DIY: Shaker Style Cabinets, Part 2

Hey-o! Look who has finished kitchen cabinets!


There really should be a big fat "IN PROGESS" slapped on the bottom of that photo because the space is far from done. Those white appliances are helping to brighten the space I guess, but... they're so -- white. Also, the floors need to get finished (you can see a little sneak peek here of the direction I'm going). I'm still thinking of that marble backsplash. And next spring I'm going to try making my own concrete counters for the sink side. But the good news is I won't be incredibly embarrassed to host Thanksgiving here next week.


Whereas I would cry if visitors were going to be subjected to this:


So here's the run down on how I finished these! I definitely learned some things along the way...
As a reminder, we started out with these heavily grained oak doors. (and here's what I was going for)


I sanded and filled them with grain filler,


Then added flat trim moulding to the borders.


After sanding and wiping the doors down with a microfiber cloth, I sprayed them all with a dark Rustoleum primer. I sprayed the fronts and backs



Here's where things got a little experimental. I rolled on the first coat of paint (F&B Down Pipe) with a foam mini roller and that gave me a consistently smooth surface. Then I went back to touch up the inside corners of the moulding with my two-inch angled brush and I got a little cocky. I wanted to see how well I could do fully brushing the final coat. It turned out to be a bad idea. They looked very bad-DIY once everything had dried. I thought I had a steady hand, but I will definitely be sticking with foam rollers from here on out.


So I had to sand off all the brush marks.




And after rolling on the third coat I drilled holes for my hardware. I used one of the pulls to make a template using painters tape.


It made it a really fast process to drill all the holes. I just measured the center, marked it with chalk and then lined up the center mark I had drawn on my tape.


Made for consistent holes for about 90% of the time. I've used and loved this tool before too (couldn't find it when I was ready to put the pulls on so I improvised with the tape)



I love the way the hardware looks on the gray. 



As far as sealing goes, I rubbed on a little furniture paste wax to help protect the finish (per the Farrow and Ball rep's suggestion), but I didn't want to varnish these and ruin the matte finish.



The finish is not totally perfect, but it is pretty smooth in person (sorry about the splotchy photos - the new pendants are casting weird shadows). It was a good bit of work refinishing these, but it was broken up over a few weeks, so it felt manageable. Also, I spent less than $100 to do it, which means more room in the budget for other house stuff! Totally worth it. 


97 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! The hardware w paint is beautiful. Tempted to do in my own kitchen!

Anonymous said...

wonderful!!

Linda said...

The painted cabinets are such a huge improvement it is hard to find words to descrip. Well done Jenny!

Cameron Humphrey said...

Get it girl! These look bad to the bone. You are so inspiring, Jenny!

Kristen @ Inspired Whims said...

I ADORE what you have done with this kitchen. The finishes, the hardware, the colors. I want it! (Oh, I think the marble back splash you picked out would be the perfect addition)

Marianne Brown said...

You chose the perfect color for those cabinets paired with the brass hardware - I am in love! A really impressive makeover on a budget!
Marianne Brown
White + Gold Design

Heather {ModernMealsforTwo} said...

The cabinets look so awesome! It doesn't even seem like the same place as the "before."

Laurel-Dawn McBurney said...

What an incredible transformation! This space is so rich and luxurious now-- goodness! It's amazing what a few new details, paint and a little love can do. I pinned this kitchen like crazy- such a beautiful job!

abodelove.com

Laura @ Chaotic Domestic said...

The cabinets look fantastic! I love the color you chose! I also love the built-ins in the wall! The decorations you put on them look so fun!

Laura_NEAPOLITAN said...

The cabinets look absolutely gorgeous. I love the Down Pipe with the new hardware...absolutely worth the hard work!

I had a thought: I remember you once blogged Nick Olsen's "decorated" fridge. If the appliances are going to go eventually, and you still feel they're too "white", how about covering the fridge with marbled paper or vintage wallpaper? Could be fun in the meantime :)

decoratica said...

It looks great! I'm loving every corner of your new home and can't wait to see MORE!!
XO

chiara said...

stunning! I can't believe the before pictures - - you've given hope to renters everywhere!

Mandolyn said...

What an amazing before and after! I wouldn't have believed it....wow!

Jesyka said...

I've been looking forward to this reveal! It's lovely!

Did you make a post about how you hung your pendants? Was there something there before, or did you have to create light boxes for them? I recently hung some pendants above my sink, but we have to plug them in. I have some ideas for creatively hiding the wires and getting a wireless switch for them, but I'd love to see what you did here if they aren't hardwired! :)

Leanna Kemp said...

