Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hall Bathroom Remodel - Post #2 Cabinet Painting


(Post #2 - This is dedicated to details about painting the bathroom vanity)

This is NOT the first time I have chosen to refinish or paint cabinets instead of replacing them. I have actually painted an entire set up of kitchen cabinets at the Moraga house over a period of 6 months. That was a huge chore and not one I want to do again, although I am considering it for this kitchen. When you have a bathroom vanity to update you can either rip it out and replace it, or refinish. Replacing with a new one that has everything included is a great time saver, but it does require demo work and a lot more money. 
I decided to paint these cabinets, and I usually like glossy finishes but this time I decided to try "chalky paint". People use this paint a lot to "antique" something to make it look like a shabby chic item, but I don't like antiques. So I am skipping the whole antique process and just doing the chalk paint with the wax sealer. I am using Valspar paint and wax for this, but this is not an endorsement for a product. No one pays me!
The guy at Lowe's placed the mixing label right over the top of the can! 

To start with, you don't need to strip the finish off the cabinets when using this paint technique and that appealed to me. I did wash the cabinets and then lightly sand them though to get a better grab by the paint.
This is what it looked like before starting.. ugly and with brass hinges!

Close up of a door before the paint
First you paint this really thick paint on and let it dry... I put on 2 coats to cover this darker wood. It is interesting paint because it dries very quickly, about 1 hour but it will scratch easy during the month of "curing" required. It doesn't adhere very tight until it has cured that length of time so you need to be careful with it.

First coat of paint going on

Paint done but not waxed

After your paint has dried you have to wax it to protect the finish. It is a semi-paste consistency as you can see below.

Brush it on and let it set for a few minutes

Wipe it off

The door on the left is waxed and the one on the right isn't - you can see a bit of the shine

After painting and waxing, I replaced the hinges with ones that were polished nickel like the rest of the fixtures and really, it turned out amazing.
New hinges - buy ones that fit the same holes as the old ones!
Finished with hinges
But of course, I couldn't stop there - once everything was back on I thought that it would be nice to add some pulls and knobs to fix it up a bit... so I did!
A little bling!

This is the finished vanity, including the new faucet!
Overall, the entire project took me about 4 days working on it as I could. The wall painting was done in about 2 hours, but I did it twice so a total of 4 hours. The cabinet took about a total of 10 hours work. The light installation was about 30 mins! The new faucet was a bigger project than expected because the hoses had to be replaced. Thanks to my dad that got done in a total of about 3-4 hours. 
The total cost was about $300 with the faucet the most expensive single item at $85. But it is worth it because it looks really nice. If I had a professional contractor do this work it would have taken about 1/2 the time but would have cost me probably $1500 in labor expenses so I think this was worth it!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Butte Fire Photos Feb 2016


Today I took my parents on a drive up a 1 lane road to the top of the mountains where the Butte Fire raged this past fall. I haven't gone up to see it yet because I could see enough from the highways and didn't really want to get closer until now. The area used to be very pretty with large trees and houses and farms and creeks... and now it is devastation. It looks like the moon or after a nuclear war. The area has been hit with rain so the property owners are trying to put down straw to help stop the erosion of the dirt. It was very emotional to see all of this and the piles of wreckage that used to be someone's home. Some people are on their property living in a trailer, while the clean up crews work 7 days a week trying to clear the lots. They have to get everything picked up and a dirt sample has to be tested to be clean of hazardous chemicals before they will allow them to rebuild. Here are some pictures..
Do you see the mountains that are black and the dead trees?

that is straw to help with the erosion

My dad and his dog in the back seat.. there is nothing left here.