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Experiments in cabinetry

I have been wanting to do something with my bathroom cabinets for a while. They are a cream color that just doesn't work for me. But since they are the same cheap cabinetry that used to be in the kitchen which I decided couldn't be stripped and stained, I figured the best option for them would be a good sanding followed by a paint job.

The cabinet doors also have this horizontal beveling I don't like. So my after considering the options in Home Depot this morning, I bought some "wood filler." I used a putty knife to fill in the bevel lines on one experimental cabinet door. It didn't go on very smoothly; there were lots of smears and uneven patches, but you are supposed to be able to sand those down later. I let it dry, and sanded the cabinet face down, but you could still see a few raised places where the smears were. But, I figured, I had very dark paint, so it would cover all that up.

Yeah, not so much. First off, the color wasn't as dark as it appeared on the paint chip, then it went on unevenly. It was beading up in places and streaking and other stuff. I thought perhaps I didn't sand enough, or I should have used primer first, etc. But I let that dry and came back out to look at it a couple hours later. Ugh! You could totally see where the wood filler had not gone on smoothly or been sanded down enough. And the paint was patchy. It looked awful.

I took a putty knife/scraper and started trying to smooth those raised areas down. I knew that would take off my new paint at the same time, but I wasn't worried about that. What interested me, though, was the scraper was also taking off the cream paint. I was seeing the original medium-brown wood grain of the cabinets.

So I grabbed some left over stripper from my fireplace mantle project and started stripping the cabinet. And you know what? I don't think those babies were a wood veneer like I concluded back prior to my kitchen make over. I think they were stained. It's still cheap wood, as I can attest to having seen the shreds of the kitchen cabinets after the tear-down, but it was stained cheap wood.

The new plan is to strip the cream paint off the remaining master bath cabinet doors and the cabinets as well, then resand and repaint. After that: guest bathroom.

Note to self: buy gloves before stripping.

ETA: Interestingly, the wood filler inside the beveling lines survived the stripping.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I think it's this kind of stuff that makes me not so keen on owning a house. I'd rather have someone else take care of this kind of stuff. Do you enjoy it?
May. 31st, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Buy yourself a move-in ready place, where everything has already been done. I decided to get a "slight" fixer-upper, and then change a few things to suit my taste. I could have left well enough alone (except for that green kichen wall. Bleh).

Doing these things gives me a sense of competency and self-reliance that I enjoy. I am looking forward to being done though. I have a very clear list of projects and mark off each thing as I finish it, without adding new projects.

But yeah, it would be nice to have all my time for writing.

Edited at 2009-05-31 03:41 pm (UTC)
May. 31st, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
There's also a creative aspect to this I am enjoying, the decorating part, getting the colors and composition of furniture and doodads to look nice together. I think this is partially a reaction to living like a grad student for so long with cheap stuff and white walls.

I would not have lifted a finger to fix up my old studio in SF. I wanted to move out of that shoe box the minute I moved in.
May. 31st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, and next time I buy a new house? I'm getting a move-in ready place.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )