If you’ve ever browsed the world of IKEA kitchen and bathroom remodels, you might have come across Semihandmade. They craft custom doors and drawer fronts specifically designed to fit IKEA cabinets. It’s a way to make your kitchen uniquely yours without the hefty custom price tag.
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying my IKEA kitchen with Semihandmade fronts for over five years. So, I thought it was about time I share my thoughts and experiences with you.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of ordering, installing, and living with Semihandmade cabinets. And of course, the pros and cons of this approach.
If you’re curious about how well these cabinet fronts hold up and want to know more about my overall IKEA kitchen journey, you can also read my IKEA Kitchen Review post.
Now let’s get right into it!
Why You Might Want to Use Semihandmade for Your IKEA Cabinet Makeover
If you’re thinking about sprucing up your IKEA cabinets, Semihandmade might just be your solution.
With Semihandmade, you get the freedom to personalize your cabinets with various styles, colors, and materials. This means your kitchen can reflect your taste and style preferences more uniquely, especially if you find IKEA kitchen cabinet front options are limited.
Not only that, but the result is a more polished and custom look without those bothersome gaps you might find with standard IKEA fronts.
Plus, Semihandmade cabinets play nicely with IKEA kitchens in terms of design and installation compatibility. They fit really well together as if you got those from an IKEA store!
And if you want to give your IKEA kitchen a makeover, using Semihandmade could save you both money and time, especially compared to the expense and effort of hiring a contractor or buying completely new cabinets.
From my personal experience, my own 1940s kitchen got a complete makeover. Opting for Semihandmade proved to be an affordable way to bring in a beautiful, custom look without breaking the bank.
So, if you’re aiming for a stunning custom kitchen that won’t break the bank, giving Semihandmade a go could be worth it.
How to Choose the Right Style and Color for Your Semihandmade Cabinet Doors
Semihandmade offers several options that can cater to your preferences. First off, they’ve got styles like shaker, slab, beadboard, and even a DIY unpainted option if you’re feeling creative.
The Shaker style cabinet is a classic design featuring a five-piece door with a recessed center panel. It’s versatile and can work well whether you prefer a traditional or modern look.
DIY Shaker style is the one I chose for my own kitchen cabinets:
The slab style is more simple. It’s a flat door with a clean, minimalistic look. This would be a good choice if you like contemporary and minimalist aesthetics.
If you’re into a bit of texture, beadboard might be your best option. It has vertical grooves that give a slightly rustic appearance.
As for the DIY option, Semihandmade lets you paint your doors yourself, allowing you to get the color that’s just right for you. Their DIY line offers a few door styles: shaker, quarterline and slab – 3 classic and versatile door styles.
When it comes to colors and finishes, Semihandmade has a wide selection too.
If you’re looking to add a burst of color to your kitchen, their painted finishes come in a variety of hues. This option lets you match your cabinets to your décor or add a complementary contrast to your cabinet doors.
Alternatively, if the natural aesthetic is more your thing, they have a natural wood option. Natural wooden cabinets can add warmth to your kitchen, and you can choose from different wood types and stains to suit your preference.
Semihandmade also has laminate finishes, which offer durability while still giving you a wide palette to choose from.
My own journey with Semihandmade started when I couldn’t find the light gray shaker fronts I wanted at IKEA for my kitchen cabinets. Since my heart was set on that design, I opted for DIY shaker fronts from Semihandmade to match my IKEA kitchen plan.
To get the exact shade I envisioned, I chose Gray Owl from Benjamin Moore Advanced line in a satin sheen for my cabinets.
Although the painting process needed lots of patience, involving priming, sanding, and applying three coats of paint, the final outcome was really rewarding! Having cabinets in the color I love truly gives my kitchen a personal touch.
I’d say it was a bit of extra effort that’s entirely worth it in the end.
How to Order and Install Semihandmade Cabinet Fronts on Your IKEA Cabinets
Getting your Semihandmade cabinet fronts onto your IKEA cabinets is a smooth process. Here’s how it goes.
First of all, consider ordering the door samples you are interested in. The samples are relatively affordable and you’ll be able to see the colors and finishes in real life. When I decided to go with Semihandmade cabinet fronts for my IKEA kitchen, I ordered five samples from them to compare.
Once you decide what door style you like, it is time to plan out all the door fronts you need.
For a new IKEA kitchen, the simplest way is to go to your kitchen plan from the IKEA kitchen planner and export it as a PDF. Then you can go to the Semihandmade website to start a quote with their design consultant by uploading your IKEA kitchen planner PDF.
This is exactly what I did when I was exploring Semihandmade fronts for my IKEA kitchen. In just a matter of days, they sent me back a quote with a comprehensive list of drawer and door fronts needed, along with the associated costs.
When I did it a few years ago, it was free. Now they charge a $99 “Create You Cart” fee which credit toward your upcoming kitchen order. So if you’ve decided to go with Semihandmade, you won’t pay extra.
There’s also a DIY route tho! Basically you’ll go through a guided experience by selecting your kitchen cabinet style and size, and then you can add the corresponding item to your cart. So if you don’t mind spending a little extra time to add the doors to your cart one by one, I’d say this is a great option! I did this when I ordered a door panel for my panel front dishwasher a couple years after my IKEA Kitchen remodel.
Once everything looks good, you can place an order with them, and expect to receive your order within 4 to 8 weeks, depending on availability and demand.
When we decided to push through with our order with Semihandmade, we received our cabinet door and drawer fronts within several weeks. And we were pleasantly surprised that they really were an exact match for our IKEA kitchen cabinet boxes! It all came together seamlessly.
