Posted by on Aug 3, 2019 in Built Ins, Interior, Repairs

For this project, we did several carpentry elements to enhance and repair this kitchen space in preparation to sell the home.

Kitchen Carpentry


This kitchen was pretty much in tact from when it was built in 1978. The cabinets were worn down with age. There was cabinetry work done to include a microwave over the oven which was finished out rather poorly, and the space just needed an overall polishing before the home was put on the market. The budget for this project was about $1500 (which included new tile work), so we needed to be creative in our efforts to both repair this space as well as give it some refinement without spending a whole lot of money.

Let’s start with the before photos of the cabinet repair. As mentioned earlier, sometime in this kitchen’s lifetime, a microwave was added over the stove, and the cabinet above it needed to be modified to incorporate this addition. Well … it wasn’t done well, as you will see in the images below:

Cabinet Above Microwave Before 1
Microwave Cabinet Before 2
Microwave Cabinet Before 3

We basically re-did the entire right side of this cabinet from scratch. In the before photos, the cabinet stopped at the drywall, and there was about 5 inches of wall space leftover. The drywall work in this area was a mess. There was also no top face framing to the cabinet. The side of the cabinet just stopped abruptly at the ceiling. This created a “choppy” look where the right side of the cabinet seemed to just be floating all by itself.

To solve these issues, we extended the cabinet face past the drywall all the way to the edge of the wall, creating a built in look to the cabinet. This solved the issue of the poor drywall work. We added face framing to the top of the cabinet and added trim work. We extended the trim work all the way down on all of the cabinets on this wall to give everything a seamless look.

Cabinet Repair in Process
Cabinet Repair Trim Work

Because we trimmed this side of the top of the cabinets, we trimmed out the top of all the cabinets. You will see this in several of the photos below. The trim we used was a small crown moulding style trim. We ended up using two different stain colors layered over each other to match the stain on the existing cabinets.

The other side of the kitchen was getting a new backsplash as part of the renovation. Here is a before photo of the other side of the kitchen, and the choice of tile. You will also notice in this before photo, the top of the cabinets do not have the trim work installed yet.

Kitchen other side before
Tile Choice
Tile Work Complete

Once the new tile was installed, we were able to jump back in with our carpentry projects. We installed the top trim work on the cabinets. We also framed out the interior top and sides of the window with matching stained wood, and created a wooden trimmed out “plate” for the light over the sink.

Trim Work over Refrigerator
Trimwork on Cabinet top
Carpentry around window and light

The ceilings in this home were “stomped” pattern, and all the edges of the bulkhead area where the ceiling met the wall were rough. To solve this and give it a more polished look, we trimmed out the bulkhead on both the outside and inside, and painted the trim a smooth eggshell white.

Bulkhead Trimming

There was a skylight that had been installed partially into the kitchen, and it also had some VERY rough edges where the wall met the ceiling, so this area was trimmed out as well.

Skylight Trim

The renovation included lighting over the bar area. Once the electrical work was completed, we created a trimmed out “plate” for this side to match what we did with the light over the sink.

Island Lighting

At this point, we were just about finished with all the enhancements to this kitchen. There was one issue on the other side of the kitchen where a wall of pantry cabinets was located. The cabinets were installed over an air vent. The installers just placed the cabinets right on top of the vent. Half of the vent was exposed, while the other side wasn’t. We did not take a before photo of this issue, but it clearly stood out as something that was wrong and needed to be fixed before the home could be put on the market.

We bought a slim vent at Lowe’s, and used this to add a vent to the bottom of the cabinet, so the air would have somewhere to exit. We used a jig saw to cut the hole for the vent on the kick plate of the cabinet. With the left over vent that was still exposed on the floor, we bought a new vent for this space and cut it it to size and placed it on top. We added trim to the bottom of the entire set of cabinets, and also trimmed out the top to match the other side of the kitchen.

Vent Repair
Pantry wall trim

Finally, all the cabinets were given a good cleaning and the hardware was replaced.

New Hardware

That completed the work on this kitchen! Although still a bit “dated” by designer standards today, the kitchen has come a very long way from it’s original shape, and now with all the glaring issues resolved, it’s in the right condition to be placed on the market to sell.

Kitchen Final 1
Kitchen Final 3
Kitchen Final 2

Let us get your kitchen ready for sale! You don’t need a full renovation to polish and clean up an existing kitchen to sell your home! With a few simple carpentry jobs including trim work and repair work, we can get your kitchen to a showable place!

Thanks so much for reading!