I am not a crafty person. I am however a fan of the DIY network and anything on the HGTV. I love to watch people turn a piece of junk into something a gay antique collector would spend top dollar on. I have spent countless hours watching savvy home flipping couples as well as those Canadian hunks “The Property Brothers.” I am a bit confused with Canada as a result of their many home improvement shows. Every time I watch an episode I see some first time couple buying a $500,000 home. What do people in Canada do for a living? Are they drug runners? Who makes that kind of money at 25 years old? I can’t afford that type of house at 34. Please, if you read this and live in Canada, email me and tell me what you do for a living. I am dying to know. At this point I believe all Canadians to be lucrative drug dealers with a keen sense for DIY projects.
Last week after watching one of those ridiculous shows, my husband turned to me and said, “Let’s redo the kitchen cabinets.” I have wanted new cabinets since we moved into the house. I was thrilled. “Yes, what kind of cabinets do you want to buy” I asked. His reply, “No, we are going to re-finish them ourselves.” Was he kidding? What do we know about painting kitchen cabinets, or home renovations for that matter? We do watch a ton of HGTV, but I spend most of the time judging the people and making fun of them as they struggle with their projects. This did not seem like a great idea.
We decided to start with the bathroom vanity cabinets in case the project was a huge disaster. We went to Home Depot and bought a quart of paint, some brushes, sand paper, and counter top resurface product. We went home and watched a few U-Tube clips and decided to tackle the project. This was a great time to start because it was dinner time and I was positive that the three blessing would cooperate and help make this project a breeze. I set them up with some corn dogs and juice boxes so I could set up the tables in the garage.
As soon as I was ready to start sanding the cabinet doors, the tribe danced their way into the garage. “Can we ride bikes while you do this?” I opened the garage door and started throwing scooters and bikes into the yard. “Please stay outside while we sand the doors down” I requested. I put on my mask and started going to town on my hated oak doors. As I am sanding like a pro, my youngest rode his bike directly into the table knocking one of the doors onto the ground. “Get out of the garage” I yelled. I don’t remember seeing many children in the DIY shows. Perhaps I should have locked them in a closet so I could get the work finished. After an hour of scooters and bikes ramming into my cabinet doors, I ordered everyone into the living room to watch TV. I gave instructions on what to watch and explained that if they left the carpet, it was bedtime. Not five minutes later the three hemorrhoids were back in the garage asking to help paint the doors. I guarantee that those renovation savvy families give their children away to gypsies during project time. No work was going to get completed with the kids awake.
I took a break and went into the house to put the kids to bed. I then returned to the garage where we continued sanding, scraping, and prepping the doors. We were ready for the first coat of paint. It went on pretty good, but my husband decided that he wanted a different finish, so he ran to Walmart to buy a product to add to the paint. It was now 9:00pm and I was getting tired. While he was gone I decided to try the resurfacing product on the bathroom countertop. I read the directions. It was simple. Clean the counter, use a roller to apply. So I did just that. The paint was super sticky and smelled like gasoline. I was leaving drip lines and bubble all over the place. It looked like shit. I ran to get a rag to wipe it off, but it was too late. The countertop lost the battle. The $20 product I applied was now going to cost me $100 in purchasing a new countertop.
He returned with the plaster and we watched another video on how to make chalk paint. He went into the kitchen and got some of my Tupperware and a spoon to mix the plaster. I wasn’t paying enough attention to him so as he called me to mix in the paint I was about 15 seconds late and the plaster turned into concrete. “Is this how it looked in the video” I asked? Apparently that was not a funny question at 9:45pm. We began to exchange a few choice words and then quickly started mixing a second batch of paint. This batch seemed like it was going to work.
I looked around the garage and it was a mess. Paint on the floors, brushes soaking, bikes, scooters, corn dog sticks, and empty beer bottles were all over the garage floor. I bet this is what it looks like on those shows before the editing process. The house was quiet and it was close to midnight. We had gotten two cabinet doors painted in the course of 6 hours. Those fucking DIY people renovate an entire house in a 30 minute show.
Defeated I took a shower and decided to clean up in the morning. As I was washing my hair I could hear my husband screaming “What happened to the countertop?” This was not going to go over well. 6:30 AM rolled around pretty quickly. Three bright-eyed hemorrhoids were lined up in my room requesting breakfast. I was not in the mood to cook a weekend buffet. We went into the garage to check the cabinets. They didn’t look bad, but there was no way we could do this in the kitchen. We have over 20 doors and drawer faces to paint. At this rate it would take me six months to complete the project.
We decided to take a trip to a specialty paint store. We brought our two finished cabinet doors and shattered DIY dreams. The owner took a look at our door and explained the correct process to painting cabinets. We were out of the store in 15 minutes with another $200 worth of paint and supplies. We went home, put the kids to bed before starting the project and success was upon us. I am happy to inform you that with the correct paint and tools you can paint a cabinet door properly. I managed to paint my bathroom vanity in just a few hours and it looked like freaking Martha Stewart did the project herself.
So I offer you a few tips for those DIY projects that you are planning in your home. Send your kids to sleep away camp. Children and projects do not mix. Buy beer, or a ton of wine. It was helpful with easing the pain of the disaster that occurred on the first try. Don’t be naive and think that it is going to be cheap because you are doing it yourself. I managed to screw up $200 worth of product before we got it right. DIY can initiate divorce. It didn’t go that far for us, but the kitchen is still to be completed. Be strong. If Canadian drug runners can do it, so can we.