How I Took My DIY Cabinets from Basic to Custom

How I Took My DIY Cabinets from Basic to Custom

Ok, so we have our cabinet boxes built, we’ve added shelving, doors, and drawers. But, now it’s time to really elevate the look! Let’s add some cabinet details so they look like custom kitchen cabinets.

Adding a Side Panel and Simple Trim

The first thing I did was add a panel to the side of the fridge where the coffee station is. This helped the whole thing look like one continuous piece and helped to enclose the fridge. All I did was take a piece of ¾” plywood, cut it down to size, add pocket holes, and secure it into both the coffee station cabinet and the cabinet above the fridge. Then, I added some edge banding to clean up the rough edge.

(don’t worry, that janky paint job will be fixed soon 😉)

Next, I added ¼” poplar hobby boards to the outside edges to give a little bit of detail. This not only gives these pieces a bit something extra, but it also matches the doors and drawer fronts so it all ties together!

Building a Simple Wood Countertop

Since there was only one small area that needed a countertop, it was most economical to create my own. I used 5/4” pine, which I secured together using pocket holes from underneath. I used this exact same method when I built my workbench countertop! Once they were secured, I used my router to create a pretty edge. This mimics the look of my main countertops so it helped to tie it all together. Finally, I stained and sealed everything. I didn’t secure it to the base cabinet, because it just wasn’t completely necessary, but you could if it you felt the need!

Cabinet Baseboards

I ended up using these baseboards which were the perfect size since I needed something that was 3-3 ½” tall. Remember, that’s the size of the cabinet base that we’re covering! These baseboards are really easy to work with, and I just made my way around the cabinets, making sure to miter each of the corners.

I’m not a fan of quarter round, so I don’t use it, but I do like adding this stop molding as a pretty detail to the bottom of the baseboards! This isn’t necessary here since there weren’t any floor gaps that I was covering, but I just like the look of it and am slowly adding them throughout my home! 

Cabinet Crown Molding

I tried to find crown molding as similar as possible to the other crown molding in my kitchen, and I got pretty close. These are slightly taller, but you don’t really notice it until you’re looking for it.

If you remember from my attic closet, I had a lot of trouble with installing crown molding in the past, and this was still pretty difficult, but I think I did a much better job! I’m not going to give a full tutorial because I’m not a pro by any means and I messed up quite a few cuts. 😆

Prepping and Painting my DIY Cabinets

And the final steps! Once again, I sanded everything down to get a smooth surface, and wood filled and caulked anywhere that I may have missed before. Then it was time to prime and paint. I decided to remove all of the doors and paint them flat, which was definitely the right call. I probably should’ve done the same with the drawer fronts, but I had already started using them and didn’t want to empty them all out again!

I primed everything with this primer, then decided to use Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace for the cabinets. I absolutely love it! It’s a perfect neutral white and I’m so happy with it!

And just like that, we’re done with Phase 1 of my kitchen! Next up, we’re going to chat about Phase 2, updating my old cabinets to match my new cabinets!

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