May 19, 2012

Making Contact

Just a small upgrade in the kitchen can make a big difference.  Our cupboards are from the outside, but many of their insides have seen better days.  Obviously we cleaned them out before we filled them with our cupboard-filling bounty when we moved in, but they were still in rough shape.  Not that you could really tell from far away.

Ho hum.

Every time I do a deep-clean in my kitchen, I empty one cupboard and wipe it down with a clean, soapy sponge and dry it with a paper towel.

Looks can be deceiving.

If everything is hunky-dory, I just fill 'er back up.  However, these cupboards needed some serious help.  Structurally they were fine.  However, when your shelving is made of veneered pressboard, and the folks who lived there before you stored wet things directly on the shelves, you have problems.

All together now: "EWWWWW"

Yep, these lovely exposed spots where the veneer had peeled were on every shelf in the cupboard where our cups and glasses live.  I know it was clean in there (I cleaned it!), but there's something about looking at this when you go to grab a cup for your iced tea that is just plain icky.  Contact paper to the rescue!  After fruitless searches at Target, Lowe's and Wal-Mart, I found that Fred Meyer carries contact paper that is a pretty close match to the existing wood tone inside the cabinets.

It's extra grainy, but a little extra grain never hurt anyone.

Steve and I set to work.  First, we removed the two upper shelves.  I covered those in contact paper while Steve covered the bottom shelf.  Things that really helped:  A razor scraper to trim down any dings or loose veneer before the contact paper went on, a Starbucks card to scrape the bubbles out, and a very sharp Xacto knife for trimming excess contact paper.  This project is not brain surgery, it's a test of patience- take your time, and pull the contact paper up if you run into spots where you just can't get the wrinkles or bubbles out.  In the end, the contact paper made a pretty good match for the existing veneer along the back and sides of the cabinet's interior.

Will the real wood grain please stand up?

Actually, it's such a good match that you can hardly tell a difference.  The first time I upgraded a cupboard like this, Steve didn't even notice the change until I pointed it out to him, and he's a pretty observant guy.  As evidence, I submit the finished view.


The whole project took about 20 minutes total.  Here she is all loaded back up

Drinks, anyone?

Ahh, so much better!  Everything inside the cupboard looks as clean as it actually is now.  And I think we may have enough contact paper to finish the other cupboards in our kitchen that have peeling veneer.  So the cost of this upgrade will end up being $8 for the entire kitchen's worth of cupboards.  Hooray for cheap!

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