Budget Makeovers, Big Mistakes

Bucks County, PA, Before: This kitchen, already outfitted with granite and stainless steel appliances, received a budget makeover on its cabinets. The homeowners soon realized that, from an investment standpoint, this HGTV styled treatment wasn't the best choice for their home when the finish began to peel and rub off.

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Knowing they would need new doors, they checked with local and "big box" refacing companies, but were not impressed with the plastic and veneered doors they were shown. One of the homeowners came from a family of woodworkers, and she wanted real wood doors and details, custom stained to a dark cherry. We were more than happy to provide them with what they wanted.

After: New, solid cherry doors were custom stained and glazed in our shop. Decorative accents, including a leg and beadboard treatment for the island, edge moldings, and beadboard side panels, all of real cherry, also received the same finishing treatments. The remaining frame portion, which was only visible when the doors were open, was sanded down and given a matching finish. The owners were delighted with the final results, and this upscale, traditional kitchen transformation is our new "hot seller."

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Bernardsville, NJ, Before: An attempt at distressing these top-of-the-line cabinets resulted in the finish being ruined. Subsequently, the household wasn't very harmonious and tensions were running a bit high . . .

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After: The damaged areas were carefully built up and repaired. A bookshelf was added to the end of the island and a wine rack was replaced with pullout baskets. A new finish was applied to the cabinetry, a bit darker and richer than the previous one. In order to bring out the details of the decorative millwork better, glazing in the crevices was darker and heavier than previously. The entire family was happy with the results.

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