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DIY-Her 08-05-2013 04:37 PM

Adding 12" upper cabinets to already 42" ?
I have a dilemma, we have a 9ft ceiling and 42" upper kitchen cabinets.
I'm getting tired of climbing up to clean the 12" space every single year from all the dust and grime.
Currently, I am painting the upper 19yo oak cabinets SW antique white.
Took all the doors off and in the process of sanding, priming and painting.
I started to degloss the upper cabinets before I primed them, when I noticed how dirty the tops of the cabinets were which is what made me think we really need to fill that area with 12" upper cabinets.

The dilemma is, the current cabinets have face frames. The only company I found (Barkerdoor) where I could buy paint grade 12" cabinets with my choice of doors and paint them myself, so I could match what we have up there now makes frameless cabinets.

Would it look bad if the upper 12" cabinets were frameless and the bottom 42" cabinets had front frames? meaning the doors may not align with each other?

This is what the cabinets looked like before I finished painting the wall and took down the doors, just to give you an idea. is one of the doors I painted

I don't want to start painting the actual cabinets, if we will be buying the 12" because I'll have to take down the moulding on top that will reveal probably another 1/2" or more of cabinet that won't be painted if I just paint them now and wait until later to buy uppers.

Anyone know of a company that makes unfinished kitchen cabinets with face frames?

Trying to redo my kitchen on a limited budget. thanks

This is the general look I am going after. I'll also will either refinish the lower cabinets, or eventually reface them and buy new doors I can stain to match, have done this before in my previous house back in 1990.

joecaption 08-05-2013 05:05 PM

Not a great plan.
You would then have useless storage space without a step ladder, there going to look added on to.
A whole lot cheaper to just wipe them off every few years.

DIY-Her 08-05-2013 05:27 PM

I also need the storage space for things that aren't used often that will free up space in the lower cabinets. We already have a step ladder we use in the kitchen if I have to get something from the top shelf of the 42"

I'm in my late 50's and don't want to have to do major cleaning on the top of those cabinets every couple years. When we thought we could replace all the cabinets last year, we had planned to get 42" with upper 12" anyway.

There are tons of kitchens out there doing the same layout with separate upper cabinets

TarheelTerp 08-05-2013 06:38 PM


Originally Posted by DIY-Her (Post 1225462)
need the storage space for things that aren't used often..

Have a yard sale or put up some shelving down in the basement.

As to the *bulkhead* space above the cabinets...
build a bulkhead.

PoleCat 08-05-2013 06:48 PM

We have them in our kitchen and they are perfect for all the excess kitchen junk that only comes out once every other decade or so. Plus it is a handy place for me to put things that I would rather my wife didn't find.

DIY-Her 08-05-2013 07:42 PM

our basement isn't finished yet either lol. If it was, I'll just buy a cheap cabinet to store stuff in the basement.
How about something like this on top. Looks like it might be wood instead of wall board?

I wonder if we could still find a way to put lights up there and frosted type glass in front to get us more light, especially as more of night lighting. Our family room opens up right next to our kitchen, so walking into the kitchen from the family room at night, the kitchen tends to be dark unless we leave large ceiling lights on all the time. Thought it might be kinda of a moody type lighting :)

firehawkmph 08-05-2013 08:28 PM

I do a lot of kitchens, and in your case, we have put 12" cabinets on top but with glass doors. We put LED lighting pucks in the tops and it does look really nice with some nice pieces displayed in them. I wouldn't do the frameless though, I would match faceframes. You could probably order something through the production cabinet companies unfinished. And just have them provide the door without a center panel, prepared for glass. When you get them, after they're painted, take them to a local glass shop or preferably a glass studio and have them cut glass for each door. You can easily mount the glass with silicone sealer. The stained glass studios also offer different varieties of glass that looks antique, with some tiny bubbles here and there, and a little waviness to the glass. Looks very nice.
Mike Hawkins:)

DIY-Her 08-05-2013 09:35 PM

thanks Mike, that is the type of glass I was thinking to use, the tiny bubble wavy kind, forget the style they call it. If I couldn't use it as storage, I thought about putting some nice bowls I have stored away in my china cabinet in the dining room that I have no room for in the actual glass display section of my china cabinet.

If it turns out the distance from my top cabinets to the ceiling are all equal, then could we just use a smaller moulding at the top instead of what we have now?

Also, where do I even find where the production cabinet companies are either online or somewhat local to my state?

DIY-Her 08-05-2013 09:37 PM

PS: :) DIY-her stands for Do it yourself her. I told my husband if he created an account here, he should do DIY-Him :)

DIY-Her 02-23-2016 12:03 PM

ok, 2 1/2 years later here is at least a picture of the glass and doors we replaced.
We had a major setback and if you knew my name, you could search the internet and find out all about it lol. I bought new frames only hard maple doors and went to our local glass place and bought the wavy glass :D and installed it myself with the clear rubber gaskets. I also ended up buying a paint sprayer and took all the doors outside back in the Spring and Summer of 2014 and did them myself.

In Feb 2014 I bought unfinished cherry cabinets (Conestoga Wood cabinets) put them together myself after my husband showed me how to use his nail gun. I also stained and finished all the lower cabinets myself and they are currently in parts of my kitchen, living room, foyer and family room when the unexpected happened Sept 2014 and everything came to a screeching halt. I mixed my own Walnut stain from 2 shades of Walnut

Here is one of the Cherry stained walnut with the Enduro-Var satin finish. In this photo we weren't finished installing the handles.

We won't be getting new countertops until later this year hopefully :-/ This would have been finished if the #@$#@ hadn't come along.

We replaced the ceiling fan with a hanging light above the island Summer 2014

Still lots to do but as aggravating as it is in taking a while to get it done, we did it ourselves. All the hardware will be oil rubbed bronze.

The old oak island that I spray painted SW Sea Salt and we will be replacing the top with black walnut countertop also later this year.

I'm sure I'm going to have questions once we get closer to starting up on the project again.

DIY-Her 02-23-2016 12:04 PM

oh, PS: we bought all new upper doors so only the glass doors are arched

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