I am She-ra!

Those who know me know that I am not known for my great home improvement projects. I am very good at making plans for things that I want to do, but whether it is travel, tattoos, or emergency necessities, there are always other things I find to do with my teaching salary than actually putting my plans to fruition. 

Like many people around the world, however, I found myself unable to travel, get tattoos, or go much of anywhere for an emergency to arrive due to the state of… things. Again, like many others, I decided to try some of the projects I’d always contemplated, but never had the time/energy/inclination to start. 

Last week I showed off my project of transforming a rusted out grill into a flower planter. You can read about that here if you haven’t already looked at that blog. I’ve also taken up landscaping and gardening in a way that I’ve never attempted before. A blog about that is coming, but I’m waiting until my sunflowers have blooms on them for that post! 🙂 

As for this blog: for about the last month, I’ve been very slowly starting to update my kitchen. I’d seen a former student transform her kitchen in a very inexpensive way by painting her cabinets. After a few conversations with her about tips and tricks, I landed on a really cool paint company, and a way to make my kitchen look updated for very minimal costs. 

Here is the “before” picture that I didn’t think to take until I’d already taken off a few cabinet doors. 🙂 I built this house with my (then) husband, and these were the cabinets were one step up from the particle board that came as the default through the builder. We built the house in 2003, so the cabinets are pretty outdated and had NEVER been cleaned, because that’s not a thing I think about. 

After looking talking with my former student Emily, I landed on the the Heirloom Traditions Paint company (I am not being compensated for mentioning them). The draw to this paint was their claim that there is no need to sand or prime your surfaces. 

In full disclosure, I was incredibly skeptic of this claim, but Emily had done her kitchen a few years before and still sang its praises, and I read several reviews online that nearly universally praised the paint for fulfilling its promise of no sand/no prime. By signing up to join their Facebook group I got a “free” sample of paint (pay shipping). So I ordered that, and began my project.

With the sample I painted one section of cabinet (and the doors). After waiting for it to fully cure, I was still satisfied with their promises and I went ahead and ordered the rest of the paint and got back to work!

My dearest friend, Clarissa, came over one Saturday afternoon, and together we painted the rest of the mounted part of the cabinets and did the first coat on all of the doors. I have a pretty small kitchen, but the two of us got the majority of the work done in just a few hours. 

Two coats on cabinets:

Another thing I had to do was to paint the hinges. Originally brushed brass, I wanted them to be black to provide a stronger contrast to the light doors. One of my biggest suggestions for future cabinet painters (that I received from a cabinet painter) was to label my hinges. Because the hinges over time can wear into the door, different hinges may not fit “just right” when you go to re-hang them. 

I went super high-tech and used post-it notes:

I sprayed the hinges with Rust-Oluem black. I let them cure for a full week before attempting to hang the doors back up just to make sure that the black wouldn’t rub off on the light grey doors. Make sure to clean your hinges really well, and it wouldn’t hurt to rub some sandpaper lightly over them just because of the oil that coats them. I had to re-spray one of the hinges because the paint didn’t stick.

I started the project (with the sample jar) on June 11th and finished it up the evening of June 29th. I worked slowly and had to order paint a couple of times and then wait until it came in. Also, other than the day Clarissa came over, I’d only worked for one or two hours at a time. If you had all your materials and a lot of drive, you could easily finish the project in a long weekend — just paint your doors and your hinges first to allow them to cure longer.

Next I need to make a decision on the countertops… maybe during the next pandemic!