An Expensive Mistake With A Silver Lining

My doors, drawer fronts, and corbels that got rained on ended up being a complete loss. They warped, cracked, and the inset panels all swelled around the edges. You can see what I mean on this cabinet door.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 1

See how the inset panel has that swollen area all around the perimeter?  You can see it even more on this smaller door.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 2

Every panel on every single door and drawer front was like that.  It was so discouraging, because once plywood swells from water in an area like that, it’s virtually impossible to get it smooth again.  Sanding it enough to get it smooth again usually results in sanding off the first layer and revealing the layer underneath.

And even if I could have gotten it smooth, that wasn’t the only problem.  The doors and drawer fronts also had cracks all over, like this one.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 3

Which made the frame shift along the crack so that it was no longer even.  No amount of wood filler and sanding could hide something like that.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 4

Plus, everything was warped, including the corbels.  Not even one of the corbels could be salvaged since none of them were 90-degree angles anymore.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 6

And about six of the ten corbels cracked and swelled in random places.

ruined cabinet doors and drawer fronts 5

The one silver lining in this whole thing is the corbels.  When I went to Home Depot the first time to buy corbels, I just grabbed the ones I liked the most, without giving any thought whatsoever to which ones would actually work best with my particular kitchen design.  So I bought the ones above, since I liked them the best.

When I went back to get the replacements, I grabbed the same corbels, but they didn’t have enough.  I didn’t want to drive across town to the other Home Depot, so I took a look at the others they had available to see if any of them would work.  I found one that would work, although I didn’t like it as much as the original one.  But when I got them home, I realized that these new corbels were perfect for my kitchen!

corbels added to stock cabinets - 1

Not only were they larger and more substantial, but the trim around the edges looked like it was just made to go with my kitchen.

corbels added to stock cabinets - 2

But the most amazing thing of all is how well they went with the furniture feet that I made for my cabinets.  I mean, I couldn’t have matched these any better if I had made the corbels from scratch myself (which I was originally planning to do, but changed my mind).  Just take a look at this (upside down) decorative foot and the corbel next to each other.  It looks like I took the scrap part that I cut away from the foot, enlarged it, flipped it upside down, and made a corbel from it.

corbels added to stock cabinets - 3

Is that not amazing?!  Especially considering that when I made those feet, I wasn’t looking at anything as inspiration (like a picture of a corbel from Home Depot) as I drew the freehand design.  I just took a piece of wood and drew a random design and tweaked it until I liked it.

If I didn’t know for sure that that was pure coincidence, I would probably find it very hard to believe.  But it really was pure coincidence.

Anyway, I have new corbels, and they’re all installed and painted.  I ordered new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and I have no idea when they’ll be here, so I’ll just be patient and wait.  To find the replacement doors, all I did is Google “replacement cabinet doors” and I found several online stores that offered cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  I just searched through several of the stores until I found one that carried a style that matched my doors, and I placed my order.

In all, this ridiculously stupid lapse of common sense mistake ended up costing me about $325.  That’s so discouraging considering that an amount of money like that could have really made a huge dent in my plans for my hallway.  Oh well.  That’s life.  🙁

And on top of all of that, Pottery Barn keeps changing the delivery date on my cabinet hardware.  I’ve waited over a month, and each time I check the order lately, the estimated delivery date is pushed back again.

So I totally feel like my kitchen remodel is stalled right now.  So frustrating.  In the meantime, I’ve taken my mind off of my kitchen by doing a simple project.  I’m painting my front door.  It’s black.  And beautiful.  And needs one more coat of paint before it’s done.

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  1. Wow that is amazing! And they are beautiful. I love that you don’t just throw up your hands and quit when these things happen. I am ALMOST as excited to see the finished kitchen as you are. LOL Hope you got to enjoy a bit of the weekend.

  2. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? I’m so happy for you, that you found that silver lining in all the rain clouds!

    Have you been able to get any of the other things on your to-do list for the kitchen completed, i.e., the trim above the wall tiles, touching up the ceiling, etc.?

    I’m comparing your kitchen remodel with the last few weeks of pregnancy – you know the baby will come sooner or later, but you’ve passed your due date, and holy cow, but you’re ready for delivery! You know the pregnancy will be completed at some point, so you just waddle around until the big day. LOL! (I do hope that doesn’t offend.)

    Keep on keepin’ on, Kristi!

    1. The rest of the list has stalled as well. I’m just so tired of working on that kitchen. This is so my personality. I get a project about 90 to 95 percent finished, I see that it’s going to turn out like I envisioned it, that satisfaction enough for me,and I’m ready to move on. It will really take all of my willpower, self control, and self discipline to actually see it through to completion at this point. I’m over it, and so ready to move on to my hallway.

      And no, your comparison didn’t offend me. 🙂 I’ll just keep waddling around until it’s finished. LOL

      1. I understand exactly, Kristi, I share that 90-95% completion problem. It’s the all-consuming question of “What’s it going to look like?” that spurs me on in a project too, and once I can answer that, the little details needed to finish tend to lose my interest. I think perhaps the delay in getting the hardware, and having to wait for the doors/drawer fronts, is a contributing factor too. Just take a break from the kitchen for a bit and accomplish something else, and then go back and ‘git ‘er done’!

