Help Me Stabilize/improve Chintzy Kitchen Cabinets, Please? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:28 PM   #1
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Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Hello everyone, I'm your run-of-the-mill idiot who doesn't have enough money or skill to renovate/remodel a 1970 house in southeast Louisiana, but I'm doing it, anyway...actually, with all of my mistakes I'm doing it many times, because I'm an idiot.

Anyway, my kitchen has built-in cabinets that need to be removed in order for me to remodel. Check my album for a bunch of pictures of the things I describe in the post, please.

I bought a ton of cabinets of varying quality (mostly flimsy laminate) and disrepair from a demo, because 1) I'm poor 2) there were enough to do most of what I want, and enough to throw away the worst ones.

My main question is, what would an experienced person do to stabilize or improve these boxes? "Throw them away and buy good ones" is the best answer, but isn't really helpful If you can suggest specific materials and fasteners to use from my local big box store, or the internets, that would help a lot, and so would suggestions for searching for similar threads on this site. The second question is, what am I not thinking about that's going to make this more of a nightmare than I think it will be?

Could I glue additional laminate or wood onto the sides; is there a way to hide the joints between cabinets if I did something like that? Might that really only be necessary where the side of a cabinet on the end is exposed to view?

Thanks all for your help! It is very much appreciated.

Dave

Last edited by lucifugens; 06-24-2017 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:45 AM   #2
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Pics or a better description of the cabinets would be helpful. You should be able to reinforce them. How is a little hard to say without seeing what you have.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:59 AM   #3
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Sure, Mark.

If you look under my name on the far left side, there's a link in blue text called View Lucifugen's Album, or something like that. That's where I posted all the pictures related, because it was way easier.

If there's another picture that should be taken, just describe it and I'll post it.

Thanks for your response!

Last edited by lucifugens; 06-25-2017 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


You could add some wood corner blocking to the inside corners for stabilization. Inexpensive and can be glued in place. As far as the outsides you could reface with new laminate providing the existing laminate hasn't come loose from the substrate. If the laminate has come loose apply some heat to melt the glue and apply pressure to reattach.....fairly inexpensive. You could trim the corners with wood to spruce them up and hide laminate edges. Laminate can be edged seamed to make invisible (almost) joints but takes a little skill. This work would be labor intensive but you indicated that is your preference.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:57 AM   #5
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Glued corner blocks. THAT's a fix I can do!

There's no way I could edge seam laminate, but thanks for mentioning the possibility. The issue isn't really the laminate coming loose from the substrate, because the substrate isn't much thicker than the laminate. I like the idea of replacing some pieces of laminate/substrate with sturdier wood, but if new side material increased the size of the gap of the joints between the face frames, how could I hide that in the middle of a run of cabinets? Making new face frames (bad), or installing fillers (less bad)...would wood putty crack when the cabinets are loaded? Maybe the solution is as simple as paintable caulk??
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifugens View Post
Glued corner blocks. THAT's a fix I can do!

There's no way I could edge seam laminate, but thanks for mentioning the possibility. The issue isn't really the laminate coming loose from the substrate, because the substrate isn't much thicker than the laminate. I like the idea of replacing some pieces of laminate/substrate with sturdier wood, but if new side material increased the size of the gap of the joints between the face frames, how could I hide that in the middle of a run of cabinets? Making new face frames (bad), or installing fillers (less bad)...would wood putty crack when the cabinets are loaded? Maybe the solution is as simple as paintable caulk??
Usually the cabinets are attached to each other by screwing the face frames or bodies together. Will these be painted? You could add a wood filler. Durhams Rock Hard Water Putty is good stuff. You could also use a 2 part epoxy....Minwax is good. You can sand either product smooth. Cabinets should not sag when loaded.....if they do then something is wrong e.g. the cabinets themselves or the wall attachment or they have been loaded with things they were never intended to hold.
Besides wood corner cleats you could add under supports to the shelves if they sag.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #7
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Re: Help me stabilize/improve chintzy kitchen cabinets, please?


Use glue, screws (#6) and staples (long glue coated ones fired from a gun) to repair & rebuild. Since you are having to spend time to rebuild them, I'd add some structure. Use non trim wood like; 1x3, 1x4, etc to build a basic frame for them. Use PT for the bottom boxes. I'd spring for soft close hinges and slides.
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