Friday, May 6, 2011

DIY Dishwasher Cabinet

At long last, we have completed our dishwasher cabinet!  From the moment I knew that our future home did not have a dishwasher, I began plotting and planning how we could change that.  We are a family of six (my husband, our three children, my grandmother, and I) that spends the majority of the day in the home. I am a stay-at-home mom, our kids are homeschooled, and my husband works from home.  More time spent at home equals more dishes to wash.

We eventually purchased a dishwasher in November of last year for the amazing price of $50 (a refurbished floor model from Lowe's found by a friend who works there) and it wasn't until two days ago that we actually washed our first load of dishes.  Although it may appear that way, this was not a severe case of procrastinitis, a disease that has plagued many of our home improvement projects in the past. No, there were legitimate set backs that made this project a real challenge.  For instance, after getting permission from our landlord to cut the existing cabinets to make room for and  install our new dishwasher, we realized the cabinets of this very old kitchen were custom made and did not conform to current standards in cabinet depth/height.  The dishwasher was too deep and too tall.

Our brilliant Plan B was to make our own dishwasher cabinet.  This lead to many debates as to what would be the best setup.  Before long we were saying to one another,  "Hmm, we might as well  take advantage of the situation... " Beware folks, these words mark the beginning of  all "what have we gotten ourselves into?" projects!  If you so much as utter these words, your "do it in a couple of hours" job can quickly grow into a "don't think we'll finish this year" job.  For us it was, "Hmm, we might as well take advantage of the situation and add some much needed counter space and storage." Famous last words. :o)  Not really, it was actually a brilliant idea and we are now really glad we weren't afraid to grab the bull by the horns. (Yep, I'm a Texan, born n' raised)  After we'd pieced together in our minds an idea of what we wanted, we had to find the right size cabinets and counter top.  This led to much searching and store hopping.  After we found and purchased the cabinets and the counter top, hubs had to figure out how to run the water/drainage connections, which was not an easy task considering the distance from the dishwasher to the sink.

We hurdled many obstacles, but all our hard work paid off.  We are loving our new dishwasher and cabinet.  Check out the pics below to see how it all went down.   (The pics will also reflect other changes made to that side of our kitchen such as fresh paint, new hardware and new stove/microwave.  I'll soon be posting about our complete kitchen revamp, so check back!)

The picture below is of our kitchen after we'd painted the dark wood paneling and replaced the stove. When this picture was take we still had not changed the cabinet door pulls or installed the microwave above the stove.  The last after picture of this post shows the kitchen how it is right now.

The pictures below show all the steps we took in building the cabinet.

Quick Overview of the Before, During, and After

In the above after picture you will notice the microwave is installed, the cabinet door pulls have been changed, and the metal inserts on the cabinet doors beneath the sink have been painted.  I'd like to mention, for those of you out there that take note of the details, that our oven door has never opened completely because of the way the wall juts out there (there's an old fireplace that has long been covered, behind the cabinet) and the placement of the cabinet did not make accessing the oven any more of a challenge than it already was.

We still have a few more plans for this room, one of which involves re-purposing and dramatically trasforming of this curb side find...

...which we did this to...

Wanna know how it turned out?  I'll be sharing all about it this week.  If you choose to follow this blog, your Reading List (on your Dashboard) will alert you the moment I post the details of this project.  This is, hands down, one of my favorites.  Maybe it's because it cost $0! :o)

Update: This is how this area of the kitchen looks like now.  Read about the above curbside find,  The Little Hutch That Could.

Dishwasher Cabinet Price Breakdown:

Lowe's Dishwasher Whirlpool - $50
Ikea Counter Top - $89
Home Depot Dark Walnut Wood Stain - $5
Home Depot Cabinets - $79x2
Cabinet Paint Glidden Navajo Sand - $23
Home Depot Hardware Drawer Pulls - $2x2

Total Cost of Project:  $329

Be a dear, leave a comment, and let me know what you think! Have any questions about the project?  Feel free to ask.  Got a dishwasher related story to share? Would love to hear it. Till next time ya'll!

I am linking to parties on the following blogs.  Check them out for loads of great ideas and inspiration!

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. That is very nice. I really like it. What a bonus to get two drawers and two cabinets too. More storage. That dark stain on the counter top is beautiful. I am sure it will give you years of wonderful service.

  2. Love how you did this... It looks like a million bucks!

  3. Great job ~ such a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing at FNF :)

  4. I know you must love the additional space that this project provided! The dark stained top looks fabulous. I'm glad that you explained about your oven because I was wondering about that.

