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Kitchen Remodeling Isn’t Just For the Pros You CAN Update Your Kitchen Yourself!

Kitchen remodeling is one of those major projects that homeowners
are afraid to tackle themselves, but with a little sweat equity and
help from the local home improvement store, anyone can renovate their
own kitchen. Don’t be intimidated: if I can do it, so can you!

When
I bought my current house, it hadn’t been updated since 1973. There was
sculpted shag, white and gold linoleum… you get the picture. The
flooring was an easy change. I ripped out carpet and put in Pergo
Select, scraped up linoleum and laid heavy weight vinyl tiles that look
like slate, and hired someone to replace the carpet in the bedroom. But
the kitchen also looked like a blast from the 70s. After some thought
and major design planning, I decided to tackle the renovation myself.
The process was easy and my new kitchen cabinets look fabulous!

Step
one was to assess the current state of my cabinets… I soon learned
that the cabinets weren’t solid wood, meaning I couldn’t sand off the
dark stain. That meant priming and painting! A light scuff roughed up
the cabinets enough to take the primer, and then I painted the cabinets
an antique white. To give them that professionally finished look, I took
out the shelves and painted the interior, too. The shelves were
finished off with a coat of paint on the bottom and contact paper on
top.

The old cabinet doors didn’t have knockout center panels, so
to get the glass-front look I wanted, they had to be replaced. I chose
unfinished oak frames, doors and drawer fronts from my local home
improvement store. To place my order, I measured each existing door and
drawer carefully–measure, measure, and measure again to make sure your
new cabinet doors will fit! I also made a diagram so I would know which
doors went where.

Once delivery day arrived, there was still tons of
work in front of me. I got out my trusty measuring tape and measured the
cabinet door frames for the glass inserts. I gave the Delphi glass rep
the measurements and the number of pieces, and she figured out how many
sheets of glass I needed. Then, while I waited for the glass to arrive, I
sanded and finished with doors with a satin, water-based polyurethane
for durability and a beautiful finish.

Cutting the glass was easy,
if a little stressful. Mark your glass with a grease pencil to make
sure you get the layout right! This ensures you have minimum waste and
you get all the pieces you need. When your glass inserts are cut, run a
bead of clear silicone caulk around the inside edge of the cabinet door
frame. Lay in your glass and secure it with glazing points; leave it
flat until the caulk cures.

When the time came to install the new
glass-front cabinet doors, I got lucky-my new doors lined up with the
screw holes from the old doors. If yours don’t, simply measure the
difference and drill your new pilot holes before hanging. The drawer
fronts are not difficult to remove. and you can use the same holes to
install them. You will have to drill the holes for attaching your pulls,
though, so measure, mark, and pre-drill them before attaching the
drawer fronts.

That’s all it takes: a few simple steps, very basic
home improvement know-how, and the desire for affordable, beautiful new
kitchen cabinets! My new cabinets are glass on top, solid doors on the
bottom and look truly gorgeous. At a cost of $800.00 plus labor (all
mine!) they were less expensive than all-new cabinets. I have a
great-looking new kitchen and I’m proud that I did it myself.