Cabinet Project Progress

Sometimes I feel as though I am not making any progress with my many projects.  I imagine that many people experience feelings of failure because they never get a project started.  It is best not to look at a project as a source of failure from the start; no one would ever get anything done.

The mud-room/laundry at my daughter’s house is a case in point.  While it is almost finished, it is not quite there.  Painting the doors was a long, hard lesson, but a valuable one in many ways.  The project started when we, The Hammond Amish Construction Company (Amish, only in the sense that we are an all hands on deck kind of family when it comes to projects), tore out layers of old vinyl and linoleum flooring and laid slate tiles throughoutthe kitchen and into the newly expanded mud-room/laundry.  

The following holiday, we gathered again; and the guys got the IKEA cabinet boxes installed over the refrigerator and stackable washer/dryer, and alongside both appliances.  The semi-custom-built doors were made by a company that specializes in door fronts for IKEA boxes.  The next phase was the painting of the doors, which meant I needed to get the paint room— aka the Dexter Room— assembled, thanks to handy husband/dad.  Once that had been accomplished, I needed the sprayer to go on special, which happens twice a year, the spring and fall.  Come spring, I was ready;  or so I thought, as described in an earlier article.  The painting started off badly, because I was sold the wrong paint, the most difficult paint with which to learn this new process.  

However, we overcame the problem; and the doors are finished and installed—well most of them.  No project can go flawlessly; IKEA did not provide all the hinges we needed, or perhaps the correct ones for the two longest pairs of doors.

You may be wondering if I would ever be willing to tackle cabinet doors again. The answer is yes.  I began removing some cabinet doors from my hallway.  They are hung with 1938 hidden hinges, and are really interesting and minimalist for the day.  I think preserving them is important, but my hands may not agree.  I managed to get most of the screws out; but after watching my husband struggle, I knew I was in over my head trying to remove them myself.  Once the hinges were free, I began soaking them in a mini-crock-pot to help remove the years of paint.  

Next, I began the removal of the latest layers of paint,  starting with the latex paint that had been put over the older oil based paint from 1938 up to probably the 1960s.  I ended up peeling off the latex paint like peeling off wallpaper.  Most of it was stuck on with static electricity, I think!  Sadly, there was plenty that stuck like glue and I was able to remove it with an orbital sander.  Oddly, there were only about three layers of different colors, the latest being white latex.  I do not think the doors were ever primed.

I will remove all the door fronts from the hallway cabinets with the old hidden hinges and in the hallway where the laundry is, for preservation.  The door fronts are simple and flat.  There is not much to work around, other than getting the channels free of old sticky paint so the cabinets will close properly.  However, I am rethinking doing the same in the kitchen.  There are only a few doors fronts, and they have had newer hinges in place of the old original ones;  I may have new doors made, and save myself the aggravation of stripping the old ones.

I really do enjoy refreshing, refinishing and re-purposing old things, but there comes a time when I, like many other people, must decide if the effort is worth the work.  I will keep you posted on the project.  

As for my daughter’s mud-room/laundry cabinet doors, they look great and she is very satisfied with them; she still needs to get some cabinet hardware, which she will want to coordinate with the kitchen when those cabinets are replaced—and so it goes, a never-ending process to bring new life to old things.  

There is always a price to pay when considering refurbishing or replacing; you do need to weigh the pros and cons of any project, as well as judge your skills and the time that it will take to make it aproject well done.