My Ikea Sektion Kitchen with Scherrs Custom Fronts!

June 4, 2015

So I have been lurking on this forum for a long time for our
kitchen remodel ideas. I'm sure as a lot of you know, the vast amount of
choices for flooring, cabinets, countertops, hardware, appliances, lighting,
etc can become overwhelming and it absolutely was for us too. We found the best
way to make our kitchen really stand out and make it look as glamorous as
possible without breaking the bank too bad was to do IKEA after reading all the
reviews on here.

Our kitchen was super old, from the 70’s and by old I mean
dated. Lemon yellow and white, it was pretty badddd and non-functioning. We
hired a contractor to do all the demo, remove the wall to the living room,
reframe the ceiling to move the load path of the roof, do all the plumbing,
electrical etc and put a new subfloor down. We then hired a coworker
recommended flooring contractor to lay red oak that matched with the rest of
our house and stain with white ash Rubio monocoat (also in the rest of our
house) to be in the whole kitchen. This was suchhh a hard decision to go wood
or tile. We decided on wood because of the continuous nature with the rest of
the house and the fear of mixing too many materials when we wanted to have a
more minimalist and blended appearance to the rest of the house.

We used the new Sketion line IKEA and ordered the week it
came out, luckily I worked fast on the planning software and knew almost
exactly what we wanted because of the spoilers on the web with dimensions and
such. We were able to order before the stock was out which seems to be
everyone's gripe right now. Once we got the IKEA box design we sent the design
to several aftermarket front fabricators (Scherr's, Semihandmade, Kokoena and
Dendra Doors). We ended up going with Scherr’s for many reasons: quality,
pricing, customer service and ease of install (predrilled holes, etc). The
price of the fronts from Scherrs compared to the others was a no brainer, we
are talking at least 50% less. We also got the doors painted which was a pretty
penny but we got quotes out here in LA and it was going to be the same cost.
I’m happy we had Scherrs do it since the doors got done over there and if we
had issues they would fix. We picked Sherwin Williams Grayish for our color.

We hired a local IKEA installer who was amazing! He works
with one other guy and they knocked out our whole kitchen in 2.5 days. He came
up with a ton of creative solutions including the pantry door sizes. I have to
tell you one of the best ideas was to get him involved before ordering from
IKEA and Scherrs because he helped us “hack” some cabinets such as our pantry,
BEST idea! He gave us dimensions of the doors to buy and they fit like a glove!

Once we had the cabinets installed we had the countertops
installed and boy was that a “wow” moment! Once those were on it made the whole
kitchen come together! We had picked out the stone first back in January and
bought two bookends on the spot and designed the kitchen around the
countertops, those were our statement piece. Hint-pick one awesome thing you
“have to have” or design feature and design around that so you don’t have too
many ideas or too many statement pieces to make the room look cluttered. We
picked a leathered finish Luce de Luna quartzite for the tops with a 3” miter edge.
The slabs were pricey, but it was worth it!! We have a true piece of art in the
kitchen! I would make the same decision again if I had too. The stone yard we
bought the stones at has a list of recommended installers depending on the
stone bought (ie experts that specialize in marble, granite, quartzite, etc)
and they take the liability if the stone gets damaged in install or
fabrication. They also gave us a quote on the spot for the work when we bought
the stone so we knew what it would cost upfront. The installers we great and
spent a ton of time to complete the install since we wanted a mitered edge
(more of a high end look instead of gluing two edges together with a seam to
make it look thicker) and waterfall to
the ground.

Once the countertop was in we did the plumbing and back
splash ourselves. We chose a Delta Trinsic Touch faucet and it’s amazing!! I
would highly recommend it for a functional splurge. The under cabinet light was
super easy too, we bought the strip lights from Home Depot that stick to your
cabinet and you connect to the existing wire coming out of the wall. When our
contractor took the room down to the studs we had him run low voltage wires to
the locations for our undercabinet light and wire the transformer to the garage
so we didn’t have to deal with hiding a transformer taking up valuable cabinet

So far, we love the kitchen! The slow close drawers and
doors are the best thing! To price out the same kitchen with Kraftmade at HD
would have been around 19k with all the bells and whistles we got at IKEA for
around 2k (doesn’t include fronts since we went to Scherrs). We live in a nice
area and home values are rather high so I was worried at first putting an IKEA
kitchen in might look “cheap”, but this has blown away any expectations I had.
It gets said on here time and time again, but make sure you blend high end
items with lower cost items. Don’t go all cheap, or it most likely will look
cheap, but blending items like Ikea boxes with beautifully custom painted
fronts from Scherrs for a fraction of the Home Depot bottom line prices was
wayyy worth it.