Wow! I love the hardware on your cabinets. I painted mine white last month http://leannamk.com/brighten-up/ which was a big investment for a rented apartment but the new look is totally worth it - now I'm not ashamed to have people over either!

magpi said...

Have you seen the new White Ice appliances? So mod, and still keeping that fresh effect.

Krysta said...

These look FANTASTIC! So inspiring to see a project like this in a manageable and affordable DIY! Gives me hope that I too could pull something like this off!

Megan said...

Funny because I am doing the exact same treatment to my original 1960's lacquered wood cabinets. Except we are doing pale grey with dark hardware and butcher block counters. SO anyway, I was wondering what the arrangement was with your landlord - you rent, right? I mean obviously anything you are doing looks better and is adding value to the place but I've found it difficult in the past trying to convince an owner /landlord about that. Is it just a chance you take or do you get prior permission? Thanks!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Wow! These look fantastic! I also love the shelving in the wall.

How lucky to have double height cabinets, it makes up for not having a large kitchen. And it looks like there is even more room above, do you have any plans for this area?

Liz

fric and frac said...

These look incredible - what a transformation! Amazing work.

Rachel Alcorn said...

Looks great Jenny! Where did you source the pendants?

emily @ go haus go said...

Absolutely love this! I just used Down Pipe as the first step in decorating my office, and it's a fantastic color. I'm doing brass accents as well. Your pulls looks so good against the dark color.

Here's my under-construction office in Down Pipe: http://www.gohausgo.com/2012/10/sugar-were-going-down-pipe/

Chris Loves Julia said...

Nicely done. Gorgeous color and I'm completely in love with the hardware.

msp said...

holy cow! i love the end look, way to go!

Ashley said...

Projects like this are while you have earned the title of DIY queen. I would NEVER believe the 'before' and 'after' were the same kitchen. Now, can you come over and glam up the cabinetry in my rental kitchen?

Anna (A Newfound Treasure) said...

I am obsessed… you are the best. Seriously, THE best. This is incredible and so so beautiful!!!

Mrs. DeVore said...

These look amazing! Your landlord is very lucky to have you as a Tennant!

Holtwood Hipster said...

Jenny dear, you are an absolute genius. We all learn from every post you write. I've been on pins and needles to see the outcome on these and the photos did not disappoint! Your landlord must thank the stars everyday that you walked into his life.

Melissa said...

This looks awesome! Love the cabinet color with the brass handles. Impressive work!

Arielle Prangner said...

Jenny, I CANNOT believe that you did this on such a budget. You are totally my inspiration for my kitchen reno. We had to buy new faces, but we're painting everything ourselves. It is taking FOREVER. Did you not paint the cabinet boxes? Anyway, your kitchen looks beyond fabulous! Congrats!

Stilettos Stuck In Snow said...

Wow this looks amazing! Love your DIY-projects!

Anna Williams said...

I so admire your patience and dedication to finishh a big job like this! Congrats - it looks gorgeous!

Anna (My Design Ethos)

Between Blue and Yellow said...

WOW, WOW , WOW! Your kitchen looks so much better, I'm in awe for the vision you had for this. I just finished my cabinets as well, so i know what you went through :)

Lizzie said...

Wow, you are truly a creative and resourceful person. I have seen kitchens remodeled for thousands of dollars that don't look this good. Fantastic!

I wish you lived in my city, and I could hire you. :)

Bridget said...

Incredible makeover, and incredible job. Just like everything else you do!

Agree with the above comment about papering your fridge. I saw a decoupaged London map fridge once that was really cool. But agree that the marble paper would be fantastic too. Unless you're doing the marble backsplash.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Tara said...

I love the colors and the hardware and everything you've done so far. Though, I'll tell you, we have our cabinet handles centered on each door like you have there, and I.HATE.IT. It looks nicer, sure, but opening the cabinets is harder and generally frustrating. We're redoing our cabinet sometime soon and that one of the first things I'm changing. Good luck to you and I hope yours work better than mine!

Elizabeth Kallembach said...

You have more talent in one pinky than I have in my whole body!!!! WTG- they look fantastic :)

JTay said...

It looks amazing!! Good work! And that charcoal with the brass imperfect.

Jessica said...

You are a magician! They look awesome!

email Meg said...

Jenny, you KILLED it with this one. blown away.

Rachael said...

I LOVE the dark cabinets with the gold hardware. You nailed it!

