When we first began contemplating Ikea’s Adel cabinets for our kitchen remodel, I’ll admit I had a few reservations. One of those being, the glass upper cabinets. With Ikea’s cabinets, the specific door style/color determines the type of glass. And with each color, comes a different glass type. Check out their styles here to see what I mean. And with the Adel cabinets that we preferred in the white finish, that glass style had a ribbed/bubble-ish finish. It’s not good.. at all.
In fact, I despised it. But we convinced ourselves that we’d eventually swap out the glass (somehow) and took the plunge.
One year later, and we finally worked up the courage to make the switch. This project definitely falls into the category of those “Why didn’t we do this earlier??” changes. And I really want to emphasize how crazy easy and inexpensive this was, because I know just how awful that glass appears and how quickly it can turn potential buyers down. We were almost those buyers.
First, let’s take a look at the back of the cabinet.
Basically a small piece of wood trim (maybe z shaped?) holds the glass in place, while disguising the unfinished edges of the cabinet.
When you look up close in person, you can see a few small nails holding that piece of trim in place. They’re a few inches apart and super tiny. Removing them was about as easy as it gets. I just used a small knife I had on hand, but anything strong with a very slim blade will work, and slid it under the trim.
Gently bend it inwards and the trim slowing begins to detach. Once you have a few nail sections removed you could probably just use your hands to pull it away, but since we were planning to reuse the material I stuck with the knife, in fear that I might snap the trim.
Here you can see just how tiny the nails are. They are impossible to grip and remove, so we just hammered them in a bit, level to the surface.
Once you have all the trim removed, which took me about 15 minutes for all four cabinet doors, they’ll start to look like this. Then you’ll want to use a razor knife around the edges of the glass, to separate it from the silicone adhesive.
Replacing the old glass with a clear glass is just about as easy as reversing the previous steps. We picked up our new glass doors from Home Depot for about $7 each (they’ll cut them to size, free of charge, if you have your dimensions handy). The employee that we spoke with said that this specific glass is typically used for frames, so it’s definitely thinner than the previous glass. We aren’t particularly rough on the cabinets, plus they have dampers (no slamming), so they’re working just fine for us. Just something to consider if that’s not your case.
We used this clear silicone to reattach the new glass to the cabinets as well as reattaching the trim pieces back to the cabinet. You’ll want to go slow with this step, as not to over glue, but you can always chip away excess with a razor knife after everything dries.
Now, before I show the after pics (with a spoiler), let’s talk about the second half of this post! I’ve been dying to get my hands on the back of these glass cabinets ever since we first purchased them. And replacing the old glass with a clear version was the perfect opportunity to showcase something fun. So we went with painting the backs with color! I mulled over a few options, but ultimately decided that I preferred the look of only the back of the cabinet painted, versus the sides and shelves as well.
I simply taped off the edges and rolled on a few coats of paint (I used the $6 sample pints from Sherwin Williams). And for the sake of keeping things real, I’ll show you my first attempt at a fun color… SW-Melange Green. I thought green was the way to go, and maybe it was, but not this shade.
It was fluorescent. Not exactly what I was going for. The next day I quickly painted over it with a color I already had on hand (go figure) from painting our kitchen step stool – Ben Moore’s Yellow Brick Road. I’m fully convinced that yellow works better in the space. There are already a number of green accessories, so the yellow is a nice break. It actually look a little brighter here than the green, but that’s just the camera playing tricks on you. Plus, it tames down when the doors are closed, shelves are in, and dishes are in place.
Speaking of, we also swapped out the glass shelves with solid white ones.
Andddd…. Here’s how we’re looking now!
I’m in love with the white dishes popping off the yellow background. And hello! You can finally see into the cabinets! The left cabinet has all of our daily dishes in it, and the right is more for larger mixing and serving bowls.
I’m not really liking the color on color of the right cabinet, so I’m thinking of mixing in a few white pieces with a few colorful pieces on each side. We’ll see. I’m sure it’s something that I’ll play around with over time.
Either way… SO much better than the before pic.