Refrigerator Wall Cabinets Finished

I got all of the cabinet doors finished — primed, sanded, painted, gold leafed, and polyurethaned — and got them all installed at around midnight last night.  The gold leafing is my favorite part of the whole process, but wow, is it time-consuming!!  I stood on a ladder to get the whole view over the peninsula for this picture, which is why the perspective looks a bit funny and the refrigerator looks so squat.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets finished - 1

I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  Now I just need to do the tiling, install the vent hood, switch the door swing on the fridge, and move the range back in, and this wall will be completely finished!  I’m hoping to do most of that today.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets finished - 2

Of course, I still need my door and drawer hardware, but that’s on backorder until early September.  I also need to bump the back wall of the refrigerator enclosure back just a bit so that the fridge can be pushed back all the way (with just the thickness of the doors extending past the front edge of the enclosure), but I think I’ll wait on that until I actually work on the music room.  I don’t like how it looks now, sticking out that far, but it’s not hoooorible, and it’ll look better once I switch the door swing and lower the front leveling feet more so that it sits straight in the enclosure.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets finished - 3

I also had a very hard time getting those two little cabinet doors to go on straight.  I was tired last night, so I gave up.  I’ll work on it more today and hopefully I can get them on perfectly straight and get that gap (about 1/4-inch) between the doors closed up.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets finished - 4

But the painting, polyurethaning, and gold leafing is finished.  I love how they look!

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets finished - 5

And now after seeing these cabinets finished, I’m so glad that we came up with the solution we did for the drawers.  If I had gone with my original plan to just do the gold leafing directly onto the flat drawer front, it would have looked so wrong.

With the gold leafing on the cabinet doors being on an area that actually insets into a recessed panel, when you view them from an angle, some of those gold accents are hidden from view.  But had I gold leafed directly onto the flat drawer fronts, all four sides of the gold leafed rectangle would have been viewable regardless of the angle at which you view the cabinets.  That discrepancy between the doors and drawers would have looked very strange, in my opinion.  And it would have made those drawers look like a DIY afterthought rather than a well-planned-out part of a custom design.

I love progress.  It’s taken me a while to get here, but I’m finally starting to feel like I might actually have a fully functional, completely finished kitchen here pretty soon.  🙂



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  1. Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous!! And the gold leafing is the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see your hardware installed. Keep up the good work!!

  2. Yippee! Looking awesome in there – the cabinets, the gold, the counters – it is looking so amazing together. I love your door/drawer solution for the gold too, the best out of all the thoughts out there. I also didn’t have a chance to chime in on the wood floor question the other but boy, you sure got yourself some responses! Ditto with what everyone else said too. 🙂 Have a great day, Kristi! Sharon

  3. I will admit that I was a skeptic when you first decided on the green kitchen. However, I am absolutely loving how it has turned out. It’s beautiful!

  4. You are on fire!!! I’m loving it and I’m excited so I know you have to be over the moon happy!!! It’s going to look like a million bucks!

  5. Kristi – they look spectacular!! So glad you didn’t do the drawers – I agree they would have had a DIY look . . can’t wait to see it all done! WAY TO GO!

  6. Woweee, missy, that’s lookin’ mighty fine! Your hard work and long hours are paying off Big Time!

    Onward and Upward!

  7. Looks absolutely stunning! Great job. Maybe time will tell but I’m wondering how well the gold leaf will stay on the doors? Did you coat it with Poly also or is it very well adhered? 2nd question is regarding the vent hood-will you give us a sneak peek at what you plan to install? There are so many fabulous designs out there and I’m so curious as to what you have chosen! Also I don’t see any venting that leads outside so I’m curious if you have something special in mind or if there are other alternatives for the typical ducting that allows the vent hood to exhaust outside.

  8. Looks great! How much space are you leaving behind your fridge? The reason I ask is because my fridge is next to a wall like yours and I just had to pay for a service call because my bottom freezer stopped working. Come to find out, the technician said that there was not enough space between the side and back wall to allow for air circulation for the fan. Who knew?

  9. So enjoy checking in each day to see the changes to your beautiful kitchen! Rather than bumping out the music room wall could you install a vent in the wall to allow the warm air to escape from behind the fridge? Also, I love the idea of a butler’s pantry across one end of your breakfast room. Could you make it wide enough that you could still have the door to the sun room? With double doors, maybe pocket doors, so you could open them up when entertaining.

  10. Love it!! I only hope you will come to my house when you are done, because I have a lot of things I need done too, Kristi.

  11. Love your POV & writing – thank you!
    Re switching the refrigerator door: It looks like the wall on the left is so close the handles will hit the wall and keep the door from opening all the way. Please ignore this if that isn’t the case.
    That could present a problem when you’re moving or removing shelves or drawers. I’m too familiar with cramped kitchens, and if the refrig door can’t swing out at least 90% you’ve got trouble!

    1. I agree 100@ about the swing of the refrigerator door. It appears from the photos that the wall is going to stop the swing. When you need to remove shelves and drawers for cleaning, that could be a problem. Not to mention the possibility of the door bumping into the wall each time it is opened. That would be annoying and mar the wall.

    2. Clarifying – the refrig door should be able to swing out to at least a 90 degree angle, not 90% (where was my brain? I don’t know.) Need to be able to pull racks & drawers straight out, so the exact amount of play needed depends on the configuration inside. My refrigerator needs a degree or two past 90. Otherwise I’m trying and failing to yank things out.
      If the existing space is too tight the only thing worse would be not finding out until later. You have created such a beautifully done room, the word “kitchen” seems inadequate!

