3 P's - A Tutorial On Painting Cabinets

Prepping, Priming, and Painting...the three important things you need remember and to stick to when revamping cabinets.  This past week I spent about two hours a day working through each of these P's to get the sleek lookin' master bathroom cabies we've got right now.  In this post, I'll go through the hows, whats, whys, and even wheres in case anyone else feels the motivation to take on some cabinets.  :)

 Process Numero Uno:  Prepping
Step 1:  Remove all doors and drawers, hinges and hardware.
Step 2:  Sand.
Our cabinets had a dull-with-time polyurethane coat on them that had to be removed before any priming and painting was to begin to ensure the best adhesion.  To remove said coat, I sanded down each drawer and door until the sheen was gone.  I took it outside so that I didn't have to worry about sawdust making it's home in our casa.  I must also mention how blessed we are to have friends who let us borrow this beauty of an electric palm sander, saving my hands and arms from back and forth sanding doom.  
Using medium grit sandpaper, I quickly went over each piece, making sure I sanded just enough to take off the dull sheen of poly.  I also made sure to sand both the fronts and backs.  I thought I'd have to do another once-over with a light grit sandpaper, but found that after the medium grit, the cabinets were as smooth as babies cheeks, so I skipped that step.  To sand inside the routed square, my fingers and some sand paper were the best option since the electric sander wouldn't quite fit. 

Step 3:  Clean.
After the entire piece I was working on was smooth and poly-free, I simply brushed off the sawdust and wiped it down with a damp cloth, then moved on to the next piece.

Doors and drawers down, frame to go.

Step 4:  Sand the cabinet frame.
The process of removing the poly from the frame was very similar, however, there was no way of doing it outside.  For this step, I simply attached the sawdust canister to the palm sander and went to town.  (Side note:  If you're using a plain sheet of sandpaper without holes like I did, you need to make sure you punch holes into the sandpaper once it's attached equivalent to where the holes on your palm sander are to make sure that the sawdust is sucked up and into the canister.  I simply attached the sandpaper and poked the end  of a scissors through the paper into the holes.)  After a quick sanding and wipe-down, the frame was ready to go:

Step 4:  Tape.
After laying out each door and drawer in our living room (a.k.a. workshop) atop a bed of old sheets to protect the floors from dripping, I completed the last step in the prepping process - taping.  I wanted clean lines around the backs of each drawer so I just stuck a layer of masking tape around the edges like so:

Process Numero Dos:  Priming

Step 1:  Oil-based primer.
To make sure no stains would seep through the finished paint, I first applied a thin layer of oil-based primer (Kilz), which is awesome at preventing stains.  Because I'm lazy mineral spirits (what you have to use to clean up oil-based anything) intimidate me, not to mention that we just don't have any, I used a sponge brush to apply this layer and then threw it away when I was finished.  :)
Here's what the frame looked like after this step:

Step 2:  Water-based primer.
This step really is optional, but I've found that applying two coats of primer means that you usually only need to apply one coat of paint instead of two or more, especially when you're dealing with going from dark to light (in this case, wood to white paint).  I already had the stain-blocking layer of oil-based so for my second coat, I opted for Bulls Eye water-based primer from Lowe's.  I used a paint brush (2 inch) to get into hard-to-reach-with-a-roller areas like the backs of the drawers:

and crevices and corners of the frame:

Then, to prime the flat surfaces I used a small foam roller in order to get the smoothest application.

(Important side note:  You can paint water-based over oil-based but you CANNOT/SHOULD NOT/BETTER NOT paint oil-based over water-based!)

Process Numero Tres:  Painting

This step flows exactly like the priming step - brush for corners and crevices, foam roller for flat surfaces.  For both instances, this was the timeline I worked along:
1.  Paint backs of drawers with brush.
2.  Paint corners and crevices of frame with brush.
3.  Wash brush.
4.  Paint backs of doors with foam roller.
5.  Paint drawer fronts with foam roller.
6.  Paint frame's flat surfaces with foam roller.
7.  Making sure door backs are dry, flip doors over and paint fronts with foam roller.
8.  Wash foam roller and done!
Why such a strict process?  I value my brushes and hate when paint dries on them so I painted all areas requiring a brush first.  Also, when rolling, I painted the door backs first,  painted everything else, then painted the door fronts.  This gave the backs time to dry (around 45 minutes) before I had to flip them over and paint the fronts.  The color I used is called "Promenade" by Valspar.  It's an almost pure white but without the glare white can sometimes give off.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I also took a little bit of time to spray paint the door hinges, which were brass, with Krylon's oil-rubbed bronze.  I painted the door handles a few months ago but hadn't yet gotten to the hinges.  (I might also mention that if it was up to me, I'd have bought new ones but Anthony really likes the current ones and didn't want to dish out dough for new ones (even though I ensured him I could find some on clearance) and I really love him so...)  If you're interested in doing this, know that it doesn't affect the workings of the hinges one bit and they look like they were bought that way.  A couple of light coats should do the trick and don't forget the paint the screw tops to match!  :) 

