DIY PROJECT: FROM WHITE TO BROWN CABINET STAND

The white laminated stand belonged to Charlie and followed him into our first place together. I think he wanted to throw it out during the first move, but I knew it could be used at the new place. For about five years, the stand held the bath towels and Riley when he needed somewhere to nap. After discovering Riley could open the front doors and slept among the clean towels, a baby proof lock was looped into the handles.

The white cabinet stand followed us to Iowa, where it was kept in the second bedroom next to the bathroom and held the office supplies. Because the second bedroom served as a workroom with wires, pins, needles, and other dangerous stuff for cats, the door was always closed and the stand didn’t need to match the living room decor. With a house and with more space, the cabinet stand will be visible in any room.

With my painting mode in full swing (three items and counting), I decided to tackle the cabinet stand, with the drawer serving as my test dummy. With the surface shiny and smooth, was a primer needed? The answer is yes. Did I use one? No. I headed directly straight to the brown paint and discovered it could be easily chipped off once dry. A little research on the interweb advised priming and sanding was needed with laminate furniture.

Along with some old paints and stains, the previous homeowners had left behind a can of primer. Yay! A primer for ALL SURFACES! After scrapping and sanding off the brown paint, I slathered the surface of the drawer with one coat of primer because I didn’t know if it needed more than one coat. Once the primer had dried, the drawer was hit again with brown paint until I was happy with the results.

I worked on the drawer when I wasn’t painting the old stereo stand, and so when the stereo stand was finished with clear top coat spray paint the drawer was sprayed with it too. To be honest, I don’t think I like the clear top coat spray paint because it feels sticky even after a few days of drying in the sun. Charlie suggested the humid weather may have been a factor and maybe the pieces should have dried in the garage. Lesson learned. I guess.

*sigh* Sometimes I make life more difficult because of these three words, “I wonder if … ” I used the small can of primer on the drawer, but then I thought, “I wonder if the leftover paint plus primer would work on the cabinet stand?” Another great question: “I wonder if the paint plus primer is the same as primer?” The answer is not really. Because after painting a small part with the paint plus primer, I tested the area with brown paint and dragged my fingernail over it when the area was completely dry. The brown paint could still be chipped or peeled off!

Riley usually likes to keep an eye on me when I paint outside on the backyard patio. When the test patch of paint plus primer didn’t work out, I covered the cabinet stand with primer from a spray can, which I don’t recommend using even on a slightly windy day. I would make a terrible graffiti artist, not being able to fully control the dumb spray can (the wind probably was a factor too).

If I had only ignored all the “I wonder if” questions, the cabinet stand might have been finished by now. Seriously. Ugh. I painted whenever I had a chance or at least the ambition. Even after all this effort to make the cabinet stand match the rest of the decor, I think this house is its final resting place. Even with a top coat of sealant, I don’t think the paint will hold up for another move.

Almost done! Woot! After spending hours painting, the cabinet stand needed hours to fully dry before repainting and touch ups. When I wasn’t outside on the back patio, a couple of pesky little chipmunks found refuge underneath my project, cracking open sunflower seeds. After several coats of paints and more touch ups than I could ever possibly imagine, the top coat was finally sprayed on several times over two to three days.

And sorry for the less than stellar “after” picture, but the cabinet stand has already been put to good use. My paint projects have been dwindling (yay! or yay?), but the responsibilities of being a homeowner has been keeping me busy (mowing the big front and back yards — booooooooo — and finding home for all our stuff). My big project or distraction of the moment is scanning old photos and saving them to my computer. Knocking on wood that my computer doesn’t crash.  🙂