DIY Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Nice cabinetry, but I wanted to personalize my kitchen in my eclectic style of shabby, country french, rustic chic country. Is there such a style?  Yep there is, that’s the wonderful world of DIY you get to make it your own style.  Most of my DIY projects are not conventional, and this kitchen project was no exception.  I hope you will enjoy my approach to the look, feel and budget of my cabinet makeover project.

Step One
I wanted country style beadboard cabinets.  But since I was doing my project by myself and keeping within a budget the purchase of wooden beadboard and the logistics of installing it were not an option for me. Instead I opted to use a 3-dimensional paintable prepasted wallpaper that resembles actual beadboard.  In my area of the country (AZ) it is available at Lowes. It costs about $22 for a roll made by Allen & Roth. The roll did a combo of 14 fronts and I had some left over (yeah another project). Gather your tools:  Wallpaper, wall paper paste, cutting tools: box cutter, scissors, straight edge (T-square) (yd stick), measuring tape, damp cloth, you may also need a sewing needle to remove any air bubbles if you happen to get some. Paintable caulking. Primer paint (I love Kilz products), cabinet paint, for kitchens I prefer a semi-gloss.

Step Two
Thoroughly clean & degrease your cabinets. A good product for this is EZ Pour Super Clean.  It is a tough task cleaner degrease.  It is concentrated and comes in a purple plastic 1 gal size jug.  It is available at WalMart.  I used 100-150 grit sandpaper and a sanding block.

Step Three
Measure the front area of cabinet and allow salvages of at least 2″ on 2 sides.  By doing this you can
slide in one side of the paper and have the top or bottom and one side square and then cut away the other 2 sides.
Even though the wall paper is prepasted (follow manufactures instructions) I like to add a bit more to the surface before applying the prepasted paper.  I like the security of the extra adhesion. Since your working with straight lines you can use your square and a level to get the beadboard paper square.
Make sure to center the center of the beadboard paper so the beadboard rungs will be equal as they fall away from the center: example 2″ rung on a 14″ front would be   1″ 2″ 2″ 2″ 2″ 2″ 2″ 1″. When setting the beadboard paper, lightly, from the center, smooth the paper out to the edges. Use your soft damp cloth with a light touch to squeegee. The paper will still be a bit slippery at this stage so be careful to keep it square.  If it gets a little off, about 1/4″ don’t worry because you can caulk it later and know one will ever know.

Step Four
Let the beadboard completely dry.  If you need to, this is the time you will caulk. Personally I like to caulk it whether there is a space or  not.  It just seems to make the door and edges more cohesive. Some people are afraid of caulking.  With a little practice you will be caulking like a pro.   My tips for caulking are:
**You can use tube caulking or if your more experienced caulk and caulking gun. **If you use caulk tube be sure to cut tip at an angle (about 45 degrees) it’s better to cut the tip off a little short. You can always cut more of the tip if you need to. ** Hold at an angle when applying. **Use steady pressure.
**Once you’ve caulked your line you can dampen your index or middle finger in water and drag it across to smooth out the bead of caulking. If you get way to much caulk on, you will need to wipe off with a damp cloth. **Don’t use to much water. **A small line (bead) of caulking works best with beadboard otherwise it will spill into the rung lines. Those edges will show up more with glossy paint. **Practice with a piece of wallpaper pasted to cardboard leaving an open edge to bead.

Step Five
Apply primer, sand lightly if needed before applying paint. If you sand, make sure to use a damp cloth to remove dust before painting.
You can brush your paint on, or you can spray paint.  After paint drys you can personalize even further by antiquing or glazing.  I didn’t do that on this project.  I just wanted a soft sheen almond color. You can also use kits like “Rust-olem”.   I’m not fond of that particular kit.  For me the paint was very thin almost water consistency.  I returned the kit and used kilz primer, and a semi-gloss paint..

Step Six
Adding hardware is optional.  But for me it tied in the country look I was going for.  If your lucky enough to live near a “Hobby Lobby” they carry knobs and pulls of all kinds and they are always 50% off…..yippee yeah!!



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