Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bathroom Cabinet Painting

Living in a construction zone is the most difficult part about home renovations to me.  In the middle of projects, you have to straddle paint supplies when you use the toilet.  We could actually put away supplies at the end of each day, but in the toss up of cleaning up just to have to get it out again, or straddling supplies while brushing teeth, we straddle.  That's just the kind of lazy people we are.
Our master bathroom renovation from start to finish took 5 months.  The contractor spent 3 weeks demolishing, laying tile, and skimming.  Then it took 4 months for us find the time and motivation to finish the project.  Then it took an additional 10 days to finish out the space by painting and hanging fixtures.  Looking back, we should have just paid the contractor the extra $500 to have it done.  The lesson learned there is to be realistic about the amount of time you can and want to devote to a project.  You can pay thousands of dollars for an MBA, or you can take it from the Palindrome's mouths, everything has an opportunity cost.  You can thank us later for that little gem.
Since I wasn't thrilled with the dated cabinetry, we decided to paint them after seeing the solution everywhere.   HGTV, This Old House, and Young House Love all touted the instant and cheap transformation.  Mr. Palindrome took it upon himself to evaluate and compare several techniques, finally settling on the This Old House instructions.  We followed the instructions exactly.
Besides shooting the process with the white balance all out of whack, I also vacuumed the cabinets to clear them of dust.  We had two work areas: the bathroom and the garage.  We dealt with the doors in the garage and then painted the rest of the cabinet where it stood in the bathroom.  It was tight and cramped and quite difficult to paint while in the bathroom.
All told, the process took about 10 hours which includes drying time.  We got pretty frustrated with brush strokes and trying to manipulate a small roller in the tight spaces under the counter.  When I say pretty I mean moderately to heavily.  When I say frustrated, I mean we might have used some language from Mr. Palindrome's former sailor life.
The before and afters for the whole bathroom are forthcoming, but in the meantime, here's a picture of my handsome, cabinet painting, sailor mouthed husband.  The primer mustache pushes me over the edge.  

Have you jumped on the cabinet painting bandwagon? 


  1. I can't wait to see the final result of all your hard work. Sadly, we would do the same thing, start a project and then let it sit for months before finishing it. If only we owned a house and could work on it, I would be straddling renovation supplies too!

  2. i'm impressed that you even took this on--we're a level beneath you two and would go straight to paying someone because we have no diy skills at all. regardless, judging from your other post, you two did an amazing job!