Kitchen Remodel: Day 335.
Today, my friends, marks both a milestone and a deadline. On November 14, 2012 I started demolition on the kitchen project (you can read about it here); that makes today the 11-month anniversary. It also leaves me one more month to get to my arbitrary deadline of getting the kitchen D.O.N.E. in one year.
As of today, all we have left on the list is 1) grout the backsplash, 2) make and install the millwork, 3) strip and repaint the doors, and 4) paint the windows. Do-able, if I work my tail off.
BWAH HAHA HA haha ha ha hahahahahaaaaaaaa…
But today, I want to talk about the cabinets. First we enlarged. Then we painted. Then we crowned. Last time I mentioned them, we had jazzed up the insides a little bit. And now, finally, it’s time for the fifth (and final!) installment of the Pimp My Cabinets series. That means that the next time I show you these cabinets, it will be the big cabinet reveal, and you know what that means…before-and-afters! YAY! But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s do Step 5:
Before leaving for Germany, we scrambled to put the kitchen back together and make it look as finished as possible, so that we could come home to less of a disaster area. One of the projects we pushed was getting the doors and drawers installed. Like most of our projects, it turned out that this involved a lot more steps than originally anticipated.
I actually took care of the first step a couple of weeks ago. It was a simple spray-paint project: I wanted to make the old, orange-stained hinges match the shiny black finish of the new door pulls I bought. I arranged them on a piece of cardboard, pushing the screws through the cardboard so that I could easily paint their heads.
Two or three light coats of Krylon’s Metallic Finish in Charcoal, and I had a close-enough match.
Installing the hinges was really easy, since we’re just re-using our old cabinets and I didn’t bother to fill in the screw-holes when I took the doors off to paint them. So I don’t have a tutorial for you on that. But I do have this pretty picture of the finished product:
I also have a nifty trick to help you easily install new door pulls, which will save you a lot of redundant measuring. Here’s how I made a jig to help me drill the holes in the right place, every time.
1. Use scrap wood to make your jig.
I used 1×2’s and a piece of scrap plywood that measured about 4 inches wide by 8 inches tall. The plywood just has to be big enough to cover the corner of your cabinet door, where the hardware will go. I used a little wood glue and some brads to hold the scraps together.
2. Mark the door where you want the hardware to go. There’s an easy way to do this, too. First, attach double-stick tape (or in this case, a small loop of painters’ tape) over the screw-holes in the hardware. Use a nail or screw to punch a hole through the tape.
Place the pull on the cabinet door where you want it to go, keeping it as straight as possible.
Carefully remove the hardware, leaving the punched-out tape behind.
And voilà! The holes in the tape show you exactly where to drill. But before you do that…
3. Clamp the jig to the door. Use a clamp to attach your un-drilled jig securely to the corner of the cabinet door, on the other side of the tape marks.
Step 4: Now you can drill the holes.
You’ll go through the door and the jig together. And once you remove the jig, you’ll have one perfectly-spaced set of holes in the door…
And an identical set in the jig.
Once you have the jig made, drilling the rest of the doors is a snap. Just clamp the jig to the next door in line, and the holes in the jig will show you where to drill.
Two helpful tips: 1) Drill carefully. Keep the drill as straight as possible, and don’t start the drill until it is fully inserted into the jig. As you drill more and more doors, the holes of the jig can get bigger if you’re not careful, and your hardware might end up crooked. 2) Use a sharp drill bit. A dull bit will make you press harder, and possibly “blow out” the back side of the door.
Once all your holes are drilled, go ahead and install the hardware! Then stand back and enjoy the huge impact this has on making your kitchen feel more “done.”
Oh, except we weren’t done quite yet. Bling on the outside is good, but we had a little more bling for the insides of the base cabinets, starting with a pull-out drawer for the trash bins. Our new kitchen doesn’t have the same dead-zones that our old kitchen did, so we needed to find a new place to store the trash and recycling bins. We just bought a retro-fit kit from Menard’s. It was a splurge at about $75, but totally worth it to keep our new floor plan flowing.
But then we decided that we wanted to attach the door front directly to the drawer. You know, so it’s not a two-step process to get to the trash (simply pull, instead of open-the-door-and-then-pull). The matching door-mounting kit for that was another $25. Boo. But still, worth it. And it looked easy to install.
Easy as 1-2-3, huh? Sounds like a quick little project, right? Until I opened the directions and saw this:
I know it’s a crappy picture, but that last step — that’s #9. Not three easy steps. Nine steps. (Liars.) Although to be fair, they were pretty simple. But just in case you go buy one of these…be warned. Like I said though, it was worth it.
Then, to keep the modern conveniences coming, we also spent $20 on a kit to make use of those faux-drawers in front of the sink.
Chris installed those, not me, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of the directions; but I did notice that the box didn’t make any 1-2-3 claims. Also, Chris got pretty frustrated during the installation, but that was due to breaking the head off of a screw — not to complicated installation instructions.
And that, as they say, is that! The cabinets are pretty much done. All that’s left is to install the shelves and move back in.
What’s with the blurry picture, you might ask? I’m hiding something from you. At the beginning of this post, I said that the cabinet hardware was just one of the projects that we scrambled to finish before leaving for Germany. The other big one, as you can probably guess, is the backsplash.
But in the photo above, it wasn’t quite ready for it’s close-up.
So I blurred it out. And you’ll just have to wait until next time.