Wood Cabinet Knobs with Green patina applied (on hand)
Glass tops for Desk/Cabinet (local glass cutter)
Contact paper for desk drawers and back of Cabinets (on hand)
Assorted hardware (on hand)
Cane doors for SVALNÄS wall cabinet:
Step 1: Paint the Brackets and Metal Cabinet Doors
I painted, in a garage, and kept the brackets/doors elevated with wood blocks under them to ensure an even coat.
Because I painted in light layers—and there were so many brackets—it took about two days.
I chose NOT to paint the small hardware used to attach the brackets to the uprights because I did not want to risk losing those pieces in the process.
Step 2: Attach the Cane Sheets to Metal Wall Cabinet Doors
The cane sheets arrived in one long roll. I laid it out and put heavy books on it to straighten the cane. After a day or so, it still rolled up too easily. Instead, I soaked the cane roll in the bathtub overnight, then laid it out again with the heavy books. That worked!
I originally planned to adhere the cane sheets to the cabinet door fronts, but the caning made the door edges too wide to fit into the appropriate slots when assembling the cabinets.
Instead, I cut the cane sheets to nest inside the BACK of the Cabinet doors which has a lip around it which creates an inset. I first used a spray adhesive, but it was not strong enough to keep the cane in place.
Eventually, I dropped Gorilla Glue (clear) in spots along the cane and, with a pair of gloves on, gently spread the glue across the entire cane surface, pressing the cane firmly against the painted metal door.
After each door was no longer tacky to the touch, I laid it flat and put some heavy pots or books on them and let them rest for 24 hours.
Now, the back of the cabinet doors are now the front of the cabinet doors.
Step 3: Assemble and Install the Uprights/Desk/Cabinets/Shelving
Next, I followed the instructions for the assembly and installation, with two exceptions: I added contact paper to the desk drawers and across the back of the cabinet prior to assembly.
I also used some green patina painted wood cabinet knobs I already had on hand instead of the knobs that came with the desks/cabinets.
I had to add some washers to the screws to get them to fit in the older knobs. After the assembly and installation was complete, I slid the doors into place.
Step 4: Add Glass Tops to Desks/Cabinets
Not necessary, but they help protect the desk/cabinet tops from scratching.
How long and how much did it cost?
This took four days, due to patience
with paint and glue and other time demands. (This does not include time waiting
for the cane delivery.) The additional costs included the spray paint, glue,
cane, and glass tops which all totaled less than $100.
What do you like most about the hack?
The cane-fronted cabinets! Also, my
husband was right: the bronze brackets are much more elegant than the original
What was the hardest part about this hack?
Figuring out how to make the cane
“flat” and then how to make it adhere to the metal doors without peeling off.
What to pay special attention to?
If I had not figured out how to flip
the cabinet doors to use the inset of the doors’ backsides, then I would have
been struggling to get a clean and straight cut of whatever material I wanted
to use on the original fronts, which may have ended up “sloppy.”
Looking back, would you have done it differently?
While I LOVE the cane, I could have used some leftover grasscloth wallpaper. It would have been less expensive and reduced the time waiting for the cane to be delivered and to straighten.