As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
The kitchen project is now mostly complete. But there are a few final steps left to do. First, I will look at the end panels. Next is some trim above the sink, some trim along the kick plate, and finally the trim above the cabinets next to the ceiling.
At the bottom of this article are a number of photos of the (nearly) finished kitchen.
Step One: End Panels
Last fall I purchased some half inch cherry plywood, to use as end panels, and some 3/16" plywood, to use as door panels. In hindsight, I bought too much of the thin plywood, and not enough of the half-inch thick plywood.
Now the simple (smart?) thing to do would be to go purchase some more half inch cherry plywood. But then I don't really have a purpose for all the left-over 3/16" plywood that I still own. So instead, I purchased a sheet of 3/8" sanded fir plywood and lamimated the 3/16" cherry plywood to it.
This cost me a half bottle of glue (half a liter, or 16 oz), as well as a lot of time, and of course I had to buy the sheet of 3/8" plywood. (around here it would cost me about $100-$120 for another sheet of half inch cherry plywood, versus $40 for the sheet of 3/8" sanded fir plywood). It was still cheaper, but I'm not sure it was the smarter option. But it is what I did, and this is my story!
This is showing the edge of the laminated piece, showing some 3/16" cherry plywood laminated to the 3/8" fir.
...And here is a screen shot from the video showing the end panel being installed at one end of the kitchen counter. I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, as the lighting in the kitchen was not the best. This photo does show how the fir side of the panel is completely hidden as it is installed against the side of the cabinets. As well, there is some solid cherry edging along the front edge of the panel.
The panels are fitted into place, then clamped to the cabinet, and finally it is screwed to the cabinet using short screws. I was very careful to choose screws that would NOT poke through.
The end result was some lovely end panels, and there is no way to tell between the end panels that are 1/2" cherry plywood and the ones that I laminated from fir plywood and 3/16" thin plywood.
Step Two: sink light and trim.
I installed an LED light above the kitchen sink. As a side note, this was NOT an Ikea light, as Ikea only sells plug-in lights, and we wanted a direct-wire light.
As a task light, I wanted to install it very close to the front of the cabinet, to cast a lot of usefull light on the sink. But this also makes it very visible from the front, so we wanted to put up some trim to hide it. I prepared a piece of 2" wide cherry with finish and fitted it into place above the sink.
I clamped the trim along the front of the cabinet, and screwed into it from the sides to hold it in place. (One of the photos at the bottom of this page shows
Step Three: kickplate quarter round
The Ikea kick panel at the base of the cabinets is inset just a bit more than on the previous cabinets. This would not be a problem except for the fact that we put in a new kitchen floor a few years ago, so the new floor wrapped around the old cabinets. This means that there is a somewhat unsightly gap along the front of the kick panel that we want to hide.
I went to the big box store and bought some quarter round and painted it black. We needed something fairly large to cover the gap and fortunately I found some. Otherwise I would have to just make my own, but I really didn't want to do that.
In the next photo you can see the end results. I tacked it into place with some pins and it makes the kickplate area look so much nicer. This was a quick and simple fix.
Step Three: Trim Above The Cabinets
Up along the ceiling there was still a gap between the cabinets and the ceiling. It's a skinny gap, not enough for any crown molding. It's only about one to one-and-a-quarter inches tall.
The cabinets are 111" long, but I don't have anything that long. So I just accept the fact that there will be some butt joints in the trim that I use. No one is going to notice it unless they look for it. I prepared some pieces and finished them with polyurethane. For each side of the kitchen I ripped these trim strips from the same piece of wood, so that they would have similar colouring and grain patterns.
There is nothing structural here, it's just a bit of trim to make it look better, so I fastened them in place by means of 23-guage pin nails shot up into them from the cabinets below. They just need to be held in place so that they don't move. There is no need for screws or big nails.
And that is the end of this article. Here are several photos showing the details of the finished kitchen. We're very happy with the end result. Though, if you had told me last fall that this would take around seven months, I would not have been pleased back then!
There are still some little bits to complete, like for example I still need to run some caulking along the back edge of the counter, but I don't think there are any more videos or articles "hiding" in this kitchen.
Both my wife and I love the look of natural cherry, and we look forward to seeing the colour deepen with time. We also like the hardware -- we've never had soft close drawers or hinges before. And of course, the insides are all Ikea, so we can also go to the store and find many different accessories that are all sized to fit these drawers and cabinets.
Thanks for reading!