Just a tip: there’s a lead time from Semihandmade, so it’s best to order ahead of time. This tip is especially handy if you’re doing an IKEA kitchen pickup since most of their kitchen products are usually ready to be picked up right away.
The Installation Process of Semihandmade
Putting your new Semihandmade cabinet fronts in place is actually pretty simple. The process goes like this:
If you’re installing brand-new kitchen cabinets, just follow IKEA’s kitchen cabinet installation manual as usual. The only change is using Semihandmade cabinet fronts instead of IKEA fronts.
You’ll be amazed to find that the slots and screw holes really match up perfectly, and it’s a very seamless swap.
If you’re replacing existing IKEA kitchen cabinets, start by removing your old IKEA doors and hinges. Then you can attach your fresh Semihandmade doors and hinges using the same holes and hardware.
Don’t worry if you’re not quite a DIY expert – adjusting the alignment and level of your doors is easy with guidance from the IKEA manual, which you can find online.
Also a friendly remember, to achieve that cohesive look, you could consider replacing any fillers and baseboards to match the new cabinet fronts. This little touch can make a big difference in tying everything together.
Semihandmade Fronts Durability
Now let’s talk about the durability of Semihandmade cabinet fronts! I’ll share both what I like and don’t like.
As for the Semihandmade cabinet fronts, they’re actually pretty tough and durable. They can handle the usual kitchen hustle and bustle. I’ve found that grease is easy to wipe off. This is also thanks to the cabinet-grade paint I used.
Here’s another thing I really like about them. Since we painted them ourselves, it’s even more convenient to maintain their fresh appearance.
That’s why whenever there are any stubborn stains that are just too hard to remove, or if the paint wears off a bit at the corners over time, we’ve got a super easy fix. All I need to do is to touch up the paint.
The best part is that since I had control over the painting process, it was super easy to match the paint color. If I had bought fronts from a store, achieving that perfect paint match would be much trickier.
Now let’s talk about what is less ideal. You might notice that most filler and toe kick parts from Semihandmade are made of MDF. And when MDF encounters water, it swells and expands.
This might not be an issue for fillers, but with toe kicks, it’s something to consider. If water splashes on the floor and isn’t wiped away immediately, there’s a chance it could affect the toe kicks.
Since I didn’t use the IKEA SEKTION cabinet fronts and toe kicks, I cannot compare them in this aspect. But if you have experience with that, please share in the comment 🙂
The Pros and Cons of Using Semihandmade for Your IKEA Cabinet Makeover
And here’s the part you’ve been waiting for! As promised, here are the pros and cons of Semihandmade cabinet fronts.
On the plus side, going the Semihandmade route is great for customization. You can mold your IKEA cabinets to mirror your preferences and budget.
From door style to material and color, there’s a wider range of choices compared to what IKEA offers. This means your kitchen can truly reflect your interior style.
And for an added plus, when you blend Semihandmade with IKEA cabinets, you can achieve a similar look to custom kitchens, but at a more budget-friendly cost.
On the other hand, waiting is part of the package. Meaning, your order might take several weeks to arrive. Plus the return process isn’t as hassle-free as it would be with IKEA purchases.
And one small concern is toe kicks made of MDF can deteriorate with water over time.
But what’s my take? Honestly, I think it’s still a worthy choice. Unless IKEA has that exact cabinet front I‘m looking for, I’d still lean towards Semihandmade.
Personally, I’ll probably choose the DIY shaker style again. Why? Well, it’s a blank canvas. I can paint it the color I want now, and switch it up down the road whenever my heart desires a new look.
The pros still outweigh the cons in my opinion, so Semihandmade is still a smart option for designing a personalized and budget-friendly kitchen.
Tips For Making Your IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Look More Expensive
Making your IKEA kitchen cabinets look fancy doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve got some easy tips that I’m going to share with you.
First off, consider using custom door fronts. You’re not limited to Semihandmade; there are lots of different companies that offer high-quality custom fronts for IKEA cabinets. While I personally went for Semihandmade, the key is finding fronts that go with your taste and vision.
For that touch of luxury, put more effort into kitchen hardware. Pay close attention to shapes, textures, and materials.
I went with aged brass hardware from Rejuvenation, and it ticks all the boxes. Not only is it sturdy and durable, but it also gives a sophisticated vibe that makes it different from cheaper gold alternatives. The fact that it’s solid brass also adds a bit of weight and a sense of quality.
To complete the whole aesthetic, match your cabinets with a good kitchen countertop. Going for a cheap laminate might not do justice to your kitchen.
Quartz and marble countertops can give your kitchen a rich and luxe aura. These materials tend to look more timeless and expensive.
If you’re considering a marble countertop for your kitchen, I made a stone countertop shopping guide that can help you estimate the cost breakdown.
Semihandmade Cabinet Review Summary
Upgrading your IKEA cabinets with Semihandmade fronts offers customization, a polished look, and it saves costs and time.
Personalization is really flexible as you can choose from various custom front styles such as Shaker, slab, beadboard, or even DIY. There are also various finishes available, from paint to natural wood or laminate, to match any aesthetic you like.
Ordering from Semihandmade is easy, and the installation matches IKEA guidelines. Its durability can withstand daily use, with easy touch-up paint for maintenance. While a wait time exists, I personally feel that the benefits weigh more than waiting a few weeks.
Overall, Semihandmade is definitely worth it for a unique and stylish kitchen upgrade!
Note: This post is not sponsored and I’m not affiliated with Semihandmade. I just truly enjoyed their service.
I have also done an interview with them where I shared some tips for IKEA Organization, which you can read in their SemiStories here on their blog.
I hope you found something useful in this post, and I wish you good luck in your kitchen makeover! 🙂