Kitchen Rehab Progress
've been working on a semi serious update of my kitchen for the past couple of months, between other projects.  We like the layout and the granite countertops so the cabinet boxes are staying, I'm just redoing the doors, drawer fronts, and moldings.  I built this kitchen 22 years ago.

The boxes are white Melamine.  The doors are commercial maple veneer ply/particle board composite panel with solid maple stiles biscuit joined to the panels.  I finished them with OB stain and Carver Tripp's Safe and Simple WB poly.  They have stood up remarkably well but, over the past few years, the veneer has begun to pucker and split at the seams and some of the finish is getting sticky around the stove vent hood.  Mostly, I'm just tired of brown these days.  I guess I've reached the age where I want to see color.  

To keep costs down, and save having to carry a lot of sheet goods down into my basement shop, I'm reusing the panels from the old doors and drawers and open shelf cabinets.  I ripped off the stiles, ROS the finish off, and then ran the panels through my drum sander to remove the veneer.  Then I glued shop sawn ash veneer onto that core with plastic resin glue in the vacuum bag, and then glued on new ash stiles with biscuits and glue.  

I put in a "neutral" gray bamboo floor last year.  That thing has caused us no end in grief trying to find another gray that will go with it.  I just finished the lower cabinets you are about to see and the first thing I said to my wife after they were in was "I'm ripping up the bamboo and getting something else."  And I probably will after the entire kitchen is done. 

[Image: UOM4X00o7aG-DFvzIewXmXYDTnuy_2a5x8agxrMr...70-h626-no]

The gray color of the lower cabinets looks much darker in reality; for whatever reason I can't get it to look correct with the camera.  It's not nearly this blue.  

The gray here is closer to the real color.  I had planned to do both the upper and lower cabinets around the peninsula in red, but after seeing how bright it was on the upper cabinets we decided to go with gray on the bottom.  I'm still getting used to it.  

A close up of a lower door.

And the uppers.

The Great Bandsaw Moving Adventure of a couple years ago to get a G0636X down into my basement shop is paying real dividends with all the veneer I've been sawing with it, not just for the kitchen but many other projects, too.  I originally wanted to have all rift sawn ash for the veneer, but didn't have enough from the logs I've milled and when I looked into buying some the price was outrageous.  As it is, I was lucky to be able buy some plain sawn ash to make up what I needed.  Some suppliers have already stopped milling ash and my supplier was told the rest will likely cease in the next two years.  The most ubiquitous tree in NYS will soon be gone from the commercial logging market, and likely just plain gone.

Why did I use ash?  First, I had some from EAB killed trees I've milled the past couple of years.  Also, I wanted the open pore structure to show, and I didn't want to deal with the tannin staining that can happen with the oaks.  Ash fits the bill, and it's really hard and durable.  My kitchen will be an ode to the dying ash tree.    

For curious minds, the finish on the upper cabinets is a whole bunch of mixed Transtint dyes in amber shellac followed by a coat of Sealcoat shellac, and then top coated with Enduro Clear Poly.  I wiped the red toner onto the maple veneer tape edges of the cabinets after I cleaned and lightly sanded them.  Four wiped on coats was the same as two sprayed coats on the doors.  The moldings are the original maple ones; I stripped and sanded them and then finished them the same as the doors.  They came out great.  

I tried lots of different approaches to get an opaque gray on the lower cabinets with a color I liked and that still let the grain show through.  I eventually found Lenmar Duralaq, sold at BM stores, and some of them can tint it to any of BM's 6000+ colors.  It's a WB acrylic and comes in all the normal sheens. And it's pretty cheap, too, at about $55/gallon, but when I tested a specimen I had coated with it I found it has pretty low chemical resistance to Windex, 409, and probably any other cleaner containing ammonia.  That will never do in a kitchen, so I put a topcoat of Enduro Clear Poly on a specimen and found it had good adhesion, so that's what I did for the final finish.  After I had already bought the Duralaq I found out that Lenmar makes another WB finish called MegaVar, and BM can color tint it, too.  That product is KCMA rated and will likely be my choice in the future.  But the Duralaq sprayed great with my pressure assisted gun, no complaints in that regard.  

What you see is maybe 25% of my kitchen.  I think it will be Christmas before I finish them all, with all the other stuff going on.  

  Re: Kitchen Rehab Progress by jteneyck ('ve been working on ...)
that looks really nice.

I have to think about the idea of reusing panels.  LOML likes our cabinets and will not entertain the idea of paint, but I think something needs to be done to update them.
  Re: Kitchen Rehab Progress by jteneyck ('ve been working on ...)
Very nice, John! I like the contrasting colors and that red is stunning, something you don't see everyday in a kitchen. Great work and keep us updated!

  Re: Kitchen Rehab Progress by jteneyck ('ve been working on ...)
Very nice...and I really like the way you designed the cabinets.
  Re: Kitchen Rehab Progress by jteneyck ('ve been working on ...)
Looks nice John. Delta Gray has always been one of my favorite colors....
  Re: Kitchen Rehab Progress by jteneyck ('ve been working on ...)
This really shows off your talent, very impressive.

  Re: RE: Kitchen Rehab Progress by joe1086 (Very nice...and I re...)
(04-17-2018, 09:04 AM)joe1086 Wrote: Very nice...and I really like the way you designed the cabinets.

Thanks everyone.  The kitchen layout evolved over about 5 years.  No kidding.  Every time my wife and I went on vacation we would take walks and talk about the kitchen.  Where to put the appliances, work areas, traffic flow, etc.  My wife has a habit of banging into things, especially anything with a corner, so the countertops are radiused and bullnosed to mitigate the damage when she does.  

After we had that worked out I set about designing the cabinets.  Our ceilings are only 93" high.  The tall upper cabinets and stiles only design on the doors and drawer fronts was aimed at making the room feel taller.  The door/drawer design also reflected our preference for European style cabinets and in no small part because I had no clue how to make a kitchen's worth of frame and panel doors.  This is 22 years ago I'm talking about.  The radiused open shelf cabinets, the edge profile on the original stiles, and the bullnose moldings on the upper cabinets were done to carry through on the rounded edges theme.  
After 22 years we are still happy with the overall design of the kitchen and wouldn't change a thing.  I wouldn't have undertaken this rehab had the veneer not checked and puckered so badly.  And, as I said, I was getting really tired with the yellowed finish.  The only design changes I made with the new doors is that the stiles have small chamfers on their edges rather than a big radius.  I thought that looked a little more in tune with today's style trends.  And we went with the larger stainless steel handles for two reasons.  One, I like them and two, the finish won't go bad over time as the former did from greasy fingers grabbing them.  My wife is a great cook but when she gets into it she isn't thinking about being neat.  The handles are from Top Knobs Décor, and if you are looking for high end handles this is a good place.  Great products that are beautifully packaged, with both short and long screws,  and very good customer service.  


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