Old Kitchen New Look

I have been getting a ton of questions lately about one of our Facebook postings in which I painted our kitchen walls and cabinets. Mostly people  are curious as to what it took to get our cabinets looking like new.


Our house is very old and so are our cabinets. It didn’t bother us at first but eventually we got sick of looking at that ugly veneer look so we decided it was time for a makeover.

It’s not very difficult to paint over veneer it just needs the right prep work. If you hire a professional I would suggest trying to do as much as you can yourself such as taking off the doors and hardware and maybe sanding them lightly with a 220 grit sanding block. Just a light scuff will do nothing major ( imagine you are cleaning a window ). That will save you a few dollars. But if you decide to do it on your own here are some tips on how to go about it.


If you are not planing on painting the insides of your cabinet doors you can avoid taking them off and just use masking tape or petroleum jelly to mask your hinges and protect them from getting painted. I prefer petroleum jelly because you can use a small painting brush or a cotton swab to apply it and just wipe it off once your paint dries.

After you remove your doors (or just masking your hinges) lightly sand/scuff the surfaces that are being painted with a 220 grit sanding block. Use a damp rag to wipe off any excess dust.

Your next step is to prime the surfaces with a latex primer. I used one coat of Kills2™ all purpose primer and let it sit over night. You can find it in any hardware or paint store at around $10-$20 per gallon.





There are many different products out there that you can use but my personal favorite is made by  Behr™ and is called ALKYD enamel (ca. $30-$40 per gallon). Unfortunately they do not sell quarts but this stuff goes a long way so  one gallon usually is more than enough. On this project I used a semi-gloss finish but that is personal preference. I chose semi-gloss because I have 3 kids at home and it just makes it easier to clean.

You will need a 2 inch angled Nylon paint brush


and a 4 inch 3/8 white woven Whizz™ roller




Using a 2 inch Nylon paint brush start cutting in around the hardware (if you did not remove the doors) and any places your Whizz™ roller will not reach. Next use your Whizz™ roller to apply your ALKYD enamel. Try to paint in the same direction as your grain (if your cabinet has a fake wood pattern). Let it dry over night and repeat. You can hang your doors  now but keep in mind that the enamel will dry over night but it takes 30 days to fully cure so be careful and try to avoid scrubbing them before those 30 days.

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How To Patch A Hole The Right Way

With three kids in the house things can get a little crazy and with two boys it can happen that at some point you will find yourself having to patch a hole or two in your drywall. In this case I will be fixing the aftermath of a Nerf™ gun fight.



Step 1: Measure the hole in the wall and add 1 inch to each side vertically and horizontal. This will ensure that you avoid broken pieces on the inside and give it extra support.



Step 2: Cut out a piece of drywall to the desired size. Make sure your piece has the same thickness as the drywall you are repairing.



Step 3: Place your cut piece over the hole and trace it along the edges using a pencil.


Step 4 & 5

4: With a utility knife cut along your lines using just enough pressure to cut through the paper layer of your drywall but not pushing too hard or else you will risk causing more damage.

5: Remove access pieces by pushing inwards. Be cautious again not to apply too much pressure and avoid causing extra damage. (Use your utility knife to clean up your cut edges as good as possible)


Step 6: Add a piece of wood from the inside as support. I am using a regular paint stirrer but you can use any solid piece of wood. To tighten the wood I used 1 1/4 drywall screws.


Step 7: Apply drywall compound with a small putty knife making sure you cover all screws and edges entirely then spread it with a larger putty knife removing all excess compound. It is not necessary to apply too much compound just enough to cover everything as you will have to repeat this step. Let it dry over night.



Step 8: With a medium grit sanding block and a vacuum cleaner you can sand down your compound and avoid it getting to dusty. Your patch should be somewhat smooth now. Add another layer of compound using step 8 but this time it will only be a light skim coat to fill in whatever you did not get with the first coat. You can repeat this step until you reach your desired finish.



Step 9: Your wall is ready to be painted now. Be sure to use a  coat of PVA primer (any cheap primer will do) before painting over your patch or else you will have color flashing.


If you have any questions just leave a comment below. I will do my best to help you.

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How to get rid of Ceiling Mold

If you have a smaller sized bathroom with a shower you most likely will encounter this problem at some point. It starts out as a yellowing spot on your ceiling and turns into dark mold spots. It is very ugly to look at but is not caused by uncleanliness as some would assume. The cause of this problem is condensing water from taking hot showers which collect on your ceiling and if it is not a very well ventilated room it will cause your wet ceiling to start growing mold spots.


How to fix it…

In most cases where the customer already made up their mind that they want to repaint the entire bathroom I will go ahead and use a oil based primer such as Killz™  ,let it dry and apply 2 coats of good quality ceiling paint.

However, if I see that the customer is unsure and does not want to repaint everything I suggest using a 50/50  water and Bleach mix.  (I use 16 ounces of water to 16 ounces of bleach in a spray bottle) Spray your mixture directly on the stains and always wear the proper protection such as long sleeves and protective glasses. Let it sit for ca. 5 minutes and use a wet rag to wipe down your ceiling.




After cleaning your ceiling it should look almost like new. It is is possible that new stains will grow eventually. You will not be able to avoid this unless you find a better way to ventilate your bathroom during showers unfortunately. But it is a  effective solution to your problem and a cheap substitute to repainting your bathroom ceiling.



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Removing Wallpaper

Removing old Wallpaper can be a real hassle and it is always difficult to estimate a job that includes removing Wallpaper. You never know exactly how long it will take and what obstacles you will run into. Different factors can slow down the process such as what kind of glue was used and whether the wallpaper was applied on previous wallpaper, painted walls or directly on drywall. In most cases I found that the wallpaper will be applied directly to your drywall which means that you most likely will need do some  spackling after removing your wallpaper. It can be very costly if you hire a contractor to do the job and you will most likely end up paying them by the hour to remove the Wallpaper.

There are many products  you can find at Home Depot™ ,Lowe’s™ and Wall-Mart™ for instance that will help you soften up the adhesives specially when you are doing commercial projects  but If you are doing a residential home then I suggest using warm water and dish soap.That seems to do the trick for me. I start by really soaking  the walls with warm water and soap and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then I will go back and repeat that process before I start peeling. I try  soak 2 sections at a time once I start peeling. The wetter the paper stays the easier it is to peel.  

You can see where I started soaking the paper below


Once everything is removed I do a skim coat with a light weight spackling compound.


  Once the compound is dry I proceed to light sand, prime and paint the walls.


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What are those dark spots on my ceiling?

I had a customer ask me today why she had dark spots on her living room ceiling. Specially in her corners (left pic). My first question was if she uses a wood furnace which in this case she did. Her furnace was stationed in the kitchen but the soot would spread throughout her vents. We got  lucky and it ended up being a easy fix. One coat of Killz™ Latex Primer (top right pic) and two coats of Sherwin-Williams™ Eminence ceiling paint. The result was a clean/white ceiling that looked like new (bottom right pic).