Oct 4, 2013

Kitchen Remodel Update #2

We interrupt Friday Finds today to bring you a kitchen remodel update.
This week I've been up to my eyebrows in paint stripper, stripping the paint from the 103 year-old dining room china cabinet doors we're planning to reuse in our new kitchen. I'm afraid I didn't get to make my rounds for Friday Finds.

  I started out a few days ago working on the deck, the perfect place to do this job.

 Then rain and cold temperatures forced me inside. (The rain also delayed my contractor another week, and I'm SO glad now I put my head in a place that has plenty of time for this remodel!)

 Stripping paint is a messy serious process, and though the Citristrip I used is supposedly safe to breathe (and smells like oranges,) it will eat through almost anything it touches. 

 The thick orange glop is painted on, left half an hour or more, and then a layer of bubbled sticky paint is scraped off.

 Chemical-safe goggles and gloves are a requirement. You don't want a spatter of this stuff in your eyes. This was brought home to me when the first pair of whimpy house cleaning gloves I wore were eaten through within a few minutes. I borrowed my husband's serious gloves after that. I also accidentally got a tiny smear on the TV remote, and it ate a pretty good dent right into the hard plastic. Serious stuff. 

I put a heavy tarp down with a cheap throw-away one on top, so I could roll it up and toss it when I was done with each session. I tried to catch all of the gloppy paint as it was scraped off into the top of a shoebox wrapped in a plastic grocery bag that I could replace and throw away periodically.

 I had to take my shoes off each time I stepped off the tarp to be sure I wasn't tracking any slime through the house. I wouldn't let Tucker off the sofa for fear he'd step in a stray drop of glop and burn his paws. Needless to say, he wasn't thrilled with his confinement! 

I only have room inside to work on two doors at a time. To get only one side of the first two doors to this bare wood stage, I painted the glop on seven times and scraped off seven separate layers of white paint over two days. I did the math, and I figured these cabinet doors were repainted approximately once every fifteen years over the past 103 years.

I'm doing this messy job because the cabinet doors have so much paint on them they won't stay latched closed anymore. After all of them are stripped, I plan to prime and paint them white again. 

With more doors waiting to be stripped this weekend along with an entire kitchen waiting to be packed up, I'm wondering if I'm a bit crazy to be doing all of this for one old cabinet!

Hopefully, it will all be worth it in the end and I'll be happy to have preserved a charming piece of the history of my old cottage. 

 Thanks so much for stopping by today. Please visit the Friday Finds tab at the top of the page to enjoy some past Finds, and I'll be back with new ones next week. 





  1. Wow!! Your industrious-ness puts my pale efforts to shame!! I bow to you, busy lady!!

    You now, I'd never thought about the puppehs being autumnal colored, but you are so right! I wonder if I could paint a little Boise Blue leaf on them!!

    Just kidding!

    I cna't wait to see how everything turns out ~

    Hugs ~

  2. I've tried to use this stripper before and it just got too messy for me so my hat goes off to you! I can see you've done a great job getting it off the ones you already done. It'll be worth it when you're all done!

  3. What a lot of work for one cabinet! But I bet you'll love it in the end. I don't know if I would have the patience for a big job like this...and that sounds like scary stuff to eat through heavy plastic!
    Debbie :)

  4. what a job! But I too am sure it will be worth it in the end....I look forward to seeing it in the end. :)
    Hoping you can get back outside with this project in the very near future.


  5. Thanks for the warning on the stripper. I have always wondered. I know the doors will look fantastic when done.
    Happy Saturday.

  6. Wow Laurel I don't envy this job at all. A lot of hard work indeed! The dog does look lest then thrilled. Better to be safe for him though. Can't wait to see everything!


  7. Yikes - this is a lot of work! I'm impressed, and very much looking forward to more updates.

  8. I love that you are reusing a vintage china cabinet. It will be worth it!

  9. Laurel, you are really working hard! I am impressed with your progress and can't wait to see how everything turns out! Hug that sweet doggie for me!

  10. I'm so glad you posted this. I am trying to strip the windows in my living room. The paint stripper I tried did nothing but make a big mess. I'm going to go buy this and try it. Thanks!


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