Step 5:  Clean and Organize (my last but completely optional ,unless you're semi-OCD like me, step).
I can't put dirty things (not that anything in our bathroom was really "dirty") into shiny new things.  In other words, I couldn't put plastic baskets, toiletries, and other bathroom stuff into newly painted and clean cabinets.  So, I organized every space and cleaned every bottle and basket.  Just for kicks, here's some before and after of just underneath the sinks to illustrate my need to have order.

Under my sink before:
Yeah, a mess and a lot of it.  But before you go reporting me to "Hoarders" let me tell ya, I haven't had to buy lotion, body wash, or perfume since high school.

More organized after I found some stacking baskets at JoAnn's for 70% off and vowed to start using body spray and lotion more often.

Under Anthony's sink:
 Clearly not as bad as my side - men require less maintenance, right - but still unkempt.

After adding a helper shelf and creating neat little rows of bottles.

Now that I've gone maybe a little over the top in revealing our personal lives via pictures of what's inside our cabinets, I'll coyly get on with it and show you what you're really interested in - the finished cabinet product.

In the past month we've gone from this...

to this...

...and the best part is that we're just half-way done.  (To read about the tile we installed, click here.)  Up and coming we've got possible countertop ideas floating around, paint to slap onto the walls, and some decorating that will bring our bathroom into 2011.  Anywho, that's another day, another few posts.  Off we go to work on something else on this beautiful Saturday.  Have a great weekend! 

Tile Shmile

As promised, here's a post about tile...all about tile...ceramic that is.  Yep, that peel-and-stick's out of our master bath and the new stuff is in.  By no means is this 'instruction guide' of sorts the best tutorial in the world (if you're reading and wanting a tutorial, this one is awesome).  I'm really just writing about it to toot my horn since I did a little over half of it myself.  :)  Under the apprentice-ship of my handy hubby, it was my very first-ever tile job y'all!  But anyway, enough about me and my horn, here are the deets:

First, I carefully picked up the next-in-line tile:

Then, I slathered said tile with pre-mixed mastic using a ridged tile trowel:

Once slathered, I made pretty little lines in the mastic to ensure it's thickness was even across the entire tile:

Then, I carefully placed the tile in it's destined spot and smooshed it down just a tad:

In went spacers to make sure grout lines would be consistent throughout (might I add that it's no coincidence they're cross-shaped - Jesus loving sacrifice, mercy, and grace serves to keep us nice and straight):

And last, I appeased my perfectionist self by placing a level over each crevice to further ensure a level surface was evolving:

After the laying part was all done we waited, and waited, and waited...48 hours to be exact...to give the mastic time to dry and harden.  Then my taking-a-study-break hubs went in and grouted, which I didn't take any pictures of.  Again, that's why if you're lookin' for a tutorial, welcome, but you're at the wrong place.  :)  To grout, basically all he did was smoosh (my fave word of the day?) the pre-mixed grout we bought into and over each space separating tiles with a foam-padded trowel.  He worked in sections, or study breaks, however you wanna look at it.  After each space was filled he first let the grout sit in the cracks for an hour to begin it's hardening process.  After an hour he went over each particular sat-for-an-hour section with a large sponge to remove excess grout.  Then after the first sponge go-over, he waited another twenty minutes and went over that section again, repeating that process every twenty minutes following until all of the grout residue sitting on the tile was gone and we had some smooth little grout lines.

And that, my friends, is how we unpeeled and unstuck...

our happy little selves to a more happy, solid, underfoot surface.

And that's all we've got for ya folks...this weekend anyway.  We've got about 30 projects up our sleeves (not even exaggerating) ranging from painting to sewing to gluing to reupholstery, mixed in with nailing, filling, and spraying.  Whew!  There just aren't enough hours in the day for us...or maybe we're just a little to obsessed with doing.  Either way, our list will just continue to grow because our minds never stop and I'll continue to do and write, do and write, do and write.  :)  Have a great weekend! 

