August 30, 2011

Cabinetry Carnage

As you probably guessed by yesterday’s “preview” snapshot, I spent a good part of my weekend attempting to paint the insides of all of our kitchen cabinets. Well, I guess it wasn’t really all of them, because upon taking all of the doors off and displacing all of the contents of the cupboards, I realized that I simply didn’t have enough time or room to do the whole thing at once. Surprise, surprise, the whole thing ended up being way more work than I anticipated.
Anyway, as I’ve already mentioned, on Thursday evening Denny and I went shopping at Lowe’s, where we picked up some basic supplies for my painting project. Our shopping list included primer, paint, some masking tape, and a few paint trays. I had brushes at the house (uh, actually just one brush, silly me) and Denny thought it would be no problem to just use a chair for reaching higher-up spots, so we skipped out on buying a step ladder (spoiler alert: mistake).

[Sidenote: I thought I had heard somewhere that Kilz brand primer was a good selection, but in hindsight I should used tried Zinnsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3, which I’ve since read is a good choice for even hard-to-prime laminate surfaces.
And, I’m just going say it, I think we made a mistake in choosing the Olympic FastHide pre-mixed paint, which we picked up largely because we were in a hurry and wanted something cheap. However, it wasn’t the best choice we could’ve made, as the consistency was pretty thin and it really wasn’t very “hide-y” at all.]
So far I’ve devoted an entire two days and two nights to this project, which started Friday after I got home from work. First, I got out a screwdriver and began to remove all the doors from the kitchen. This turned into a massive pain in the arse, since I couldn’t simply remove the doors from the hinges, but instead had to remove all of the hinges from the cabinetry itself. That doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but trust me when I say: Holy crap, is it ever. Basically it meant the difference between two screws versus (in some spots) up to four screws. PER HINGE. And since some screws were practically impossible to get to (due to being screwed in crooked or located around shadowy corners) there were some instances where I ended up breaking out the old dental assisting skills, using a mirror, extra bright lighting, and a steady fulcrum in order to get the job done.

Like so (I apologize for the awkward lighting by the way; some of these pictures were taken at night and the combination of bad lighting and ugly yellow-cream cabinets made a really gruesome effect which somehow cannot be corrected with even the most sophisticated of photo editing software). Finally, after many (and I do mean MANY) hours of crouching in corners (or, equally bad, balancing on wobbly dining chairs) undoing wonky screws and supporting mostly dismantled doors on one foot, while unscrewing the rest of it in poor lighting and cramped conditions, I finally got the whole thing to look like this (by the way, removing cabinet doors: definitely a two person job!):

Uh, yeah. That last one is of the underside of our sink. I’m pretty sure I’ve never looked under there before, because if I had, I’m not entirely confident that I would have agreed to buy this house. Seriously, are you seeing what I’m seeing? 1970s brown particle board (which is the equivalent of a stiff, dirty sponge, by the way) and peely orange contact paper. I almost gave up when I saw that, thinking that I should maybe focus my efforts on demolishing the kitchen instead of painting it. But (after a restorative drinkypoo) I bolstered up my courage and proceeded to rip out that nasty paper, then launched into the massive job of masking off all the edges of every single (insert bad word here) cabinet.
By that point it was way WAY past my bedtime and so I showered my grubby self off then went to bed, waking up early(ish) the next morning in order to make a quick run to Lowe’s for some necessary supplies (like a stepladder, which I am now completely enamored with and affectionately call “Steppy”—that’s how much of a difference it made). I also ended up swinging by Ross while I was in the neighborhood and then also to JoAnn’s, which was not in the neighborhood but was calling to me nonetheless (more details on those shopping excursions coming tomorrow).
So, armed with Steppy and high with the satisfaction of having scored some major deals, I began priming away. I painted all. through. the. day. I painted for so long that I was able to watch “You’ve Got Mail” and “Dirty Dancing” (both on my laptop in the kitchen), as well as listen to a full CD of FooFighters, 30 tracks of Kenny Chesney, and every single song Garth Brooks has ever recorded.

It was a long, weird, productive day, as you can see (that last picture is just a demonstration of how even a single coat of primer made all the difference, in case you were wondering). At around 11 o’clock, I realized that the only thing I’d eaten all day was coffee, so I made myself a TV dinner and then finished up what I was doing before carting my tired carcass off to bed. WHERE I was awoken at 3-frickin-AM with my right arm hurting so bad that I had to get back up, take a handful of aspirin, and read Harry Potter until it kicked in and I was able to go back to sleep.
Ug. It makes me tired just writing about it. Which I guess is a good thing for you, because I’ve now reached my self-imposed thousand word limit for this post and by all account should be wrapping things up. I will be back tomorrow with the rest of this little (GIGANTIC) painting adventure and the results of so much hard work. Until then, peace out!


  1. People who can afford $10.31 hardware on each cupboard and drawer don't have paint sucking particle board cabinet interiors. Don't you just hate those people? And don't you hate Perry's wife?

  2. @Kaydeemcdee - I'm pretty sure Perry's wife probably had these cabinets in her kitchen. :) But, yes, I DO hate her. And her freakin cabinets.