I’m happy to answer any questions about details and such,
because I know how happy I was to have everyone on here talking about their
kitchens when I was planning!

Living room looking towards the kitchen and front door on the left

Welcome to the 70's! I'm not going to lie, I miss the lemon yellow just a little bit. I twas so cheerful :]

Looking back towards the living room area

Demo day 2 or 3! So fast how everything comes down, but it takes foorrrreverrrr to get back together haha

We have walls again!

After the weave in of the new red oak with the old red oak with rubio monocoat finish!

Scherrs fronts and panels were delivered!

...More photos in the next post....

Comments (102)

  • Sarah Seitz

    Absolutely @js1288. It's LC Jergens in S Seattle. They have been awesome so far. If you end up contacting them will you tell them Sarah Seitz recommended them to you? I'll be picking up the finished doors/drawers on the 18th and I can report back about how it turned out. I plan to do a whole Stories post with pictures on our remodel once we (finally) finish!

  • silverylotus

    Thanks for posting this. We are also wanting to do the Ikea/different doors route.

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    I just realized my post made it on to the Houzz forum and I meant to post it here under the GW area, so confusing. I just finished an Ikea kitchen remodel with Sektion and Sherrs custom fronts! Read about it here: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/my-ikea-sektion-kitchen-with-scherrs-custom-fronts-dsvw-vd~3122580?n=3 I'm happy to answer any questions because I know a lot of folks are interested in Scherrs and not too many people use them for an option for Ikea fronts!
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  • js1288

    Thank you sarahannseit for Seattle info to go with this discussion we are wondering which way to go.

  • js1288

    dunstonstl - may I ask what you did and products used to prepare the bjorket birch doors before painting?

    Do you know if the Bjorket birch can these doors be stained?


  • D M

    @dianem87 I apologize if this has been answered already but, are most of your uppers 30's or 40's?

  • Kate Blanchard

    Love your kitchen! We are planning on going the Ikea/Scherr's route as well, and I want cabinet fronts just like yours. Could you tell me which Scherr doors you used? Are they #400? Thanks so much!

  • Emily Mathis

    kwb1999, those look like 400 to me, yes! (it's not my kitchen, but I'm planning to get 400s, so I've stared at them a LOT :).

    I'm also wondering -- what is the overall width of that desk nook, and what do you have in the narrow base cabinet on the L side under the desk? TIA!

  • dianem87

    Dana- yes they are 40's :] I have 8' ceilings so the 40's worked the best to go all the way to to top and leave 4" for crown/scherrs molding. We reused the toekick to go all the way to the ceiling. So glad we did! We were originally planning on using a more modern crown, but sending a toe kick all the way to the ceiling looked more modern and fit in to our home esthetic.

    Kwb and Emily- yes! They are the 400's :]]] I think the best part about them is that the square that is raised around the edges doesn't protrude too far! I've seen some where it sticks out a lot, even the IKEA style that is similar stuck out a bit too far for my liking. These feel so modern and effortless!

    emiy-the desk is 36". The door on the left is 12", they don't sell 12" drawers :[ it leaves 24" for seating width which we measured from a desk in the house and is the same. We love the nook so far! I keep my laptop there while cooking with recipes and the shredder under so when I bring in junk mail it doesn't stack up. We come in that door right there so it's the first stop and the clutter doesn't make it to the dining table!

  • Emily Mathis

    Thanks for the info -- I have 27" and I'm starting to think that I should do an interesting desk/top but just put a cabinet underneath rather than expect that anyone will ever sit there! Such a gorgeous kitchen you created.

  • PRO

    Congrats!!!! Great transformation. It's always a really big undertaking to demo and start from scratch, but the outcome is soooo worth it.

  • dunstonstl

    @js1288 - Yeah I can give you a breakdown of the steps involved! There are different methods you can follow depending on the type/quality of finish you want, but I'll just go over what I did to spray mine. Let me just say up front the route I am taking is an extremely time intensive process - i.e. I'm still working on them..

    Prep work: The bjorket doors don't take much. I hand sanded all of my doors. I wouldn't recommend using a powered option. While the rail and stile is solid birch, the panel is a very thin veneer. I used a 320 grit sanding sponge from 3M, the SandBlaster. Follow the grain as much as possible and use mild pressure. The corners of the sanding sponge are perfect for hitting the beveled edge between the rail/stile and the narrow edge of the sponge for hitting the recessed portion of the frame. The goal is to remove the sheen as much as possible, not get down to bare wood.

    Priming: I used General Finishes Enduro White Undercoat. My doors are white, so this product worked well for me. There are other products out there you can use but I chose this because it sprays really well, dries within 30 minutes, and is extremely durable. Oh, and it's water based. I did two coats sanding between and after.

    You only asked about the steps before painting, but if you're interested, I used General Finishes Enduro White Poly (Pigmented to Sherwin Williams, Snowbound color) for the paint and top coated with General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly. Between coats I use the Klingspor Ultraflex 220 sanding pads. The grit is deceiving because it is actually equivalent to around 600-800 grit as it is used. I did 3 coats of paint and am currently on my 2nd coat of clear. Once I've finished the final clear coat (probably 4th), I will wet sand with Norton 2000 grit paper. I've done a couple test boards with this method and it is looking pretty flawless.

    For reference, I am using a 4 stage Fuji hvlp sprayer with a 1.5mm tip for all coats, thinning as necessary. Everything I used can be purchased on Amazon, or from places like WoodCraft or Rockler (with the exception of the Klingspor pads, I purchased those through Klingspor). I have 41 doors and each sanding step takes roughly 2 hours. Spraying takes about 3-3.5 hours per coat if you're doing both sides at the same time (spraying the back, then flipping and spraying fronts) including clean up. 1.5-2 hours if you're spraying a single side and letting them dry over night. It is to this point that most people would prefer hiring someone to do it for them, and quite honestly if I would have known I wouldn't have as much free time as I thought I would.. I probably would have hired this project out too.

    As far as staining.. I'm fairly sure the bjorket doors can be stained but they will require a deeper first sand than what you need from painting. I would be worried sanding the veneer panel myself. Also, if I had wanted stained doors, I probably would have purchased them unfinished from someone else to save the sanding step. I hope this helps!

  • js1288

    Whew, that is a lot of work, thank you so much for the detailed answer. Looks like I will pay sarahannseitz's painter to do the job or buy from Scherr's depending on cost. Thanks to all for your input, it is just what I needed at the right time.

  • js1288

    Can I ask how many doors and drawers you had painted for your $2800 sarahannseitz ?

  • Sarah Seitz
    Sure! It's 30 doors/drawers plus 7 cover panels and 2 deco strips. We're going to make our own toekicks and paint them ourselves so those aren't included in the cost.
  • js1288

    Perfect, thanks.

  • Sarah Seitz
    Here's a sneak peek at my painted Bjorket doors and drawers going in. I'll do a whole post when I'm finished but boy is it looking incredible!!!
  • Emily Mathis

    sarahannseitz, they're looking great -- I hope you'll do a full reveal when it's finished!

  • D M

    @dianem87 Thanks! I originally had 30's planned in mine then I was reminded that I have 9 foot ceilings so I went up to the 40's. Your kitchen looks good! I was able to get to IKEA again and check out those massive suckers. No idea how my short self is going to get to the top shelves but we'll work that out later haha!

    @sarahannseitz Your kitchen looks amazing! I was disappointed Bjorket didn't come in white and considered getting them painted. But between the cost of the doors and the painting, it was the same price to get the doors custom made so I went that route. Glad to see it worked out for you!

  • tamizami
    love your kitchen, diane, thank you for sharing the info! i may have missed it, but could you let me know the stone yard and fabricator you used? yours is beautiful!
  • Connie Wiener

    I want what you have!!! I'm just starting to order from Scherr's and wonder...

    Did you have any problem drilling the drawer fronts to fit the ikea drawers? I understand Scherr now will drill drawer fronts but only on slab or raised panel drawer fronts.

  • uzie
    Can you tell me the size of space you have between counter and upper cabinets? Just in the process of doing a kitchen at the cottage with section and they seem so high??
    I had a kitchen done with the old style and love the results. Agree, you need some higher end components to make the difference. You have done a great job!!
  • Sarah Seitz

    Hi All! My IKEA Sektion kitchen with painted Bjorket doors is finally finished! I posted a Before/After story if any of you are interested. It was so nice to have other people who went before me to encourage me that in the end I would get a finished kitchen!! https://www.houzz.com/discussions/ikea-sektion-kitchen-remodel-diy-dsvw-vd~3548036=23/ikea-sektion-kitchen-remodel-diy

    IKEA Sektion Kitchen Remodel · More Info

  • lynartist
    So impressed by the wonderful planning and execution of this lovely kitchen! Just quickly read through this thread and am inspired by these homeowners. Congrats to you and the other lovely kitchens! Just goes to show with some real planning, ingenuity and hard work your dream kitchen can be be had!
  • PRO
  • PRO
    ERT Architects, Inc

    Looking good!

  • Betty
    Can I ask what paint color you used on the cabinets and also what color/type of stain you used on your floors? And where did you get those drawer pulls? I love your design!!
  • PRO
    Stecki Construction

    Congratulations on your new kitchen! Looks really nice!

  • Chikka BangBang
    Looks amazing . I love the red runner rug you have . Did by chance find it on houzz?
  • Otforme Coleman

    So neat! What about the toe kicks, deco strips, cover panels, etc? Did you order those from Scherr's as well or can you get by with using the white from Ikea?

  • PRO
    Hamilton Klow Architects

    Vast improvement. Fantastic job.

  • PRO
    Wise Home + Design
    Those counters are absolutely gorgeous!
  • Betty

    I'm researching doing a Rubio Monocoat in our living room/kitchen... What color did you use here? What's your opinion of it now that you've had it for awhile?

  • Julie McCarter
    Amazing work!!! I have 2 questions for you as we research ikea sektion. (1) I don't remember seeing the drawer option under the sink- did you covert the box? And (2) how are you feeling about the quality of the drawers? When i was in the showroom this weekend, if I pull open a drawer, I saw a lot of flexibility if I rocked the drawer from side to side. How are you feeling about the quality now?? Thanks so much!!
  • PRO
    FK Interior Design

    Congratulations, beautifully done. Enjoy!

    F+K Interiors

  • D M

    dianem87 Is that a Samsung gas range? If so, how are you liking it? It looks an awful lot like the one I plan on purchasing this weekend.

  • dawnkavo

    I am looking to use Scherr's also on my Ikea cabinets...yours came out great. How did you go about finding Kristiaan? It sounds like he was a great resource to have. I live in NJ so I need to find someone that is willing to work with the ikea product and has done so before. I have done several kitchens and bathrooms before w/ex and I doing all the work ourselves but not with Ikea products. This time I am also willing to put some diy into it but can't do the whole thing myself.

  • clearyam

    Hi there - LOVE!!!!! You mentioned the cost of painting was high. What did you end up spending for the fronts/drawers including the painting? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Stephanie Gibbs

    Hello-Just posted a request for feedback from Ikea kitchen owners. Now that you have had your kitchen for about a year--do you have a feeling for how your doors and the special options (ie. soft close features) are lasting and if they will age well? Was thinking about the SemiHandmade doors and did not even know about the doors you purchased. Thanks for any guidance you can render.

  • dianem87

    It's been a while since I last posted but as a general update we STILL love the Ikea kitchen! I am always saying how happy I am with what we choose and how we wouldn't do anything differently. We have had friends over who have done full custom kitchen cabinetry and they are blown away by our kitchen. Some folks we haven't even told it was Ikea and they just think we spent a fortune!

