Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

Well, I hope you had a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving! We had a very quiet turkey day with just the two of us, but I did crank out a yummy bird with all the fixings. Sometimes it's good to just do your own thing.

I can tell by my posting stats that you all have been looking for faster, easier ways to make mashed potatoes for the big day, as my #1 post viewed this past month was:

How To Use a Pressure Cooker: Mashed Potatoes in 10 Minutes!

So easy!

You all are also busy finding ways to pack and ship your yummy canned goods for Christmas, as my #2 most viewed post was:

How To Pack and Label Canned Food for Shipping

I'm going to be doing that again very soon. I need to make some more jams though. I've been busy making cookie dough to freeze for The Great Cookie Bake of 2015 and I'm almost set. It's such a tedious thing to coordinate everything and ship it all out, but it's worth it.

Things should be back to "normal" for the next couple of weeks as far as posts go. I have some new things that I've done and projects completed that I'm dying to share!

Now, where's the leftovers?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

I know it's not Monday, but things have been SUPER crazy around here.

But first, shhhhh....don't tell them they are sleeping in a DOG bed!

It may not seem like much, but this pic is a BIG deal. Miss Thang still has her opinions about Leo The Kitten, and the fact that she is letting him clean her in that big, warm bed by the fire is a big step in the right direction. She is less growly around him, but definitely does not like it when he pounces on or harasses her. She is definitely a Diva in her own mind!

But, a little feedback from last post: No, I did not get the job, but I DID pass my professional certification exam and I am sooooo relieved. We talked to our realtor a week or so ago and we are all set to put our house on the market next spring.

But until then, there will be warm fires and kitteh cuddle sessions.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fall Happenings

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately and it looks like hubby and I are in for some even bigger changes ahead in the next coming months and following year.

We have decided to sell our beautiful country house next spring.

I know....AGAIN! This will be the 4th time we've moved in less than 6 years.

This has actually been something that's been at the back of our minds for a while now and we weren't even planning on acting on this until at least 2017, but we are motivated to act earlier. Turns out our neighbors, who have the exact same house as ours, are selling next year too. They have had their house appraised at a lower price than ours, so after talking to them, it seems like the smarter move for both parties would be for us to sell first at a (hopefully) higher sale. That way, we both benefit from the higher sale and comps. So, it looks like our plans got bumped up.

I've always said that you get a house just the way you like it and then it's time to sell, but the truth is, I'm looking forward to moving back into the "burbs". Living here has been a lesson on what kind of people we really are and our lifestyle. Although I have many "country ways," I am not a country least not one who has to travel into DC for work. :-)

Speaking of work, I have a big interview tomorrow for a new job that I am excited about (at least for never know). If I get this job, my commute will go from 0 to 1000 in a flash and moving will be pretty much mandatory, as I don't want to spend 4-5 hours a day sitting in DC traffic.

I have a big professional certification exam that I am taking on the 23rd of this month that I've been studying with a study group for 3 months. I'm pretty nervous about that too, so not too much cooking or DIY stuff has been going on....well SOME. I will post when I am done and have time.

So, the next couple of months will be committed to doing all those little projects that I've been putting off, but now HAVE to be done in order to sell. SIGH...the story of my life.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets (Part 3)

Welcome to the third and last part of my short series on helpful tips for painting your kitchen cabinets. Yesterday, I posted two videos that went over the importance of lighting and in what order to paint your cabinet surfaces for the best result, and today I have two more videos that cover how to and the importance of sanding and cleaning your doors/drawers/frames before moving on.

This first video goes over the type of sanding tools I use and how to sand your kitchen cabinet doors in between coats of primer and paint.

This second video goes over the importance of why and how to clean your kitchen cabinet doors after you sand.

That's it folks for my little series on helpful tips for painting your kitchen cabinet doors! I hope the videos shed a little extra light onto some of the minutia of prepping your surfaces before those two, final coats of paint. Believe me, that extra work makes a difference!

I've had a my house painter, Bill, who paints houses and cabinetry for a living compliment me on my work and even ask ME for tips, so I take that as one of the highest compliments. The extra work also ensures the quality of adhesion, which in the 6 months that we've been using our "new" cabinets, we've not had one chip or flake come off, so that says something.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets (Part 2)

So now you have some helpful tips to get your started, I wanted to show you some helpful videos I took on how to prime, sand, and clean your kitchen cabinet doors, drawers, and framing.

In order to have that pristine, almost sprayed-on-paint end result, it is SUPER important to prep your surfaces correctly. This includes sanding, cleaning, and priming. I rolled out the primer and paint on my cabinets using cabinet painting rollers and a 1 1/2 inch paint brush. This is pretty much what my normal set-up looked like (minus the primer):

This first video outlines the importance of good lighting, especially when painting white-on-white like I did. I apologize if the videos are kind of rough and unedited:

This second video goes over the importance of HOW to prime or paint your surfaces for the best finish. There is a method to the madness, and again I apologize for the unedited videos and if I'm not entirely consistent on what I label things (flat surfaces versus edges/sides):

Stay tuned for the next video installment tomorrow, where I talk about the importance of and how to sand and clean your doors after priming and painting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets (Part I)

Hi everyone! this post has been at the back of my mind for a while. This is the first part of a series, which will include "How-To" tips and videos, and will hopefully provide some extra insight for painting your kitchen cabinets.

For anyone just joining, I upgraded and painted my kitchen cabinets earlier this year and learned a few important tips along the way that might help some others who are just venturing down that LOOONG road.

