Recently my wife “suggested” that it might be time to upgrade our countertops from 25 year old grey Formica to granite.
old Formica countertops
So off to the big box store to look at granite samples. Way too many choices!! But we found a sample we liked so we pulled out the check book and started what turned out to be a very efficient process, unlike any I have ever experienced. Soon after selecting the sample, someone showed up to develop a template for cutting the granite. A week or so later we got an email inviting us to go to Tallahassee to inspect our granite slabs. In lieu of making the trip we asked for photos and got a gallery of shots showing us what our slabs looked like. Once we approved the slabs, we soon got a call to schedule the installation. Two very experienced installers showed up, removed the old countertops in a manner so as to not damage them, so they could be recycled to a friend’s home needing new countertops, and installed our new countertops and cleaned up before leaving for home. The next day a plumber showed up to reinstall the kitchen sink.
This is when I got the bright idea to “upgrade” the kitchen cabinets by adding some wood trim to the cabinet doors. The cabinets, despite their age, are in great shape.
I picked out some red oak from the shop and milled out a piece about 3/16 inches thick, 1 ½ inches wide and long enough to fit on a cabinet door. I then picked out a couple stains which I thought might match some colors in the new countertops and passed this by my wife.
She picked the golden oak stain as applied to the red oak, two applications followed by a clear coat. After the selection of the stain, I showed my wife a selection of cabinet handles in the Lee Valley catalog. A copper and bronze handle seemed to be the best selection for working with the wood, countertops and existing cabinet finish. The wood strips would be applied to the opening edge of each cabinet door as an accent to the cabinets linking them to the colors in the granite.
After the handles arrived it was time to get to the wood working. Pieces of red oak were cut and milled to size, sanded and finished with stain. The plan was to fasten the handles to the wood strips and then fasten the wood strips to the doors. Of course the screws which came with the handles were too long, made for ¾ inch thick doors and not 3/16 inch thick trim. Off to Ace Hardware, where I found 8x32x1/2 inch machine screws to fasten the handles. Since the wood strips were to be fastened to the cabinet doors, the screw heads had to be recessed in the wood trim. I used a Kreg cabinet jig to drill the mounting holes in the wood trim for the handles. Using a Forstner bit set to drill to a depth approximately equal to the screw head thickness, I lined up the mounting holes with the Forstner bit and drilled a countersink for the screw heads.
After mounting all the handles, it was time to start applying these to the doors. I marked and drilled two holes on each door to allow screws to be inserted from the back of the door into the wood trim. I then applied thick CA glue to the back of the trim, sprayed the door with accelerator and applied the wood with clamps. When the glue had set, I drove screws from the back side of the door to further secure the wood trim.
We were both happy with the outcome. Now, on to the kitchen drawers, wood trim on the top edge of the drawer fronts with a matching bronze/copper knob.
Here’s a You-tube of the whole process so far: