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before & after: Robert’s condo kitchen

June 30

I look forward to visiting my friend Robert and his partner Javier in their newly purchased condo in downtown Vancouver this coming August. They have been busy making their mark on their new home and Robert promises some potential blog post topics for me. But before we get to the new place, I have another fabulous DIY success story from Robert’s old condo. With a little vision, a tight budget, and some handy skills, he transformed a decades old basic kitchen into a modern gem.

Robert ingeniously flipped the original doors inside out, utilizing the simple square style of the interior profile on the exterior (Update: he built new drawer fronts in a similar style to match the interior side of the doors). After carefully hand painting the doors and drawer fronts in multiple, thin coats with a meticulous sanding between each coat, he achieved an almost perfect finish, that rivals any sprayed application. New modern door and drawer pulls and a modern swing-arm faucet set further update the project.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After 2

Kitchen After 1

Kitchen After 4

Robert also removed the original plastic-panelled drop ceiling and added pot lights on a dimmer, along with under cabinet lighting.  New, simple, white appliances and a square-cut laminate counter in a natural stone pattern complete the look.

Kitchen After 3

Kitchen After 5

21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22 12:59 am

    I would never have thought of flipping the doors and panels. Brilliant!

  2. GLB permalink
    December 19 6:46 pm

    Wow. I never thought hand painting and sanding could look like sprayed finish.

  3. Michael Hurrell permalink
    July 18 9:48 pm

    Love it. The colour of cabinets and hardware are terrific…

  4. Georgina permalink
    July 19 12:18 pm

    Nice kitchen update. Love it. By the way thank you for taking a picture from the same angle after the change. It really makes the change stand out more. Good Job!

    • July 19 1:01 pm

      Thanks. Robert is definitely talented!

      I always appreciate a good ‘before & after’ shot to illustrate the impact of the change!

  5. October 28 7:09 pm

    How did they flip the drawers? aren’t they sloted normally

    • October 28 7:42 pm

      That’s a good question! I’ll find out for you…

    • October 28 10:22 pm

      A point of clarification on the drawer fronts: Rather than flipping these, Robert cut MDF to the size of the draw fronts and attached thin slats of wood to create the detail to match the flipped doors. A bit of wood filler and sanding and they were good to go.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 14 6:01 am

        I’m not following this… 😦 so did he create new drawer fronts? I’m so visual it’s hard for me to picture this. Thank you so much though for all of the information 🙂

      • March 14 9:16 am

        Yes, that’s correct, he did create all new drawer fronts. The backside of the old doors had that lovely shaker profile, but the drawers did not. So he simply removed the fronts (i.e. one side of the open box a drawer essentially is) and as he is handy with wood working tools, cut and crafted new drawer fronts that match the profile of the flipped doors, and then attached them to the front of the drawer box.

      • Connie permalink
        March 15 2:20 am

        Thanks;) I was SOOOO excited about this, but the man said they look like they’re on backwards so I can’t do it 😭😭😭

  6. Ella permalink
    November 12 5:09 pm

    How did he get straight edges on doors and drawers without reducing the size of the doors? The old doors have beveled edges.

    • November 13 8:45 am

      He flipped the door fronts over as the inside profile had the straight edge detail that is now visible. For the drawers, he built simple new fronts to match that profile, replacing the old fronts.

  7. Darcel permalink
    January 10 9:40 am

    How did he cover those big hinge holes on the “now” front panel?

    • January 19 9:21 am

      Robert tells me that the doors didn’t have European hinges, but that they were very simple hinges held on by 4 screw, so with a bit of wood filler and sanding the holes disappeared.

  8. Vishal permalink
    July 31 9:20 pm

    This looks amazing! I have thought about flippig my raised panel cabinet doors inside out as well.

    How did you fill in the holes from the hardware on the inside portion?

    Also, how did you create the holes needed on the front side (which will face inside) to install the hardware on that side?

    Any step by step pictures would really help.

    Again – great work!!

    • August 1 4:39 pm

      Glad you like this amazing DIY kitchen transformation by my friend Robert. These are all the photos available as he has now moved from this home. The holes were filled with wood filler and the holes for the new hardware were created as per the hinge manufacturer’s instructions.


  1. before & after: Robert & Javier’s colourful condo kitchen « saf affect

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