You don’t have to spend a ton of money on new kitchen cabinets to get a new updated look. When I first bought my house one of the things I didn’t like at all was the kitchen. I lived with the orange colored oak cabinets and vinyl flooring for a while before I decided to add hardwood floors. I also bought new appliances, added crown molding to the cabinets, added new hardware and used permacil tape on the walls to make the walls look like stripes (not something I would recommend. When I removed the tape a few years later it pulled chunks of drywall off the walls I had to skimcoat the walls before I could re-paint them. You can read more about that fiasco and the wrong color paint I used here). I lived with the kitchen like that for a few years. I didn’t love my kitchen but it was better then how it looked originally. You can see my previous updates to the kitchen here.
A while ago I decided to continue working on the kitchen to make it look more like what I had been imaging. First on the list of things to do was painting appliances, I painted my refrigerator and the stove hood with appliance paint to give them a new clean look. Then I got to work on the cabinets! One of the easiest ways to make a kitchen look more updated and custom is to build the cabinets up to the ceiling and add a refrigerator surround. This cabinet project cost me roughly $230.00. Not a huge hit to the wallet if you ask me for such a dramatic new look!
Materials I used:
(3) 1 x 6 x 12′s (3) 12′ pieces of crown molding
(3) 10′ pieces of thin 1″ molding
(2) 4 x 8 MDF Sheets
New Hardware & Hinges
Paint (Sherwin Williams Wool Skein)
Left over wood and Union Jack Sheet Metal
Step 1: I started out attaching some scrap blocks of wood to the top of the cabinets and ceiling. Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of these step but you can see where I placed these blocks in the photo below.
Step 2: After installing these blocks I attached a 1 x 6 piece of wood to the front of these blocks around the cabinets and build a refrigerator surround. Since I was using pretty wide crown molding I didn’t need to have the new wood go up to the ceiling if you are using smaller crown you would probably want your wood to go up to the ceiling so your crown has something to bite into.
For the surround, I made a box around the refrigerator, one sheet of MDF on the left and right side of the refrigerator, a piece of 1 x 6 wood in the front. I had some left over union jack sheet metal from my DIY air return vent and left over 1 x 2 pieces of wood that I used for the new door for the refrigerator surround, I installed a shelf made of plywood above the refrigerator inside the surround to give me more storage space. For the surround I had one of my friends hold the sheets of mdf up while I attached them to the wall. Once I got both sides up I installed a shelf to go above the refrigerator then I attached the front 1 x 6 piece. Then I made a frame with the union jack sheet metal for the door and attached it to the front top of the surround.
Step 3: The next step was to add molding. A very thin band where the new lumber meets the old cabinets and the crown molding. Luckily one of my neighbors was able to help me get the crown cut right and he installed it for me! For some reason this crown was not as easy to cut as the previous crown I did on the cabinets.
Step 4: Caulk and paint the cabinets. I removed the doors and sanded both the boxes and doors, used one coat of primer and two coats of paint. The paint I used was Sherwin Williams Wool Skein this paint is one of the 2014 color trends!
Step 5: Add new door & drawer pulls and hinges then reinstall the doors.
Some other things I did to update the look of my kitchen was to add board and batten on one wall (the wall opposite the door to the deck) with a custom DIY air return vent. I also built a plumbers pipe bench! I also made my own stain for the bench which you can see here “How to oxidize wood“.
What’s next on the kitchen to do list? New counters and back-splash! The back-splash will be marble subway tiles, the counters will be either marble or maybe quartz.
Before & After:
Kitchen when I put an offer on the house to purchase it (previous owners decor)
And how it looks today with updated DIY Cabinets!