Fairfield kitchen cabinets (continued)

My order of Bonnie Lavish kits included a counter top and sink. The sink is made of wood—three skinny cutout pieces that are glued together to create depth, and a bottom piece with “drains” scribed into the wood. The photo below shows the sink parts after the three cutouts were glued together, but before the bottom piece was glued on.

After assembling the sink, I primed it and the counter top with one of my favorite paint colors, Glidden Sandy Feet.

I colored in the drain holes with brown magic marker (seemed easier than painting those tiny circles, plus I’d been using the marker for touch-ups on the laser cut edges of the cabinet pieces, so it was handy). Then I glued washers on top to look like drains. They’re a little big but they get the point across.

While all that was in progress, I made a microwave. I used Google image search to find a straight-on picture of an over-the-range microwave (the kind with an exhaust vent above it). I resized this in Photoshop and printed it out. I glued some scrap wood together to make a box, rounded the edges, and painted it with bright white. Then I glued the printie onto the wood block with Mod Podge.

Here it is in place. Since the cabinets don’t have backs, the microwave helps with securing the upper cabinets to the wall. The box is a little crooked at the top because I had to sand it down to size and didn’t do a perfect job. I didn’t notice until I was gluing on the front and didn’t feel like pulling it apart. Once it’s in place in the room, it’s not very noticeable.

Now it was time to assemble the bottom cabinets. I started by adding a piece of wood in the corner, where the cabinets meet at a right angle.

This showed through at the bottom where I neglected to extend the toe-kicks, so I glued small pieces of scrap wood over the exposed corners. It’s a little funky but it gets the job done!

I glued the sink to the underside of the counter top, then glued the counter pieces to the cabinets. They’d warped a little from being painted so I used clamps to make sure they glued on flat.

I used wood filler to fill in the crack where the two counter pieces met.

Then I started the paint spattering process. My idea was to use complimentary colors in batches, so I splatted on one color, let it dry, then did the next, etc. I used a toothbrush to glop on the paint. I sort of went nuts with the colors and in the end probably used ten different shades that sort of, kind of looked good together.

After the paint dried dried, I sanded it. Here’s how it looked after sanding. I might have used sandpaper that was too coarse, because a lot of the color came off. I just wasn’t happy with it.

So, I went back to it, this time using not as many colors and blending the paint with the toothbrush a bit while it was still wet, rather than waiting for each color to dry.

This time it came out more stone-like, but now the sink didn’t match since I’d entirely covered up the base coat of Sandy Feet.

Since the kitchen trim is bright white and the appliances are white, I decided to make the sink white as well. I’d already glued in the washer drains and couldn’t get them out, so I covered them with masking tape the best I could, folding down the edges of the tape around the washers with an Xacto blade.

Painted a few coats of white, and…

…much better!

Finally happy with the look of the counter top, I did the backsplash pieces the same way.

After sanding the counter top and backsplash with fine grit sandpaper and gluing on the backsplash, I painted the counter with matte varnish. The last step was making a faucet. The kit didn’t come with one and I was planning to use jewelry findings, but my dad (who happens to be visiting) suggested a nail. We used a skinny one that’s meant for hanging picture hooks.

He put the nail in a vice and used some kind of tool (channel locks? I don’t know what that is) to bend it.

We were going to cut off the head of the nail but decided to keep it. My own kitchen faucet has one of those heads that extends with a hose and it has a head that’s wider than the rest of the spout, just like the nail head. We added an earring back to look like spigots.

He drilled a hole in the countertop for the faucet and we inserted it. It’s not glued in, so it can be rotated to point into either side of the sink.

And here’s the finished kitchen!

Plus a gratuitous “lights on” shot.


  1. amanda

    WOW…this is amazing!!! I love the earring back!!! :)

  2. chris v

    wouldn’t have thought it, but the nail does look like a faucet. great idea!!!

  3. Mary Lynne

    The nail is a great idea, the cabinets are lovely, and the whole room with the light on is so very inviting. Love the window seat on the right side of the room. Great job!

  4. Deborah Gaffney

    You did wonderful work Emily .I love it.Deborah G

  5. John Morganti

    “Vice grip” needlenose pliers. They clamp on and hold like a vice. It is only serendipity that we used both a vice and vice grips–like having really strong hands.

  6. Keli


  7. Audra

    Genius! I have some sinks and a shower head that need attention. I knew I would find great tips if I started T the beginning of your blog and read forward!

  8. Sandra from Sydney

    Such a lovely kitchen. Love blue and white.

  9. Margaret. Lafoy

    Can i order this?

    • Emily

      As far as I know Bonnie Lavish doesn’t sell these cabinet kits anymore, but Mini Etchers sells some that are similar: https://www.minietchers.com/

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