Kitchen Re-do

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Blog entry by fredc posted 02-21-2009 10:54 PM 1309 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Like most of us in the northern clime who don’t have a heated work shop I’ve really been chomping at the bit to get started on my projects. The big project I have set for myself is to build and install new kitchen cabinets. A very ambitious and somewhat daunting prospect for someone of my limited experience, but exciting too. I’ve spent most of the winter researching cabinet building on the internet, which is what led me to LumberJocks, lucky find. Now tho, I think that my enthusiasm for the project caused tunnel vision. I’ve only been looking at the cabinet making and not the space where they go. I was cleaning the kitchen today and realized I really ought to paint the walls, they were last painted about 7 years ago and are starting to look a little worse for the wear. And the ceiling too. New cabinets are really going to make this space look shabby if I don’t do something about that, and obviously it’s going to be a lot easier to paint before I put in the cabinets. This started me thinking about other things that should be done. I think I really could use about 4 more outlets in the kitchen. Right now I can’t use the toaster and the microwave at the same time without tripping a breaker. Would be nice to solve that problem before the cabinet installation. I put in a new vinyl floor at the same time I painted 7 years ago and its held up very well so I think I’m good to go there. It’s showing very little wear and I still like the look of it. Now I have to face one of the tasks I dread the most….choosing the paint colors. When I painted it last I went very safe with a very pale beige, and I’ve hated it every since, but learned to live with it. This time I want to go bolder. What I hate is trying to coordinate everything. I’m terrible at it. Everytime I think something is going to look good together it usually doesn’t and I end up having to everything all over again until I finally get a result I like. I find my taste in interior color sort of leaning toward the orange end of the spectrum. Not a garish pumpkin or sherbert orange, but more of a subdued sort of spice orange. In fact I painted my living room Behr’s Chai Spice a couple of years ago and I really love it, but don’t want to carry that color into the kitchen. Something that will go well with the Chai Spice and will make the new cabinets pop. I’m thinking about Behr’s Bonfire, but sort of worried, will it be too dark, too bold, will it look garish, etc.
Talking about the wall color making the new cabinets pop, leads to another decision I finally made. I decided early on that I wanted face frame cabinets with raised panel doors, but was having trouble deciding what wood species to use. I’m not overly fond of oak, maple is a nice choice, but a little pale and bland for my taste. Curly, tiger or spalted maple would be really nice, but not in my budget. Cherry is nice but not exactly what I want for that space, I love walnut but I’m afraid its just too dark for my space. Many of the exotics have the character I like, but again budgetary restraints raise their ugly heads. When I first thought about building cabinets the picture that popped in my mind was knotty pine cabinets, but as I explored the project I rejected that idea because I thought I should go for the “snob” appeal of the more expensive and more commonly used hardwoods. I kind of thought the rustic look of pine cabinets probably wouldn’t appeal to many people except me. But then I realized I don’t have to please anyone but me and so it’s going to be knotty pine cabinets. I like the character and the contrast of the knots against the paler pine and I plan to finish them so that they will “amber” over time. I really think this rustic look will be in character with my house too, which began life as a 4 room farmhouse nearly a hundred years ago.
Anyway sort of a peek into my thought processes, or in some instances lack of, and what I have on my plate. If anyone has any input about what else I’m forgetting, or any advice about how to choose colors I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks.

-- Fred ~ lignator novus ~

5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5068 days

#1 posted 02-22-2009 12:16 AM

Wow, you pretty much ran the gamut of woods for your cabinet and still have not come up with a choice. The type of wood is largely a personal issue. But I think that walnut would work. It is a warm, gorgeous wood and, if you painted the walls a lighter color, the kitchen should not be too dark. A friend of mine did his kitchen in walnut and walnut trim while putting up a light colored wall paper and the kitchen turned out gorgeous. We just did our kitchen in cherry, which is my personal favorite, and painted the walls golden ochre and it is fairly bright and well lit. But irrespective of what wood you use for the cabinets it can be balanced with the countertop material.

One thing you might want to consider is installing extra outlets for undercounter lighting. This really brightens up the kitchen and counter area. But the microwave should be on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. And if you are planning any display cabinetry then they will need lighting as well.

Just some thoughts.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4804 days

#2 posted 02-22-2009 12:28 AM

Wow. Sounds like you have thought out about everything. The pine cabinets are really pretty looking. When I had my cabinet shop, I built a lot of pine cabinets for log homes that were going up in our area of the Appalachian Mountains. Even some of the so called “snobs” settled on pine cabinets for their log homes. If you need any advice send me a pm and I’ll answer back.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5208 days

#3 posted 02-22-2009 03:01 AM

Pine is fine!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4630 days

#4 posted 02-22-2009 08:44 AM

I’m planning on putting in all new cabinets too and the wife and I have chosen knotty pine too (assuming that is what you have decided on by the time you get started). I’m doing the tongue and groove/beadboard around the bottom of the room, then doing the door panels with the same type of boards rather than using one solid door panel. Have you given any thought to what kind of countertops you will using? That’s actually what we are having trouble with, coming to a decision, since I want to try my hand at the concrete countertops and she wants just about anything but.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View tubesock25's profile


3 posts in 4625 days

#5 posted 02-24-2009 12:07 AM

Knotty Pine is nice. I have a lot of it in my house too. You mentioned how you like Tiger maple but don’t want to break the bank. You can get it at Bell Forest for $3.50 if you buy 100 board feet. I have used their stuff in several projects and have been very happy. Check it out:

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