9 Things I Learned While Painting the Laundry Cabinets

laundry cabinet before

Before... with a bad paint job and 1,000 weird holes.

all sanded down and ready to go laundry cabinet

All sanded down and ready to go! (and the 1,000 holes have been filled with wood putty)

first laundry cabinet completed

It's a darker gray than what is shown here... but it's done!

Well, I had the whole weekend and what did I complete? One cabinet. Sans door. Out of three cabinets. But to be fair to myself, I did do a whole lotta of sanding, wood filling, re-sanding, more wood filling, san.. you get the idea.. on all three cabinets and four doors.

I also wanted to complete one cabinet first to see if the primer and paint could completely cover the old (badly-applied) paint. So far, so good…

Sanding, wood filing, priming, and painting aren’t very exciting activities and they can take forever, so you get a lot of time just thinking. Which can be dangerous for people like me, because sometimes I rehash the same thought again and again and again and again…. It’s so annoying to be me sometimes.

What did I think about while working on these cabinets? I thought about the things that I’ve learned, that I’m learning right now, things that I wouldn’t do again, and things that I was glad I took the time to do.

And of course I just had to share them with you. Here we go…

1. Bring the light into the garage.

I can only find the time to work on the cabinets after 6pm and seeing as that it’s winter (summer, hurry up already!) it’s already dark outside by the time I even think about putting on my painting clothes. At first, I just made do with the garage light but I was upset the next day when the paint dried and I could see all the imperfections. So I bought a floor lamp into the garage and it really made a HUGE difference!

2. Don’t put the lamp near the garage door (aka outside, aka where all the bugs are)

I think this one is self-explanatory. I had to quit my priming last night when stupid bugs kept on flying into the light and falling on my freshly primed cabinet and quaking to death. And I think I saw a black widow. Nick killed it. Texas… it’s warm (it was 80 degrees yesterday!), but it’s full of bugs and spiders. Especially in the springtime… Ulkghuuuu. Summer, hurry up already!

3. Inspect used cabinets thoroughly, no matter how much of a good deal they are.

I mean, open the door, look at the shelves, look at everything. The cabinets looked like they were in great shape, other than being dirty and suffering from a bad paint job, so we were thrilled with the price we paid for them ($55 for all three cabinets). But remember what I said about the 1,000 holes? Yeah. They were everywhere. I have no idea what the previous owner was doing with these cabinets! Holes in the bottom, holes at the top, holes at the sides, holes in the doors. All drilled in for some purpose… I think? I filled them all with wood putty, so they should be all covered up and undetectable once they’re all painted, but still! Hours of my life… gone… because of these 1,000 holes.

4. If you use a foam brush with primer, work slowly and with patience (if you have any).

Many blogs say they use a foam brush when applying primer and I always thought, ugh! I tried that before but it didn’t work well. But this time I just didn’t want to ruin another brush with oil primer, so I just looked at a foam brush in its eyes and told it that I would try my best. I took my sweet time and was gentle with that foam brush. And it worked great! And once I was done… throw away! Bye! No washing! Except for my hands… which brings me to the next point.

5. Wear sexy doctor gloves when working with oil primer.

Yes, you can wash the oil primer off your hands with olive oil (true story), but it’s gross and a waste of good olive oil and not really THAT effective. Just wear latex gloves. If you’re allergic to latex, there are latex-free gloves. And if you’re breastfeeding? When the little baby screams for food, you just pull them gloves off and wash the latex reside off your hands and become food! Easy.

6. Just do it. Or you’ll wish you did it… for the rest of your life.

I had a few moments of staring at a hole that I had overlooked and thinking, “I don’t care anymore. Just leave it. Nobody will notice.” This also was my thought every time I saw a little ding here and a paint splatter there. But I just knew I would only see these things and not the things that I did right when they were done and up in the laundry room. Just buckle down and do them. The first cabinet I finished… well, there’s a little ding in there and I completely didn’t see until it was all done. I am pretending that it doesn’t exist (it totally doesn’t exist! it’s not there!) and I refused to make the same mistake with the other cabinets. Thus, all the sanding, wood filling, etc etc etc that I did this weekend.

7. Tack cloths are a gift from heaven.

Tack cloths aren’t new to me, but I really realized how wonderful they are this weekend. I was getting sick of how my tack cloths were getting so dirty so fast that I just tossed them aside and used wet wipes instead and then paper towel to dry up. Then I was ready to paint… but I still could feel dust laying on the wood and smiling up at me. I took a swipe with a tack cloth… ALL GONE. They really do work. If there’s a LOT of dust, I do the wet wipe, paper towel, and then tack cloth. And if there’s a LOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT, I…

8. Just vacuum the dust up. Even if you don’t have a shop vac.

I was getting really frustrated at all the dust that built up in the corners of the cabinet. And when I turned it to paint another side, all the dust would come out and land on my fresh paint job. So I vacuumed it. Ahhh. It’s more fun to vacuum up sand dust than it is to vacuum the carpet. Because I hate our carpet. And I’m beginning to love our laundry cabinets.

9. Putting tape on wood is evil.

I really dislike the person who had the cabinets before us. They put tape on the back of one of the doors and that tape must have been 10 years old or something. There were four pieces of tape and I tried taking them off but the sticky-ness stuck around. I had to sand them off. Sanding worked, but still. Don’t put tape on wood. Please. Thank you. I hate tape on wood almost as much as I hate winter. Can summer please come now?

Well. If you’re looking for me tonight, I’ll be in the garage.

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One Response

  1. All the points are very helpful..we keep these points on our mind while painting the Laundry Cabinets.thank you for sharing these ideas with us.

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