working hard

So, I’ve had this condo for a little while. I bought it last august, and being a home-owner has allowed me to contemplate things that I could not when I rented.

I said contemplate, not do. I COULD do them, but I pretty much haven’t yet. My home improvement have consisted of painting one wall. That turned out to be a failure.

Except lately, I have decided to attack the kitchen cabinets. The cabinets are what I like least about my home. They are a black walnut color, very very dark. I like wood tones to be more reddish, and lighter. Not too light, but not a black hole.

So, after I had run out of other things I felt like doing, I unscrewed one cabinet door, and looked at it. I bought some stripper and stripped the stain off it. The wood underneath looked pretty good.

Since I had the stripper now, I took off two more cabinet doors. I’ve been working on stripping them, too. It is not an effortless task, stripping the stain off wood. But I’ve been at it.

HOWEVER, the proof is in the finished product. I bought some stain. I wanted a reddish color, so I bought a reddish stain. I got a good hardy one, that would stand up to the abuse a kitchen recieves.

According to the direction, I sanded it, I washed it and I let it dry. But as it was drying, it occured to me that I had a problem.

How could I paint this cabinet door without leaning it against something? And if I leaned it against something, it would mess up the wet finish.

There are two little square cut-outs on the side of the cabinet. I realized that PROFESSIONAL cabinet makers probably use those holes in a special device that suspends the door in the air to dry.

I did not have a professional cabinet making device. I had to improvise.

I cut two clothes hangers and pushed them into the holes. THen I suspended it between two chairs. Voila! the door is suspended.

I let it finish drying, and with great excitement and trepidation, I applied the stain.

It looked fantastic. A lovely rich, but not too dark, red color emerged.


I left it to dry and went to see Chris. I was telling him all about it, and then I said, “You know, this really is going to be a lot of work. Maybe this is an example of my usual M.O., figuring out the hardest possible way to do something. Maybe it would be easier to pay someone to do this for me.”

Chris looked it up. “It says here in the expo catalog, that they will do your cabinets for $267 a linear foot.”

Holy crap! He looked further. “THis kind is $543 a linear foot”

Well. “I guess it’s not such a bad thing to do this work myself.”

We both agreed that Expo is not the cheapest way to redo your cabinets, though. But as Chris said, “You pick the evidence that suits your argument.”

I’m fine with that. The cabinet really does look beautiful.