I may be eccentric, but I'm not crazy.
No, I was involved in the process all along via my good friend, the internet. With the help of realtor.com and email, I kept in close communication (multiple times, daily) with our real estate agent and personal friend, Becky. She knows my personal tastes and what I was looking for in our next house. I had a few non-negotiables: a finished basement, no drive-under garage (garage in the basement) -- I'd lived with one of those for seven years and was tired of schlepping stuff up and down steps to get it in and out of the house -- and a kitchen with a window view to the outside. And I preferred a house that needed no substantial updating.
Well, I got most of what I wanted. Isn't that life? But the house we bought needs substantial updating, all over the place. But I love it anyway. It's going to be fabulous!
I started on the kitchen cabinets as we moved in. Himself thought I was nuts. But I couldn't stand it. The kitchen does not get a lot of natural light, and the dark cabinets had to go right now.
I had used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White on a hutch in our cabin over the summer, so I figured I'd slap some of that on and be good to go.
And thus began the project that took about seven years off my life. I'm still glad I did it because we saved a ton of money. But it was not as easy as I'd first supposed.
In the above photo, you can see the hideous dark stain on the cabinets. I'd already painted the boxes below. We had also stripped the wallpaper from the walls and soffits. It was ORIGINAL to the house, but came off surprisingly easily (peeled off in three minutes) leaving bare sheetrock and plywood behind.
It quickly became apparent that I was going to have to remove the doors -- all 29 of them -- to do a good job. Before I painted, I cleaned the doors with TSP. Then I started painting.
Lightbulb Moment #1: ASCP has a reputation for great coverage without sanding or priming. But small dark spots, some as large as a penny, bled through TWO COATS of ASCP on the first few cabinet doors. As you may know, ASCP is not just paint, it's an investment. I couldn't afford to keep painting on coat after coat with no appreciable difference.
Enter my friend, Sharon, who volunteered to help me with this project, and earned my eternal gratitude. Sharon had painted her own kitchen cabinets and barely lived to tell the tale. Wanting to save me the horror and tears, she whisked in to help me out. And gently suggested we try Kilz.
Lightbulb Moment #2: Kilz is not a miracle product. After painting three or four doors with Kilz, we could see spots STILL bleeding through. Sharon: "I think we're going to have to sand."
We set up an assembly line in my garage and started sanding, each of us armed with a hand sander. Due to space restrictions, we could only work on a group of doors at a time.
After sanding and wiping down the doors -- both fronts and backs -- we then primed them with Kilz. Bingo!
Lightbulb Moment #3: You really need to sand and prime cabinet doors. We ended up sanding the cabinet boxes, too. We did NOT have to prime them, though.
After that, we were on a roll. We cut in with paintbrushes and then rolled on ASCP with small foam rollers.
Lightbulb Moment #4: Foam rollers leave a textured finish. I did not lightly sand over the paint before waxing, which would have given me a smoother finish. It doesn't bother me, but you may want to take this step.
This entire process took weeks. Sharon put in 18 hours over three days helping me out. Then I did the rest myself.
Lightbulb Moment #5: If you can manage it, keep working at the job. I found everything went better and I made a lot of progress when I could devote several hours at a time to the work. Even better if I could work a couple of days in a row. If I'd been able to dig in and work steadily until the job was done, I wouldn't have taken so much time. Putting everything away and the getting it all back out again several days later was a drag. Also, I lost steam. You don't want to lose steam with a big project like this!
After I got everything painted, I gave everything a nice coat of ASCP Clear Wax and buffed it in. Again, this took quite some time. My arms got tired!
In my next post, I'll talk about my hardware choices AND the glazing process, which I thought I would do, changed my mind, and then decided again to do after the cabinets were "finished."