What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cabinets Continued

Please Note: I will do a post when the kitchen renovation is finished with the total cost and brand names used.

The kitchen cabinets are coming along nicely. It's been one week today since I started. I had hoped to be a bit further ahead than what I am but still things are progressing. The drawers are finished, a few of the cabinet fronts are finished while the rest are in various stages ranging from untouched to the first coats of polyurethane. Weather has been a factor as the cabinet doors are being sanded outside then stained and sealed in the garage. Unfortunately we have had a couple of rainy days where I couldn't sand outside and the moist air slowed the stain drying. Another problem has been copious amounts of small white fuzzy pollen in the air slowing down spray finishing and triggering my asthma. All things considered, I'm pretty much on schedule. I had hoped to have the cabinets completed by Saturday, just under the two week mark. That may still be possible.

Refinished vs Old

It was very important to me to get the cabinet fronts to blend in with the existing wood while keeping the cabin feel of the house. Painting the cabinets would have given the option of updating the handles but was not an option due to the design of the kitchen opening onto the family room divided only by the small breakfast bar and floor. Pictured is a refinished verses the old finish cabinet door fronts. As you can see the stain I chose is a bit closer to the wainscoting than the original finish. You can also see that marks from the original handles are still apparent. I chose a spray on satin polyurethane for the finish so even though it shows a bit of shine from the flash there really isn't much shine. The satin finish blends in nicely with the existing wood wainscoting and ceiling.

Old vs Painted Handles

I decided to work with the existing handles instead of replacing them. While this was the easiest solution to covering the marks left behind on the cabinet doors, it also ended up being a practical, money saving solution. At the same time it was an environmentally friendly solution to re-use instead of replace. Had I been replacing I would have went with something black metal and rustic.

I scrubbed the handles then dried them good. To be sure there was no water in remaining in any cracks, I sat the handles in the sun for a couple of hours. Spray painting the handles was very easy. I used Beauti-Tone Interior/Exterior Acrylic Enamel spray paint in gloss black. I lined up all the handles on a piece of cardboard then simply sprayed keeping the spray paint can in motion. This is important when using spray paint to prevent running and sagging paint. It only took about 2 minutes to spray all the handles. Preparing the handles and dry time is the time consuming part.

I'm quite pleased with the look of the handles. The before picture shows how the handles would have looked on a refinished door had I left them as is. When the handles were together there were noticeable differences in the colour of the brass ranging. There were three colours! Some were a pale yellowish brass, some were a nice medium brass and a few were an orangish brass. I suspect they were different lots but the difference could have been caused by exposure to some cleaning agent. The after picture shows a painted handle on the same door. I was quite nervous using a gloss paint as glitter and excessive shine looks a bit out of place. Still, I went ahead figuring if the shine was too much I could tone it down with a coat of the satin spray polyurethane but I liked the way they came out. The gloss is not overpowering at all.

Garden Gnome
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