    We couldn't be more happy with the quality of the drawers and everything! I know Julie above asked about the drawers, and I think once they have stuff in them they are good. We have never had an issue with a cheap feeling drawer. We haven't had anything break and everything is as study as the day we put it in. We have gone through a couple of refinances as the rates get better and the appraisers ALWAYS ask about the kitchen and think we spent $100k+

    I would not hesitate to install another Ikea kitchen and if you're looking for high end looks with the lots of options and flexibility, I would recommend Ikea with Scherrs in a heartbeat. I think the cabinets with the standard fronts they sell at the store can look a bit "Ikea" but with Scherrs and the custom color options it really brings the kitchen to a whole other level. JD Power and Consumer Reports' reviews of the cabinets are spot on. I wouldn't touch any of the junk they sell at the big box stores, go check it out if you haven't.

    We are getting ready for a bathroom remodel and will be using the Pax and Kristiaan to make a custom built in looking closet from Ikea. The best part is the internal flexibility and if over the years your needs change, just hop on over to Ikea and get some new "inners" and you have a new system. We are also using 3 15" deep 14" wide Sektion cabinets in our bedroom to create a dresser with pull out laundry hampers! I also have a built in banquet for our kitchen table on my brain :] My husband also wants these cabinets in the garage for his work/tool space and for his homebrewing.

    Other answers to questions-

    -Found Kristiaan through google, thumbtack and Yelp for Ikea cabinet installers. I was surprised how many there are. Also, check out picture of their work!

    -Red runner is a Persian rug from the Rose Bowl swapmeet here in Los Angeles :/

    -We has Scherrs fabricate solid panels for the trash and sink area. When my husband and I went to the store we thought the rails behind holding the fronts together was SUPER flimsy. With one solid piece of wood, we have no issues.

    -Samsung range is AMAZING! We use it about every other day :]

    -We picked a Sherwin Williams color from Scherrs, I think it was called "Greyish"

    -Rubio monocoat on our floors....ehhhh. I wish we had a matte varnish (do they make one?) Rubio leaves the wood open I think and you really have to be careful with stains and it seems to always look dirt. When we bought the house and had our guy do the floors I wish I did more research on the stain....It is beautiful just a lot of maintenance! We used the stain "cotton white" on 60 year old red oak floors

    -handle pulls were Atlas Fulcrum pulls in champagne bronze.

    -Scherrs does everything from paint to drill the holes for the Ikea hinges. We ordered everythign from them including toekicks, etc. We used toekicks on the top as our "crown molding" ha. We loved the clean lines!

  • Stephanie Gibbs
    Thanks Diane!
  • Maple Osa

    @dianem87 You've done a beautiful job with your kitchen! Did you have an electrician install the hardwired under-cabinet or in-drawer lights that Ikea shows with the new Sektion line? Would you mind sharing the electrician and counter fabricator/installer that you used (if you were happy with them)? Many thanks!

  • callie2222

    Hi, I hope that you will be able to answer this as it has been a bit of time since you posted this. My question is about the flooring. How do you like the Rubio Monocoat in the kitchen? I am thinking of using it in a similar situation. Thanks.

  • jrzybeth

    hi - i hope you can answer this for me - which fronts did you order from Scherr? I am looking on their site and I can't figure it out. Your kitchen finish is exactly what we're looking for but can't afford to break the bank with semihandmade. thank you!!

  • PRO
    Raegan Ford Interior Design

    Love the countertops! This is a great update!

  • Emily Mathis

    jrzybeth, I'm almost positive that those are the 400 cabinet doors, if that helps. (I also have them. :)

  • PRO
    Studio H2O

    Excellent transformation!!! Congratulations!

  • fb02

    dianem87, did you do anything to the exposed sides of the Ikea cabinets? I can't tell from the pics if you left them the original white finish or if you painted them to match the gray door and drawer fronts. Great post with lots of info and ideas, thank you!

  • PRO
    Scherr's Cabinets & Doors Inc

    Your kitchen turned out great. It was a pleasure working with you.

  • PRO
    Gerety Building and Restoration

    Total transformation. Looks great!

  • PRO
    May Construction, Inc.

    Stunning! The outcome is gorgeous!

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