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I’ve always loved the way it looks when the cabinet goes all the way around the fridge. To me it looks like it belongs more than the fridge sticking out past the cabinets. This is what it looked like when we first moved in. And it was really hard to reach the cabinet above the fridge since they sat so far back, that back left cabinet was pretty much completely useless.
I started by drawing up a plan for what I wanted. Sorry about the terrible Instagram Story “Plan” I drew up.
My plans evolved since I drew this sketch, like most of my plans. Like in this post, I first removed the moulding on top of the cabinets. Then removed the cabinet above the fridge, it was only up there with a few long screws in the studs.
We had a huge snow storm during this time, which isn’t normal for Texas and it lasted for around 5 days! It was super nice to see, and play with the dog in, but I am happy we do not get it all the time. I went ahead with the plan and cut some plywood in the snow. As shown below, I use this as a straight edge guide held down with clamps 1.5in from where I want the plywood cut. My circular saw blade is 1.5in away from the edge of the saw plate. They also make guides specifically for this, but I don’t find it necessary.
The first thing I built were the cabinets surrounding the fridge.
I was originally going to use that old cabinet and put it back on top, but then things changed and I ended up building a whole new cabinet box with a cubby because of this inspirational picture I found. I planned on using the same doors from the previous cabinets to make it cohesive with the rest of the kitchen. This was me trying to figure out how many cubbies there should be and the measurements.
I built the upper part for above the fridge and Tyler helped me install it since it was so high. I used a mix of plywood and MDF I had on hand. I wanted to leave the bottom 2 cubbies open for cutting board storage and anything else that is flat that could be stored there.
After that I started working on the hutch part, I built a whole new cabinet for that side. I was so excited to have got this far! This was my first time building an entire cabinet!
The wine rack was originally supposed to be above the fridge, but I changed it as I was building it to be on the right side. I also added some shelves for cup storage and a coffee station at the bottom.
I caulked around the bottom just incase we had any spilling around the coffee maker. See the difference?
This is the caulk I used.
After that I primed everything. And yes, I’m sitting on top of the fridge to do this. Ha!
Once the priming was done I used pre-primed 1x2s for the face frame of the cabinets.
Then I filled and sanded all the nail holes and seams with my orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper. I wore a mask for this so I wasn’t breathing it all in, and eye protection so the dust wouldn’t get in my eyes. Now when I do this I use the same sparkle and wet sand instead, its a lot less messy.
And then for one of the most exciting parts! Paint! I used Pewter Green by SW with the Behr cabinet door and trim enamel like I did on the rest of my cabinets like in this post. Did you know you can use any brands color of paint with any brand of paint you want? I could have used SW paint, from my research it’s just as good as the Behr paint I used, but Behr cost a little less so that’s what I chose.
To put the trim up top I made L shaped supports out of scraps and wood glued and screwed them into the top of the cabinets with my 90 degree bit, this would give me something to attach the trim to. I used these baseboards and basecap moulding for the trim.
About a year later, I decided I didn’t want the burlap there anymore, I wanted something prettier. So I went with paint stir sticks! Don’t worry, you don’t have to go sneaking to your local hardware store to score 100 free paint stir sticks, they might get mad about that, especially if you aren’t buying paint! But you can buy them in bulk for pretty cheap! I made new doors and used brown board to attach the stir sticks to with wood glue, I glued the stir sticks on the rough side. I had to set weights on the stir sticks to make them dry flat.
Once the glue was all dry this is what it looked like. Crazy looking, I know!
The first panel, I used my table saw to cut off the excess paint sticks. (You really shouldn’t lean over your table saw like this, don’t do what I did.)
I used painters tape on the edges to prevent tear out and it worked!
I’d do it differently now, but then I cut the paint stick panels into the exact size of the frames and caulked them into place like I did on this previous post of my built-in bar. I installed them as inset doors with regular hinges, I used magnets to hold them in place while the doors are shut. The bottoms are pocket doors, I used these door slides and hinges from Rockler and loved them!
And here are some great before, during (with the burlap) and after pictures for you.
What do you think? Would you ever use paint stir sticks as more than just to stir paint with??
All kitchen links here.
Next up, a simple wall rack + plans to build it yourself! This is a great beginner DIY and inexpensive!