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Day 2: Sanding & Priming (and Sanding & Priming)

[This is part of an ongoing series chronicling our one and half week attempt to finish a handful of moderately involved home improvement projects.  See the whole series here.]

Today started early — at least for me — when Nora decided to wake up and get out of bed at 6am.  It’s not uncommon for the kids and me to be up that early, even on weekends, but it was unusual today that Ben stayed in bed until almost 8!

So Nora and I were on our own, and I was itching to get back to painting the cabinets, giving Nora a rare opportunity to watch more than 30 or 40 minutes of televised content in a row.  Nora rocked out to the Backyardigans while I started washing and priming cabinets, drawer boxes, and shelves.  I queued up today’s album of the day (RJD2‘s In Rare Form), and made a good deal of progress before Ben & Amy joined us around 8.

Amy and Nora ran out to Home Depot to get some more 60 grit sandpaper and more small paint rollers.  It seems like there’s a pile of sandpaper on every other horizontal surface in the house, but somehow we ran out of the coarse stuff last night while Amy was sanding the stairs. I primed all morning, and Amy spent some more time on the stairs.

Since it’s our last full day with the kids for a while, we wanted to spend some time with them, so didn’t really do much around the house all afternoon.  Instead the four of us piled onto the bikes (me pulling Ben on his ride-behind with Nora’s trailer attached to that) and rode around to a few open houses in the neighborhood.  Yes, we stopped working on our house to go look at houses for sale.

Cabinets, primed

After 2 coats of paint (middle cabinet)

Various cabinet pieces

This evening and tonight we kept at it.  While there wasn’t any DIY drama today, we did make some good progress.  By the end of the day, I had all of the upper cabinets primed (the lower ones need to wait until we take out the old countertop), and had finished my prototype cabinet (1 coat of primer + 2 of paint .. we’ll see if that’s sufficient).  I also got all of the drawers, the last 2 cabinet doors, and one side of all of the cabinet shelves primed.  The downstairs is stinky and I’m covered in paint flecks.

Amy is pretty much done sanding the stairs.  Last night she did an awesome job sanding the railing clean.  On the stairs themselves we’re not trying to remove all of the stain, but rather just rough them up enough to remove the old carpet pad adhesive and make sure the new stain will take.  The stairs have been covered with carpet for ~15-20 years, and our intent is to get them looking nice while keeping the current color (which means we can avoid sanding the detailed trim, spindles, etc.).  On the right below is our test railing, which is really starting to look nice.

Stairs, sanded

Stairs, sanded

Finished railing

Disclaimer: While I’m sure it’s rather obvious, I was instructed to clarify that hte pictures in this post are from my iphone camera, and were taken by me (as opposed to by Amy with a real camera).