Yay! The kitchen cupboards are done. After 3 weeks of dismantling, sanding and painting, not to mention a whole afternoon of rebuilding, stage 1 of my kitchen makeover is complete. The freshly painted doors and drawers with their new handles look very smart and have brightened up the room. Everyone thinks we’ve had a new kitchen installed.
Stage 2 – new worktops to match the beech block one that’s on one run of base units – will have to wait until next year. I’ve had enough for now. I did think about fitting soft-close hinges and retrofitting a soft-close mechanism to the drawers, but that would cost more than the paint job and handles (about £90, since you ask) and didn’t seem like value for money.
In any case, my environmental sensibilities wouldn’t allow me to replace 26 perfectly good hinges just because more sophisticated ones have appeared in the 20-odd years since we installed this kitchen.
But how to prevent the new paintwork getting chipped if someone (me) carelessly bangs closed a cupboard or a drawer? Answer: stick-on silicone bumper dots. I bought enough to put one at the top and bottom of every opening edge, and now nothing slams shut no matter how hard I push – within reason.
You may have spotted in the “after” photos above that the plinth and the cornice are still beech-coloured. When I laid plans to paint them, I’d forgotten that they are made of chipboard with a wood-effect papery surface. I didn’t think that would stand up well to being sanded. Or painted for that matter, I was afraid the wet paint might seep though and lift the surface layer.
I’ve decided to leave the cornice as it is, it matches a beech-framed mirror on the wall as well as the beech block worksurface. But the existing plinth will have to go. It’s actually made from two plinth strips, one stuck on top of the other, to raise the height of the units – my dear husband and I are both taller than average – and it is falling apart. I’ll replace it with MDF when I can find somewhere locally that will cut it (I don’t like the fumes, and I don’t possess a table saw, more’s the pity), and then paint it with ordinary white gloss paint. Again, that will have to wait until next year when my kitchen mojo returns.