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Raise Kitchen Cabinets
During our DIY Kitchen Remodel, we decided to raise our ceiling and install ceiling height cabinets. Ceiling height cabinets are cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, meaning they don’t leave a gap between the cabinets and ceiling. I absolutely love ceiling height cabinets! They provide you with more storage, require less cleaning, and make your kitchen look more cohesive. Some people complain that you can’t easily reach the top shelf, but that’s fine with me. I put things I don’t use on a regular basis on the top shelf, like Christmas cookie cutters and my china collection.
We thought about ordering all new ceiling height cabinets but the price would’ve been insane!! The cost of our DIY Kitchen Remodel was already over budget so we were looking for a way to cut down on costs (read about the costs of our kitchen remodel here). We started researching solutions and that’s when we decided to raise the kitchen cabinets ourselves! We saved thousands of dollars by adding a box to the top of our current cabinets and I’m proud to say that no one can’t tell we it ourselves.
Step 1: Measure and Plan
As with all of our projects, you’ll start this project by measuring your current cabinets. Don’t forget to always double check your measurements. I sketched everything out on a blank piece of paper and then started making my design.
When creating your design, you’ll want to consider the height of your crown molding and the depth of your face frame. You don’t have to add either of these items but they definitely make your kitchen cabinets look like they were done by a professional.
Step 2: Build New Cabinet Box
Now there’s a right way to build a cabinet box and then there’s my way (the lazy way). We cut our wood and then attached the sides using wood glue and wood screws. A Kreg Jig would have been a much better approach but we were being lazy.
Step 3: Attach New Cabinet Box
We set our new cabinet box directly on top of the old cabinet. We then double checked to make sure the edges were flush and everything was aligned. This step is one of the most important steps because it determines the overall finish of your project. Make sure those edges are nicely aligned for a smooth finish.
We attached our new cabinet box to the old cabinet with wood glue and wood screws. There might be a better way but we were going with fast and easy.
Step 4: Add Face Frame
There’s also a right way to add a face frame and then there’s my way (again the lazy way). I basically just cut the poplar board to size and attached it to the cabinet with a nail gun. Again I probably should’ve been pulling out my Kreg Jig but I was getting really lazy at this point.
Step 5: Bondo
If you’ve been following our kitchen remodel, then you know that I was introduced to Bondo during this remodel and I love it!! I used a lot of Bondo between the old cabinet and my new upper cabinet. I used Bondo where the two cabinets met and completely hid the crease.
I also used Bondo on the face frame to create a smooth and professional looking piece. So even though I didn’t attach my face frame the proper way, the Bondo covered up all of my novice mistakes. I love this stuff!!
Step 6: Paint
I painted my raised cabinets at the same time as the other kitchen cabinets. To read all about the process I used for painting our kitchen cabinets, click here. If you’re not repainting all of the cabinets in your kitchen, then I would recommend just rolling the paint on with a roller (no spraying). Be sure to invest in a high density foam roller for a smooth finish.
Step 7: Replace/Add New Doors
There are a few ways you can add doors to your new cabinets. My favorite idea is to remove the old cabinet door and invest in a new door that covers the old cabinet AND the new cabinet at the same time. We went with this route because it made our kitchen cabinets look more cohesive. It’s the most expensive option but I think it looks the best.
Another option is to purchase doors just for your new upper cabinets. You’ll want to make sure the style matches your current cabinet doors, which can be tricky depending on what you’re working with. Barker Doors is a great company that can help you with custom door orders, read all about our experience with Barker Doors.
The cheapest option is to just leave your new cabinet box open and use it for decorations. I personally don’t like this look but it is budget friendly. You could also leave them open for a few months and then add doors at a later time.
As you can see from all of our pictures, no one can tell we raised the kitchen cabinets ourselves. It looks like one cohesive piece and we absolutely love it!! Be sure to read about the rest of our DIY Kitchen Remodel projects for more inspiration.