Since posting on this, I have received a number of inquiries on how to apply the beadboard to the sides of the cabinet, so I will give some additional detail here.
First off, is it worth the price?
- I would say yes. It's a relatively cheap upgrade that significantly changes the look of the cabinets. The plywood cost about 70 cents per square foot, and the pine strips 1.20. Considering we found the plywood at a discount lumber place and got a really good price, you could use 1.50 per sq ft to estimate the material cost. Note that we are in Oregon, and it may vary regionally.
What level of skill does it take?
- From an experience standpoint, I would not suggest someone do this as a first project. Its not that difficult, its just that you should learn on something a bit less visible. My dad always said (and now I say - go figure), "start in a closet". If you have never cut trim or used a saw, I would start on a smaller project to gain some skills. Possibly, putting beadboard on an end table or a kid's dresser.
- This may sound a bit silly, but you will need to know how to hammer a nail without bending it over. Bent nails will damage the beadboard and tick you off. Two things: hold the hammer at the end (don't choke up on it), and nail small nails with your wrist.
- You can do either strips or a sheet of plywood or MDF.
- I am not going to do full write up on this, when This Old House provides a really good article on how to get this done. On the page where Tom shows you to start at the corner, start that the front of the cabinet.
- Here is the detail I will give: The face-frame of cabinets typically have a 1/4" to 3/8" overlap from the side to allow you to apply end panels or beadboard. The diagram below shows how I did it (click to enlarge)
- One more tip: use glue and keep the nails to a minimum. If you have access to an air-nailer, 18-gage nails will make the job pretty easy. You can hand nail, but it will take a bit more time. I suggest using poly glue (Gorilla Glue, Elmers Nano Glue, etc.), since the sides of your cabinets will likely have either a melamine surface or a sealant. Wood glue will not work well on anything but a raw wood surface.