Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting Real About DIY: Painting the Kitchen Part I

The before: the navy blue light-sucking interiors must go.
Zoom in if you love chips and peeling paint!

Today is my last day of a week of vacation, but it felt more like time served for bad behavior. My crime? I decided to repaint my kitchen cabinets, a critically-needed step in the world’s longest kitchen reno.

This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. I’ve hated the navy blue insides of these cabinets since I first saw them when touring the house. They just suck all the light out of the room and are hideous. But worse than that, is that the white paint covering the outside of the cabinets was chipping and wearing off -- not a good look.

So the big paint job started on Monday. In retrospect, I should have started earlier and done more over the weekend. I did some packing and removed some of the shelf liners, but there was much, much more prep to be done.

Here’s the thing about DIY. Most TV shows and blogs gloss over the gory details. I mean sure, we all know projects take longer than the 30-60 minute show, and way longer than you plan for them to take, but who talks about just how horrid they can be at times? For the amount of work involved, I think there is far too little whining going on. Cause kids, this stuff can really suck. Taking painting kitchen cabinets for instance. I’ve been working on my kitchen about as much as I do at my regular job each day, only the kitchen work is much more physically demanding. It’s also messy, disruptive and causes you to need to bend in weird ways for long periods of time, which for me equals a lot of soreness. Which calls for a lot of booze, purely for medicinal purposes of course.

Here’s the breakdown of the work so far:

What chu doin to my kitchen, Willis?

Monday - Finished packing and emptied pantry. Have various kitchen crap stashed throughout house. Removed all hardware (by hand cause I can't find the darn drill!), doors, latches, drawers, and shelf liners (the adhesive kinds of shelf liners are the devil!). Used half a bottle of Goo Gone trying to remove the adhesive from those devilish shelf liners. Can we all just agree to never use those again? Finally, hung plastic and started sanding in the afternoon. After work the boyfriend removed some molding, filled holes and gaps and made a couple trips to the home improvement store while I continued sanding.

Tuesday - Spent five more hours sanding and scraping cabinets! That’s a helluva lotta sanding people - I ended up looking rather smurf like and was covered in blue dust. This included an inordinate amount of time spent trying to sand off remaining adhesive from those blasted shelf liners. Stop the insanity with the shelf liners! Started cleaning around four in the afternoon and finished wiping every cabinet, surface, appliance and mopping floor around 7:30 p.m. before hobbling to the shower.

Wednesday - Scrubbed cabinets with TSP for FIVE HOURS. Spent a ton MORE time scrubbing off remaining #%$(^U*(!!! adhesive. Dreamed of ways to kill whomever put down the damn shelf liner in the first place. Used de-glosser liquid to de-gloss a few more spots that I couldn’t reach with sander. Finally started painting around 4:30. Boyfriend came home and helped me paint for a few hours, and thanks to that we got a primer coat on everything but two cabinets. The carpal tunnel is really kicking in tonight, hoo boy.

This is also when the cats really started to rebel at being trapped in the basement. I don't understand it, there is an entire other living room down there, it's hardly Alcatraz, but they scream bloody murder half the day. At one point I thought someone had broken in and was dismantling the basement, but no it's just a pissed-off cat apparently attempting to shake the door of its hinges. Door wins, for now.

We's exhausted!

Thursday - Took the morning to recoop, but still managed to get a second coat of primer on all the cabinet boxes. Was starting to feel better about things, but then I remembered I haven't even touched the 14 doors and 4 drawers that need to be painted before kitchen is really back to normal. Beg boyfriend to go get more booze so I have beer to cry into.

Friday - Sanded and scraped a few drips from priming (oops). Time for the real paint which is exciting, but my motivation is at an all time low. Tried out a new roller cover and the results almost made me cry they were so horrid. The thought of two more days of painting is almost more than I can take. Finish getting coat of paint on cabinets thanks to help from boyfriend but am dismayed that vacation is officially over and I have at least another solid day of painting left. Dear god let it end soon.

----to be continued....if I make it.....


  1. All I can say is that I'm right there with you. It's funny because The Hubs wanted a house that needed cosmetic renovations. Now that we are moving and having to get everything done in two months, we are realizing that we'd rather buy an updated house next time. In theory, these things sound great. In theory...

    1. Megyn - I already fear selling my house and having to deal with all the little things that needs fixing or improving. Yikes! Best of luck to you.

  2. Oh Candi... you have my deepest sympathies. And you've given me a great reminder of why my horrible kitchen still has the same ugly paint that it did when I moved in 17 years ago! Courage, my friend, you're almost there...

    1. Well, if you can take more time and do it in smaller chunks it wouldn't be as bad. But I survived, step one anyway...

  3. Oh, dear...I thought about painting the cabinets in my bathroom myself but now I'm thinking maybe I should just live with them being ugly! It sounds like you've accomplished a lot and I'm sure it will look gorgeous in the end. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

    1. The fewer cabinets you have, the easier it is of course. And it's not hard per se, just messy and time consuming. Still, it's amazing what some paint can do!

      The final reveal will probably happen in 2013 at this point. ;) The cabinet boxes are done but I haven't started the doors and drawers yet. Oi.


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