Thursday, February 28, 2013

One small step

I did it!

I finally painted the kitchen cabinets. The task of taking them from red to white proved to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I was challenged by several things - first, and not entirely unexpected, was the amount of paint it called for. Second, I just don't have the stamina I once had and was forced to spread the work out over a week and a half. And third, mentally I wasn't aware of just how attached I was to my red cabinets and wasn't prepared for how much I would miss them.

I had almost a full gallon of Behr Paint with Primer on hand. The fact that I wasn't going to have to spring for paint (have you priced a gallon of paint lately? Yowsa!) was the deciding factor that tipped the scale in favor of tackling this project. This was going to be a cheap and easy project. Yeah, right.

I took advantage of a Monday with no Eddie to start painting and began in the breakfast area of the kitchen. I figured it was easier to start there where I could knock it out fairly quickly, painting the wainscoting before moving on to the actual cabinets. I wasn't naive enough to think one coat of paint would cover the red, but was really thinking two would do the trick. I was quickly disappointed when the first coat wasn't covering well at all. Imagine my delight (and dismay) when I discovered I was painting with ceiling paint and not wall/trim paint. Doh! It pays to pay attention to what you're doing.
there's wainscoting behind the bench, promise!
 After switching to the right paint I quickly took care of the wainscoting and moved on to the cabinets where I removed all the doors. By this point I was already tired but forced myself to press on. I had to take advantage of my kid-free/husband-free work day. I successfully applied two coats on the outer shells of all the cabinets before calling it quits.

The following day Eddie walked in after school and pointed out the obvious, "hey, you're painting!" He went on to voice his approval and added, "it looks good without the doors, you can see where everything is." I had to chuckle at his diplomatic approach. I think all those lessons his mother has been pounding into his head about making only positive comments is finally sinking in. Either that or he's trying to save me work. The funny thing is, just the night before I had commented to my husband how I would like to try the open cabinet look. But, coming from an eleven year old it suddenly sounded weird not to mention a timely Facebook post by a friend discouraged me further. She claimed it was impossible to keep the dishes clean when they're out in the open like that and we all know how I abhor extra cleaning. What sealed the deal was the look my husband gave me when I initially suggested it. Fine people, rain on my parade!

one of two painting assembly lines. Please excuse the surrounding mess, I *am* painting you know

I didn't attempt any more painting until the weekend. Before putting paint on the doors I had to remove all the hinges and handles. After the painting was complete all that hardware had to be reattached and the doors rehung. I have 19 doors, 5 drawers, and 4 hooks which, when it's all said and done, amounts to removing and reattaching 492 screws (508 if you count the two doors that were put back upside down and had to be fixed).

Did I mention that when I started this project I promised my dear husband that I would try to keep the chaos to a minimum and I would do all the work myself? Yes, me and my handy little screwdriver worked ourselves silly. As luck would have it dear husband finally took pity on me and took over, with his handy electric drill, and rehung the last nine doors lickty-split. But by then the damage was done. My fingers, wrist, and elbow felt like they'd been through a meat grinder, and it wasn't just my right arm but both since I'm apparently ambidextrous when it comes to using tools.

Note to self for future home improvement projects - always, ALWAYS check first to see if there is a power tool that can be used to get the job done. And never, NEVER tell your husband you can do the job yourself. ... he might just take you at your word! And speaking of projects ... I failed to mention that I did not have the resources to make a few of the changes I desperately wanted to make. Specifically speaking, I want to change out the hardware! Yes, you read that right. I really, really, REALLY hate the brass hinges and white porcelain and brass handles on my cabinets and one day, as God as my witness, I will change them! Ok, sorry, I got a little over dramatic there but you can bet, next time around, I will use the drill.

Anywho, the painting is done and my kitchen is pretty much back in order. Switching from the red to the white has really brightened things up. I look at it and am pleased with the change but I'm also reminded why I painted them red to begin with ... every tiny imperfection and each and every speck of dirt glaringly stands out. The crisp white of the cabinets also makes the appliances and floor look dingy and worn. We won't even talk about ugly white laminate countertop that screams, "put me out of my misery!"


For now, I'm just going to focus on how bright the kitchen looks and be thankful for tiny improvements. I think my dear husband is pretty happy about it too because he knows I will work hard to keep everything looking clean and fresh (for awhile anyway).

Why ... I might even ramp it up a notch and

mop the floor! How's that for improvement?!

1 comment:

  1. I think this looks wonderful! Now I usually have a certain leaning towards red but the white really brightens your kitchen, makes it look so much bigger. We had ours painted white (from grey) a few years ago and admittedly they need some touch up and I do have to keep them wiped down but I still love the white. Congrats on the tough job accomplished!