Hello! I’m Ana, a mother and homemaker from Alaska.
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posted by Ana White

With the doors painted, it's time to take this -

And turn it into this -

Pretty crazy how just installing doors over cabinets can do that, isn't it?

The doors we ordered are measured for full overlay, and will require a Euro Style Concealed Hinge, 1-1/4" (sometimes referred to as Full Overlay), Face Frame.  

Full Overlay means the doors pretty much cover the entire cabinet - there's a 1/2" gap between all doors and drawers, and that's it.  You can also get Partial Overlay, where the door only covers part of the face frame.

It is important to note when figuring the right hinge if your cabinets are Face Frame or Euro Style.  Face Frame means the cabinet has the 1x2 frame around the front (see first photo).  Euro style means the plywood edge is exposed on the front, with no trim on the front.  

Then there's the options - like soft close pins, or different opening degrees.  For this kitchen, we are going standard on everything, so we ordered up standard hinges - no fancy bells or whistles.

But there is one thing to note - our hinges came with screws and those white larger "screws" if you will.  Those are for MDF cabinets where you need a little more bite to grab into MDF.

Since our cabinets are framed in hardwood, we can remove those white things,

We'll just be using the screws to attach the hinges to the cabinets.

A highly recommend this little kit (I think it was around $14) for helping you bore holes for the hinges. You could also just use a forstner bit in the right size, but the guide proved to be very useful.

We marked out the location of our hinges on the doors,

And then placed the guide on the marked location.

The guide has three holes in it.  We set our drill bit per instructions that came with the guide, and drilled three little holes through the guide.

This leaves three guide holes in the door.

The drill bit has a point on the end, that you place inside the middle pilot hole.  That way there is no guess, it's just place the bit in the pilot hole,

Drill away (make sure you drill to the right depth and not all the way through the door - but I'm sure you know this)

And you've got a perfectly placed hole bored for the hinge.

Perfect fit ... no guessing or finger crossing required ...

And then the other two pilot holes are used to attach the hinge with screws.

To save time, we started the screws with the drill,

And then tightened them up to just right with a screwdriver.  You don't want to strip the screw holes out.

Once the hinges are attached to the doors, we can now attach the door to the cabinet.

The hinge is designed to cup the face frame,

And it's just a matter of position the door, drilling pilot holes, and attaching the hinge to the face frame.

It really is that easy!

We used a spacer block to help us get a consistent gap at the bottom of the doors.  It's the little things that save time and make DIY that much easier.

The hinges are super adjustable, so we can go back and align the doors so they look like this when we are done:

Yep, that's DIY kitchen cabinets!!!

So have you used these hinges before?  Love them like we do?  Or do you have a hinge you recommend?  We'd love to hear your comments too!

XO Ana + Fam

posted by Ana White

I remember back when we used our Get Out of Jail Free card on the Momplex, and I dreaded receiving comments about hiring help and taking a step off from DIY.

But you totally suprised me.

Instead, many of you commented that a good DIYer knows when to DIY, and when to seek help.

The primary reason we hired out the drywall finishing is tool investment.  In order to tool up to do two homes worth of drywall, we'd be into it about as much as the cost of hiring the job out. And both the Ram and I are carpenters at heart, with no desire to go into the drywall finishing biz, so it just made sense to let a contractor take on the mud and tape.

So fast forward a few months, and we are almost finished with one side of the Momplex.  And it's time to start thinking about kitchen cabinet doors.

Originally, we had intended to DIY the doors for the Momplex kitchen ourselves.  We certainly can and do make wood doors, and enjoy making doors, and would love to invest in door making tools.  ANY tool that makes sawdust is something I would love to have.

But in the end, we opted to order doors.  And here's why:

1. Mom wanted a raised panel kitchen cabinet door.  To do make a 20 some raised panel kitchen cabinet doors, we would need some very expensive tools.  And for ever different door style we choose in the future, we'd be back to ordering more bits and tools (that aren't cheap).

2. There are 21 doors in this Momplex kitchen.  If it had been just a couple of doors, I'd have been game.  But making 21 doors all perfectly matched would have been a huge task and very time consuming.

3. The doors are what you see in a kitchen.  If you have a screw hole to hide on a carcass or a rogue knot on a face frame, it all gets covered by the doors.  And we are doing full overlay doors.  The margin for error is very small because the doors are right next to each other and the human eye could easily make out any discrepancy in door sizes. Quality in kitchen cabinet doors is very important.

4. Up here in Alaska, hardwood isn't cheap.  We figured that we'd only be saving a few hundred dollars (not counting cost of tools) by DIYing with raw materials vs buying doors.  Door companies can buy hardwood in bulk at a much lower cost, and that savings is passed on to you.

5. Being preggers at the time, and not able to work to full capacity, in order to get Mom moved in to the Momplex by the Holidays, we knew we'd have to take some shortcuts to make this goal happen.

And let me tell you .... after so many years of never buying anything made of wood - of only buying raw wood and making things from it, I had some very mixed emotions about opening this package ....

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Trust issues ... jealousy issues ... personal insecurities ...

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

But when I opened up that cardboard container, and saw this inside, that all changed.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

We had definitely made the right decision to order kitchen cabinet doors.

The doors were the most beautiful doors I had ever seen!!!  I sat there for a long time, just admiring them.

We ordered these doors from Cabinet Now (no relationship or sponsorship), paying by the square foot for the door (prices vary by species and design).  I can tell you this - we priced out a similar door at a big name cabinet company, and it was four times as much.  The design we ordered is called Burgundy.

Now comes the really hard part.  

Painting these beautiful doors!

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Grace helped us cover the floor in one of the Momplex bonus rooms with painter's paper. The walls are just primed, so a little overspray won't hurt.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

I don't envy the guy that has to paint these beautiful doors ....

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

The Ram sprayed the doors with primer and paint. No sanding was required because the doors come pre-sanded.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Too late to turn back now, but I definitely was feeling painter's remorse here.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

All that's left now is waiting for the paint to dry,

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

And hanging those doors on the cabinets.

Here's a peek at what they look like hung:

Can you believe that we just took those doors out of a box and painted them, no sanding at all???  I'm still shocked!

So what do you think? Right decision to order doors? Or should we have gone the DIY route?

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