Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kitchen Cabinets and Chandelier

When we walk through this house before we bought it we loved the hidden potential the house possessed. It had amazing vaulted ceilings, lots of extra space and an office I could turn into a playroom for my girls. However it would take some TLC to get the house in the condition we wanted it and to the point that we could call it our own. The kitchen had the most potential and was a great selling point for us. Thank goodness it had granite counter tops because I am not sure we would have seen the diamond in the rough if it had not. The granite counter tops were beautiful but the cabinetry seriously needed some work.   The original cabinets had no crown molding and the original color had an ugly pink hue to it. On top of that the appliances were about as old as I am. This was our first project we undertook after moving in! I have been waiting to post about it until I finished my island. I actually started this blog after we finished the cabinets so I apologize, I may be lacking in the picture department. 

Here is our before picture

First we took off the cabinet doors. When your unscrewing hinges make sure to take off the bottom hinge FIRST. If you take off the top hinge your door will start to tilt and will bend the hinge. That me up there on the fridge. I almost fell off the fridge a few times while taking these dorr fronts off because the fridge door kept opening!. After all the doors are off clean everything with TSP. TSP is a heavy duty cleaner that will make sure your are not sealing in any grime and grease when you are painting. 
After the cabinets were cleaned we deglossed all the doors and cabinet frames. A deglosser allows you to skip your sanding step when you are painting. This will save you HOURS of time!  I would suggest it to anyone over sanding. Here is the deglosser I used.
 Then we taped everything off and primed, painted and glazed all the door fronts and cabinets frames.
Here are all of our doors laid out drying.
 We decided to go with the cream distressed look. C.J. and I saw a cabinet display at the Boulevard Home Furnishings store here in St. George that had a similar cabinet display and also had a two toned crown molding. We loved it so much we wanted to recreate it in our own home. Before we glazed the cabinets they just looked like regular off white cabinets. Glazing is easy and adds lots of character to your cabinets. I first learned about glazing from Brooke over at ALL THINGS THRIFTY. If you have never glazed anything before head on over there. She has a great tutorial. 
 We were so glad to get rid of the ugly pink color! 
Here is C.J. glazing the bottom half of the cabinet frames. 
 After we were done painting and glazing our cabinets we splurged on some nice hardware. Every HGTV kitchen renovation show says that hardware is a great and inexpensive way to update your kitchen. I will say this, nice hardware is not cheap BUT in camparison to completely taking out old cabinets and replacing them with new ones it is the much cheaper option. You might also be tempted to skip the hardware. DON'T.  I believe that there are a few thing that really make a kitchen stand out. Hardware can make the difference between an average  and ordinary kitchen and a "WOW, your kitchen looks great!" kitchen. Hardware is one of those wow factors.
Here are our cabinets after paint and knobs. Not too much of a difference just yet.
After finishing the paint and knobs we actually hung up my enormus chandelier but for the sake of flow I will move on to the crown molding. I really don't think I have any pictures of this but I will do my best to relay the process.
Our cabinets had NO crown molding when we moved in so we had to start from scratch. Crown molding is another wow factor for a kitchen so I splurged in this area too. The majority of my kitchen renovation budget went to knobs and crown molding. Let me tell you, I don't regret one penny of it! First we gathered our supplies 

We bought this .75 X 1.5 inch piece of wood that would act as our base for attaching our crown molding. It was $1.13 per foot. 
Then I shopped around to see which store had the largest crown molding. I found this  4.5 inch crowne molding at Home depot for $2.99 a ft. I felt like that was a lot but was not willing to sacrifice the look of the large crown molding. All the pictures of kitchens I loved had large crown molding. I wanted my kitchen to look like the kitchens in all those pictures so I paid the money. I spent about $65 dollars for the large crown molding which is much less than I initially thought it would be.
I also bought a decorative roped wood trim that would go directly under the crown molding and would cover up the seem from the top of the cabinet and my .75 X 1.5 inch base piece. If you choose not to use a decorative piece like this you will just use the crown molding to cover up that seam.
After all my supplies were gathered we stained and polyurathaned all of our wood. When your picking out your wood in the store you will want to try to get all the same wood. Different woods stain differently. My .75 X 1.5 inch wood piece was a red wood and took stain pretty similar to my wood for the roped wood trim and crown molding. If your woods are not looking similar enough try to conpensate by rubbing a darker stain on top of your other stain. You will also want to apply a protective polyurathane coat to your wood. 

