We are officially HALF way through the Better Homes and Gardens One Room Challenge and I can't believe how much I am enjoying myself. I am really grateful that we stuck with a smaller room for this first journey into the ORC, because I can easily see how it would have gotten overwhelming to take on too much when we have limited access to shopping safely and I am a first timer for so many projects!
For week four, the main focus was taking the vanity from off-white to a traditional blue that would really pop with the golds and coral added to the girls' bathroom and make the pretty floral fabric from the shower curtain sing!
This week, I am going to share my process for painting the cabinets, not because I am by any means an expert, but because I spent a ton of time researching and sometimes one novice explaining it to another is easier to understand. I wanted to take my time and really get a smooth finish on the cabinets that would last the wear and tear of the girls during their younger years.
Eventually we may replace the vanity...but we have so many updates we would like to do to our house that we need to keep things cost effective while we work through all of the rooms. I didn't want to spend a few hundred on a cheaper vanity just to need to replace it down the road, so the best option was to use it as a learning process and go bold and fun and then upgrade down the road if we want as the girls get older!
As for hardware, I debated about whether to paint everything gold or keep the aged white/gold. I looked around at hardware from my favorite stores (like Anthropologie & World Market!) but I just didn't find anything that worked for me any better than the hardware that was originally on there. I still haven't quite decided, but I am really liking how the original knobs look against the blue! Now on to the process.
First was the shopping trip to pick up all of the supplies. I got:
1.) TSP wash to degrease and clean the cabinets. 2.) A sandpaper replacement for the mouse sander in 180 grit. 3.) A 220 grit sandpaper block for sanding between coats of primer & paint. 4.) Denatured alcohol, a cheap paintbrush and rags for cleaning off sanding dust. 5.) Zinsser BIN to prime. 6.) A 1 and 1/2 Purdy brush for trim and the turned parts of the cabinets. 7.) A small roller set and extra roller pads (foam for oil paint and marked 'for cabinets'. 8.) HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Interior/Exterior High Gloss Paint (mine was in 'Convergent Blue') 9.) painter's tape
STEP ONE: I removed all of the cabinet doors and hardware and laid down tarp to protect everything, then set the cabinets up on old planter pots in the garage (all the while thinking I am eventually going to need my own workshop haha). I mixed up the TSP wash with water according to the directions on the bottle. I washed the cabinets down and then wiped them off with a damp rag.
STEP TWO: I used the 180 grit sandpaper & electric mouse sander to rough up the paint on the existing vanity cabinets. Then I used a paint brush to dust them off and did another wipe down with a bit of denatured alcohol (which evaporates on its own).
STEP THREE: I did a coat of Zinsser BIN. A word on BIN...many people hate the consistency. I have used it in many a room now (along with Gardz) and they are both amazing. I like the BIN because it is shellac based and it dries nice and smooth (and quickly!). It IS very thin though, so you need to work slowly and carefully. I almost compare the application of it like brushing through a sensitive child's knotty hair; very slowly, patiently, and carefully so you don't get any drips. Applying the primer to your roller and brush is like adding a spice when you are cooking that is missing the top part of its shaker-a little goes a long way!
STEP FOUR: I allowed the BIN to dry and then sanded lightly with the 220 grit block of sandpaper. Then wiped everything down with a damp rag and gave it a little time to dry. After this I repeated steps 3 & 4, I probably didn't NEED two coats of primer and maybe it was overkill...but truth be told I was putting off moving onto the paint because that would be the make or break moment of the whole project!
STEP FIVE: The COLOR!!!! I went back and forth between two blues, but ended up going with Sherwin Williams Convergent Blue, because it leans towards that Azure color that looks oh-so-good with the blush on the walls (SW Romance!). It also looks SO much like the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year 'Traditional Blue' so another plus!! I took a deep breath and started rolling on my color - and man oh man was it THICK! It was also a bold & daring blue....and everything just felt risky, haha. My husband came in during the first coat, when I was looking all sorts of nervous and said "Don't worry! If it doesn't work out, we can just replace the whole vanity!" This made me feel both relieved and also more nervous at the same time. And the last thingI want to do is blow any of our budget on something unnecessary - I got this! So I just set the timer for four hours. And now we wait!!
(side note-You guys! My cabinets are currently drying in the garage and I just heard our lawn service rolling in with the lawn mower!! Darted out there SO fast to close the garage door!
And now the results...
I was so excited that this turned out so well, that I went ahead and made up a print for the room:
Going to have it printed to 16 x 20 and stick it in a gold frame and then spend the first half of next week deciding where to hang everything!
Only time will tell if all of my prep work makes a difference on the vanity and the paint's staying power. In any case, I feel like it was the perfect learning project and believe it or not, I feel like I just may do the kitchen cabinets on my own after all!
* A final note: If there is anything I would do differently if I had to start this project over again, it would be to expect things to last 4-5 days instead of 2. I feel very lucky that the link is available Thursday until Sunday, because boy did I need those extra few days!! Also, I would have had my primer tinted closer to the desired outcome of my cabinets (B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer may be tinted with up to 2 ounces of universal colorant per gallon). This would have saved me from that moment of panic after the top coat. Finally, I would have bought an extra pack of foam rollers and two more Purdy brushes....just so I could start with a fresh brush every time and not have to worry about the paint getting clumpy underneath the plastic wrap. And with all of the projects we have planned for the house, I am sure there will be no way to have an extra paint brush or roller on hand.
That's all for now! I'm off to work on sprucing up the front yard and finally getting that fresh coat of paint on the front door! I was waiting for a good power wash (our third and LAST section of the house that needs to be washed!) before I set to work on refreshing the paint on the front lanterns and laid out the new porch rugs. Stop on back next week for Week FIVE of the ORC where we jump into putting all of the pretty stuff together!!!