Kitchen makeover

When we moved into our house, our cabinets looked like this.

But, the past few weeks have involved a lot of paint and sanding and even a miter saw.  This post is all about our kitchen progress.  I must confess, my "after" pictures have been strategically taken to hide the unfinished parts.  I'm during this transformation in stages because, well, I have a sixteen month old.  That's really all the explanation that's necessary.  I'll be posting my progress here and hopefully in several weeks, they'll be true "after" pictures to share.

First off...the crown molding.  To begin with, there was only a little dinky sad excuse for crown molding atop my cabinets.  I considered removing it completely to make room for the real stuff, but then I realised it could stay nicely as a separator.  So, it stayed.  My first project, therefore was to add a furring strip (a cheap 1 x 2") to the top of my cabinets.  This was necessary so there would be something for my molding to be screwed into. 

Notice I said screwed.  Originally I thought I could do the whole project with furniture nails.  But, I learned the hard way that those little nails were no match for my industrial strength molding plans.  The whole thing was litterally collapsing.  So, furniture screws it was. 

Next came a 1x6" board that wrapped all the way across my cabinets.  This was for hiegth.  My boring builder grade cabinets needed a lift to look established.

You can see if you look closely that I screwed another furring strip to the top of the 1x6"s but, this was entirely unnecessary because when I held the crown molding up I realised it would look best attached directly to the 1x6.  So, I used a ruler and drew a line all the way across the board about one inch from the top to act as my guide line so that I'd have some level molding.  No one likes unlevel stuff and gaps in the corners.

and finally came the crown molding.  I thought this would be a snap.  After all, I have a lovely miter saw that I'm very familiar with and has special little read lines to mark exactly which angle I need to tilt it to for crown molding.  But, I must admit, this made for one very tense afternoon.  I think I even cried at one point.  And those you tube video tutorials that made it look so easy weren't making me feel any better. Word to the wise, buy extra molding.  A lot extra.  But, we got through it and my miter saw and I will be one speaking terms again...someday.

I did pick up two very helpful tips.  Predrill your holes!  Nothing is worse than finally getting a board cut to the right length with the right angles only to have it split when nailing it up!  And secondly, after nailing up your molding, predrill a small hole at the top corner point where your molding meets and then using a small nail, attach them together.  The nail can be hidden with wood filler.  This holds your molding together so it lines up nicely with no gaps.  No gaps = no one will know you did it yourself.  Unless you blog about it of course.

Next came the easier though much messier stage of the kitchen redo.  I removed all the doors and hardware and then scuffed everything up with my electric sander.

Then everything got a coat of primer that is specially formulated to stick to shiny surfaces (a.k.a. fake foiled builder cabinets)

Next I went with a pure white semi-gloss.  I was so afraid of my cabinets turning out yellow that I decided to forgo the cream, offwhite, linen, etc. paintchips I'd been mulling over for a few months (that's how long it took me to muster the courage to take on this project).

Then came the magic part.  Antiquing glaze found at Lowes.  It's less than $10 for a bottle and a bottle goes a very long ways.  You just dry brush in on and then wipe it off.

It basically stays only in the corners and warmed up my bright white just a tint.  I'm in love.  I'll probably use it on all my painting projects for ever more!  You only think I'm joking.

After a week of sneaking into the garage when my baby didn't notice to put another coat on those's the result.

The bottom cabinets are still in progress and I hope to replace lights, paint the walls, add hardware, etc.  So, I'm far from finished but enjoying the process.


  1. OMGOSH that turned out so CUTE! would love to do this in my kitchen - although my husband would probably kill me - very cute!

  2. Wow!! I have often wanted to do something to my cabinets but have never been brave enough. You are awesome.

  3. Mitering a corner molding is just so intimidating. I am very impressed. Your kitched is really looking good. Can't wait to see the next phase.

  4. Good job- I'm with Danielle, my husband would kill me too :)