Being a Slacker is a Science

I have to admit to being a slacker during the last few months. But there’s a good reason for it.

Last summer I purchased what I have now dubbed Casa Wineaux, and declared it to be my BBH (Body Bag Home) because that’s the only way I’m leaving it!

Because I’m a diehard fan of the Home and DIY channels, I tend to think that I, too, can work miracles with paintbrush, shiplap, and drill.

Well, not so much.

This post has little to do with wine, so if you’re planning on reading about my Monday night wine tasting sessions or my latest epiphany found in a glass of old-growth Zinfandel, this post won’t do it for you. If you’re interested in painting kitchen cabinets while still maintaining something resembling sanity, then you’re in the right place. Not that I’ve maintained sanity through the whole sorry ordeal. Far from it.

Well, There’s Some Wine

First, let me explain where wine does come in.

I love to entertain. When I first bought Casa Wineaux, I knew that the small dark cave cum kitchen would have to be updated. I’ve done a total kitchen gut and renovation in the distant past, and I decided that because of costs, I didn’t want to do that again. I want to breeze into my upcoming retirement debt-free, and that kind of project would ensure that wouldn’t be possible.

So instead of paying $20,000+ for brand new cabinets, I decided to spend a couple hundred and paint them instead.

What the Hell Was I Thinking?

Still some work to be done, but cabinets are finished!

Two or so months after starting, I’ve finally finished painting the kitchen, and I couldn’t be happier. Not because it turned out great (it did), but because the whole sorry affair is finally done. If I’d had the money to do so, it could have been finished in less than two weeks with new cabinets. Having somebody else do it, of course.

For what it’s worth, I’ve told my friends that if they ever hear the words “I want to paint my cabinets!” coming out of my mouth, they are permitted to beat me about the head and neck to knock a modicum of sense back into my brain. And then call the authorities to have me institutionalized, because I’ve clearly lost my mind.

How I got myself into this mess is pretty simple to explain. I’m handy! ish. After spending months poring over Pinterest and Houzz tutorials and YouTube videos about how to paint kitchen cabinets, I finally decided to tackle the job.

My Great HGTV Moments

The Experts said:

Clean your cabinets.

I did! A sink full of water and an industrial degreaser made short work of that chore, which, with 20 doors and 8 drawer fronts, still took about a week to free them and the cabinet boxes of approximately 30 years of ick.

Sand and prime.

I did! Boy, did that take a long time! I carefully sanded and used a sealing primer. By the time I got to this point, I was all in. There was no turning back. I was still enthusiastic.

Paint the cabinet frames first.

I did! And discovered the annoyance of running and dripping paint. Which meant that I used razor blades to shave the tops off of dried drips that I missed, and I had to resand between coats.

Let’s just say that my enthusiasm took a hit.

Paint the doors and drawers next.

I did! Except that when I started, nighttime temps were pretty low and that meant that I had to paint a couple of drawers or doors at a time inside the house because it was too cold in the garage for the paint to perform properly. That was bad. And then there were the random cat hairs and paw prints across freshly painted surfaces. More sanding. More painting. Argh.

The Listing photo of the original sink.

By this time my inner Fixer Upper was ready To. Just. Stop. For obvious reasons – needing a place to cook, for one – I had to call upon my inner Joanna Gaines to stumble to the finish line.

I started the project in the middle of January and just finished the third week of March. Yes, there was an occasional long gap between tasks as I doubted my own sanity while staring at the doors and drawers and trying to will them into finishing themselves.

My new sink! pre-backsplash.

To make it worse, the last two weeks were the worst because the warmer weather meant that I could finally go into the garage and paint doors en masse, but there were new obstacles on the way to kitchen cabinet nirvana.

If you live in Las Vegas you know that dust is a problem. It’s a problem with wet paint, especially. And when dust is mixed with yellow pollen, there’s a breeze and the garage door is open, well. More sanding.

And then for some reason, tiny insects decided that they just had to commit suicide on my freshly painted doors. Besides tweezing their little carcasses from the paint, there was even more razoring, sanding and repainting!

There was an incredible amount of cussing during this whole ordeal. I discovered words that I didn’t even know that I knew.

Am I Done? More or Less. Sorta.

So here’s the upshot.

Granite covered to protect from mastic and grout.

I have a bright and beautiful kitchen thanks to my now-white cabinets. Despite the painting “adventures,” the money I saved allowed me to purchase my granite countertop, a new dishwasher (that was unexpected, but the old one died), subway tile backsplash (pictured and almost finished), stainless steel sink and commercial-style faucet, and my beauteous BlueStar range. All paid for and no new debt. My goal is to be debt-free by the time I retire, and I’m well on my way to accomplishing that!

A refrigerator is on my shopping list, but that’s for summer when my reserves aren’t so depleted.

Back to Wine

So, other than turning a cave into a bright and beautiful room, why would I put myself through such misery?

Well, because wine.

I love to entertain, and having an open and friendly kitchen where people can come and “help” while pouring wine, congregating, and enjoying each other’s company (or while learning new wine factoids) is very important to me. While this project has taken me out of the loop over the course of the last few months, it’s been worth it. When my kitchen is finally done, I will look upon this the same way I look upon labor at childbirth. It’s a pain while you’re going through it, but the final result is wonderful. (at least until teenagehood, but that’s another discussion)…