June 11, 2009

Cabinets = Stained :: Mom = Best Ever

Last month we tackled a project that I had been dreading ever since we moved in. In fact, since we moved in, I have tried to come up with a variety of excuses as to why we shouldn't do it. But, in the end, Jesse won, and we re-stained our kitchen cabinets.

Let me begin this post by saying I have the most wonderful mother in the whole world. Now, I know that other people think the same thing about their moms. And, that's okay. I just . . . you know . . . in the end . . . I know I'm right about mine.

My mom came to visit for a whole week in the middle of May. It's the longest she has stayed . . . and we filled up the week having the best time together! I had to work for three of the days that she was in town (ran out of vacation time) so before she came she kept telling me that she wanted to help with some projects around the house while she was here to keep her busy. Well, one of those projects that kept coming up was re-staining the kitchen cabinets. Like I said before, I tried to come up with many excuses to not have my mom working her butt off while she was on vacation (really I did). I truly felt bad in having her do this. But, in the end, it only seemed logical that if we were ever going to do this project, now would be the time.

Here are the cabinets before their makeover . . .

Before Mom came into town we took the cabinet door fronts and drawers to a strippery . . . a place called Ye Olde Strippery, which is in town . . . what? Yes, I'm serious. Doing that was more expensive than I thought, but probably well worth it, as it saved us many hours.

After she arrived we had this list to accomplish:

1. Strip and sand the varnish from the bases of the cabinetry
2. Decide whether to stain or paint
3. Choose stain color
4. Apply wood conditioner and two coats of stain
5. Apply three coats of varnish to bases of cabinets
6. Re-hang the cabinets and insert drawers
7. Apply three coats of varnish to cabinet doors and drawers
8. Re-hang cabinet hardware

Did I mention we have 34 door fronts and drawers? Ack! That's a lot of work!

We did steps 1-3 together (with the help of my wonderful mother in-law). Then, Mom put on the first coat of stain all by herself while Jesse and I were at work! It took 8 hours. Oh. my. Mom and Jesse applied the second coat together the next day. By the time she left we had done part of the varnishing. During the following week Jesse and I finished it up. Here's the project completed!

I made some curtains for the windows. We had some leftover king size pillow cases that we don't use. Those became curtains. I hope they like their move from the linen closet to the windows.

Still have some painting to do. I would like to paint the doors white to match all of the other woodwork in the house. And, we still need to address the floor and the oven . . . eventually.

We're so happy with our (new) cabinets. They came out just as we had anticipated. I'm loving the contrast of the cabinets with the wall color. Perfect.

Thanks for your help, Mom! We love it.

Eat Your Veggies (Part III)

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, May 2008

Well, I did it. I pared down my garden shortly after I wrote the last post. Although it was difficult to start it wasn't so bad once I got in there. I had to keep reminding myself that we couldn't possibly eat all the vegetables that those plants were going to produce anyway. Eight tomato plants full of tomatoes? Not likely.

On the same day we finally were able to pull some lettuce from the garden and eat it. So exciting! It went nicely with bleu cheese burgers. (Bleu cheese purchased in Fairbault, MN with my mom!) Yum.