Skip to main content

The Cabinets That Were Anything But Custom!!

Often time’s customers look at their furniture and see a piece of junk. To be fair, it’s hard to imagine a dilapidated chair, table or cabinet being anything different. This post is a testament that anything can be transformed into something beautiful again.

A few months back, I received a call from a customer who wanted her former built-in cabinets turned into stand-alone cabinets. Because they were built-in, the dimensions on the tops and sides weren’t correct for cabinets that would stand-alone. Therefore, new tops and sides would have to be built to make each side match. 


When building tops/sides/shelves of any size, we follow the same process of building a custom tabletop. The wood is sourced, cut to the proper size and run through a planer. The planer removes rough or excess surface from the boards. Next, holes are drilled on the sides of the boards so they can be glued together. After the glue dries, we have something slightly resembling a top. Finally, the top needs to be sanded numerous times before its ready for priming/painting. It’s a common misconception, that a piece of wood is cut, sanded a bit and then stained or painted. As I’ve stated, many more steps and hours go into this process.

Bookcases 2

In order to begin painting, the cabinets need to be sanded exceptionally well for a couple of reasons. First, the cabinets were stripped, which raises the grain of the wood. If we painted over that without sanding, the customer would be left with a product that isn’t smooth or appealing. Secondly, think of painting over rust on a car. The paint job might look great for a short time if you simply painted over the rust. However, the rust will eventually flake-off and take your new paint job with it. The same logic applies to furniture, that’s why all loose finish needs to be sanded off before painting.

The painting process begins by spraying the cabinets with two coats of sealer. Between coats, the cabinets are sanded with a high grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. After the pieces are properly sealed, multiple coats of a lacquer-based paint are sprayed on the piece and sanded in between coats.

Once completed, the cabinets looked they rolled off a factory floor. Our customer was thrilled because she received the custom cabinets she wanted. We also had a laugh because her husband was very doubtful about the prospects of making these cabinets look great again. Lets just say he changed his tune after seeing the final product!!

Bookcase 3 DSC_1469


At Wehrli Furniture, we are capable of anything. We pride ourselves on exceeding our customer’s expectations every time we take a job. If you have a piece of furniture, cabinets, doors or anything else that you believe is beyond salvageable, give us a call or create a work order below to get started.


Wehrli Furniture

Contact Us