We’re officially at the stage of the kitchen project that feels like it will never end, with all of the priming, wood filling, sanding, and caulking. I’ve also had to add quite a bit of new trim.
My mom’s house was built in the 60’s, and the kitchen cabinets are original to the house. The cabinet boxes were fine, and we wanted to keep costs low, so we kept the boxes and just made new cabinet doors.
But the decades of use showed on some parts of the cabinets. For example, the edges of the shelves were a little beaten up. It showed much more before we primed, but you can still see that they’re a little rough here…
So I cut strips of this thin 1/4-inch wood (lattice, maybe?) to reface the edges of the shelves. These strips were 1 1/2 inches wide, and I used my table saw to rip them down to one inch, and then attached them to the edges of the shelves with wood glue and 18-gauge 5/8-inch nails.
It seems like a little thing, but those fresh, new edges really breathed some new life into those old shelves. I also used some wood filler that I thinned just a little bit with water to fill the grain on the shelves, because while the builders did a great job in building the cabinets, they used some of the roughest wood ever. Wood filling the grain and then sanding it smooth made a world of difference.
And speaking of wood filler, I decided that we needed to fill the grooves in the paneling on all of the areas that will be painted the green cabinet color to distinguish these areas from the walls. That took quite a bit of wood filler! I’m pretty sure we used a full 32-ounce container of wood filler just on filling the grooves in the paneling. 😀
It took a while to get all of those grooves filled and sanded, but it wasn’t difficult at all, although this top section in the window area was definitely more challenging.
We also removed quite a bit of the original trim and reworked those areas. The original upper cabinets had vertical trim that was pieced together on the inside corners at both ends of the cabinets where the cabinets meet the walls, and also had the standard paneling corner trim on the outside corners on the paneling that was above the cabinets.
So I added new quarter round that went all the way from top to bottom on the areas where the cabinets meet the walls. And then on that one outside corner on the upper paneling, instead of using a new piece of that outside corner paneling trim, I just used wood filler to form a nice corner that didn’t need trim.
The paneling on this area needed to be completely replaced…
At one time, the kitchen had double wall ovens in this area, and those required a vent at the top. I just removed that 1/4-inch piece of paneling and replaced it with 1/4-inch MDF. Then I used wood filler on those outside corners as well, so that they wouldn’t require that outside corner paneling trim either.
I also had to rework the bottom shelves on the cabinets. The original doors went all the way down to the bottom of the cabinet boxes, and they were that old style that is partial inset and partial overlay. That meant that the edge on the bottom shelves of each cabinet was inset, which wouldn’t work for the partial overlay cabinet doors I made.
So I had to remove the 1/4-inch piece that was attached to each of the bottom shelves, and replace those with thicker pieces. I used 1″ x 2″ pre-primed lumber, which is actually 3/4″ thick and 1.5″ wide. I ripped those down to one inch wide and attached them with 16-gauge 1.5-inch nails.
Evidently old 1-inch lumber was a bit thicker than the new stuff, so I had to use my table saw to cut some thin slices of lumber to use a spacers behind the new strips so that the faces of the new strips would be flush with the original face pieces.
That worked perfectly, and once everything was wood filled and sanded, it looked great.
Well, maybe not great. 😀 But it WILL look great once it’s painted!
And finally, the area where the paneling meets the cabinets needed new trim. I didn’t quite get that finished, so that’s where I’ll start today. But I did get the one main piece attached on the window/sink wall.
It’s definitely looking rough in its current partially primed, partially wood filled, all sanded state, but it already looks so much better to me! Here’s the original…
And the current…
I think we’re still about a day away from painting. I still need to add that top trim piece to this entire side of the kitchen…
And then we have a bit more wood filling and sanding to do. And caulking. And priming all of the new trim pieces that aren’t primed yet. And then sanding those pieces.
But it’s getting there! I’m really hoping that by the end of today, this kitchen will be ready for paint.
There are two big areas that still need work before we’re ready for paint. The first is the back side of the peninsula. This area originally had no doors. Then many years ago, when the double wall ovens were removed and a range was added, my mom lost two lower cabinets in the space needed for the new range. So my dad cut these openings in the back of the peninsula and added the two doors.
I’m going to completely rebuild the back side so that there are two sets of double doors, so my mom and niece removed everything from the back of the peninsula, and it now looks like this…
I’m still not completely sure what my plan is for that back side. 😀 This is one of those projects that I’ll make up as I go along.
I also need to turn this dishwasher space into a cabinet…
That requires nothing more than adding bracing at the bottom, along with a plywood shelf, a face frame piece, and a toekick. It’s as simple as that! Then once it’s primed and sanded inside, it’ll look just like the rest of the cabinets.
So that’s the current status of the kitchen. The wood filling and sanding is my favorite part of the process, and while I don’t love caulking, I do love how all of this prep work makes such a huge difference in the final outcome. Once we get these cabinets painted, we’ll be able to see how all of this work in the middle makes such a huge difference.
I’m hoping that I’ll have some actual painted cabinets to show y’all on Monday!