HS Design Studio | Dendra Doors on IKEA Cabinets

Easy Kitchen Upgrade | Installing Custom Dendra Doors on IKEA Cabinets

We get to spend more time with Jeff at HS Design Studio as he goes through the process of an IKEA Kitchen upgrade. Jeff provides an honest account of the features of the Lancaster Wide IKEA replacement doors. As he points out, installing custom fronts on your IKEA cabinet boxes is something you can definitely do yourself. And, there are certain advantages of these newer, custom doors over the original IKEA cabinet doors. Of course, there are a few slight differences you’ll want to keep in mind for your own kitchen upgrade.

Replacing my stock IKEA cabinet doors with custom IKEA cabinet doors from Dendra Doors. One of the aspects I love about the IKEA kitchen system is how easy it is to give your kitchen a makeover without needing to renovate.”

I’ve been procrastinating and just continually doing office work, to not have to tackle these cabinet doors right now. I took my kids to the bis stop this morning and it is blustery. It’s snowy, it’s windy, and it’s cold. Winter has officially hit with a bang.

But, I am at a nice breaking point up there. I have scheduled the rest of today to swap out these doors, make this video, video number two in our series with Dendra Doors. And well, as the saying goes: there ain’t nothing to it but to do it. Just a quick point: stick around until the very end where I go through a few more points that I found out during installation of these doors and cover panels.

DIY IKEA Cabinet Upgrade

It’s not often that I find myself taking apart IKEA Kitchens. For anyone curios, I’ll show you how much dead space is in the back of a stock IKEA Lazy Susan. So that gives you an idea of exactly how much space is kind of wasted in the back corner of a blind corner cabinet. We have enough room in there for a full size canning pot.

If you are worried about that and want to use all of the space possible look for something like those Magic Corners – Richelieu makes them. A whole bunch of manufacturers make them and they’re basically a square pull-out that slides out and then in to use all of that corner space. If you don’t mind a little bit of wasted space or if you have something like we do, a canning pot that comes out once a year at most, this works. And it’s a whole lot cheaper than a lot of those after-market options.

Easy to Install Custom Fronts for IKEA Cabinets

Well I’ve made a mess of my entire Main Floor. Now granted taking apart all the cabinets, taking apart all the drawers, emptying everything out, really only took 30 to 45 minutes. I don’t have a huge kitchen, but what I love about this system is that it makes it so easy to upgrade.

With a company like Dendra Doors, I’ve had my kitchen for 7 years – say you’ve had it for 10 years, it really doesn’t matter, and you’re really not happy with the color. Or maybe you’ve loved it all the way along, but it’s just time for an update, you really don’t need to renovate your whole system. Pull all your door fronts off, pull off your cover panels, and now we can start getting ready to put an entirely new aesthetic in this kitchen without having to spend all of the money to completely renovate the space.

Installing Custom Cover Panels on IKEA Base Cabinets

Alright, so that’s all of the doors done except for one, the twelve inch pull-out. But I wanted to make a quick note about it before I go ahead and replace it. And that is drilling out the holes. One of the benefits of going with custom aftermarket doors is that you don’t have to have the holes pre-drilled out. So in this case I selected no holes which means I don’t need these little plastic tabbies to cover that ugliness in the backside of the door. Arguably not a huge a factor when it comes to the exterior aesthetic, they still look the same, they look finished on the outside, but every time I open the door now I don’t need to see this little white guy. It’s a plus.

IKEA does include a measurement piece that makes marking out these holes far easier. However, I don’t have mine anymore, so a combination square is going to have to do the trick.

Doors are done. It’s time to go brave the cold and replace my old cover panels with these new ones from Dendra Doors. Now I want to make an important note here: it’s that my old cover panels, and pretty well all stock cover panel from IKEA is roughly 9/16” (14mm) thick. These new ones are right around 3/4” (19mm). So, if you are planning from scratch make sure to account for that. And if you’re modifying an old kitchen just keep that in mind, that you need to have that little extra leeway when you’re putting these in place. * Cuts cover panel to size.

So, as you probably expected these have an MDF center to these panels. They cut really smoothly. You’ll notice I scored it the first time, then all the way through. Let’s pull this track off and see if we have any chipping of the laminate face itself. So that’s about as perfect of a cut as I could have asked for. Not a single nick or chip anywhere along the edge. I’m going to get this one installed and continue with the rest of them.

Dendra Doors – Custom Door Designs and Quality

Before I get into the final reveal there are a couple more points I want to discuss while installing Dendra’s doors and cover panels.

  • First, I like the feel of the doors. They’re heavier, they feel more substantial. Now this isn’t something that I really even noticed until pulling off the old base cabinet doors, but theses just feel sturdier. And, I’m just going to chock that up to fact that the new doors are MDF and the old doors are particleboard. But these are a lot more similar to the other cabinet doors we have in the kitchen and I like that consistency throughout.

  • The Second thing I noticed is that they are not an identical pattern to our existing doors. Now, I didn’t even notice this until I went to install the cabinet pulls, but the rails & stiles on the GRIMSLÖV doors are 3 1/2” wide whereas the Lancaster stiles come in around 3” wide. Now, it’s not really an issue because IKEA discontinued the GRIMSLÖV line anyways, but if any of you out there have that and are considering complimenting it, it’s not a perfect match. But again, I didn’t even notice until going to install all the cabinet pulls themselves.

DIY IKEA Fronts – Observations on Dendra

Finally there’s a few items that I want to keep a close eye on as I go through my long term review of these doors from Dendra Doors.

  • The First is fingerprints. I noticed this during install: the backs are pretty prone to showing fingerprints. Now, maybe I had clammy hands during install, I don’t really know. And, it doesn’t really seem to be affecting the fronts now that all the plastic is removed, but we’ll see when I unleash my 3 kids on the kitchen.

  • The Second item I want to keep a close eye on are the cover panels themselves. Unlike IKEA, the cover panels from Dendra Doors have a laminate edge identical to their doors. It is finished well and very clean, but it is somewhat of a harsh transition from the front to backside of the panel.

Most of IKEA’s panels are finished with a rounded or a beveled edge, giving the appearance of a smoother transition. Once installed this is a really minute detail that will probably go unnoticed by most. What I’m more interested to see is how that sharp, harsher transition wears long-term. You know if you’re walking by it and you catch it with the little metal pieces on a pair of pants. Or, when you’re vacuuming, if the vacuum clips the corner and how that edge is going to hold up. Time will tell.

Alright! I think it’s time to take a look at this kitchen. Well, that wraps up video number two with Dendra Doors. However, this is not the last of our collaboration. I will coming back in about 6 months time to give a long-term review on this kitchen and how it’s help up to the everyday wear and tear that my family is going to throw at it.

If you haven’t subscribed to the channel already, make sure you do so. No seriously. Stop right now and click that button. You’re not going to want to miss any of that upcoming content as well as our longterm review. While you’re at it. Give this video a thumbs up, it helps our community grow. Thanks a ton for watching. Thanks for joining me this week. Until next time, bye bye.

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