Groundhog Day or something like that...

Have you ever started a project after planning it through and then gotten up to your elbows and felt like you maybe, just maybe, had bitten off more than you could chew?  Yeah, me too.  But. It never comes to stay...it always comes  to pass.  

In July I went down to my parent's house to paint their cabinets.  All of their cabinets.  All 62 doors and drawers and "faces" in the kitchen, laundry, and 2 bathrooms.  

Some of you know what kind of job that is.  I'm no stranger to tackling big projects, but thinking I could get it done in 3.5 days was just, well, stoopid.  It ended up taking me about 5 days, I think, really they got to be a blur.  One day looking the same as the last...like Groundhog Day where Bill Murray wakes up to the same day overandoverandoverandover.  Word.

This was a project I was so excited to do for my parents, I really love doing this kind of stuff and I love them even more.  So it was also important to me that they liked the end result.  I was feeling insecure and am always my own worst critic, but I'm not convinced they'd tell me they didn't like something I did as a gift for them.  Only thing is, this wasn't a construction paper and paper doily heart for valentine's day this was their KITCHEN.    

The Details:
  • 62 drawers/doors + the faces of their cabinets
  • Oak (I think) cabinets with what became overtime and orange-ish stain with a clear coat
  • Scrubbing, lots and lots of scrubbing, to get off the accumulation of dust and grease especially on the cabinets surrounding the cooking area.  *Please note: This is not a reflection on my Mom's housekeeping.  Kitchen cabinets just get grimey. All God's children's cabinets get grimey.  You are a good Mom. I love you. Amen.
  • Lots of screws to keep up with once the doors were down.  Get a tupperware piece and remember where you put the screws.
  • Saw horses or something to line up your doors for painting and drying.
  • 2.5 quarts of ASCP in Old White
  • 1 quart Benjamin Moore glaze in a custom tint the color of coffee beans. (About a third was leftover.)
  • 2 quarts of Polycrylic clear coat.
  • Lots of lint free rags. 
  • Brushes and a small roller for cabinets~they don't leave streaks or bubbles.
  • Elbow grease.
  • A good friend to come to your rescue.
  • A good radio show, music, or book on tape to listen to. (My selections were Rick and Bubba, Rush, Hannity, and misc. music.)
  • Starbucks.
  • Aleve.
  • Heating pad.
  • I'm not as young as I used to be.
Now, like I mentioned I don't have step by step pictures to show you but here's the breakdown of what we did.  
  • Sunday night I used painters tape to number the doors/drawers. I put a number in the drawer/on the back of the door and then a number on a shelf or slot they came off of. Then Mom and I washed the cabinets with Murphy's soap, wiped them dry, and Dad took the doors down.
  • Monday morning I commenced to painting.  I started with the cabinet faces.  Then went onto the doors and drawers.  I did one good coat.  The ASCP covered perfectly.  We did not prime or sand anything.  None of the old stain bled through!
  • The painting took 2 days I think.
  • Then we got the glaze. I did a test area in the laundry room and realized the glaze was soaking in to the chalk paint much like dark wax would if done without first using the clear wax to seal your project. Sooooo, I repainted that area, and again the chalk paint covered the glaze with zero bleed through.
  • So, since we wanted to be sure we had a super durable low maintenance finish we knew we'd go with Polycrylic instead of waxing.  Just like I wax a piece with clear wax after painting with chalkpaint, I put 1 coat of Polycrylic clear coat over all cabinet faces, drawers, and doors.  
  • There wasn't any waiting around, by the time I was done with the last of the clear coat, the area I started in first was ready for the glaze. Total dry time was almost 24 hours though. To glaze we just brushed it on and then wiped it off.  It stays in the nooks and crannies and not so much on the flat surfaces.  We knew we wanted a natural and not so perfect finish but the graniness of this particular wood yielded unpredictable results.  A few doors had to be re-glazed to get a more consistent look.  But I think that's how the cookie crumbles. Here is where you can get really critical and worried, but just try to pay attention to how you are applying and wiping and work in the same way on each door.  Once I had a rhythm going, we got  more consistent results.  AND once the doors are put all back in place the overall look is much different than studying one door at a time.
  • So the glaze had to dry for 24 hours and then we commenced to clear coating.  Letting it dry overnight between coats.  My parents put on at least 2 more coats after I had to get back home for a total of 4 coats.
  • The drawers and doors were put back in place easily since we labeled each one.  Getting to see the knobs go on was the icing on the cake.
It was hot so we did the whole think inside.  Fumes weren't an issue with the chalk paint.  The glaze and Polycrylic weren't bad, but we had a nice fan to help with ventilation and drying.

Time seemed to go so slow and so fast during this project.  My Dad would come home for lunch and then it seemed like only an hour later and he'd be home for the day.  I am so glad for my friend Chantel!  She was wanting to see firsthand how the chalk paint worked because she too has a full kitchen of the same cabinets to paint.  She came by after work and helped when she could.  It was so nice to have her help and company.  Guess who is now addicted to ASCP!  Yup. CHANTEL. :)  She's been thrifting and has gotten 3 colors to fix up her finds with and she is great at it!

I sure hope this post will encourage some of you with a large project on your to-do list to consider Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint to help you tackle the job.  I have loved using this paint on tons of things from frames (wood, resin, and PLASTIC!), lamps, pottery, decorative metal objects, and misc. furniture (wood and veneers) and have loved the results.  
  • Chalk Paint does cover in one coat over 30 year old stained cabinets.
  • Chalk Paint works well with other products not in the ASCP line like the waterbased  Benjamin Moore glaze and Polycrylic clear coat I used in this project.
  • Chalk Paint will save you time in prep work and money on supplies (i.e. stripping solvents etc.)

When it was all said and done, Mom and Dad assured me they really liked the cabinets.  I like them.  Chantel, likes them too.  So here are the pictures, some before and afters...no durings because like I said I was in Groundhog Day and didn't take pictures the first day and therefore not any subsequent day of the project either.  The shots are from our family pics with the after looking in the same direction.  (Thanks for taking the pics and sending them Mom!)

Hey Mamaw!

Laundry cabinets above machines.

Master Bath, the hall bath isn't shown here but it is the same just not as long.

This kitchen has been the setting for some great meals (Dad's BBQ & Louisiana cooking!), games of Zingo with the grandkids & Mexican (crazy train) dominos too, and just sitting and visitng with friends and family.  Our family has had shared much together here over the years inspite of ugly orange cabinets in the background.  But, Mom and Dad have wanted to re-do their cabinets for a long, long time.  They recently got nice granite counter tops, a new gas cook top, and tumbled stone back splash but the cabinets had to be put on hold.  I'm so thankful for Annie's chalk paint. I wouldn't have attempted this size of a project without chalk paint.  This product made it possible to do something special  for my very special parents.  I look forward to making many more family memories in this kitchen, and now pretty cabinets will be our backdrop.