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.  🙂

 

 

DIY PROJECT: THIS OLD STEREO STAND

Now that the cats have a new feeding stand, an old wood project from my high school years can be touched up and used for something else. Woot! So a long time ago I decided to make a new stand for my dad’s stereo/record player (hence no top) for a shop project. Even with careful measuring and well meaning plans, the stereo didn’t fit my thoughtfully made stand. Even now, I know where I had made my mistake, but all the shop terms and lingo have long escaped my mind that I can’t correctly explain my error.

Obviously, my dad couldn’t use the new stereo stand so I think my younger sister, Becky, moved it to her room and used it for something I can’t remember. I’m not even 100% positive Becky nabbed it for her use when I was still in high school, but I remember she had it when she moved into her first house with her husband. Whenever I visited her and saw the stand, I thought, “Hey! I made that!” Then a second thought usually occurred to me, “Why does Becky have it and not me?”

A few years ago, Becky finally returned the stand to me, and it was used to hold a canvas bin and then a feeding stand for the cats. I’m not quite sure what happened to the proposed stereo stand after all these years, and despite all the nicks, scratches and unexplained color splatter (the brown streaks were my test to check if I should use a primer before slathering it in brown paint), it still holds up. My craftsmanship is just amazing! Maybe I should have my own show on HGTV.

The stand was finished with a stain so I guess I needed a primer to help the brown paint adhere. To be honest, I’m still learning what items should be primed before painting. And if I prime, can I use old leftover paint AND primer (as most paints these days are) for my base? Or do I need a special primer? I had plenty of old leftover paint plus primer that I had used as a primer on the step stool and the cats’ new feeding stand so I just used that instead of running to the hardware store.

I am so new to repurposing old furniture into something new that I don’t even know how many prime coats are needed. One? Two? Since I have no idea I have been using one coat of prime before focusing on the brown paint. Stupid Pinterest projects — the pins look so easy. I spent a few days painting the stereo stand a deep rich brown that I had used on the feeding stand and the step stool, which leads me to a question. Does all the decor in the house need to match?

Our color scheme is a basic rich brown — the reclining couch, TV cubicle stand, and some other small pieces are all deep brown. Should everything match? Or should I throw caution to the wind and paint something red or gray or some other color that complements the color scheme? This is why I’m not an interior designer. Anyway, after days of painting and touching up small areas the stand was ready for the final top coat. A sealant, I guess. Have I mentioned I’m not a professional painter?

Riley gives me the stink eye because I won’t let him outside (he’s an indoor cat). The patio screen door is used when someone can keep an eye on the furry little turd because he likes to press his body weight against the screen to pop it out. In the background of the picture, do you see the upside down food dish? That’s his handiwork and the reason for the new feeding stand. I love my little troublemaker. Who can resist that big ball of orange fur?

I decided the old stereo stand is the perfect place for the paper shredder to sit on top and binders containing important paperwork inside the cabinet. A slim magazine holder — to house documents ready for the shredder — will fill the small space between the paper shredder and the right edge. Once the previously white cabinet stand is ready for use, it will go next to the paper shredder stand and be filled with office supplies.