April 4, 2013

#151- Part 3: Making Those Built In Cabinets Our Own

Once the stone tile was applied to the fireplace, it was time to address those "built-in" cabinets that we decided to save from the original layout and make them our own.  Remember these old guys?

We made changes to these back when we moved in here and here, but ultimately we took them down until we had just this left:

We took off all the doors and hinges to paint, but instead of painting the tops the same white, I wanted to stain them a dark, rich color.  So before we started painting we sanded each of them down with 60 grit stripper paper and our electric palm sander, and then with 220 finishing paper on a hand sanding block. It was a lot of work, and the Hubs kept asking if we should just paint the tops, but I had a vision and begged him to see it through.  I reasoned that we could always paint them in the end if we didn't like them.  I left out "after all our hours of hard work."  Somethings are better left unsaid.

Once they were sanded down to fresh like a baby wood, we had a little gap to deal with in the back that the built-in shelves that used to live above this piece previously covered up.

 Nothing that a piece of quarter round cut to length and tacked in with our nail gun couldn't cover.  Bam!

And now that the tile was in, I could cut the tiny corner piece of wood, making it look like the counters were built into the stone fireplace and there all along.

Then I taped off to protect our freshly painted wall,


And rubbed on a dark stain that I happened to have in my collection- Minwax Jacobean. 

This pint of Jacobean has been sitting in my cupboard for a long time because I always use a Dark Walnut stain, but I was incredibly impressed with the color.  It got to the color darkness I was looking for in just 3 coats, and it has a nice deep hue without too much red in it. Pretty- right?

Then it was all over but the cabinet door hanging.  With a total of 8 coats of paint on these babies (1 primer, 3 paint, front and back) it was a little time consuming. Which is like saying that Kim Kardashian is just a little over exposed.  Luckily we had a great big space lined with the room's old carpet pad to work.  (And a baby exercsaucer so Bo could keep me company while I painted- VOC free of course.)

The hinges on the cabinets were an old world bronze, not a bad as a shiny brass, but not as pretty or modern as a oil rubbed bronze either.  Originally we set off to pick up 44 new hinges for the cabinets and 12 new hinges for the doors, and loaded our pants when we added up the price.  So we picked our jaws up off the ground, and picked up a $7 can of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint instead. 

I took the time to line up all the hinges on a piece of cardboard, punching the screws into the cardboard in each of the holes securely holding the hinge to the cardboard and keeping the screw heads upright to get covered with paint.  It worked like a charm.

We decided that we would re-purpose the existing hinges to save money, but that we would buy new hardware and knobs for the doors since they get a lot more wear and tear.  I'll let you know how the hinges hold up and how we feel about the decision down the road, but for right now we're happy with the compromise.  At least our wallet is.

After five light coats of spray paint and a day or two to dry, we have cabinets again!

And a TV too- did I mention that?  We purchased a TV mount that swivels and tilts so even though it's now on the far left side of the room and not the center, you should have a good view from any seat.  We balanced out the right side with a set of floating shelves from Ikea.  We actually stole these from our Dinning Room since we don't plan to keep them when we rearrange the layout in there.  (I can't talk about another redesign project right now though.  So...close... to the end.... of this...one...)

Obviously we still have cabinet hardware, shelf decor and carpet to get to, all of which will warm the space up, but it doesn't even look like the same room!

What do you think?  I love how the dark wood counter tops warm it up, and totally tie into the shelves and oil rubbed bronze hinges and fireplace face.  (Not that I'm saying "I told you so" Hubs, I would never do that.)  I so badly want to sit my tired butt down in front of that TV and watch a bunch of episodes of The Voice, but we've still got work to do.  Cheers to late nights and coffee in the mornings! I think I can... I think I can...


  1. It looks awesome, Erin! I don't know how y'all have the energy to do all this stuff, but I applaud you!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

  2. Holy cow! That is gorgeous! You are like the queen of DIY. Can't wait to see it done.

  3. Aw shucks you guys- thanks! This reno is really wearing me down- so I totally needed these kind words. Can't thank you enough!

  4. I think it looks great. I love your fireplace. Would love to do the same. You've done an amazing job. Don't know where you find the energy!

  5. Oh. My. That fireplace. I can see why you're in love! Super job. And kudos for the courage to tear out everything and build YOUR home!