I’ve been all alone this week, readers, with another week of pseudo-singleness coming up, while Dan is away in Japan for a wedding. Because I know you’re wondering, I stayed home for several reasons, including not having any money, not wanting to waste my vacation time when a bigger and better trip (DISNEYWORLD) is coming up later this year, and who would take care of Oscar? So, I thought I would make the most of my time alone and accomplish a few house projects. I haven’t told Dan about what I’ve been working on, but if he’s clever like a chimp, and I know he is, he could certainly find a way to read this post. Dan, if you want to be surprised when you come home, stop reading now.
Here was my original list of things to tackle in two weeks:
- paint the inside of a few closets – the dining room, office, and bedroom closets to be exact
- paint the kitchen cart and refinish the top
- paint the wooden stool in the kitchen
- refinish the bathroom vanity
- paint or refinish the dressers from the bedroom
I chose to start with the simplest version of painting furniture, as I’ve never done it before, so the kitchen cart and stool were up first. Spoiler: I will only accomplish three of the tasks on this list, and I lumped two of them together as one project. My list was highly ambitious.
The day after I dropped Dan off at the airport, I went to Rona to gather supplies. Both the kitchen cart and stool were purchased at Ikea when we moved into our first place four years ago, and they are raw, unfinished wood. I never did anything with them, although I had every intention of painting them when we bought them, but kept putting it off until we were in a place where I knew what colour to make them. I suppose it wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world to repaint them a different colour afterwards, but I didn’t.
Here are my subjects, before I did anything to them.
- latex satin-finish paint in “Green Moss” by Sico, the same colour we have on the walls in the dining room
- 150 and 220 grit sandpaper blocks
- something to refinish the top of the cart as a butcher block (more on that shortly)
I started with sanding, and generally just did a rough-up over both pieces with the 220 grit. For the top of the cart, there was more substantial staining and wearing and tear from four years of not being sealed and being used in the kitchen, so I sanded that down with the 150 first, then finished with 220.
The paint I chose (and by chose, I mean the rather terse gal at the paint counter chose it for me after hurrying me through my project description) has a built-in primer, so I only needed to do two coats for the coverage I wanted.
I flipped both pieces upside down and started painting all the under surfaces, so I would be left with the smoothest and nicest looking tops.
Coat one went on like a dream:
The top of the cart was a different story. The same to-the-point paint lady heard “seal” come out of my mouth when referring to the cart top, and she just went and grabbed me some polyurethane. This sounded fine in theory, until you consider that I often use the top of the cart during food production, and I would be lying if I said I never prepared food directly on the surface. Probably not the best idea to use a poisonous chemical to finish the top then, non? I went back to Rona the next day after doing some more research to return the polyurethane, and I bought tung oil instead. It said right on the back of the can that it was ideal for butcher blocks, and that’s essentially what I have.
The instructions for the oil say to apply a liberal amount and spread it around with a lint-free cloth, then wipe off the excess oil after it soaks in for 10 minutes. You can apply more than one coat, just wait 24 hours and sand it a bit with some fine steel wool between coats. Here it is after coat one:
I like the warmth that the oil adds to the wood, and it’s a wee bit shiny, but not at all like a polyurethane or varnish would be. I’ll warn you now, the oil has a particular smell to it, which is still dying down, but I love the result. I normally store my stand mixer on the kitchen cart, but I’m leaving it off for the rest of the week just to make sure it won’t leave funny indents from the weight of the mixer. Aside from that minor point, my kitchen is back to normal, and this was essentially a one-day project with a bit of follow-up. Thumbs up all around.
My other project has been a time-suck, and it just keeps going. More on that soon.