The Akurum cabinets (in Ädel Medium Brown) that we have in our kitchen
So, off to Ikea we went, where a helpful sales guy printed out our list of materials to bring to the check out.
We were about ten feet from the register when I looked down at the price list and lost my mind.
"Did you know it's over four hundred dollars just for the cabinet DOORS?!" I hissed at John. The total for everything was nearly six hundred, but that included the cabinet boxes, shelves, mounting hardware, and hinges. The five doors were the crazy expensive part.
So after a hasty discussion we bought everything BUT the doors, and then set out to make our own.
This post is going to be kind of long, so here's a sneak peek at the end product to keep you going:
The color ended up matching pretty well, don't you think?
John spent about $60 on the wood and stain, and then got to make use of all those fun power tools in his garage:
John ripped 1X6 pine boards in half lengthwise, and then routed the edges with a groove like you see here. Then he used the router to add tabs on the short sides of the boards, so they'd fit together like this:
Here's the fitted edge, also known as a tongue-and-groove joint, for obvious reasons:
We used pine for everything, which is a very soft wood, and plywood for the center panels. Hardly furniture-grade, but since we planned to beat it all up, it made sense to go with the cheap stuff.
Here's me stepping in with the palm sander. Love that thing.
Another look at the tongue-and-grooves as John assembles the doors.
All done and stacked overnight for the glue to dry.
Next came lots more sanding: after smoothing out all the sides and center panels, I also knocked off all the hard corners and edges to give the cabinets a soft, worn look.
Then came the fun part: beating them up! John always lets me do this part, possibly because the sight of his wife with a hammer in each hand gleefully whacking the bejeebers out of things is kind of terrifying.
The best tools for distressing cabinetry are a hammer and a long metal wood screw. Smack the wood with the edge of your hammer head to make subtle, half-moon indents, and then hammer the side of the screw into the wood to make an impression like this:
Here's John wiping on the Mahogany stain:
It also helps to use a product called pre-stain. Pre-stain seals the wood slightly and prevents some of the blotchiness and uneven areas you get in crappier woods like our pine here. Our doors are still a little blotchy, but they'd have been much worse without the pre-stain.
Under our garage shop lights the stain tended to look reddish-purple, but once inside the color was revealed to be a nice, true brown.
Next I printed out some large numbers on cardstock:
...and cut those out with a craft knife to make stencils:
After this I went back and sanded down the numbers (yay more sanding) to age them.
We debated what kind of sealer or clear coat to use on the doors, and settled on this heavenly Feed N' Wax stuff, which is a combination of bees wax and orange oil:
I say "heavenly" because the wax smells like heaven. The orange scent is right out of Horizons - for any of you classic DizGeeks out there - so I stood next to John the whole time he was wiping the doors down just breathing deeply and making a bunch of indecent noises. MMMMM. I want to rub this stuff all over my entire house.
Ok, so, ready for the big reveal? (Keeping in mind that the laundry room itself is still not done yet?)
Ta-da! New cabinets!!
(Door number 2 doesn't look *quite* that light in person, but I'm still debating going back and sanding the others down a little more to match. Or maybe I'll just add more stain to door #2. Hmm...)
The handles were a perfectly smooth satin black when we got them, so I hit them with a few blasts of matte black and oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to give them a slight texture. No can really see the difference but me, I'm sure, but now I think they look more like wrought iron.
And here's that closeup again:
We saved about $400 making the doors ourselves, although we spent several days' worth of labor on them in return. We were planning on aging and distressing the store-bought doors anyway, though, and I always like something we've made ourselves better than store bought. It was fun! Plus now we have one more thing in our house that we can point to casually and be all, "Oh, that? Why, WE MADE IT, of course." And then we can chortle knowingly and remember why people hate us sometimes.
Oh, and we also installed a new light fixture, which gives the room a much warmer glow. It's hard to see when it's on...
...but it's this one:
Amazon fluctuates almost daily, so I watched it go from $32 up to $53 and then back down to $29 before pouncing on it (and free shipping with Prime. Holla!) It's back up to $52 right now, but watch it for while if you want one.
K, that's all from the land of laundry room re-dos! Stay tuned for our next installment, where we'll be assembling wall shelves using industrial metal pipe. Woohoo!