Just Face It

As I had hoped, we crossed a few more items off our kitchen to do list.

  • Install the new dishwasher.  Did that on Thursday night.
  • Sand the ceiling and walls smooth
  • Build the five remaining drawers we’ve waited on (we needed to see how things were in place before we could build one drawer in the dining room, the trash can pull out, and the under the sink drawer)
  • Fill, sand, prime and paint said drawers
  • Install every drawer, 16 total
  • Buy the wood for the counters.  Hopefully we’ll get a call today!
  • Haul the wood slabs to a cabinet shop to have them sand both sides smooth
  • Cut the wood to fit and install the counters
  • Hang the upper cabinets
  • Add decorative face trim to all cabinets for a smooth, pretty, even front
  • Fill, sand, prime, and paint all cabinet faces
  • Build the drawer and cabinet fronts, including two glass front doors
  • More filling, sanding, priming, and painting of the cabinet fronts
  • Install the drawer fronts and hardware pulls
  • Prime and paint the kitchen and living room.  Probably the dining room too.
  • Add lights: sconces, recessed light halos, and the rope lighting
  • Trim out the posts and door frames
  • Add crown molding to the top of the cabinets
  • Decide whether we want to add decorative trim to the vent hood or paint it to match the wall color
  • Install the pretty new marble tile backsplash
  • Put everything back in place and enjoy
Ben built five drawers: the top dining side:
See the window sill?  We had to make this drawer narrower than the others so it doesn’t hit the sill.  Instead of wasting three inches on the entire stack, Ben attached a few plywood scraps to build the cabinet out to the width of just the top drawer.
Three for the drawer stack we thought would be the trash drawer:
The top drawer by the sink isn’t installed because we ran out of drawer glides.  We bought 15 when we planned to have only two drawers in that stack.  We’ll install it once we get another set of glides.
And one under the sink:
I think this one is my favorite, just because I’ve never seen a drawer under the sink, and it’s so much more functional with the drawer.  To cover the exposed plywood edges, we filled the top with wood filler, let it dry, then sanded it smooth.
We could have used iron-on wood veneer, but it peeled off easily when we tested it for the laundry room.  That’s why I’ve made a few light fixtures with it.
After fitting the drawers, Ben started on the cabinet face framing.  Quarter inch MDF cut into strips cover the rough plywood edges.
Visible cabinet ends got a layer of 1/2 inch MDF followed by a 2 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick MDF decorative frame.
Wood filler seals the cracks.  Once everything is sanded, it should have a seamless edge.
We have a special plan to deal with the bare back and the drawer front for the dining side.
And, the trim covers the gap between the dishwasher and counter.
If all goes well, I’ll have the trim sanded and primed later today.  Hoping Everett takes a long nap.
What did you do this weekend?  Start or finish any big projects?  Planned out your Thanksgiving dinner menu?  Rake up leaves?  We tried but then it snowed.  Can you believe winter has already started?  Folks in warm climates, please send your weather our way.

14 thoughts on “Just Face It

  1. I’m so glad you are doing your kitchen, I’m learning so much from you! Everything looks great so far. I’m really interested in how you build the door and drawer fronts. Can’t wait!

    1. Hey Susan C, Thanks so much for your kind words! We can’t wait to share how we build our door and drawer fronts. 🙂

      Hilary, We’re going to paint the lower cabinets Pewter Tankard from Sherwin Williams. The walls will most likely be the same blue from the dining room, just because the wall from the dining room wraps into the kitchen. Hope this helps! Good luck!


  2. Kitchen is coming along great. I like that your husbs built his own cabinets. What kind/brand of wood filler was used on the MDF and plywood? I’m building a craft table with the same materials and I bought some wood filler to fill my screw holes that seems more like joint compound and it comes off so easy with 220 sand paper. I’ve heard that you can make your own wood putty out of sawdust and wood glue, have you guys ever tried that ?

  3. I can’t believe you’re basically building a kitchen from scratch! Your husband (and you, of course) are so talented. I’m really enjoying seeing it all come together. Can’t wait for the final reveal! And, I know this is nosy, but I hope we get a budget break-down too. I’d love to see how much you can save by really DIYing it.

    1. Hi Ayisha, Thanks so much for your kind words! We used Elmer’s brand Carpenter’s Wood Filler on this project. Not for any special reason, but we had it. We’ve used Dap in the past and have liked that just as well. Both of the ones I mentioned come off easily with 220 though. I think you’d be surprised at how well it holds up once primed and painted, though. We’ve never tried to make our own wood filler. Please let us know how it goes if you try it! I’m curious. 🙂

      Hey My Honest Answer! Aww, thanks! You’re too sweet! We’ll definitely have a budget breakdown once we’re done. I’ve been keeping a meticulous list of expenses. So far, we’ve definitely saved a lot by DIYing everything, but our biggest splurges are our appliances. But that’s not too bad considering we got better than basics on every item. We’ve spent almost $4000 on appliances alone. (That includes the range, sink, faucet, dishwasher and vent hood). Obviously that can change quite easily. Best Buy recently offered a $2000 combo for a fridge, range, microwave and dishwasher combo…


  4. I’m excited for you to have your kitchen in full working order! I know someone mentioned it before but if you could give a mini-tutorial about your cabinet-making process, that would be cool!
    We’re planning on doing our cabinets over in the near future and have been going back and forth between replacing them all or just rearranging and building new doors. Are you using MDF? If we make our own doors, we obviosuly want them to be sturdy enough to withstand all of the daily use!

    Also, we have a few corner cabinets that we don’t know what to do with. We’re planning on doing mostly open shelving in place of the uppers but the lower currently has one of those doors that looks like two but swings open as one to reveal a wobbly, lazy susan type mechanism inside. Any suggestions for lower corner cabinets?!

    1. Hey Lizzy!! I have a cabinet tutorial in the works, but I’m not sure it will be mini. 😉 Once we actually finish the cabinets I’ll post about it. For the cabinet doors and drawer fronts we’ll use MDF, if you’re making the cabinet and drawer frames you’ll definitely want to use something sturdier like plywood. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts in the basement are all MDF and they’ve held up wonderfully. It also helps being attached to the actual drawer. As for the lower cabinets, we kept something similar to what we already had. Which is a cabinet that is accessed from the dining room. I don’t like lazy susans. If you’re tucked against two walls you could either make a funky drawer stack (search corner drawer on Pinterest for an example- I tried to link but Pinterest isn’t working for me right now) or you could have one big cabinet without the lazy susan.

      Hope that helps!

  5. eek! how exciting is this (for you!)

    my name is ashlee. i’m a first time reader. i would LOVE to redo my kitchen but my husband isn’t on board *yet*. i’m hoping to do it within the next year or two. there are before pictures on my blog under kitchen…good luck not barfing when you see them. lol.

    1. Hey Ashlee! Thanks so much for your comment! Ya know, eventually he’ll come around to the idea. It just takes a lot of planning. Once you share your ideas he should be hooked. 😉 Good luck convincing him!

    1. Hi Kawn!

      These are just basic drawer slides. If you want the awesome ones, check out Blum. They’re more expensive, but we want to give them a try. I think they’d be worth it. 🙂 Hope that helps you!


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