Concrete Countertops

Well, for the second week in a row we've got no bathroom or loveseat progress to show so we're going to take a blast to the past.  A few years ago Anthony took his experience of working with concrete flooring to a new level - making concrete countertops.  He made a few outdoor kitchen countertops and also a few indoor kitchen countertops.  Unfortunately, we (I worked alongside as an apprentice) got so wrapped up in the entire, time-consuming process that we didn't take many pictures but we do have a few to share.  We're currently toying with the idea of bedecking our current bathroom and kitchen cabinets with new concrete tops so this post is actually very relevant at the moment.  We'll let you know if the idea becomes a reality in a few months...if we ever get our bathroom's mini-makeover or the curb-side loveseat finished.  :)  When and if we decide to take on that job, we'll getcha a post that's much more informative than this picturific, remember-when-we-did-this post.  :)  Anyway, onto the pictures.

Here's our garage-made-workshop, where we spent hours upon hours cutting, caulking, pouring, grinding, and sealing:

And here are the only finished tops we thought to take pictures of:

And, unfortunately, that's all we have this week.  Next week we'll be back after trying our darndest to make some major headway on either our bathroom or the loveseat so that we have an update for y'all.  Until then, have a great weekend!

I Just Had To

This past Tuesday I had one of those I-really-need-a-mini-project-to-make-me-happy days.  Ever have one of those?  It wasn't like I was in a bad mood or anything but me, being who I am, just have these urges sometimes (okay, maybe "sometimes" is a little under-exaggerated) to change something from not-so-pretty to wowza!  So, to handle this little mood swing, I made my way over to a local Goodwill after a few hours of babysitting to see what I could salvage.  Here's what I found:
An old, brass tray.  Perfect.  Except you must think I'm crazy...  :)

This is the detail in this little soon-to-be-beauty that had me at hello:
I love cut-outs but the shape of these had me at the register with $1.99 and on my way home in little to no time.

So, since everyone loves a little tutorial once in awhile, here's the play by play:

Step 1:  Thoroughly clean seemingly "ugly" tray.  Scrub, scrub, and scrub with an abrasive sponge to make sure all dirt and grime is gone, gone, gone.

Step 2:  Prime time.  I sprayed on two light coats of Rustoleum's white primer and said "bye, bye brass", watching my project come to life.

Step 3:  Out came the spray paint.  The color I chose?  White by Krylon.  Two light coats of this went on also.


While my two thin coats of spray paint were drying, I was going through some scrapbook paper I grabbed for a few bucks on clearance a few months ago.  The plan was to cut out a round piece to fit perfectly inside the bottom of my new tray.  This is the pattern I chose:
To get a perfect fit, I simply traced the (completely dry) tray onto the opposite side of the scrapbook paper I was going to use...

...and cut it out.

The great thing about using scrapbook paper is that I can switch it out whenever my mind fancies a change.  :)

Back to the play-by-play though.

Step 4:  Cover painted tray with one coat of clear (make sure it's non-yellowing!) acrylic for extra protection against scratches, scrapes, husbands, and children.  :)

Step 5:  Bring completely dry tray back inside, set it upside down on dining room table, and notice that it would make a great cake stand with a little piece of round wax paper to separate tray from cake.  (This step is optional.)

Step 6:  Use felt furniture protectors to protect tray further by
a) cutting out small pieces (the less noticeable, the better),

and b) placing them on the bottom of the tray.

Last, but possibly not least, introduce the tray to it's new little round scrapbook paper friend and enjoy!

Ours is a sweet little place to hold decor in our guestroom bathroom.  It would also be a great spot to place apothecary jars filled with cotton balls, q-tips, soap, and whatever else a pampered guest might need.  :) 
And so you have it, my need-a-project predicament solved in a few hours and our guest bathroom all the better for it!  (Aunt Sue and Grandma, you can't get here fast enough!)  :)

In other bathroom news, we finished our master bathroom floors!  I hope to have a post up on that project next week but until then, here's a sneak peak:

Also, the loveseat saga is about to come to an end since I FINALLY found fabric.  It's been a little bit of a whirlwind with that, but I'll explain that too in a soon-to-come future post.  We're crossing our fingers in hopes to get the fabric on this weekend!  :)  Oh projects!  Will we ever get enough?  Nope, I don't think so!  Any other project-tacklers out there?  What have you been working on?  I know we're not the only crazy ones!