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June 23, 2008

This ain't no painting....

Thisaint2

This ain't no painting, but it has been the creative project from hell.  It is also a "Story from my Kitchen" rather than a "Story from my studio," so bear with me here as I desperately need help finishing a project that I started 2 years ago, put off till 6 weeks ago, and have been in the midst of every day since.

Topkitchencabinets I am refinishing my kitchen cabinets. I must have been crazy to think this would be an enjoyable project, no matter how "do-it-yourselfer" I am. 

The cabinets were this ugly beige wash finish from the 80s with brass knobs.  In addition, I have this ugly floral wallpaper to contend with and strip off after the cabinets are done (if they ever get done).  And to top it off - I've never wanted to get back to my studio and paint something I enjoy so bad in all my life!.  Here is a list of my process - so far:

1. I lightly sanded the cabinets, blew off the dust with a hairdryer, and rubbed off the cabinets with a tackcloth.

2. I primed with an oil-based primer from Benjamin Moore. (1 coat)

Kitchencabinetsinprogress 3. I put on 2 coats of Benjamin Moore oil-based paint - "Linen" color. Oil paint tends to level out better than latex, although it takes longer to dry (24 hours) it is worth it.

4. Then I rubbed the cabinets down with a brown paper bag to take off the little dust particles and bumps in the paint - or at least as many as I could.

5. I used an electric sander and sanded off the decorative edges of the wood cabinets to give it an antiqued look.  I sanded down to the oak wood.

6. After blowing off the dust and using a tackcloth to take off the excess dust off the cabinets, I put 2 coats of Benjamin Moore stain - a mixture of Walnut and Cedar with Glaze.  I wiped it on, let it sit for a minute, and then wiped it off to get the desired antiqued look.

7.  After that dried, I painted a little floral design on the top curve of the cabinets with acrylic craft paint and it looks great. 

8.  Now what?  I know the floral design will come off with cleaning and polishing over time, so I wanted to put a flat or satin finish on the cabinets to seal the floral design onto the cabinets.  Any suggestions on what I should use and how I should apply it?

Now for the experience from hell.  I went to Benjamin Moore on my husband's suggestion that I should probably put a polyurethane finish on the cabinets and the guy at the paint store said the same thing.  I told them both I wanted a flat, satin-like finish.  I've never used polyurethane and I've never finished furniture so I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I came home, laid out 4 cabinet doors and put on the "low lustre" polyurethane.  3 coats per the instructions on the can and the guy at the paint store.  I am so upset.  I did 4 big doors.  They look plastic.  Is this supposed to be low lustre?  Are you kidding me?

I am going to return all this crap to Benjamin Moore today and tell him that he obviously wasn't listening when I said "Flat or satin" finish. Then I'm going to get the right stuff if there is such a thing.  Does anyone know what I should get to achieve a satin finish that protects the design on the cabinets?  If I don't put any finish, the design will come off.  I need a protective finish on the cabinets so that the design doesn't wear off and the cabinets have a nice even satin finish.

I am going to have to strip these 4 cabinets and start over - from the BEGINNING.  It makes me sick.  So sick in fact that I think I want to throw up just thinking about it.

Is there a spray, FLAT or SATIN, that I can spray on my cabinets to seal the design and keep them looking natural and not glossy and plastic?  If you know, PLEASE HELP!

Susan



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