Browsing Category: Projects

Stripping The Mother Doors

Well, Hello there!

Sigh.  After a long weekend of fun, isn’t Monday just… sooooo Monday-ish??  It’s hot up in this mug, too!!  It’s over a 100 in my neck of the woods and it’s just adding to the joy of working on The Mother.  Another long sigh… I’m getting my intake of the AC before heading out again.  Mantra in my head,  You can do THIS.  Pause, while I get some H2O… can you feel my motivation at the moment?!?  Ha!

Well, some progress has been made.  First off, I’ve picked which cabinets will have the honor of a makeover and I’ve already started the fun process of getting the shiny off.

Since there is quite a bit of detail in the doors and trim, I invested in a paint stripper.  I was recommended this brand at the store and it worked pretty well, so I’ll pass on the recommendation to you.


Here are the doors, removed, with the original treatment.

Close up of door/drawer detail

You will need special chemical gloves to do this and time, of course.  I used a cheapy paint brush to get the goop in all the crevices and let it sit for 25 mins.  The directions say 10-15, but I found that it was better to leave it on longer… it definitely came off easier, which is the point, right?!

And I would recommend safety glasses and throw-away clothes.  I did try to scrap it off in shorts and flip-flops, but I swear I could feel my skin burning in areas from the debris flying off.  You will also need a scrapper tool and metal brushes to get it all off.  A wood cleaner is the final step to really clean the chemical off.  But look at that rope detail?!?  So perfect… it’s going to be a shame to paint it up.


Here are the newly stripped doors!  Whoo-hoo!!  All purdy and naked!  These 8 doors took me about a week in all, maybe 30 minutes a day (not including the wait time, which was used for internet surfing work).

Next step, I’m dreading… Oh, The Mother.  Why did you enter my life in the middle of summer?!?

Any projects you’re fighting through the heat with??


Caring for your leafy friends

Howdy All!!

Today I’m replanting some of my orchids.  I got these 3 cute brass vessels at a thrift shop that just opened a few blocks from my office.  $20 bucks total.


Seriously, I think I got the only 3 worthy pieces in there… sometimes I wonder how these places can stay in biz?!  And for a new place it was remarkably dirty.  And cluttered.  But enough of my brain-wandering, did you know that orchids actually require quite a bit of care?!  And truth be told, I have yet to meet a plant that doesn’t require some form of TLC.  Trust me, my black thumb has killed almost every variety of plants you can think of – even those supposed plants that you’re told don’t need water.  Yup, they need water.  I’ve mythbusted that sucker!  So, in my years of loving plants but not doing so well at actually giving them love, I’m trying to be better.  And guess what?  They are actually not dying… so fast… anymore. 😉


Polished these up and they look really shiny, but old – in a cool way (picture is not giving the full effect).  You must use the special orchid blend of soil and they do need a mineral supplement every few waterings.  Not too much, even for me.  And they seem to love the direct light in the mornings by my sink so if your orchid is not blooming again, try that.  Only change the soil after the flowers have withered and only water a small bit once a week… how much to water??  Remember those juice glasses from Denny’s (so tiny)?  Just that.

But doesn’t every home need some green?  It feels better, it smells better, it’s just better.  It’s worth the effort, peeps!

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Have a wonderful 4th!  I’m off to chase the kids around Big Bear!!  Bye!

Introducing “The Mother”

Howdy Everyone!

Today I’m doing some work on a little doozy of a project that I’ve christened The Mother… why The Mother, you ask?!  Well, because (for me) she’s the mother of all projects!  And when she’s frustrated me, I’ll say something like “Mother!!”  It’s very PG around here so that’s as far as it goes, but you get the idea…Sometimes The Mother can be quite a mother.

I have been thinking about adding in shelves and storage to my dining area for quite some time.  Since I’ve had to give up my space to these kiddos, there is just nowhere to keep my fabric, sewing machine, you know, my grandma stuff anymore.  And it would be awfully nice to be able to display my growing collection of antique blue and white Chinese pottery.

Anytime you’re going to embark on a project like this you know there are several ways to go about it. 1. Hire someone; I did meet with 2 incredibly talented carpenters who would make my storage dreams come true for about 10 grand.  2. Buy pre-made cabinets and have the shelves made or go to a cabinet store; Also, investigated this and I would get close to what I was envisioning for about 4k (not bad at all) or 3. Do it myself, slowly over time, with unfinished cabinets to get exactly what I want; Super labor intensive but I could test out my chops.

Weight the pros and cons carefully, Folks!  This is your home and you don’t want a mess of a project.  DIY is cool, but you never want it to look DIY.  Am I right?!?!

My solution came to me on a trip to the ReStore Habitat for Humanity store.  I saw it.  A heap of cabinets and shelves.  The guys just wanted it out of there, so for $300 and a 16ft UHaul it was all mine.

I didn’t even know what I was buying, but it appeared to be in great shape, 100% wood (no veneer here!), and I liked the molding/trim detail.  Plus it came with a bunch of shelves, which is what I was looking for and I figure (I’m still planning it out) that I can make it work.

My garage today-

A view from the top so you can see it’s about 6 feet deep!
Mother! That’s a LOT of cabinets.


Close up of door/drawer detail
Close up of door/drawer detail
My inventory after measuring and inspecting my loot, with a bit of my son’s artwork at the bottom. 12 large pieces in all with a TON of trim, moulding and cabinet tops.

Where can you score something like this??  You’ll need luck, yes, but the ReStore is the place to go.  They get cabinets all the time.  Nothing near you?  Then I would put an add on Craigslist – people love to sell stuff they’re planning on dumping anyway.

So, there you have it.  The mother of all projects that will be my time zapper for the next few months.  I will keep you updated in real time with my progress so that you can be there with me through all the fun steps.  It’s so weird to me when I read a blog and in one day an entire room is completed – Hello!!  We all know it took like a gabillion years to get it done.

That’s the plan, at least.  Cut up some cabinets, patch some holes, use a chemical stripper, sand for weeks, prime, paint, configure, trim it out and put the bling on.  Easy, right?!?

In the meantime…. here’s some inspiration for your shelves out there and kinda what I have in mind.  Ta-Ta!!

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