Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mr.Pawprints' Secret Project (Kitchen Storage)

Hello there!

This is Randy, Christine's awesome husband, writing a surprise guest blogpost. I've done a little project on my own and it's meant to be a surprise for her when she gets home tomorrow night. She's heading out to the Nuremberg airport as I write this, so hopefully she doesn't have internet access along the trip here. I've missed her very much and I'm super excited that  I don't have to cook anymore I get to hold my wife again =) Really though, she's stinkin' awesome and I can't wait.

Anywho, I found this little piece of work at the Airman's Attic just yesterday.

Normally I would turn my nose up at particle board furniture simply because it can be rickety and tough to work with, but hey, it was free. Christine has been agonizing over something that will provide more counter space in our cozy kitchen and this piece is just the solution. I'm not sure what purpose it served in its previous life. It looks like a tv stand or something, but now it is destined to become a kitchen island.

The dank, dark recesses of furniture purgatory

Now, we already have enough secondhand furniture hibernating in purgatory (i.e. the garage) as it is, so I didn't want to just add this to the list of things that may never see the light of day. It amazes me that even from 6,000 miles away, Christine can still find abused, neglected furniture for me to venture out and rescue. She's like the cat lady of used furniture. I decided it would be a good husbandly deed for me to fix this up and surprise her with it, but I didn't have a lot of time. I'm also lazy, so that didn't help matters very much. To all the lazy husbands out there with Pinterest addicted wives like mine, I feel for you, but you CAN be supportive and you DON'T have to be a master carpenter to do this. No really.

First off, I sanded down the desk. Don't let that horrible word discourage you. Sanding stinks, but when it's just a cheap piece of laminate furniture, attention to detail isn't required. The point isn't to sand away all of the ugly laminate stuff. Just let the primer cover that up; that's what it's for. Particle board has a tendency to absorb moisture, such as condensation from a glass, causing small bumps to swell up on the surface. It's important to sand down any such bumps along with any other rough or uneven areas. I don't really have any fancy tools, but if you just take half of a sheet of sandpaper and fold it into thirds you will be able grip it more easily. Start with something rough like 60 or 80 grit and then smooth it off with 120 or 180 grit. Also be sure to fill in any holes or gashes with wood filler. Oh and be sure to tighten all of the little screws in the assembly as they may have loosened over time. Wipe it off with a clean rag when you're done sanding.

That wasn't too bad now, was it? 
Next, start rolling on the primer. I used a 4-inch paint roller and Zinsser Bullseye water based interior primer. I bought a gallon of the stuff last year and I still have plenty to spare. It goes a long way. I waited an hour after the first coat, then painted on a second thin coat of primer. I quickly sanded down the piece with the finer sandpaper just to smooth any uneven spots or paint flecks that may have dried on. I dusted it off again and cleaned the roller sponge to prepare for painting.

There's always a pic of the pups for some reason. Stinkers.
Now comes the hardest part: deciding on a color. This is especially difficult if your wife likes to buy a dozen paint samples with each trip to Lowe's. I'm not very well educated on the color wheel, so to me "coral", "salmon", and Pepto Bismol are all just pink. Either way, I didn't choose pink, but I did choose green. We had quite a bit leftover from the changing table we did a couple of months back. I thought it would bring some life to the kitchen along with some extra counter space. She might just think it clashes with everything in sight. Only time will tell.

I painted on a coat of Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer in "Cliveden Pasture". I know it says "Paint + Primer" so it seems redundant, but it's cheaper to paint on a couple of coats of white primer beforehand than it is to have to paint on several coats of expensive fancy paint. I painted on another coat and let it dry for a few hours. I also found a small sponge brush and used it to touch up the little hard-to-reach crevices around the doors, since I was too lazy to take them off. I'm telling you, I will find the easiest way to get good results.

One coat down, one to go!
Now I'm almost done with this marvelous piece, so I can bring it in the house and get it situated. I had about half an hour before I had to go get Christine and I still wanted to give it some sort of finishing touch. I found some floral stencils lying around and decided that would be perfect! I taped the stencil onto the drawer and dabbed some paint on. The paint was a little messy in a couple of spots, so I used a q-tip to neaten it up.

Just the 'finishing touch' I was looking for!
I reattached all of the knobs and handles and put the shelves back in and quickly hauled the piece into the house. Of course, as I'm hauling this thing inside, the dogs tried their very best to weave between my legs and cause me to trip and fall and die, but fortunately they were not successful. Not today at least. 
Cold-blooded killers.
All done! Now we have a bunch more counter space and I even managed to squeeze the microwave in there! Time to go pick up Christine! The pressure is on. I'll let you know it goes. Wish me luck!
No elbow grease required.

- Mr. Pawprints and Paintbrushes 

UPDATE: She loves it =)


  1. That is awesome, both the the project and the husband. To go so far as to put a stencil on it & blog about it is very commendable. I am impressed:)

  2. I was impressed! Lol. Thanks for the comment =]

  3. I think that qualifies you for the Husband of the Year award, especially since you added the detail of the stencil!! What a wonderful surprise, and I love the color!!!

  4. Thanks for the comment, and my husband is surprisingly good at picking out colors for our furniture, I almost always let him have the final word on a color =]

  5. I LOVE this! Such a sweet idea by your husband and I love that he was willing to make all the decisions.

    1. I know, it was very take charge of him! Normally he just lets me decide everything and says "Yes Master".

  6. The color you picked is fantastic! I love the transformation.