Monday, June 11, 2012

Less a remodel than a facelift

Because I am insane, I decided that the very best time to tear apart the kitchen at our cabin in West Virginia would be, of course, during the very time that the condo in DC is also being torn apart. Go big or go home ... isn't that the saying?

A while back I came across this post and thought, hell, that looks just like my kitchen at the cabin. I want freshly painted cabinets too!  We had already planned to spend Memorial Day week in WV, so that seemed like the perfect time to do it. I didn't really anticipate just how much work this was going to take (I was painting for a good two hours every morning for a week straight), or that now, several weeks later, I'm still not quite done and parts of the kitchen are still in the living room. Oh well, I like the results so far.

Here's a photo of the kitchen from about 10 years ago. A lot has changed, but the fact remains that that's a LOT of wood. It was starting to get on my nerves.
The first thing you have to do is take all the doors and hinges off, and then sand everything. I did two rounds of sanding, one with 60 grit and one with 220 grit.
Taping. Always super fun.
Then, to get all the dust and any remaining grease off, it's a good idea to degloss. This deglosser is good because it's low VOC.
On the left, sanded. On the right, sanded and deglossed.
Next came two coats of primer, with a 24-hour wait between coats to make sure the paint was totally dry.
One thing I absolutely hadn't thought through was that the doors needed two coats of primer and two coats of paint, ON EACH SIDE, which meant eight rounds of painting for the doors. This is what held up the process. Also: hummingbirds like to poop on freshly painted doors, just FYI.
Then two coats of paint! We went with Benjamin Moore Whipple Blue, which is a "heritage" color. I think it's supposed to look Colonial ... in certain lights it looks baby blue, which I hadn't figured on. This is a fancy paint that is specifically formulated for repainting cabinets.
We also decided that the doors needed handles. I highly recommend a template to make this process dummy proof.
I also recommend taping the area that's going to be drilled to minimize damage.
Those look like grown-up doors!
Here's the current state of the cabinets. Not bad, I think. Tom is annoyed that the hinges don't match the handles, so those might eventually be replaced. The plan is to paint the two kitchen walls a nice buttery, kitcheny yellow. I had planned to do the priming this weekend but was plagued with migraines. With any luck this project will be finished in the next two weekends. Fingers crossed!

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