Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Easy as hiking up Mt. Everest...a tutorial on painting cabinets.

With the wedding now behind me. My oh-so-sad self was left with a lot of time to devote to something else. I really need something to keep me busy and get my creative juices flowing.

When the hubby and I moved into our house about a year ago, we made a list of things we wanted to eventually get to. Things like: clean the gutters, get a garbage disposal, repair the dry rot on two windows...etc. One of those things was (yay) updating our bathrooms. Imagine this; a generic tract home bathroom with a white tile counter, a plastic (fiberglass??) shower/tub combo, large wall mirror, white walls, linoleum, and regular old oak cabinetry. Beautiful, huh? Yeah, not so much. Looking over our list, I decided it was time to undertake that challenge all by myself. Girl power!

In reality, our bathroom never really looked that bad, but I felt it needed a little pick-me-up to bring it into the new era of our lives.

So, enough with the talking and on to the photos. (I need to practice my photo taking skills)

How did I do all this magic? What tricks did I use? Here it goes.

Step Uno: Visit your local "informed" paint person. Perhaps I should have located the expert because my "informed" person was not so good. I drove to one of our various local hardware stores and sought out/sucked all the information I could out of the guy in the paint center. He seemed to know what he was talking about. Maybe...perhaps....only a little. I had decided that I would stain the one upstairs and then paint the wood cabinets downstairs. I wanted to do it fast and easy, too. I decided to go with a product that is stain and polyurethane combined in order to skip the sanding process and then plain old primer and paint for the other. Okay. "Informed" paint man also suggested a specific brush. Great. I'm ready to go. He wished me luck. Ha, luck, I don't need it!

Step Dos: Go at it. I removed the doors and hardware. Set up my workstation in my office and set to lightly sand and paint with the polyurethane mix. The results, not to good. It was streaky and it dried super fast. Not good.

Step Tres: Research and do over. I scoured the Internet to get some advice on how to work that junk and found some really helpful advice. Lots of people hated it and few loved the product.

This is what I really should have done. 1. lightly sand. 2. use really, really thin coats and use a foam brush or old t-shirt. 3. let one coat try and then use a 000 steel wool to go over it after every coat. 4. do the same thing all over again.

Results: The polyurethane stuff is junk. I did my best job ever on the cabinets and they are still not perfect (I know I'm not a professional, but I inspire to be one and I dress like one, too). I think the t-shirt thing might have worked, but the coats were really way too light to get it to the color I wanted-super dark. But, my dear hubby says they look great and I love him for it.

Paint and Primer:

Basically, it was a million times easier. I'm not totally done yet, I'm still waiting for them to dry. I'll post the after pictures later. But, the entire process was not nearly as stressful. Here is what I went through.

Step One: Take off parts and remove doors. Tape off area you don't want painted with blue tape. Lightly sand (even though it said I didn't have to). You probably definitely want to if your cabinets are heavy on the shiny stuff.

Step Two: Coat with primer. Who cares if you can see the wood underneath, the primer is meant to get the wood nice and sticky to pick up the paint. Just make sure you cover it all. I used a foamy brush and it worked fabulously. My primer said to wait an hour to dry and I wanted two.

Step Three: Prepare paint in dish and use a small roller. You don't want to use one with a long nap. Something short will work. I found one that said it was specifically for painting cabinets at Home Depot.

Step Four: Make sure to roll off excess paint from the roller. Too much paint and it will just slide instead of rolling. Rock n Roll until you get the coverage you want.

Step Four: Assemble it all back together and you're done! Good Job!

Result:Paint and Primer was a gazillion times easier and less stressful. I can handle my dear friend Paint.

What do you think? What advice would you give me now?


LinsyLou013 said...

Thanks for the experience. We are moving into our house soon and painting cabinets is something I am thinking of tackling...but we want to paint ALL our cabinets. I can do it!

Stephanie said...

This is a great blog, Nancy! And you know we're going to look to your expertise when it comes to decorating that nursery. :)

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