  12. LOVE! You are so inspiring. I may try concrete countertops too and a color on my cabinets. I absolutely love it.

  13. I was not sure on the cabinet color…but I have to say they are stunning. The gold leaf makes them very beautiful and diffferent. Love the look. I hope you keep your floors just wood as I think the cabinets are the “show”. They do not need anything to compete with them. But…you always come up with something that looks great. Love reading of your adventures.

  14. I swear if we didn’t get our Kristi fix every day, what would we do? Wishing I could see your kitchen in person. The cabinets are nothing less than awesome. I do hope you can get your floor back to a wood finish. I think the two ideas are now fighting each other. Thanks for sharing with us….

  15. I can’t call myself a “green” person and yet I am loving your kitchen! I would love to be cooking in it!

  16. Everything is looking fantastic! I am in awe of you and your abilities and skills! And your tenacity!

    I seem to remember you addressing the gold leaf much earlier . . . I saw a couple of comments about it staying on . . . I’m sure that is something you gave much thought to before doing it. I love that it’s something you wanted and were inspired to do. It’s not something I would have done, but hey, it’s your kitchen! But I admit that I covet your green cabinets!!

    Keep up the good work! I can’t tell you how I look forward to your updates each day! For the time it takes for me to read your posts I can live through you! And, boy, do I dream! 🙂

  17. I agree, the gold leaf is the best part of the cabinets! Too bad it took so long, but it gives a lot of bling.

  18. This is looking so spectacular!!!! I have two questions….1. Would it work to turn the area you bump out in the music room into your pantry so the bump would be hidden in the the pantry? 2. Have you thought about putting a tiny bit of the gold leafing on the beautiful turned posts on the first cabinet wall. They are so pretty, but I am feeling like they get overpowered by the lovely doors? Maybe just one line of leafing (similar width to the cabinet leafing) around one of the turned sections? I think they are a bit lonely without their own bit of “bling” 😉 Love your work!

  19. cabinets are amazing. Have you decided on your floors? I love the painted look so chaulk me in the painted floor column

  20. Love what you are doing. I can’t believe that you did it basically yourself! Such an inspiration to us. I am curious about your refrigerator. The doors look kind of old-school and the handles are placed lower. Is this a handicap accessible refrigerator?

  21. I have to say I am loving the green with the gold trim. It ties in the lighting fixture beautifully. You are truly inspiring. I can’t wait to see everything put together. I have to admit, that when you were making the color choices I was not on board, but now I don’t know why I ever doubted you.

  22. As usual, it looks fantastic!! Brings back good memories to me too. We built a house about 20 years ago and I had dark green painted cabinets with brass hardware. When I told the cabinet maker what he wanted, he flipped out! Painted cabinets??? Unheard of! We no longer live in the house, but the kitchen was always my favorite room. I am sure you will make many good memories in your beautiful kitchen too.

  23. It’s absolutely beautiful! Do you ever go on vacation? Like actually leave and travel? lol Because I think that warrants its. 😉 Of course why go on vacation when you have such a beautiful kitchen? lol

  24. When do you sleep? Seriously, this is my favorite blog and I can’t wait each morning to read. Thank you so much.

  25. Your kitchen cabinets look amazing! I’m trying to work up enough guts to try this in my kitchen! Young Lady, you have guts!!!

  26. I can’t remember what color you are going to paint the walls in the kitchen. Can you put up a reminder? Thnx!

    1. All the kitchen walls will be white herringbone tile. She has already done the backsplash on the wall of cabinets so you can see an example.

  27. They look great Kristi. I will be anxious to see it with the tile and the stove and hood. What are you planning for the empty space above the fridge? If it is not going to be used for storage, I would suggest some really stunning with a white back round but lots of rich color. Possibly a really large tureen, although they are hard to come by, or a large ceramic tray with greens and golds and a few other colors on an easel. One that would fill up the dead space. I think something substantial like that would be stunning and really compliment your cabinets. I am sure you could find something on one of the flash sites. I see stuff like that all the time. It is so funny, but when I look at your cabinets I feel like a teenager! My high school colors were green and gold and still are. I love the two of them together. Blessings

    1. A really large white stoneware soup tureen would look great on that shelf above the frig. Or white stoneware pitchers, etc. I’m loving dreaming about the accessories.

  28. I’m so happy that you are letting us be a part of your remodeling adventure! I love every post! You do fabulous work!!

  29. I love how they look, too. I especially like the trim on the bottom of the larger upper cabinets, looks real nice!
    I’m planning my kitchen redo and using stock cabinets really lets you add your own style/ craft to the room.
    Oh, and you are awesome.

  30. It looks incredible! Just gorgeous! I’m so impressed with this kitchen so far, can only imagine how beautiful it’s going to be when completed. I am going to miss those floors, though, I just love them so much. Whatever you end up doing is going to look perfect, though, I have 100% faith in your final vision. You go girl!

  31. I was definitely not a fan of the green when you first started planning to use it. Now I’m not only a fan, but if I ever paint my cabinets again, I’ll certainly entertain the green when choosing a color. You totally rock!! 🙂

  32. Those green cabinets are like a breath of fresh air!!!! (Hey look, not another white kitchen!) I am so excited for you to finish this project. I mean, I loved your blue cabs from your condo, but these are just so nice!!
    And if I’m this excited for you, I’m sure you’re excited too : )