.

The plate rack I built just like I did my old plate rack click here for a tutorial.  If you are wondering if I have two plate racks now the answer is no.  I took the other one out of the other cabinet and used the dowels for this one.  I really like having a plate rack it is very functional and I love the way they look.
I am really happy with the change the back splash and new Cabinet have made to the kitchen.  It is closer to the cottagey kitchen look I am going for.  I almost don't mind the yellowed maple cabinets anymore.  Almost. I will be able to live with them a little longer.  Next up installing the garage sale granite I picked up almost two years ago.  Man time flies.    

Playing at the following Parties

TDC Before and After
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  1. you need to send me full specs of that plate rack!!! I've wanted one forever. This is gorgeous . You are my hero xox

  2. It makes such a difference. It was a great idea.

  3. What a difference! Your new custom made plate rack is bright, functional and just plain pretty. The paneled backsplash looks so fresh. I love it!

  4. Looks great. Reminds me of one I built for a client four or five years ago that I always said I was going to build one for myself...still haven't...still want it...time sure does fly! Great job!

  5. So much brighter and very pretty. Love the open plate rack, the trim detail and seriously loving the wood backsplash.

  6. I have always loved this look of the open plate rack and yours makes this space look so great!

  7. Your talent amazes me. I love the look of the white between the wood, plus the back splash is so pretty. Well done my friend and wonderful idea.

  8. Love how much brighter it is! You did a wonderful job, makes me want to go do something about my kitchen!

  9. Love the cute cupboard, wow that is the cutest, I also like all the white dishes you have in it...I could sure use that...I am a new follower of yours and I will be back soon to see what you are up to...

  10. Wow I love that! It really makes your kitchen. You did a super job.I am a new follower and I will be following you.
    Have a great week

  11. What a great idea! I love that! :)


  12. Your plate rack looks wonderful- I'm hoping some day I will be able to build things like this. The new back splash adds a nice fresh touch, also. Great job!

  13. It turned out great, I have a plate rack in my kitchen and love it also, however I had a Carpenter make mine for me

    visiting from wow Us wednesday

  14. Visiting from The Scoop link party. Very impressive! I love how it turned out...very fresh and it gives your kitchen a custom look. I'd love to have a built in plate rack.

  15. What a great idea!!! The backsplash is wonderful and so is the new plate rack......I admire you for your talent and know-how!!!

  16. I love your new cabinet and adding the crown moulding is the perfect touch. I've used that tongue and groove paneling on my kitchen walls and on one wall in my laundry space. It's so easy to use and great for hiding ugly wallboard.
    Are you planning on painting your wood ceiling? Say it isn't so. :)

  17. That's fabulous and you may have just given me the push to do tongue and groove to cover the horrible tiles I have, which I did paint several years ago but they are now showing much wear and tear! I've been considering T&G for some time as I love the look. x

  18. I love it! The cabinet, but especially the back splash change for some reason! Can't wait to see the granite. The only bad thing about granite that I have found is once you have it, you don't ever want to go back to anything less. I'm having a hard time thinking about painting the countertops etc... in my next place. I got a steal on the granite in this house...hopefully I can find one for the next!

    Hope all is well!

  19. Hi Mimi, I tried to feature this project at the link party this week, but the photo kept deleting. I think I solved the problem. If you care to come link it up again this week, I'll give it another try!

  20. great build mimi! your pate rack looks fabulos. :)
    ps no-reply :(

  21. This is super cute! You really did a fantastic job!


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