  3. Kristi,
    I’m so sorry for all this trouble, but so very happy you have worked through it. About the Pottery Barn hardware….when I ordered from them…my hardware was also on back order for several months. I had professional kitchen people redoing my kitchen (I’m not skilled like you!!) so they could not install them when they were here. Then, about a year later, one of the knobs just broke off (the glass part) in my hand. I emailed customer service and they replaced the broken knob. Yes, it was technically out of warranty, but I very much appreciated the new knob. It helped redeem Pottery Barn in my eyes. I hope this story helps redeem them …in some small way… In your eyes. It might make the waiting easier.
    Your friend and fan,

  4. Just save those pieces that got wet. I’m Betting you’ll be able to use them on down the road in the garage or someplace less visible!

  5. That’s truly amazing about the corbels. They are just perfect!

    Boy oh boy though, I am so sorry for the frustrating and costly rain damage. I would have had a good cry, I assure you. But maybe it’ll be a good story for down the road when thinking of your kitchen redo? Way down the road…. 🙂

  6. Well, sometimes things work out like that. Don’t let it get you down. It’s gonna look fantastic. I see so many kitchen renovations that have open shelves instead of upper cabinets. That would drive me bonkers. What do you think is the popularity of those? Money savings? Just curious about your thoughts.

    1. I think they’re popular with certain styles, like cottage style interiors, or farmhouse style interiors, (although not exclusively, obviously) just because they’re a more casual, easy look. At one time I thought I might try it. I changed my mind when I had my doors off of my cabinets at the condo, and went into my kitchen to see my Siamese cat curled up on top of the plates in the open cabinets. I’d be curious how people with cats keep them off the open shelves.

  7. Kristi, so sorry for you. I know what does it mean the hard work has ruined 🙁 but the kitchen is beautiful. Thank you for couraging.
    Many hugs

  8. The corbels are perfect! Well done. Sorry about having to replace all the drawer fronts and doors. Hopefully, they won’t be long getting to you. As for hardware, you can use a kitchen without it for a while and just add it when it finally arrives – it’ll feel like Christmas!

    Can’t wait to see the front door!

  9. Mistakes aren’t stupid, they are how we learn! I am thrilled to learn that I can find a corbel that is similar to your cabinet feet. Now I can just buy one and use it to figure out how to do the feet! Guess everyone is on the black door kick thanks to Houzz. I thought about having mine painted red, then black when they painted the porch last year, but then I decided (with some strong words from the hubs) the the white door did exactly what it was suppose to do. I gives the porch that non stop flow that I love so much. So I am content to paint the interior doors in the kitchen area black. My powder room already has a black wallpaper from floor to ceiling and black crown molding, so it will all go great. Your wall of cabinets looks so beautiful with the corbels in place and the sconces on the walls. It will be a spectacular kitchen once you are all finished. I don’t remember if you showed us the pulls for your drawers, but I would think that you could find them somewhere other than Pottery Barn and probably for a lot less. Having a husband who has worked in manufacturing for over 40 years, I am well aware of the games that retailers play. Places like Pottery Barn are nortorious for advertising items for sale and then once they have the required amount to make it worth their while they will place the order with the manufacturer. Additionally most of the stuff they sell comes from overseas and there has been a huge crack down at the Customs Level here in the US. Containers are being held for months at a time at ports of call, because illegal goods being smuggled into our country. No doubt your pulls are coming from someplace like China. If you cannot live without them then I guess you get to wait. I just hope you don’t get one of the infamous emails telling you that due to circumstances beyond their control, Pottery Barn can no longer deliver on your order. It happens more than you can imagine. I keep looking and have a back up plan, just in case. I know when I ordered some pulls to replace missing ones on two dressers that I have refinished there was a delay. They were made in Italy. However, Van Dykes gave me a date and sure enough they were here when they promised. Unless I find something that Iike at Lowes or HD or one of my local shops, I always go to Van Dykes, they have such a huge selection I can always find something that I like in my price range. Hope your doors and drawers arrive quickly, it stinks having to wait! Blessings

  10. Just curious, what is the purpose of the corbels? Are they decorative or do they offer support for the cabinets? I love watching your progress.

  11. Kristi, thank you for sharing the setbacks as well as all the amazing projects you do. It makes me feel like it is normal to have the occasional derailment. I paint furniture for a living so I do have things go wrong on a pretty regular basis. It is all about problem solving instead of giving up. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for introducing me to the critter sprayer. I just got mine and yesterday I completed a buffet with 4 drawers and inside shelves along with a top piece with a mirror in about 10 minutes! (After the prep and taping of course.) and that included painting the inside of the drawers! Clean up was very easy. Thank you, thank you!

  12. Kristi,

    If it is any consolation to you I have learned so much about renovating since I started following your blog. I’m sure I am not the only one either. I love your “get back up” attitude. Personally I would be in the foetal position crying if I had had to deal with the challenges that you have faced. It gives me high hopes for our forever house though. So many ideas rampaging around in my head. Keep up your amazing work and your amazing attitude. I love it.


  13. You’ve done a wonderful job. I would of set down & cried when I found the doors rained on. All that time & money down the drain. I was just wondering , did you just stop in the kitchen and just start on some other projects? Or are you doing the smaller things on your list while waiting, so all you have to do is the doors and drawer fronts when they get here. You said you didn’t know when they would be in when you ordered them. Glad you were able to find a match. I can’t wait to see the fully finished product where you are fully using it.

    1. I’ve done some of the smaller projects on the list, but I kind of ran out of steam this week. I’ve just felt so discouraged that I kind of wanted to walk away from the kitchen completely and work on other fun projects.