  5. Fabulicious! That's Jersey speak for "amazing"! Now that you're a Jersey girl, you're gonna have to learn our lingo! LOL!! Where are you from in Jersey? I'm in Sicklerville, which is in South Jersey about 15 miles outside of Philly.
    I love your blog and I'm your newest follower. Pop over to mine for a visit sometime if you'd like.

  6. It looks great! I love the dark counter and the light cabinets. I bet you're so happy to finally have a dishwasher. Your kitchen is looking so nice.

    I'm visiting from Debbiedoo's party and am looking forward to following your blog.

    Have a great week!

  7. That truly took some creative thinking. It looks awesome, and I love how you stained the butcher block. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  8. What a great idea! I love your dark countertop & light cabinets!


  9. Very creative and ingenious! I definitely think it was worth the effort..practical and beautiful..which is a great combination! Thank you for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday!


  10. Stacy you guys did an amazing job!! I love the combination of dark wood with white, gorgeous! Tell Macho he did a great job on that counter and since I would like my counters to look exactly like that one day (very distant future )I now know who to call for help :o). I can't wait to see what you do with that cabinet. I miss and love you bunches....

  11. You two did a great job adding this much needed dishwasher to your kitchen! And you even got more cabinets and counter-space too. I'm really liking the dark counter with the white cabinets. This is a combination we talked about for my upcoming kitchen remodel but I didn't think too much about it since we already had the dark countertops to match the white cabinets. Now you have me second guessing, it looks so nice. I can't wait to see what you did with your curbside find. :)

  12. Very nice........can I borrow your handyman? Your kitchen came together very well.

  13. Hey! We are just coming back by to let you know that we featured you at our Inspiration Friday this week so come on over and grab your "Featured At" button! :-)

  14. OOh, that's wonderful. I love it!

  15. It looks ahhhhmazing. LOVE the whole upcycled cabinet above too. My only question is how does the stove work with that? i.e.oven door???

  16. Jenn, so glad you like it! To answer your question, our oven door has never opened completely because of the way the wall juts out there (there's an old fireplace that has long been covered, behind the cabinet) and the placement of the cabinet did not make accessing the oven any more of a challenge than it already was. It does open enough for us to use and to remove the shelves inside for cleaning. In the picture, there appears to be less space than there actually is. Hope that answers your question!

  17. That is so awesome and so what I needed to find. Thank you so much for sharing and all the details (I had wondered about the stove door)! What a brilliant easy fix!

  18. We are doing something similar for a rental we are moving into. How did you run the hose to the sink for the dishwasher! we are working with very old cabinents and will likely need to have the dishwasher on the other side of the kitchen from the sink.

  19. Does any one not notice that the stove is very close to the cabinet? How can you open your oven all the way? & it is a fire hazard to have your garbage can so close to your stove!

  20. Tonya, as I mentioned in the post and also in response to Jenn's comment above, our oven door has never opened completely because of the way the wall juts out there (there's an old fireplace that has long been covered, behind the cabinet) and the placement of the cabinet did not make accessing the oven any more of a challenge than it already was. It does open enough for us to use and to remove the shelves inside for cleaning. In the picture, there appears to be less space than there actually is. As for the garbage can, I keep it by the stove when I am not cooking becase I like that it is nicely hidden and out of site there. When the stove is in use, I pull it forward and to the left. Hope that answers your questions!

  21. Hi there! I found your post because hubby an I are looking to do the same exact thing. However, I second the question above, about running the hose? Also, did you have to get a garbage disposal? Our kitchen is very 1950's, and we don't have one, but if we have to put one in, we will. Thanks in advance!

  22. Hi there, I'm in the same position. I thought, though, that the dishwasher has to be near the sink because it runs off the same pipes and what not? Did you have to reroute the piping or something?

  23. where did you run the plumbing for this? did you go thru the floor? you could always move the cabinets out across from the dish washer and move them where the stove is so you could get your stove out the corner and so you could open it all the way! just a thought! love the idea how ever!!!! :)

    1. I thought the same thing! I bet its becuase they have a gas stove and it would be to difficult to run the gas line. I also want to know how they use the dishwasher without it being rihht next to the sink

    2. Where's the casters? Did it need framing on the bottom? How's the hookups run?

  24. Our daughter gave us a dishwasher for Christmas. I had to integrate this unit into the kitchen and your photos gave me some good ideas. Thanks and good job. Looks great

  25. I love this idea and have a dishwasher that I need to find somewhere to put. How did you run the hoses?