Browsing Category: The Mother Cabinet Project

2 Steps Forward, 3 Steps Back??

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been reminded (yet again) why I ever named The Mother, THE MOTHER.  If you need to catch up, make sure that you visit my past posts on this very lengthy, time-consuming, and at times, frustrating project – just click on The Mother Cabinet on the right.  Hurry, I’ve got lots to tell you!!

Yes, there were a few “Mother, Mother, Mother!”‘s uttered… and yes, I did have a Donald Duck moment.  But I’m putting that behind me, because this week is all about progress.  It’s also week 30 in baby bump land, which means that channeling my inner yogi is key, but also means that the clock is ticking!  I’ve got to get this done FAST!

So, what happened?  Well, two things…


The color was waaaayyyy too light.  I ended up selecting the middle option, Polished Silver and once it was on the cabinets, me did not likie at all.  Nuts.

My 2nd problem arose after contacting the nice people over at Graco about a spray issue. I noticed that after spraying the primer my cabinet walls were smooth, but that the actual counter top was super rough.  I tried all sorts of ways to spray, but ultimately that over-spray was just killing me.  I want peanut butter smooth cabinets, people!  Isn’t that why I’m spraying them in the first place?!

So, they suggested a new tip, NAR 311, and seriously I felt like the clouds parted.  What? Different tip options!  It’s like I had a new Barbie doll that I could dress up – Whoo hoo for accessories!

It took a few days to get my new tip, then of course, I had to get new paint, this time I went darker with Overcast Sky.  AND with this new spray tip, I had the added bonus of having to strain my paint with what looked like a hair net.  Nice.

New tip attached, new paint, new found excitement = Victory Dance Drips all over the place

Insert the crazy Donald Duck lady here.

I swear I almost went into labor.


If you’ve got gnarly drips then you must get your putty knife and carefully scrape them out.  I know!!  It sucks!

Then sand it down with 120, then 220 grit paper.

All that work you already did…. sign.  I know!!  It sucks!!

If it’s a small drip and you’ve given the paint time to dry (like a day or two) just go at it with the sandpaper and you should be ok.  If it gets sticky… uh oh… you need to let it dry a bit more.  I’m such the bearer of bad news today, huh?


I then took a small paint brush that I use on art projects, and touched up the primer.  Once dried, yup, you guessed it, I sanded it one more time.

If it’s not smooth before the paint goes on, it will not be smooth later.  I know!  It sucks!!

Once again, I contacted the person at Graco that’s now on my blacklist, and I was told that I did not spray fast enough.  Great.  The one thing I’m seriously lacking these days is speed.  Maybe I should give up channeling a yogi and think, “Speedy Gonzalez, I am Speedy Gonzalez”?

So, that’s why you haven’t seen an amazing reveal yet.  It IS coming, though.  I promise you that!!

Now if only I can just make good on my promise before this baby touches down!

I hope you’re in less of a pickle!  Happy Creating, Jessica

All Primed and Ready!

Yo, Yo!

The Mother is lookin’ gggooooodddd y’all.  I’m feeling pumped!  I can faintly see that the reign of dust, chaos, clutter (all of the above) will be ending soon.  But not soon enough, if you ask me!

So, here she is prepped for priming…


I put plastic inside all the cabinets because I didn’t want to paint the insides – they’re perfectly lovely as is.  If you are going to do the same, make sure that you leave room on the edges so that there is give.  When you turn that sprayer on, the force will knock out the plastic if it’s super tight.

Here’s a picture once I put up the plastic around the outside of The Mother.  You must, MUST seal off the area as much as you can from the rest of the house.  Otherwise you will have paint particles floating everywhere… landing everywhere, messing up everything – you get the point?  It’ll be bad.


I grabbed a bunch of plastic sheeting from the dollar store, which is great for the walls and ceiling.  I doubled up the floor covering with heavier plastic over a layer of painters paper… I don’t recommend the same plastic on the floor because it can easily rip.

After two coats of primer…


You can see that there are still some spots coming through and seams showing…


I grabbed my trusty paintable calk and touched up the seams.  SOOOOOO much better.  Ahhh.  Then I lightly sanded the whole thing and did two more coats of primer.

Anyone counting??  Yes, that’s 4 coats of primer!

The paint guys at Dunn Edwards said this was highly unusual but I think that when you’re using a sprayer you don’t get the same heavy coverage that you normally would with a brush.  Add that to some seriously sanded areas, and you’ve down 4 coats and 3 gallons of primer.

But she is mighty bright in that white, huh?

Now I need your help!  I’m picking paint colors and I have three choices for you.  Help Me!!  I really like them all, so this is going to be tough.

I put my samples on this board so I could move it around and check out different angles and lighting.  Sorry for the blurry picture, but at least you can get some red in there and the bluish-green hall color.


Left to Right –

Overcast Sky



Polished Silver


And (the lightest option) Winter Solstice


Any jumping out at you?!?!

Please help me fill in the last (and probably most important) decision so I can FINISH THIS PROJECT!!

