Daveney. Kitchen Appliances. May 10th , 2017.
Here is a project I’ve been creating off and on for a few months now. I wanted to reuse our old kitchen cabinets, so I turned a section of them into a built-in buffet in the dining room. Read on to see my step-by-step process for creating my very own built-in furniture!
Last spring Jeff and I took down all the upper cabinets in our kitchen (I’ll get into those details in another post). Once we removed them, I decided to use some of the cabinets to build a buffet/sideboard in the dining room. We don’t have much in the dining area- so far it’s just a table and chairs. I wanted to add a slim built-in cabinet that I could use to store glassware and a small bar. The top counter makes the perfect place for serving food or drinks. To begin with, here is the kitchen before we started removing the upper cabinets:
Jeff and I took off the doors first:
Once the cabinets were removed from the kitchen, I put them in the garage and they were added to my giant pile of items that needed a fresh coat of white paint. About a month later I got down to the business of painting. First step (and the worst), sanding everything down:
I applied coat after coat of white oil-based primer (I think four coats). I painted the interiors and shelves of the cabinets as well, it makes them look so much cleaner and lighter inside. Then I finished every surface with two coats of a Sherwin Williams oil-based door and cabinetry paint from Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White, the same color as the trim throughout the house.
The doors with a final coat dried in the sun on the driveway earlier this summer
Here was the dining room before I started constructing the new cabinet. I decided to build the unit on the west wall, below the painting and chair rail in this photo
Here’s that same wall with the baseboards removed, waiting for the cabinets
I just set the cabinets in place with the doors leaning on them for a few weeks, to see how I liked the buffet in that spot
Late this summer, after I decided I’d found the best place for the built-ins, Jeff and I got out all the tools and got down to the serious business of finishing the dining room. In addition to building in my cabinets we also added crown molding, bulked up the trim around the doorways and window and then caulked everything and repainted. Here is the mess we lived with for a week while we did the work
I’ll do a post about the dining room, but for now here’s how I finished the cabinets. I decided to build them in the same way kitchen cabinets are built. I created some boxes to sit under the cabinet units. I used 2 x 6 pineboards and made simple butt joints held together with long screws
Then I rested the cabinet unit on top of the wood box. I used screws through the bottom shelf of the cabinet unit to connect the cabinet to the wood base
I made pineboard bases for all three cabinet units (you can see in this picture there are three cabinets, one large two-doored unit and two smaller units). The floor in the dining room and the cabinets themselves were not completely level, so you can see in this photo that I added wood shims under the corners of the bases to square everything up. Notice the red level on top of the units and a yellow level below
Once I had all the boxes in place and level I attached the units to the studs in the wall. I used a stud-finder to find and mark the studs before I screwed them into place. You can see the black screws along the inside edges at the top and bottom of the inside of the cabinets
After the units were firmly affixed to the wall I started re-attaching the doors. You can see I placed a small piece of baseboard back in place to make sure it was the correct size and would completely cover up the pineboard boxes that the cabinet rests on
Here are the cabinets fully assembled, although surrounded by a big construction mess
…and clean! Now my cabinet buffet needs a nice countertop
I decided to make the top out of lumber and then stain it to look like a butcherblock counter surface. I bought two 1 x 6 pine boards and then cut them down to the exact size of the cabinets using my circular saw
Then I joined the two pieces of board together using my Kreg Jig. Here’s Jeff drilling the first hole
And then Jeff used the long Kreg drill bit to screw the two pieces of pine board together, nice and seamless
Now it’s a 1 x 12 board cut 6.5 feet long, exactly sized to fit the top of the cabinets. I sanded the board down with 100-grit and then 220-grit sandpaper
Next I needed a piece of trim to put around the outside edges of the tabletop. I found this great piece of stainable trim at Habitat for Humanity ReStore
On the back of the trim the store had written the dimensions and the price. I bought 11 feet of trim for $11.65- a great deal for solid stainable wood trim with scrollwork
I cut the corner of the trim with the miter saw at a 45-degree angle and then joined the trim pieces to each other and to the tabletop using wood glue and our nail gun
I coated the whole tabletop with pre-stain
Then stained the wood with “Early American” color stain
I applied two coats of stain to get the perfect color
Then I put on two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane
And then I had to mount the top to the base. I added 1×6 pieces of scrap wood to the edges of the tops of the cabinets. These made a nice platform to rest the top on and a wide surface to nail the top into:
So now the stained and finished tabletop just slides right onto the cabinet! It needs some finish nails to hold it in place and then it’s a finished project:
A fully finished project!
See that beautiful trim? I love the stained wood carved trim. What a great Habitat ReStore deal!
I finished the trim and painting in both the dining room and the entryway so the finished buffet fits right in:
So there you have it! My latest project from beginning to end
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