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Kitchen Blitz

This weekend was almost as productive as I had intended. Alert the media!

Thursday having dissolved into a whirlwind sink purchasing frenzy, I was determined that Friday would be by-the-book. So what happened on Friday? Naturally I came home and found that the sink I had ordered for the half bath had arrived. I seem to have a sink obsession all of a sudden. So of course I had to pop it out of the box and try it out in the bathroom. I think it’s going to look nice. Like many things, not what I ultimately want, but it will do very well until we’re ready to start crowbarring out fixtures and walls and things. We’re not putting it in immediately. I figure that we’ll put it in *after* we’ve installed the new light. That way if we drop anything, we’ll ding the old sink that’s coming out, not the brand new one.

Anyone need a bar sink?

Bob was manufacturing cabinet doors when I came home, and took a break to admire our new sink. After that, we began a whirlwind cutting, sanding, gluing, priming, painting extravaganza. The weekend is all sort of blurred together into one long sequence overlaid with the smell of Zinsser and ammonia. Yummy. To make a long story short, we didn’t leave the house except to go to Lowes or Home Depot. All sixteen of the kitchen cabinet doors have been made, and all but four are primed and painted. Those four just need a second coat of paint tonight. The new drawer fronts all have their first coat of paint, and will get a second tonight. The room feels much larger, and is unbelievably lighter. And I, naturally, looked at all of this last night and said "Maybe I should have picked a darker color." No, I’m not planning to repaint. The difficulty is that the color is plenty dark in natural light and a little too light in artificial. What I may do is some sort of accent shade on the new doors, but not until we’ve lived with them for a few months. I really am happy with them, but I’m completely incapable of not second-guessing myself.

High points:

*We each screwed up our measurements once and had to buy a couple of extra pieces of wood. Not too bad.
*I slipped on the stepstool and jammed the grab bar into the top of my knee. The bruise is *spectacular.* Do you know that feeling when you hit and scrape, and you just *know* that blood is running down your leg, but when you roll up your pants’ leg there isn’t anything there? Yeah – it was one of those. Since I did it on Friday, I naturally spent the entire weekend whacking it with things.
*The grease infiltration on the tops of the cabinets is too bad even for sandpaper. Even for aggressive sandpaper. Plan B is to cut some luan plywood, screw it down to the tops, and prime and paint it so that it’s sealed. Then pretend that it’s not up there until we can replace the cabinets someday.
*Bob REALLY likes his miter saw. A boy and his saw – it’s a beautiful thing.
*I* got to use my prybar to very carefully remove the drawer fronts. Guess what I banged it into? That would be the bruise on my knee.
*I survived a weekend in the 80’s and 90’s with no air conditioning and very little whining.

Things I have learned:

*The reviewer who described Zinsser as being "hell in a can" was being overly restrained. It was better in the kitchen, being a larger room, but that stuff is wicked.
*Zinsser will bleed under the edge of blue painter’s tape.
*Zinsser will actually come off surfaces where you didn’t want it. You just need ammonia, a scrub brush, and a lot of elbow grease. A respirator might not be a bad idea either.
*The only thing worse than the smell of Zinsser? The smell of Zinnser AND straight ammonia.
*Everything takes longer than you think it will.
*Everything needs two coats.
*My cabinets are really badly made, and badly attached. I already knew that, but it bears repeating.
*Caulk hides a multitude of sins.
*Heavy grease clogs sandpaper *really* fast.
*Wet paint attracts cats.
*"Measure twice, cut once" is an axiom. What they should also mention is to check to make sure that you’re measuring the right thing. You can measure seventeen times, but if you’re measuring the wrong item, you’re still going to cut it wrong.
*We need more clamps. You can never have enough clamps.
*Houses are hard work.

This last one isn’t any kind of surprise to me. But it’s the closest I can bring myself to whining about the fact that I spent a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in my kitchen with no air conditioning breathing paint fumes. It was worth doing, and I’m glad we did it, but I’m experiencing a certain resentment of everyone else’s good time. Eh. Some people have picnics, we paint things. It’s just a difference in emphasis.

Have I mentioned that I’m really tired of painting?

I never touched the laundry alcove. With everything else I had going on, the thought of dealing with wallpaper glue was more than I could handle. So there it sits. Patiently waiting.

Tonight we’re going to start hanging the cabinet doors that we spent all weekend building, which means that we’re going to get to play with the laser level Dad gave us for Christmas a few years ago. We need to get at least a few up so that I can send a picture to my mother before the suspense kills her. I anticipate a visit from my parents any moment now.