Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Built-Ins - Part 2

Continuing where we left off (see part 1 - the cabinets), let's move on to installing the cabinets and getting them ready. Also huge disclaimer I forgot to say yesterday: Rob did almost 100% of the work for this project. I'm still in the land of nausea and he was amazing and just powered through by himself. I think it's seriously impressive when you realize it's a one man job for the most part. Awesome husband.

So we have 4 cabinets in total - two identical (each with 2 doors), one smaller one (1 door) and one odd-sized one (2 doors). At first, we decided to put the two identical cabinets beside each other on the right side so that they were the most visible. I said "at first"...but more on that later :)

We first had to remove the molding on the bottom of the wall so that the cabinets would sit flush against the wall. This was our first time doing this so we were a little hesitant to pull up perfectly good molding but it was much easier than we anticipated and came up just fine!

Once we removed the molding, we installed the cabinets with some longer screws. We wanted to make sure they were secure so we used a $5 stud finder we bought Ace's Hardware. It worked great and we feel better knowing they are firmly secured.

Next up - priming! We used Zinsser Smart Prime which is high-quality, stain-blocking, and low-VOC. Also it's super cheap - score!

We used 2 inch angled brunches for the narrow spots and corners...and used a small foam roller for everything else. We may or may not be addicted to mini foam rollers now - they are awesome and save so much time! Plus they make for a very smooth, even finish.

The primer always looks uneven and crappy but it makes for a beautiful finish in the end.

We chose to spend a little extra money on the paint and luckily got away with one gallon for the whole project. We bought Benjamin Moore paint in the color "Cloud Cover". It's a beautiful white that was recommended by Young House Love. Their tip was to splurge on paint for cabinets because it makes for a smoother, longer lasting finish that won't peal or wear off in a few years.

We applied two even coats - and they look AWESOME. Check 'em out... (note again my inability to wait to start decorating until after they were finished :)

As you can see, there are still some light stains on the inside of the cabinets - even with a thorough cleaning, one coat of primer, and two coats of paint. But they don't bother us since they will never be seen (inside the cabinets and covered up by whatever we choose to store in there).

Also, we decided to cut a whole in the back of the cabinet so that we could still access the outlet behind the cabinets.

We also cut a hole to have access to the cable output and the wires for speakers that were installed by the previous owners.

After we finished the cabinet frames, we worked on the doors. They were surprisingly easy and painless. Our cabinets are very traditional and old school which is a good and bad thing. They are very plain which means we'll need to update them/spruce them up. But because they are so plain, it took us no time to paint them - no ridges, panels, nothing. Just a straight-up mini roller to paint the whole thing.

The final step in preparation for the cabinets was spray-painting the old hinges. We decided to buy new knobs...the old ones weren't our style and would make the cabinets look dated. But I kinda like the rounded hinges. So I tried ORBing (oil rubbed bronze spray paint by Rustoleum) before I ditched them. And they worked worked out perfectly! Saved us over $30 total.


After the first coat... I knew after this coat that they would work out - just needed another coat!

Up next: the building of the bookshelves!!

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