Mia Lynn said...

Jenny,
You've done it AGAIN.
You are absolutely amazing. Seriously.

Bridget said...

Please tell me where you got that clock! It's so nice & clean! Incredible job on the cabinets :)

pve design said...

Stop it now....you really do know how to spruce up a place and way to go, just in time for Thanksgiving!
pve

Maggie said...

This looks amazing. And who would have ever guessed they were the same basic cabinets? That's it - I'm ready to move to NYC to work for you and absorb some of your genius.

mom23 said...

SQUEAL!! I am so excited! They look AMAZING!!! I get so excited to see you work your magic and this is such a magical transformation...excellent job! I love the brass hardware and the sink faucet. I love the color and the trim - everything!!! I'm jealous of the stove ;) WOW...only $100? Crazy!! You need your own HGTV show, girl ;)

Chris said...

Did I miss a post where you painted the floor tiles?
The cupboards look so beautiful. I wish I had the ability to put colors together like you!

Sandra said...

Amazed by your skills. I bet your landlord feels like thy won the tenant jackpot!

Flat 200 said...

Incredible job! It looks amazing and I am amazed at your DIY skills. Simply fabulous... thanks for sharing.

Catalina said...


I have to copy what was said above, I can't believe those are the same cabinets!
Congratulations, you did an incredible job!

Michelle said...

Wow! Those look awesome!!

Martha said...

DANG. that's all i gotsta say.

Janna McCalley said...

Like the rest, I think the cabinets and hardware are awesome, but even more so, I love all your little dishes, displays and accesories. Even in progress, it looks lived in and enjoyed already!

Sarah said...

They look amazing!


http://owleyevintage.blogspot.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/OwlEyeVintage

Angie said...

I can't believe how good this looks. You are a miracle worker. Such amazing talent. Love you. Miss you.

Anonymous said...

What a great job, Jenny! As to the appliances, you could paint them or better yet use chalk paint on the fridge! (as seen on Houzz) Barbara

Sadie + Stella said...

Holy moly Jenny!!! These look insane! You have outdone yourself. Shocker! Major facelift.

Ann said...

SO AWESOME! And so you.

Blue Poppy Design said...

Looks Amazing! You have me totally rethinking brass hardware now for my kitchen. LOVE the cabinet color! Kudos!!

Brittany said...

Bravo, Jenny!! Love everything about it! You increased the value in that kitchen by waaaaaaayyy more than $100!

Brittany said...

Bravo, Jenny!! Love everything about it! You increased the value in that kitchen by waaaaaaayyy more than $100!

Polly Rowan said...

oh wow it looks gorgeous! Love the grey and the pendants look great. x

LiveLaughDecorate said...

That is DIY at its finest lady! making your own shaker style cabinets from scratch? amazing. The hardware was just the right bling. Love it. Now, will the landlord allow you take em when it's time to leave?!! They are way too fab to leave behind

{plum} said...

kudos on your cabinets! they're gorgeous. what a challenging space, I love all your design ideas.

one thought, have you considered closing-up the pass through above the stove? it might make the space seem a bit less busy and a spot for a magnetic knife rail or other random bit?

best of luck in all your brownstone designs!

Hannah J said...

So totally awesome- you rock my DIT world;) LOVE those brass pulls too!

Holly said...

Love this! I am in the process of renovating my tiny kitchen. You can see it at http://createbakecelebrate.blogspot.com/2012/11/create-kitchen-remodel-part-4-another.html

Anonymous said...

I've been checking your blog rather compulsively to see the finished cabinets!! I'm tryint to convince the husband that we need to do our 1970 wood specials! Great job!!

kstyle said...

LOL Jenny,I vote for you as most energetic design blogger in the design blogging stratosphere.

You do more in a day than most of us can squeeze out in a year or longer. And you do it well!
k

Anh Nguyen said...

love it! great job.

Heather said...

How do you find the time to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time!? Looks AMAZING- love love love it.

rcwillman said...

outstanding job!

Question: is the entire kitchen pictured? is that all your counter space?

Your landlord is very lucky, hope you have a long lease! it looks great, well done you

Gina@ A bit of whimsy! said...

Amazing. I really love this transformation. Very cool. Good job!

Melissa said...

Oh wow it looks amazing! You should be so proud!

Maida Khan said...

They came out beautifully, I'd probably want this color (on the cabinets) in my dream kitchen. I was wondering (I'm sure you've thought of it already) if you were going to add some decorative moulding to frame that niche in the wall where you have all the cups. It'll (imo) enhance this beautiful kitchen even more.

xox,
Maida

Maida Khan said...

