Kitchen Renovation | Doors, Drawers and Appliances

Quickly after the tile grout was cured, we began installing the cover panels.  We began on the lowers, mostly because it was easily reached and I was really excited about finally seeing the black added to the room.

We had to install the refrigerator panels in order to lock all the bases in.  It was a bitch to scribe those to our old wavy walls, (more on that saga below), but they are in!  We also added a panel to the back of the peninsula.

During the ordering we discussed needing one large cover panel (this 3'x8' one) for the back and the associate then said we could cut all the other ones from another large one.  Well, for some reason she added all the little ones to our order as well.  We had planned to return one of the big ones, for $125 you better believe we'd drive the 1 1/2 hours, but when we tried to cut it down for the peninsula we messed up and cut it too short.  Womp, womp.  We actually took hours trying to figure it out since the walls and floors are not level in our house, so we had to cut everything at an angle to have it line up perfectly.  Thank goodness we had that extra panel!  We set the bad one up on the counter to use it for all the tools.  It's like a preview of how great it'll be having counter tops again.

It was then we could move on to the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
The plan was that I would do all this while Mike was out for the day helping brew some beer at a commercial brewery.  I tried to do as many of the upper doors as I could on my own, but with the uppers being as tall as they are, it was difficult holding the door while attaching the hinges.  I did what I could and then moved on to adding the drawers.  Or, should I say, tried to.

Listen up any future Ikea kitchen DIY'ers: Something you should all know is that we read the directions each a couple times before connecting the cabinet bases together and adding the cover panels to the exposed edges.  There aren't really directions for where to connect the bases together, but the cover panels are laid out pretty clearly:

We attached all the panels in the 4th holes from the top and bottom.  We connected the bases together using the 4th holes as well.  These you actually have to drill.

What do you think happened when I tried to start attaching our drawers, (which make up about 75% of the bottom cabinets), they used the bleeping 4th holes!!  I'm sharing this because you obviously have to build your kitchen the wrong way first to know this little nuance.  After googling around for a bit, I found people warning not to follow the instructions for the cover panels because of the drawers.  Where were you guys last week?!

I was not a happy camper needless to say.  One thing I hate more than anything is having to do things twice.  I had to wait for Mike to get home to help reattach all the cover panels, 4 in total (each with a minimum of 4 screws), and drill and reattach all the bases together, 4 cabinets (each with 4 holes) in total.  The hinges use holes 2 and 3, and so we moved everything down to the 5th hole.

Public service annoucement over.

Once we got all that redone, we added all the drawer hardware and fronts and finally brought in our appliances!  Mike installed the microwave first, then, with the help of an appliance dolly and my sister's awesome door opening skills (shoutout Michelle!), Mike and I manhandled the range and refrigerator into place.

It's amazing how doors and appliances can take a room from this: something that finally looks like a kitchen.
I quickly took this photos this morning, so the light is pretty bad, but we've made a lot of progress!  We're happy to report that there is a very comfortable amount of room between the refrigerator and peninsula.  So glad we went with the counter depth model to gain those extra inches.

Once the bottom cabinet/drawer situation got resolved we added all the RAMSJÖ doors/drawers to finally give it that tuxedo look.

Mike added the toekick and we used the Ikea plinth in the RAMSJÖ black brown to match the cabinets.  Something we couldn't find online was how to terminate the cover panel/toekick on the edge cabinets.  The base cabinet cover panels only extend to the bottom of the base, but Mike had assumed it went to the floor, (in his defense, we were also working off the assumption that we would be cutting the large panel down
for all these), so he built the base to be flush with the cabinet.

We had decided that we would be happy with this type of look:


As I said earlier, we were sold all the base cover panels, and we used up the spare extra large one, so we wouldn't get this look, (Mike was kinda happy because he said it would be a crumb catcher - I think I would have to agree, although it does look really nice).  But this left us trying to figure out how the 3/4" Ikea plinth would sit next to the 5/8" cover panel.  In the end, Mike ripped down the plinth to about 1/4" or so and there is a small reveal.  My worry was that it would sit flush and it would look like we had messed up.  It doesn't though, and he did this on all the edge cabinets.  Including the peninsula, which butts up against the full panel piece.

We have to fill all the holes, but we bought black putty, so that shouldn't be too bad.

Another panel that had Mike concerned was the panel for the refrigerator.  One side would be attached to a base cabinet for support, but the other one was free.

We thought long and hard about how to support the bottom of the panel from being free to move around.  I had said it wouldn't matter because the fridge would prevent it from moving inwards, but Mike was determined.  He had planned to install clips into the tile, but we forgot and it's a good thing too, because we ended up having to shift everything down an inch or two and the panel ended up lining up on the hardwood floor.

