Tag Archives: procrastination

Cabinets are Done! Dirt Remains.

With help from my dad, I’ve gotten a LOT done. Between how slowly I work and how many flaws I find in these cabinet doors, I never thought I’d see the day. Now, I did have to stop painting a bunch of times because I kept spotting more flaws to grind out with the sander. But somehow, we reached the end of it! This means I did touch-up painting on all 7 of the base cabinet doors and then (my dad) rolled a final coat onto them. The upper cabinet doors were in worse shape so they got 2 coats. And now?

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They look clean and in good condition! What a relief! And what a long time coming. And the dish cabinet is painted blue and has its plate rails and doors!

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The project was annoying to the end. I repeatedly had to stop painting because I discovered that doors were cut too big and rubbed against each other, so I had to grind them down with the sander immediately before painting them. The most annoying of these was the trim at the top of the big interior arch. I knew it wouldn’t clear the cabinet door and asked the Irishman to run it through the table saw before he reinstalled it. He proudly told me that it was just fine. Now the corner is ground back a little. I guess it’s all the same in the end?

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Speaking of which, I got 1 coat of paint onto that arch. That may not count as done but it looks a whole lot better. I also got one coat onto the little scrolly brackets under the stairs and the paneling. Except the panel with the light switch and everything to the right of it including the basement stairway door got 2 coats, including the basement stairway door. Meaning the things that matter.

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Why do they matter? Because this wall has a switch plate, an outlet plate, and a thermostat mounted to it.

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And there’s Art Deco hardware on the basement stairway door. Old door hardware is the most important thing in the world. Literally.

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Then I was cooking and got sick of how hard it was to open the cabinet doors, so I put all the knobs on instead of cleaning up after myself.

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Speaking of touchups, they might be the only kind of painting I can stomach for a while. I had wanted to stain the patio door and paint its jamb and trim this fall, but I’ve now wrapped up a tedious project that took over the whole house for the third time this year and I’m sick of it. But I guess you’ve heard that line before. The patio door and window sashes might actually be hard to do though because I’ll need warm weather to take them down and paint them.

And… the last step is done now! I got the 2 glass doors back from Malvern Glass, and they really went over and beyond. The woman I spoke to quoted me $13 a pane to cut the glass in rectangles, plus $10 per corner (a total of $80!!!) to clip the corners off because the irishman left the notches for the glass rounded with a router. But she said that slightly undersized square panes would fit and save me money. Then installation would be another $35 a pane, which I was unwilling to pay. Well, I got the glass back and the glass cutter rounded off all the corners to make it fit and taped it in place because on these crudely made doors every corner is a little different. I caulked the glass in place with clear silicone and used every bit of willpower I had to resist the urge to put them up last night. Then tonight I went at it rinsing dust off of crystal again instead of more practical jobs.

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Last week the idea of being on a house tour was scary. Now, I’m thrilled with how much more finished things are. All that’s left is enough dust to write your name in my furniture, a bag of (non-perishable) groceries I bought a week ago, and a large wad of un-folded laundry on the couch. And there are still tickets available for this beer tour, so if you’re anywhere near here you should come! For $45 you get basically all the beer you could want, a lot of good food, a souvenir mug, and a chance to win prizes at my house and 4 others nearby. It’s a nice mix of food, drink, nice people, and voyeurism.

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A Grand(er) Entrance

I’m having a party today so of course I decided to paint the vestibule this week. It’s important to put off tidying up with as many messy projects as possible. This didn’t happen along with the rest of the house for a lot of reasons. Okay, mainly just one. I was sick of painting.

Anyways, the walls and ceiling are both gonna be painted navy, a color that my friend picked for a small accent in his house and then agreed to share with me. The trim is all to be the same off-white though I can’t paint the door jamb until it’s warm out. I decided just to first coat the paneling for now. High impact, easy job, right?

Just one problem. The Irishman built me beautiful paneling in here, but he made himself a sketch. On the wall. In red Sharpie. Arg. Well I’ll have to spot prime with Kilz Original, the oil based version. That’ll take care of it, just one extra step. Right. And then… AAAARGH!

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Obviously I had to take this problem to the Google. Might I want to invest in shellac based primer? That’s supposed to be the best. My findings were that oil based is better than shellac because permanent marker inks are alcohol soluble so they will even more readily bleed through shellac. But I should have lightly sanded first and blotted the stains with rubbing alcohol, lacquer thinner, or acetone first. And really thin coats of paint are best. I guess that’s because they dry faster and give the marker stains less time to loosen up and bleed through.

So I invested in a spray can of Kilz. That’ll give me really thin coats and prevent brush marks from building up and changing the texture on the spot primed areas after I paint. And the spray can is a convenient shape to beat the Irishman with. Then I found a can of Zinsser 123 from a year ago when he was doing finish carpentry for me, put 3 coats on, and it was gone! This is interesting because water based paints aren’t supposed to work. I used it because I already owned it and the can said it works on felt tip markers.

And one more thing that’s, well, less unfinished than it was. The front door handle. There was a handleset when I bought the house. With a mismatched lock and missing stain around where the old one was. Then the handleset broke and I replaced it with a doorknob that had been on an interior door. Classy. Especially that hole in the door. (Also note that I’ve decided to ignore stripping residue that’s everywhere)

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Now, I really wish I had an OLD front door. This door is not old, and it’s not an authentic reproduction of old. But it’s mahogany and it was expensive (which is odd considering the other workmanship on my street). And I put a Baldwin handleset on it, so now if I end up getting an old door I’m wasting my money. But hey, it feels good and solid. And although it’s not as nice as a mortised handle, it’s the nicest looking one I could find that works.

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And here it all is – a slightly more finished vestibule!

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