Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cabinets - the Bane of Our Existence

OK, we're midway through the kitchen refresh, which (of course,) was supposed to be done three days ago.  The moral of the week: painting cabinets is hard.  Really hard.

(Teaser shot of the new countertops and sink, with a glimpse of the cursed cabinetry.)

Our story opens a week ago, with the beginning of this project.  My husband, being the construction expert that he is, is in charge of countertop creation and sink installation.  I am in charge of painting.  Swell.  The cabinets were previously grey, but they were beat up and I was worried that the grey would clash with the counters.  Besides, everyone likes a crisp white cabinet, right?  No problem.
In typical me fashion, I read everything the interwebs had to say on the subject before I started.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion on exactly how to do it, but everyone is unanimous in stating that prepping the surfaces is the hard part.  And the important part.  Once you're there, getting the paint on should be no big deal.  Right?  Right?!?  SO not right...

So last weekend, like a good child, I take the cabinet doors off of the cabinets.  I remove every last bit of hardware.  I start sanding.  I sand and sand and sand until the doors are perfectly smooth and uniform.  I am SO ready for painting.  This Old House has stated unequivocally that a high-quality bristle brush is the only way to apply paint to cabinets.  And that oil paint might be better but a high quality latex would be fine too.  OK!  Got it!  I procure the highest quality paint money can buy and I get a very nice bristle brush.  I swipe on my first coat.  Hmmmm, you can see brush marks.  Highly visible brush marks.  'Well,' I think 'maybe a second coat would help!"  Second coat is more streaky than the first.  My paint-savvy friend Anna comes over and assesses the cabinets.  She gives her head a sad but definitive little shake.  "You're going to have to sand these down to get those marks out..." she says.

The husband says "oh yeah, I knew a bristle brush wasn't going to work, you need to use a foam brush!"  Augh.  OK, back to the hardware store.  Foam brushes!  Yay!  Sand the cabinets down again.  My friend Christyne comes over to help me be extra-anal retentive.  With the Styne-Tine-Steam-Dream-Team reformed, we start to paint the cabinets.  Ummmm...brush strokes are still present although not as heinous as the bristle brush ones.  Hmmm.  Maybe another coat will help!!

Negatory, Will Robinson.  Streaks still present.  I go to Home Depot and throw myself on the Home Depot guy's mercy.  He says oh yes, a foam brush is not the thing, what you need is a cabinet roller!  Oh goody!  I lope on home with my little roller.  I gleefully roll what I am sure is the last coat of paint on the cabinets.  Stipple marks.  I get stipple marks.  I think they are less noticeable than the brush strokes?  Maybe?

I present the situation to the husband.  He looks at me like one might look at a cobra poised to strike and says "um..I think I liked the foam brush streaks better?"  Hissssssss.  He promptly volunteers to do the last coat of paint himself, to save me from insanity and him from flayed limbs.  My father takes pity on us and sands down the cabinets for (hopefully) the last time while he's in town.  The husband's final coat of gray isn't on yet, so I can't qualify this as a success just yet, but it's in progress.

The lesson of the week: cabinets are HARD.  Attempt at risk of your own sanity!
(Oh cabinets, how I loathe you...)

1 comment:

  1. I just painted our cabinets a week or so ago, and the doors are still sitting on my dining room floor waiting to be hung.

    Next time, I'm just going to save up and buy new. The interwebz tricked me into thinking it would be EASY! Lies and deceit, my faith in the all-knowing Google has faltered! :P