Monday, November 28, 2011

Kitchen Update: Part II

Last I left you, I shared some scary "before" photos of our kitchen.

As I said, a dream motivated me to get going on the updates.  And I guess Sean didn't have a similar dream, because he wasn't completely behind me on this one.  He thought that we should just live with the new kitchen until we save up for a full renovation.  So, I was mostly on my own for this project.  Which was fine.  Except for the parts that I cried.  But other than that, totally fine. 

I won't go into the cabinet handle and hinge selection process, because it was an amazingly long and hideously boring process.  The executive summary is that we paid about $64 for all the handles at Kitchen Cabinet Hardware, and about $53 for the hinges at Home Depot.  Just know that there was a near mental breakdown on my part involving driving around LA looking for the right hinges, only to end up using the ones we bought at Home Depot to begin with.

Anyway, after we picked out all the hardware, I got to the fun part - cabinet dis-assembly:

That's a lie.  It was fun for about a minute, after which it started hardcore sucking for the entire weekend.

Step one was to remove all the cabinet doors, and take off the old, rusted hinges.  This went kind of terribly, because a bunch of the screws holding in the hinges were so old that they just snapped off half way or totally stripped.  So I ended up having to drill out the centers of a bunch of screws just to pry the hinges off.  So.  Much.  Fun.

 Bag o' hinges

Pile o' doors

At least it was a nice weekend, so I did as much of the work as I could outdoors.

I also removed all the old handles and saved them in a zip lock bag...I'm not sure why.  I have no idea where that bag is now.

Then came the sanding.  This was almost definitely the worst part.  First I had to fill in all the old cabinet holes with wood filler (since we were putting on a whole new type of handle, the old holes wouldn't line up) and wait for that to dry.  That part wasn't too bad I guess.

The bad part was sanding the surfaces smooth.  Since the horrible yellowy brown paint of death had a texture to it, I wanted to sand it as smooth as possible before adding my white paint.  This took absolutely forever and was horribly messy and loud and everything else bad.  

I used a combo of my Black & Decker sander and a hand sander, and it was really atrocious.  We have 8 tall cabinet doors, 10 short cabinet doors, 8 wide drawers, and 2 small drawers.  That's 28 surfaces that needed to be sanded.  By yours truly.  This took a good chunk of a day, and it was pretty miserable.  By the end I was super achey and sore from hunching over cabinet surfaces sanding for hours on end.  There's not really many pictures of this step because I tend not to take pictures when I'm miserable.  I was honestly ready to give up the project at this point, if not for the fact that our entire kitchen was dis-assembled.

Cabinet doors, waiting to be sanded.

Then it was on to priming.  I bought a gallon of Kilz primer for about $19.  I can't remember if it was oil based or water based.  All I remember is that I accidentally bought the opposite of what I was supposed to.  So, if it was supposed to be oil based, I bought the water based.  Or vice versa.

I covered all the outdoor furniture with plastic drop cloth and started priming the surfaces outside.  It wasn't until I started painting that I realized for the first time how many leaves randomly rain down from the sky in our back yard.  Crazy leaf action.  I soon realized that unless I wanted some kind of leaf-effect cabinets, I should move the operation indoors.  Boo.

As you can hopefully see, it was pretty exciting how much better the cabinets looked after just a coat of primer.  I think this was probably the only thing that kept me going.

Since the leaf conspiracy thwarted my plans for outdoor painting, I covered the floor of the guest house (which was luckily unoccupied) with a plastic drop cloth and moved the whole operation indoors.  The cabinet doors and drawers really covered almost every inch of the guest house floor, so I left myself aisles and just scooted around on my butt from door to door painting.

As far as painting technique, I played around a bit to see what would get me the smoothest finish.  I ended up using a paintbrush first to tackle the corners and molding, then used a small foam roller for the flat surfaces, and to smooth out any brush marks I could.  I used this technique for all my layers and it came out well, if I say so myself.

Our paint search led me all the way to our garage, where we have a stockpile of Fresh Aire paint in off-the-shelf white that we bought on clearance for $5 at Home Depot.  I'm positive this was not the best brand of paint to use and I probably could have researched something better.  But it was $5.  And we have a ton of it.  So on went 2 coats of Fresh Aire in semi-gloss over the top of the primer.

Then we just waited for the paint to dry.  Super exciting.  I think we waited about a full week.  A few days probably would have been fine, but I think I needed a week off from painting for my sanity.

In the meantime, Sean decided he wanted to help, so I asked him nicely to sand and paint the cabinet boxes for me, because I really didn't want to use the sander again for a good long while.

I'm sharing these photos because it cracks me up how Sean taped up the dropcloth to block dust from coming out of the kitchen.  Really?  I feel like a few long pieces of tape would work better than 40 short ones, but hey, that's just me.

I should probably mention that smart people probably would have tested their ancient kitchen cabinets for lead paint BEFORE sanding them down.  Somehow this thought didn't occur to me, and I only started panicking about possible lead poisoning after I'd spent a good part of the weekend inhaling paint dust.  So, I ordered a fancy lead paint test kit on Amazon, which I think arrived after the kitchen was almost done, and we discovered that the paint does not contain lead.  At least according to the $10 kit I bought.  Yay!

This is what our kitchen looked like post-cabinet box painting/pre-kitchen wall painting/pre-cabinet rehanging.

I have a really random assortment of photos from the kitchen update.  Here's some paint swatches!  I decided to go crazy with the kitchen since the cabinets are so white, and paint the walls a color that wasn't beige.  Ooooh!

I wanted a paint color that would tie in with the stripe of teal on the wall that I absolutely hate, so it would look like we actually planned everything...instead of the reality that we're too cheap to tear out all the tile so we're just working around it.

Stay tuned for some damn sexy kitchen pictures, coming sort of soonish or whenever this case I'm working on decides to stop destroying my life.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really glad you're back from your crazy long blog-hiatus, and I can't wait to see how your kitchen looks! Thanks for being entertaining, Julie!