Mar 25, 2013

A Kitchen Update

Betcha forgot all about the kitchen makeover we're working on, didn't you? Or maybe you thought I forgot all about it - though considering the awful view of open cupboards I get every time I walk into the kitchen, there is no way I could forget.

The original plan was to strip off the green factory stain and re-stain it a dark espresso brown. The kitchen walls are BM Ranchwood, and we plan to install a white backsplash - either tile or beadboard. However, stripping the stain has been a bear of a job. Just horrible. It's been 5 and a half months and we aren't even halfway along. Though to be honest we haven't been working that hard on it lately since we can only work in the garage, on the weekend, with the door closed because it's been so cold out.

So, a couple of weeks ago we talked it over and decided to go with white painted cabinets. I know, everyone's doing white cabinets right now. And that's one reason I was really opposed to it. But I think it's time to be realistic about what we can accomplish. The stripping/sanding is so uneven, and most of the doors are particle board so there is the constant fear of sanding too hard and losing the wood grain completely.

Also, since our kitchen has no window, staining the cupboards brown, along with a marbled brown countertop and terracotta coloured tile just says dark, dark, dark.

We have a lot of experience staining wood but not much experience with painting it. So I did my research, read lots of other blogs, and kept reminding myself that to do this properly it was going to take some time. Most of the online recommendations were for Benjamin Moore paint and primer, and since they are our faves anyway, that decision was easy. We bought BM Fresh Start latex primer and BM Advance paint in pearl finish.

Why pearl? Semi-gloss is just too shiny, and satin finish - my first choice - wasn't available. I like the slight sheen of pearl and there is enough of a contrast with the walls (matte) and trim (semi-gloss). We didn't have the paint tinted as I didn't want to have to worry about colour-matching it later. The out-of-the-can colour is a clean, crisp white anyway.

Saturday morning we started with the pantry in the dining room area. It's a small space that we could finish completely without interfering with the rest of the house (and use it as practice). We hung plastic sheeting to divide the dining room from the rest of the downstairs and sanded the sides and front edges of the cabinet. Green dust everywhere - even with a dust collection sleeve on the power sander. After wiping it down with TSP we were ready.

The instructions on the paint cans recommend 3 hours drying time between coats of primer, and 16 hours between coats of paint. 16 hours! But we don't want to have to do this twice, so we're not cutting corners.

one coat of primer done

This is where we are on Sunday night. We've applied two coats of primer and one coat of paint to the pantry cabinet and to the two doors on the table. And we've applied one coat of primer to the doors on the floor (started later).

Each coat doesn't take very long to apply so we should be able to work on it each night after work and have it finished for the weekend. We're still trying to locate 8mm Blum dowels to reinstall the hinges (without paying crazy shipping charges) but I hope we can install the doors in a week or so.

It's so nice to feel like we're moving along with this project now as it felt stalled for so long. And the room is looking brighter already so I think this was a good decision. I honestly can't wait to work on it some more. Maybe I should take the week off work? I am feeling kind of sick (cough, cough). ;-)

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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