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Sand, Prime, Paint…

February 10, 2012

I think I can do this routine in my sleep.  After Goodwill Hunting for kitchen cabinets on Monday, I decided to start the process over the past few days of getting those babies ready for install.

First I removed the hardware.  I assumed with Ryan’s new Milwaukee drill it would be a breeze, but those screws were a b*tch to get out.  I ended up using a screw driver so I wouldn’t strip the screws.  I think the build-up of kitchen spatter over 60 years and the downward angle they were put in with added to the situation.  But after about 45 minutes: mission accomplished.

The hardware on these Re-store finds is placed really low.  It doesn’t match the placement of our existing pulls so I had to putty the holes with some Elmers wood putty, using a 1.5″ spackle knife.  After the doors are painted we will drill new holes to match up with our other hardware.

Once the doors are sanded, primed, and painted you will never know those holes ever existed.  The next day, after the putty was fully dried I moved all of my cabinets to the garage and got out the Ryobi orbital sander.

I didn’t know what grit I would need to get the finish off, so I started with 220 and worked my way down per Ryan’s suggestion.   200 worked really well on the cabinet shells, but I had to drop to a 100 grit on the doors.

Sanding the cabinets took way longer than I expected.  I figured, eh, 20 minutes.  I was locked in that cold garage for about an hour or so.  Let me tell you, the vibration of the orbital made my hand numb after a consistent hour of  straight use.  What a strange feeling.  But anyhoo…Once I regained feeling in my hand I took a tack cloth to remove all the dust and debris from both cabinets and 4 doors.  As usual, I converted our basement family room into a painting studio.

I’ve learned the lesson the hard way, when I work with wood I always use an oil based primer.  When I painted the paneled walls in our basement six years ago it took 3 coats of latex primer and a trip to Lowes to figure out why It kept bleeding.  For this job I picked up a quart sized can of Kiltz oil primer for seven bucks.

To get a smooth finish on the cabinets I use a 4″ smooth foam roller.  By rolling one coat of primer and 3 thin coats of white glossy paint very slowly, you get a very smooth finish.   By the naked eye one will never know it’s a DIY project on 1960 cabinets.

Oil primer is by no means VOC.  I always try to use Olympic No VOC paint to avoid those awful paint fumes, but when you mess with oil that’s just not an option (that I know of).  Always wear a mask when working with oil so that it muffles the fumes you breath.  And if it’s nice out try to open some window.  It was 30 degrees when I primed in the basement, so opening a window was not an option, hence the mask.

What a couture look the face mask and paint clothes give me.  When Ryan took this picture I actually smiled.  I don’t know why, it’s not like you can see my face.  I guess it’s instinct to smile when a camera is pointed at you.  (That and the ‘sorority squat’).

I started on the back side of the cabinet doors just like I did when I re-touched our existing cabinets (found here).  If there are any scratches or imperfections I’d rather them be on the backside.  I’d also like to point out that you can’t see the holes I puttied and sanded either, can you?!

And here are the cabinet shells after a nice smooth oil paint primer.

It took about 3 hours total to get the cabinets sanded and primed.   Last night, after the primer had 24 hours to cure, I started painting them with my glossy white paint.

In four hours I was able to get two coats of paint on everything.  I really wan three coats for the extra coverage so tonight I plan to add that last coat of paint.    Because these cabinets are hanging against a wall and the ceiling I only need to paint the front and right side.  The cabinet below is actually upside down.  The bottom of this big one will be visible above the granite so that side had to get a coat of paint as well.  Here are the results of one coat of primer and two coats of paint.

Once the cabinets have time to cure we will hang those babies.  My gut feeling is Sunday, but we will have to see.  I will make sure to take some pics and possibly video if Ryan and I can keep our mouths clean during the install….that one is a long shot!

Happy Friday!

What do you think?  Does Michelle have vision for these Habitat Re-Store finds or what?  It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to any piece of furniture.  Have you come across any thrift store finds lately?  Do you like to paint everything white like I do??  Let us know by commenting below!

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