Building Up the Kitchen Cabinets (in which the “before” picture looks much better than the “after”)

We started putting up crown molding about a month ago and are still nowhere near finished. In fact, we recently had to remove some of the crown molding we had put up because we realized it would be way easier to build up the kitchen cabinets BEFORE we added crown.

See the crown going up above the kitchen cabinets in this picture? Yeah, I took it down. It definitely was a “two steps forward; one step back” type of situation.


As you can see above, our cabinets don’t meet the ceiling. It’s basically a birthing ground for dust up there, and I was not a fan. So after seeing this kitchen transformation (with a layout that is incredibly similar to our kitchen!), we decided to go for it.

The first step (after removing the crown molding…) was adding some support pieces that we could affix the cabinet faces to. We screwed 1x2s into the cabinets and ceiling, which involved contorting our bodies into some REALLY weird positions, especially in places like above the refrigerator.


Next it was just a matter of cutting pieces of MDF to size and affixing them to the supports we’d put up. Sounds easy, right? HA. We had to use a total of 3 different thicknesses of MDF in order to achieve the smooth look we were going for.

Here’s where this post is going to begin to jump around a little. Fasten your seatbelts! See that half-moon hole in our cabinet in the picture below? That’s left over from the light we removed above the sink. I’ll probably elaborate in another blog post about our light solution, but the hole here was eventually covered up by a layer of 3/16″ thickness MDF.


Also: Ken and Anne are NOT neat DIYers… here’s the state of our kitchen during a rare break. :)


Though our cabinets are in great shape for being 20 years old, there were some areas we were glad to cover up, like this wrinkled area to the left of our sink.


We used only nails to enclose the area above the cabinets, but for the cabinet sides, we added some wood glue for good measure.


After a couple of hours of good work, we were left with this. Some “after” picture, huh?


Hang with me on this one. :) We’re confident that this will look pretty sweet once we slap up some paint and trim. More to come!


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