I'm going to be honest; it took me a LONG time to paint my kitchen cabinet doors (149 hours!!!) and this had to do with several things:

First, I had a total of 19 cabinet doors and 7 drawer fronts, plus the cabinet framing. That's a lot of d*mn wood to paint!

Second, I followed the following very tedious process for each door, drawer, and cabinet frame:
  •          Degloss, SAND and CLEAN
  •          Prime, SAND and CLEAN
  •          Prime, SAND and CLEAN
  •          Paint, SAND and CLEAN
  •          Paint
Each door, drawer front, and all the cabinet frames got 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint with sanding and cleaning in between. I used Zinsser Bull's Eye 1-2-3 primer and INSL-X Cabinet Coat Acrylic for the cabinet doors. The primer I got from Home Depot or Lowe's and the cabinet coat I got from Benjamin Moore; however, I think the big box stores sell it as well. 

Third, I worked full time during the day and had to squeeze in doing this between my job and other, regular life issues. 

So, that being said, it took me a very long time, BUT it was worth every minute and even after a while, it was kind of therapeutic.

I also used the VERY helpful painting tips from Erin at Red House Renovation. My inspiration!

SO...without further adieu, let's get painting!

Helpful Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Scrape Off Bumpers

Cabinet bumpers are those little rubber or velvet adhesive dots that are stuck to the inside of a cabinet door. They prevent your doors from slamming loudly against the cabinet frame when being closed. When you peel these off, you will most likely have a sticky, adhesive residue left behind. If your cabinets are a few years old, that residue will have most likely hardened into a dry, papery lacquer. You won’t be able to feel it, but it’s there and will most definitely interfere with your paint results. It will ultimately soften under the primer and paint and eventually separate from the wood, causing a bubble or chip in your beautiful finish. 

So, scrape off that bumper adhesive!

Scraping off cabinet bumpers and glue

Wear Gloves!

Rubber gloves are going to be your friend throughout this whole process.

Wear rubber gloves when degreasing:
A strong degreaser will dry your hands out like nobody’s business. So, protect your skin and wear gloves when using a degreaser.

Wear rubber gloves when sanding primer coats:
When sanding primer, the sanding dust will get into the grooves/lines in your hands and really, REALLY dry them out.  Even washing them and using lotion doesn’t help. It’s almost as if the primer dust creates a waterproof barrier that makes your hands feel like they are coated in chalk. Do you and your hands a favor by wearing gloves when you are sanding.

Wear rubber gloves when reinstalling your hinges:
Those hinges are most likely coated in graphite, which is a dry lubricant powder that makes them work easily; however, that graphite powder is the equivalent of burnt charcoal dust smeared on your newly painted cabinet doors. It gets everywhere and took my husband 2.3 seconds to get black, smudgey fingerprints all over my barely dried, pristine white cabinet doors. Also, there is a chance that your door hinges might be greased or have grease/food stains on or in them, and these will mess up your door finish too. Wear gloves to keep your doors clean.

Wear gloves when installing hinges

Flotrol Is Your Friend

Flotrol is your next best friend. Flotrol is an additive that is used to help thin out latex paint so it will level smooth like an oil paint, as well as give you additional drying time. Sometimes, you will need to go back over a spot with your brush and roller. If it has already started to dry pretty well, going back over it will ruin your finish. Flotrol gives you extra time to smooth out blemishes before your paint starts to dry; therefore, preventing drag marks left by your paintbrush.

NOTE: It's VERY important to shake the bottle of Flotrol well before mixing with your paint!

Drying Time is Not Curing Time

When painting, please be aware that just because the paint is dry, it does not mean that it has cured. What is the difference between drying and curing?

Drying time, which is usually 8-12 hours after you apply paint, is the time it takes for the paint to dry to “finger touch”. Although the paint is dry, it will still feel a little tacky and rubbery.

Curing time, which can be anywhere from 7-30 days after the paint has dried, is the amount of time it takes for paint to harden and resist chips and peeling.

Your beautiful paint job is at its most vulnerable between the drying and curing time. Until the paint fully cures, be very, VERY careful not to bump, scrape, or ding your cabinets. Be hyperaware of how you move about your cabinets during this time.

Extra Lighting is Necessary

I invested in a very important task light went painting my cabinets. This light helped me spot drips or build-up of paint that I couldn't see using direct lighting, or sanding dust that I missed after cleaning. The light casts shadows, which make drips and debris show up easier. This is VERY important if you are painting white-on-white like I did.  

I think you can buy one of these from Home Depot or Lowe's for around $35.

A task light will help you immensely!

Don't Paint Inside Door Hinge Routing

Okay, this might be a given, but I learned the hard way to NOT paint inside the routed-out holes for my door hinges. On the first set of doors I painted, I did that and the hinges were a complete PITA to get back in. 

From then on, I left the inside of the routed hinge holes non-primed and non-painted! So much easier!

Don't paint inside the routed hinge holes!
That's all I have for now outside of all the usual tips. Stay tuned for my next post, which will include some "How-To" videos!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

We're up to Halloween hi-jinx here at JTRS this week.

First off, is there anything cuter than a kitten in a Halloween tee-shirt?

No? How about a kitteh in a sailor costume?

Or even better! How about Bob MEOW-LY? Get it? 

She's a "Rasta-FURian"!

Hooo, I'm LOVING this! The kittehs...not so much. 
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