We couldn't decide what to do, until after we rolled the fridge in, we realized it was such a tight fit that the panel wasn't going anywhere.  Wait, didn't I mention that at some point?  Mike simply caulked the edge with some silicon on the inside along the back and bottom, and some paintable caulk on the back on the other side.  Here's a photo of what the inside looks like while Mike was trying to fix a loud clicking noise last night.

You can see we also added a piece of rubber base along the back to finish off the edge behind the fridge.      

After all that, Mike still was going strong and installed all the trim around the doors, windows, and even the crown.

Instead of cutting the side panels to fit, we lined up the bottom and let them extend past the top of the cabinet.  This gave an edge to nail into.  In front of the doors, Mike screwed 3" pieces of the white panels that were left over from the fridge panels to the top of the cabinets.  This was the other edge that the crown was nailed into.

EDITED: A sweet reader commented that she was installing the Adel cabinets with crown molding.  I was having a hard time describing how we did it so I made a diagram to show it better.

We did this to have something to nail the crown into.  As you can see in the photos before the trim was added, the cabinets were installed a couple inches from the ceiling, so we had a few inches to play with.

The base of the crown lined with the the top of the cabinet base and was nailed into the cover panels.  The top was nailed into the ceiling.

I hope this helps explain it a little better!

We filled all the holes last night, and we just got word this morning that our countertops will be installed next Thursday, so I've got a date with a paint brush to get the crown and trim ready before than.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we'll have this kitchen finished before the end of the month!  Hope I don't regret saying that out loud!

Ps. I hope I explained everything well enough, but if not feel free to ask!  There was definitely a lack of information on a few of the little details we were able to find online, and if I help just one person not drill that damn 4th hole, our troubles will be worth it!


  1. I have the adel white cabinets too and am trying to figure out how to attach a crown. Did you attach the 3inch wide pieces flush with the cabinet box edge or the door? Thank you! You're kitchen turned out beautifully!

    1. I updated the post with some pictures hopefully showing how this worked out a little better!

  2. Thanks Mary! Mike attached the extra piece to the top of the cabinets, flush with the cabinet face. It lays flat on the top of the cabinet, so it doesn't actually matter the size, but 3" was what we had on hand and it seemed like a good size in order to attach to the top of the cabinet. The best photo I could find, (looking back I wish I had taken more detail shots of this) is showing our cabinet above the fridge opened, (seen half way down in this post: You can see the screws that Mike used to attach to the top of the cabinets, not ideal, but I never notice them. You can also see that it is flush with the cabinet box.

    This was only done on the face of the cabinets, since we placed the end panels to extend above the cabinet box. This was what we nailed to for the side of the cabinet boxes.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more explanation or I can take some more photos and email them to you!

  3. I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic way is amusing, continue the good work!

  4. I'm curious if the black putty you have matches the black brown finish well. I just finished installing an entirely black brown kitchen and I'm ready to caulk the trim near the ceiling, but I have no idea what to use!

    1. It's not a perfect match, but for the base boards it works just fine. The biggest difference is the finish, the putty is dull, while the cabinet face has a slight sheen to it. For caulking at the ceiling, you might use white if your ceiling is white. That's a tough one because whatever product you use, it'll be a different color than one of the surfaces!

  5. I notice you shimmed 2x4s rather than use the Ikea cabinet leg. Why is that? And how well did the decision work out?

    1. Good question! I go into more detail in this post:, but we chose to make our own bases for a couple reasons. First, with Mike's skills and experience, he felt more comfortable making them himself. He also didn't like the idea of the bases clipping on to the cabinet legs, he felt like they could potentially move or break. We were also able to decide where the toe kick ended up, including the edge cabinets that have toe kicks on two sides. And, most importantly, and more specific to our kitchen, he was able to compensate for a few issues like our old, uneven floors and the vents we had to reconfigure and build around.

      Overall, it didn't take long and it worked out really well. If we were to build another Ikea kitchen, we would still build our bases ourselves rather than use the Ikea cabinet legs. But, that's our personal preference. Hope that answers your question!

  6. Great post, are the base cabninets attached to the wall or just bolted to the custom frames?

    1. Thanks Rem! Yes, we attached the base cabinets to the wall as well. Before we installed the drywall, Mike installed blocking at around 36" for the base cabinets (

  7. Thanks for the wonderful information! I have a garage full of built cabinets and new appliances. Trying to man-up to begin installing cabinets tomorrow! Your blog has answered more questions than all of the other blogs combined! Gracias/Cesar

  8. From your diagram- IKEA usually has the cover panel on the sides extend past the side edge of the doors (WHY? I don't know) but when you walk around the showroom that's how they do there cabinets. If you did it the way Ikea does it- the crown molding would be off the cabinet frame leaving a gap at the top of the door.

    1. I don't think I ever noticed that at the showroom before, but next time I'm definitely going to look for it! We knew we would be installing crown so we lined it up with the box face for the specific reason. Oh Ikea their idiosyncrasies!