I hope you are all having a great week!  It is so beautiful outside I just want to finish this painting and run around smelling flowers ala Pepe Le Pew.  That skunk knows what’s up.

Happy Creating!  Tootles, Jessica

Tips for Patching and Sanding – That you probably haven’t heard before!

Hi Amigos!

I’m finally able to share with you some of my knowledge.  After literally spending days of my life sanding The Mother, at least I’m A. Ready to prime the heck outta ‘er, B. Happy to have dust out of my hair, house and nostrils and, C. Can really say that I’ve earned my big girl sanding pants!

Don’t know what The Mother is?  Please read up here, so we can all jump for joy together on my super-duper, long overdue progress!!

With me?

Now let’s talk Sanding….

The hub got this when I had me back turned
The hub got this when I had me back turned

Tip #1 – Make sure that your sander has the right pad

Maxi pad?  No, not quite.  Although, you could use that as an analogy… get the wrong pad and you could have quite a disaster on your hands… er pants…er tmi, sorry.  I’m talking Backing Pad.  I have a Bosch sander and if you do too, you are in luck.  You can chat with them on-line about your product (this goes for any of their tools) and they will give you the product codes that you will need.  (So useful when you’re in a bind!)  In my case, I needed a backing pad for flat sanding or a “hard pad”.  A soft or extra soft pad would be used if you are doing contour sanding, i.e. edges, rounded corners.  Different pads run about $10 bucks each and take about 30 seconds to change out.  Wondering what the pad looks like on your sander?  Well, it’s the black area that you put your sand paper on.  You will also need to change the pad once the paper doesn’t stick anymore.  Who knew, huh?!


Tip #2 – Before filling any holes, run your hands along all wood seams and apply force.

Did anything move?  Wiggle jiggle?  If your seams/joints are not tightly glued, screwed or nailed together you will have issues later.  What do you think your powerful sander will do to those patched seams?  It will find the weakness and chip out the filler.  No bueno, friends.  You will cry after you spend hours diligently filling all those cracks – Don’t let this be you.  Apply wood glue to seams, and reinforce any areas with screws, where possible, BEFORE you sand.

*After you force glue into the seams make sure that you wipe the residue with a damp cloth.  You don’t need extra work sanding!

Tip #3 – Use caulk to fill larger gaps before filling them with wood filler

Under normal circumstances you would not do this, but if you’re knee deep in a project like this where you are repurposing pieces and trying to make it all fit together, then yes, you’ll have some gaps to deal with.  Pick a latex formulation that’s easy to clean, cut the tip straight (rather than at an angle) and fill those larger gaps!  Wipe up any mess with a damp cloth or sponge.  So much faster and more durable than just using filler!!  While you’re at it, patch up any moulding that needs fixin’ too!

Tip #4 – Expect to fill holes 2 to 3 times

I know, I know… that’s a lot of work and I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But it’s just a plain ole fact of wood filler.  It contracts when it dries, often cracks and usually doesn’t lay flat on the first application, even on the smallest of holes.  Prepare yourself, you’ve been warned.

What I started with…see the wood piece added on the left side?
2nd application of filler
2nd application of filler
Finally smooth!
Finally smooth!

Tip #5 – Yes, you can use wood filler like an artist.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get this moulding on the front to match when I installed it.

See how the curves are all mismatched?
Yup, this is the kinda thing I had to deal with.
Yup, this is the kinda thing I had to deal with.
After the Dremel and the 1st application of filler
After the Dremel and the 1st application of filler

Now you can hardly tell!  Using the sanding attachment on my Dremel to file down raised areas and then building up dips using wood filler with my finger, you’d have to really look closely to see the seam.  I used an ultra fine sanding sponge for this area since I needed something to go in the grooves – worked great!

Got some dust particles there, but otherwise, smooth as eggs!
Got some dust particles there, but otherwise, smooth as eggs!

Tip #6 – Your eyes can deceive you.

If looks smooth, well maybe it is and maybe it’s not.  There is only one way to really tell.  You MUST run your hands over the wood and filled areas to be sure.  Please don’t get all girlie here and not want to get your hands dirty.  They’re already dirty.  You’re already a freaking mess of dust!  Just listen to muah, and don’t let those rose colored glasses seduce you.

Now I know I don’t have to remind you to wear a mask and protective eye gear, right?  You’re too good for those types of suggestions!  And of course you know that you will end up going through different types of sand paper – starting with a high grit, like 80, then using 120, and finishing up with either a 220 or going one more round with 320.  And of course you know, that you will require 2, possibly 3, different sanders; one for the large expanses of flat areas, one for the corners and details and if you’re lucky, like me, a Dremel might come in handy too.  I’m preaching to the choir?!  Amen, then!

Don’t get discouraged!  Keep with it – ’cause once you start it’s a race to finish.  I was dying over the film of dust covering the house… even though I covered stuff with plastic and vacuumed between sessions, it really gets everywhere.

I can’t wait to show you a finished photo!  It gives me mojo!!

Happy Creating, as always!  Jessica