Tuesday, April 2, 2019

How to upgrade the end of your builder grade cabinets

Hey there! Hope you had a great weekend! I've been hard at work in our kitchen finishing up a few smaller projects. I LOVE our kitchen, but I've planned all along to add some small details that add some interest and character. 

You know character is the name of my game! My goal for the past 15+ years of home ownership has been to add custom touches to our homes. :) 

I started out with the island makeover I shared last week. We LOVE it! This one is a quick project that I never had to address in our old kitchen makeover because we didn't have any exposed cabinet ends: 
Upgrading the ends of builder grade cabinets

Basic cabinet ends don't bother me -- but I do see them as an opportunity to make the kitchen feel more custom! 

I considered a bunch of different looks, but in the end went with the simplest design. My friend Jenny shared a bunch of great options for dressing up the ends of cabinets here

First I had to remove all of the trim along the side -- the quarter round, baseboard on the wall and the trim along the back of the cabinet. I used a pry bar and my hammer to pull those off. 

Because the cabinets have a small "lip" on the front, I needed to make everything even so I could add the trim on top. Most cabinets will have that face part that will make things uneven on the side. I had a piece of luan cut to the size I needed and then I nailed it on to the cabinet with my nail gun: 


How to upgrade the ends of builder grade cabinets

When I redid our kitchen island, I kept the old trim I removed to use on this project. 

I had to buy a couple new 1/4x3 pieces of lattice (I find this size at Menard's), but most of them were from the old island design: 
Board and batten look at the end of kitchen cabinets

I created a very simple board and batten look on the ends. Two on the sides first (so there was a clean look along the front) straight to the floor. Then the two pieces on top and bottom, and then the middle one. 

You could do anything here! Beadboard would be lovely. I could have gone with a planked look like the island, but didn't want to repeat it too much. 

I started painting it with white paint and then I realized our white cabinets are not bright white (which I expected) -- so I took a door to the paint store and had it color matched. 

This might be my new favorite white!:
Upgrading the ends of builder grade cabinets with a custom design

It's such a lovely, creamy white. I love it! I sanded lightly after each coat and did three coats total. 

I'm only showing you this angle because I am finishing up another project I'll be sharing soon. ;) 
Adding a custom touch to the ends of kitchen cabinets

I LOVE how it makes the cabinets look more custom! It's a pretty detail that's subtle -- again, not in your face. I don't know that anyone would even notice the change if they came in the house, but overall it adds a little something. 

I love those projects -- when you tweak something for the better and it's subtle enough the space feels different, but a visitor wouldn't be able to put their finger on it: 
Projects that add character to kitchen

Here's the only pic I could find of this view (before I did much to the kitchen): 
White kitchen cabinets gray island

And here it is now with the "new" island and DIY detail on the end of the cabinets: 
Light gray island, black stools, white kitchen

And here's a before of the other side of our kitchen: 
Long kitchen with white cabinets

And with the new end added to the cabinet here (and that beautiful wallpaper!): 
Adding character to builder grade kitchen

Yes, I covered most of this one up with the IKEA bracket and my cute kitchen stuff, but the end of the cabinet is still a beauty!

I did both exposed ends for about $30. The 4x8 luan is plenty for this small project, and I have a bunch leftover. I had some of the 1x3 trim and bought a couple more. 

I don't count the paint because I'm using that for other projects in here. ;) More to come soon! 

Have you tried a simple project like this in your home? I plan to do the same to the ends of our bathroom cabinets too. I can't wait to show you what's next!  

See more of our home here. To shop items in our home, click here! Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email

13 comments:

  1. I am a longtime follower and LOVE your posts both on your blog and IG. Could you please share the details of what paint you used and the methods you used to apply it? It looks beautiful!!! I worry about doing mine because the cabinets were sprayed and I can’t imagne I will get such a nice finish using a brush or roller. I would love to hear about the products you used and how you apply them. Thank you!! ❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully done, as always! Looks as good as new and I love how you added the functional rod at the end for hanging things too.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the simple but elegant look. I was so worried when you got a new home what would you do. I am thrilled at the small changes that make it so you. Love this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So pretty and simple, but just the right touch! Question: When you do board and batten or plank, do you not put quarter round or baseshoe back on? Thanks for all your great projects over the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can! I prefer it without, it just depends on what you like!

      Delete
  5. I love this! Could you please share how you were able to get the vertical piece on the left-hand side to so beautifully match the shape of the baseboard at the bottom? Did you have to make a template somehow of the baseboard silhouette? I'm having trouble figuring out how to do this well and it's stopped me from adding similar wall detailing in my home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I removed the baseboards so everything went right up against the wall. :)

      Delete
  6. Looks great, now you need to finish the uppers as well!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! Can you share where that wallpaper in the last pic is from? I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I share the full name in this post! You can search it online to find a source: https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2019/02/i-hung-wallpaper-and-survived.html

      Delete
  8. I just found your site and love your island lights! Could you share where to get them? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! You can click on any pic with them here and get a direct link: https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/1998/10/thrifty-decor-chick-was-featured-houzz.html

      Delete

I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!