After our wood had dried C.J. took our .75 x 1.5 base and nailed it straight on top of our upper cabinets. Shoot your nails through the top of your base piece down to the top of the cabinet.

The kitchen display I loved so much also had a decorative trim piece on the bottom of the cabinets so we also nailed our base piece to the bottom of the cabinets. After our base was on C.J. cut the angles needed to make our molding meet on the corners. This can be really confusing if you have never made these sort of cuts. This was our first time doing this so C.J. really studied up on it and found this diagram that really seemed to help him understand how to do it

(I would love to link back to think but could not find it)
C.J. then nailed the crown molding to the front of our base piece leaving a big enough space for our rope trim. After that was up we went back and nailed in our rope trim and made sure we covered up the seam from the top of our cabinets and our base piece I talked about before.
For the trim on the bottom of the cabinets C.J. nailed the roped wood trim in the center of our base piece. 

On some corners our rope trim did not prefectly meet up so C.J. took a large metal file and filed it down so that the piece fit together better.
 We finished our crown molding by filling in the holes from the nails and filling cracks where the  corners of our crown molding were not perfect. So far I have not found a brand of wood filler I really love. I have Minwax right now and have not been overly impressed with it. It does not stain well. We ended up going back over the wood filler with a dark furniture pen to get it the same color as everything else.

Here are our after pictures for our cabinets

After all our molding was on I found this idea on Pinterest and also wanted to do it  in my kitchen. Click Here to see the original post.
I was unable to find the same dowels she used so I improvised by buying these. I believe these legs were more expensive but  I had to use what I could find. We spent a total of $35 dollars on cabinet legs.
They were too tall so we brought them home and C.J. cut them to the right length
Then we stained and polyurathaned them and C.J. nailed them in by opening the cabinet and shooting a nail through the inside bottom of the cabinet down through the top of the foot.
This is him checking the height of the legs
Our total to update hardware, create the crown molding I wanted and to put legs on our cabinets, and a new coat of paint was about $400 dollars. To some people that might seem like a lot but we were really extravagant with our design. If you stick with something more simple it would have cost much less. 

We spent about $65 dollars for the large crown molding
about $45 on the .75 x1.5 base to nail the molding into
$65 on the roped wood trim
$35 on legs for the cabinets
$85 on primer, paint, glaze, stain and protective coats
and $105 on hardware

After our cabinets were complete we hung up my oversized chandelier. I bought this chandelier from a women I met at a garage sale. She had a bunch of lighting fixtures and after talking to her she mentioned she owned a lighting store that was going out of business.  She had a few big chandeliers that she had planned to bring out to the house to sell in the garage sale but did not have time to do so. I grabbed her card and met her at her store later that day. After looking at what she had I picked out a chandelier for my house. I got a great deal on it but it was still a pretty big splurge for me. I paid $350 for it.  Large chandeliers like these are easily around 1,000 dollars. Here is one I found online that is on sale for 1,400!

minka lavery 1689-14 calavera chandelier lighting
Hanging this sucker up was no easy task. The chandlier is almost 4 feet fall and weighs a lot! It was an all day process! Here is what we had to do.
 Here is Cj on the ladder which is on top of our island. Just a little scary!  If you look at the ceiling you can see two holes next to the one C.J. is working on. Before we had the chandiler up there were two old gold light fixtures nicknamed by a friend, "The Booby Lights". The nick name actually gives a very good discription of what the two lights sitting next to eachother looked like. Needless to say I do not want boobies on my ceiling so the booby lights had to go. Each light was mounted on a stud, however we wanted the chandelier to be centered on the island which meant it had to be right in the middle of the booby lights. This meant no stud. We could have just mounted it in the left stud but I didn't think it would look as good and C.J. was worried about the wiring. So to fix our probem he cut a hole in the ceiling and we rigged up a heavy duty metal brace supported by 2x4's and mounted it between our studs. Normally you would go up in the attic and mount it from there but the ceiling is vaulted and there was no way we could have gotten to the beams. 
This is C.J. attaching the brace.
And me trying to reach the wiring since he forgot to pull it down through the brace. After that C.J. patched the holes in the ceiling from the booby lights and it was time to connect the wires from the ceiling to our wires from the chandelier. You will never believe who had to stand there holding the chandelier BY HERSELF while her husband wired everything.  MEEEE!!!! I seriously stood there for 20 minutes holding that dang thing while C.J. figured out the wiring. It was all worth the pain in the end though!


  1. I like the two tone look!and I loveee that chandelier!!!great job!

  2. Erika, I loved the two tone cause it was so different! Thank so much for the sweet comment!