I am thrilled to be sharing our kitchen cabinet upgrade with you today, mainly because that means it is finished! We moved into a house with, as you can see, outdated oak kitchen cabinets. Maybe you were here before and saw our DIY countertop transformation with Rustoleum. To continue the kitchen renovation, we took the cabinets up to the ceiling by boxing them in and adding crown molding to close the 12 inch gap between the ceiling and the tops of the cabinets. We tied together the new wood and cabinets by painting them with Chalky Finish Americana Decor Paint. It would have been fairly difficult to stain wood and crown moulding to match the current cabinets perfectly. This is a great way to add a high end look to your kitchen for cheap, especially if you are going to paint your cabinets anyway.
Here is what the cabinets looked like to start. This was after revamping the countertops to cover that country blue laminate.
To close the gap between the cabinet tops and the ceiling, we removed the trim on the cabinet tops with a pry bar. We measured the dimensions of the cabinet tops and built 3 sided boxes from 1×12 boards to fit. This was perfect for the 12 inch gap. It left about a half inch (since 1×12 lumber is actually 0.75×11.5 inches… I know). This was no problem since we knew we would be covering the gap with crown moulding later. We used construction adhesive to adhere the boxes to the top of the cabinets. We planned to nail trim to cover the seam where the cabinets met the box, which we would nail into both, adding extra security.
Here you see the trim (we used pine mullion) and the crown moulding. This was my first time cutting crown molding. Save yourself a ton of wasted materials and heartache by visiting Sawdust Girl’s How to Cut Crown Molding Tutorial. My little brain thought it would be as easy as cutting trim… ha! Not the case. Sandra didn’t touch on how to cut angles molding for angles that aren’t 90°…
We ran into that fun conundrum as you see in the above photo. There are charts on how to do this for every angle and every position on your saw. We finally ended up using this Bench Dog Polymer Crown-Cut Crown Molding Cutting Jig I picked up from Amazon. It was pretty helpful. We the 2 odd angles above the glass window containing cabinet were 135°, so we set up our molding on the saw exactly like it would siton the cabinet, which was only possible to maintain for cutting with the use of the jig. This is a process you are just going to have to go through in order to get to the good stuff! Sandra points out that she has to go back to her templates every time, even though she does this often. I found that to be the case everyday during this project!
Big thanks to DecoArt for providing the paint and wax for this project! We used Americana Decor Chalky Finish in “Everlasting” to paint everything from the bottom of the cabinets up to and including the crown molding. The best thing about using this paint was not having to sand or prime the cabinets!
We started by taping over the hinges with painter’s tape and painting the cabinets without removing the doors. This ended up in paint on the hardware anyway, so we decided to remove the doors for the rest of the cabinets.
All in all, we used 17 8 oz jars of the paint. If you are going to go this route, make sure you have plenty of paint for your project before you start. Waiting on more to come while you have no cabinet doors is less than fun. Ask me how I know.
Remember when I built the DIY Dog Feeding Station from Shipping Pallets? It fits under the window in our new house like a glove!
Painting the cabinets took 4 coats. We applied the clear wax and that was it. We were without cabinet doors for 2 weeks while we continued moving into the house and painting cabinets as time would allow.
What do you think? I love the high end look we achieved with little cost!