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Friday, February 15, 2013

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We had family and friends come visit, Vern was climbing, then I went to visit friends, Vern was climbing, then I got really sick, Vern was climbing, now I'm better and guess what? Vern is climbing.

Big surprise huh? Needless to say, house projects have been on hold the last few weeks.  We've been busy, and sick and climbing - so everything home related was put on the back burner.

Vern is currently on a big climbing adventure in Wyoming.  Which I decided was perfect timing to get on to painting our kitchen cabinets, that way he wouldn't be around to get in my way or tell me I was doing it wrong or distract me with his beauty.

What was I thinking?


I have a tendency to jump into big projects like this and do one of two things:

a. Get fed up halfway through and stop, leaving Vern to pick up the pieces *cough* painting the walls *cough* or...
b. Get fed up halfway through and rush the rest of the project because I just want to be done.

I promised myself that none of those things were going to happen.  I just needed to follow a few simple rules.

1. Take my time.
2. When I'm tired or bored - that means it is time to stop before I start to get sloppy with things.

This is a big project and before Vern left he made it very clear "Do not f**k up my cabinets!" So the pressure has been on.

I took a few weeks to really do my research.  I looked into using cabinet transformation kits like this one here, but decided it wasn't my cup of tea.  I concluded that if I had all the things I needed at one time, I would end up getting sloppy just to get it done.  I needed to take each step and do it slowly. In other words: I was going to do things the hard way. Lucky for me, I follow some pretty wonderful DIY blogs that have posted step-by-step instructions on how to do something crazy like paint your entire kitchen. You can find those here and here.

First step was taking a trip to our beloved local Lowes.

In case you can't tell I picked up 100 grit sanding blocks, a 2 in foam roller, Sander Deglosser and some water based primer and sealer.  Total cost for all of this? $26. BOOM.  

Once home, I took a look at the eyesore we've been living with....

See that big circle on the wall? Yeah - that's our exhaust for the stove. And see that open thing on the ceiling above the sink? Yeah that's a light fixture connection that was covered up when cabinets were installed.  We figured out what it was after we painted the ceiling and Vern pried it off with a screwdriver. Now it won't stay shut. Also... our washer is in the kitchen.  Awesome. But we're not talking about that...we're talking about the cabinets.

They're not pretty.  And yes those are dirty dishes in my sink. What? 

There are two rooms in our house that I absolutely despise. This one and the bathroom.  Since eventually down the line, this will once again be a rental, we aren't keen on putting too much money into it, but I refuse to let it look like this any longer.  Hence painting. A little paint goes a long ways....hopefully.

First things was to remove all the doors and drawer fronts.  

Prying drawer fronts off of drawers that have been there for who knows how long, is not an easy task.  The amount of sticky residue that had seeped between the cracks was disgusting.  I spent at least a half hour scrubbing the  gunk off the back of the drawers.  

Then it was time to remove all the screws and hinges - which I sorted into plastic containers for fear that I would lose something and Vern would get mad at me. The man is pretty scary when he gets "stern". 

I made sure to cover up our table that Vern built.  He didn't want me to do the painting inside, but in order for things to dry properly I needed an consistent temperature. The garage gets too cold at night for anything to properly dry. So now our entire dining room has become my "work-space"

 Then came the fun part.... 

Sanding. Ugh.

Since our cabinets have a polyurethane coat on the top of them, sanding them down was an important step.  I wanted to make sure that the primer really took hold which also meant....

Deglossing. This is not a fun process either.  Deglossing helps take any gunk or residue off the existing finish. It's the extra step to ensure that the primer adheres to the cabinet. 

It's stinky and it sucks. But once I finished it, the first half of cabinets were ready for their first coat of primer.  By Thursday night I went to bed with the progress at this....

The next day I came home on my lunch break, flipped everything over and repeated the same process - sand, wipe, degloss, prime. (Side note - I used scrap pieces of wood to elevate each cabinet door so that I could paint the sides without anything sticking to the table. Best. Idea. Ever. Thank you Internet for that one!)

The first cabinet base also got the same treatment. 

By the end of my lunch break I had this....

By the end of night two I had this....

Not pretty. At all.

The second set of cabinets (the ones by the stove and sink) were in far worse shape than the first set.  The amount of crap stuck to them was disgusting. Seriously, I think I gagged a few times.  I was able to get another coat on the first round, but that was where my progress stopped. I was tired. I went to bed.

My kitchen still looks like this right now. It's horrible.

I didn't make any progress last night because I chose to drink wine and watch trashy reality TV  read a book instead. Don't judge me.

Vern comes home on Monday night, which means I have three days to finish priming, paint and install new hardware. The pressure is on so I need to get back on the ball. Guess I better stay away from the wine tonight.

Well maybe just one glass.

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