Monday, May 21, 2018

Kitchen Sink Cabinet Makeover

I've been in major spring cleaning mode in my house lately, so once the kitchen was fairly cleaned out, I knew I needed to tackle this project that I had been meaning to complete ever since we got a new garbage disposal installed last spring. Our kitchen sink cabinet had a bit of water damage from the previous garbage disposal malfunctioning. And in general was looking pretty shabby from being 20 years old. So I decided to give my cabinet a bit of an upgrade.

So I went to the local hardware store (in our case Home Depot is closest) and picked out some peel and stick vinyl tiles. I measured our cabinet at 2 feet by 3 feet--give or take an inch. So I knew I needed at least 6 tiles. Be sure to get a tile or two extra in case you make any mistakes in your cutting. These vinyl tiles are available at pretty much any home improvement store (and even sometimes Dollar Tree) and are usually around a dollar a tile.

The first thing I did was dry fit my tiles into the space so I had an idea where they would need to be cut. I opted to work from left to right and keep the tiles in the front of the cabinet (where they'd be most likely to be seen) whole. So I knew the tiles in the back would need to be cut to fit. The tiles on the right would also need about an inch trimmed off.

With the tiles in place, you can mark the tile that needs to be cut by marking where the tile overlaps with the tile next to it.

My front right tile needed to have the side trimmed to fit, so I put the two tiles to the left in place (with their backing still on) and flipped the right tile over to reveal its backing. Then I used the edge of the tile and a sharpie to mark where it would need to be cut.

I used a sturdy scissors to cut the excess off. You'd probably get a cleaner line with a utility knife, but I was being lazy and didn't want to dig out a cutting surface and a straight edge, etc...The scissors did the trick.

Once the front was all fitted, I started working on the back row of tiles. I went ahead and peeled the backing off and stuck the front row in there right away, but if I had to do it again, I'd make sure all the pieces were marked and cut before sticking them in. The back section was marked by laying the pieces over the existing ones and marking on the edges where I'd need to cut and then using a spare tile as a straight edge. It would have been easier if I could overlap and use the same method as I did with the front row, but it was still a pretty easy process.

The only tricky part was cutting around the pipes in the back. I accidentally flipped the tile over and marked it, not realizing that since the pipes weren't centered on the tile, once I flipped the tile over, the cut out would be in the wrong spot. Oops. So I used the cut out I made incorrectly, to mark a new tile. Thank goodness I bought extras.

In the end, I have a much smoother, cleaner, and more water resistant cabinet under my sink. It's not perfect, but since it's in a cabinet, it doesn't need to be. It's also an excellent project to do if you are thinking about using the vinyl tiles in a larger area to get a feel for how they cut and how to fit them, etc... It's also a great project to do if you have some extra tiles lying around left over from a larger project.

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