They came out beautifully, I'd probably want this color (on the cabinets) in my dream kitchen. I was wondering (I'm sure you've thought of it already) if you were going to add some decorative moulding to frame that niche in the wall where you have all the cups. It'll (imo) enhance this beautiful kitchen even more.

xox,
Maida

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Wow, Jenny! You are incredible! They look amazing! You'd never know that was the same kitchen! You commented that it's still progress, but it really looks so polished! I love your faucet and your colorful dishes look so pretty in the wall niche and your fruit prints look great in there! Gorgeous!

Bostonista said...

If only I had cabinets half as pretty as these. Actually, if only I had cabinets! My landlord doesn't think they are necessary. It really stinks! :(

xo
Kara
www.thebostonista.com

PS: If you have a second I'd love it if you could come and enter my giveaway with Rent the Runway!

Dana @ House*Tweaking said...

Your cabinet makeover is glorious! I never would have guessed the befores were that heavily grained. What an eye you have! Can't wait to see what you have planned for the rest of the house since you saved a ton of $$ refinishing the cabinets yourself.

pve design said...

Question; Do you wear gloves? I know you do a lot of the work by hand and I just wonder how you take care of your hands with all the work.
Kitchen looks so nice.
pve

ngnrdgrl said...

Looks really good! It is a HUGE improvement over what you had previously. Great job!!!

marie bourlet said...

Probably the BEST before/after EVER!

e.horn said...

they look amazing! can't believe those are the same cabinets!

Jenny at LGN said...

Hi guys! Thanks so much for your sweet comments. It's not the fanciest kitchen in the world but it is better than the before!

PVE - I do wear latex gloves sometimes when I'm painting (especially if it's oil-based paint), but only if I remember. I use some of that orange lava soap sometimes to really scrub my roughed up hands. Also, manicures in the city are super cheap (like $17 total for a mani/pedi), so I do that often too.

Posts on the pendant lights, floors, faucet, plans for the fridge and dishwasher, etc are coming up!

Someone asked about our renting situation again. As a recap, we are getting a good deal on rent here in exchange for fixing it up, and he chips in for a lot of our related purchases. BUT! We have done a lot of home improvement stuff like this on our own dime in other homes we've rented too (when they landlord doesn't care). I love doing these types of projects and get a huge sense of well-being when my home is pretty to me, so if I can upgrade a room I'm living in for a least a year for only $100 and some elbow grease, I'm all over it.

Have a good weekend friends!
xoxo

Camille said...

This looks incredible! You did an amazing job :)

Vera Summers said...

I LOVE this! Not only does it look amazing, but I'd never even thought of DIY-ing shaker cabinets - so inspired!

bath price said...

Bone a great job!!
Hats off..i was get irritating if its like ohh!!
after it look cool

Magdelana said...

I just read your blip in Lonny (congrats!!) and am dying over the idea of that Mint fridge in your kitchen. Please do that! It would be the most cheerful kitchen ever. Love your eye!

Teresa said...

Soooooooo good!

Katie@ Noodle and Boof said...

Beautiful! Love the brass hardware and faucet! What's the source on the faucet?

I'm Busy Procrastinating said...

Wow, Jenny! What an improvement! You have the Midas touch ... everything you do turns something drab into something fabulous! Even when you spend hardly anything, you have such a knack for making things look expensive.

redesigningsarah.com said...

What a fantastic transformation!!! Looks great!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

with your talent you could never be embarrassed to host anything in your home!

bath price said...

Perfect!!!
I love this...

Elizabeth Carpenter said...

Jenny, where did you find your cup pulls? I love the more squared-off style that you found; it perfectly complements the shape of your "Shaker" cabinets!

Libby Gourley said...

I am so impressed! Your cabinets look amazing!! Esp knowing what they looked like before. You are very talented :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful transformation of ho-hum cabinets. Very inspiring!

Tanya Anthony said...

Wow, the contrast between your before and after looks are pretty amazing! I love what you did with the grained oak doors, it gives them a much more updated, modern look. The gold pulls were also a nice touch- the gray and gold go together much better than I’d have imagined. I might be tempted to try this out on my ancient looking cupboards, your method seems simple and affordable enough for me to pull off.
On a side-note I love the little wall storage space you have in the first picture. Everything’s simple, organized and easily accessible though it does seem a little precarious with no doors. Thanks for sharing!

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