Monday, April 23, 2012

Nightstands, Part Deux

Sorry if you don't like spread-out blog posts where one project takes forever to reveal instead of the instant gratification of scrolling down to the bottom of the post for a big reveal.  I realize I've been a fairly bad blogger of late and I'm trying to get back into the swing of it all by blogging my nightstands project.  Only, being the impatient girl that I am, I started writing the posts as soon as I started working on the nightstands, so I'm basically writing tonight about what I did last night and today.  So, consider this a warning - no instant gratification here.  Instead, settle in and enjoy more details on prep work, because these things are taking a lot of prep work.

The look I'm going for on the nightstands is a high gloss emerald green.  The master bedroom is mostly neutral colored, so I want them to stand out like big emerald jewels - the furniture equivalent of Angelina Jolie's Oscar earrings.

I'm following Honey & Fitz's guide to getting a high gloss finish.  She stresses the importance of the prep work, something I have the tendency to skimp on.  So I decided to take my time and try and get as flawless of a finish as I can achieve.  Unfortunately, it doesn't provide a lot of interesting photos since it's a lot of monotony, so I'll try to get through them quickly.

After building the new bases, I filled all of the dings and screw holes with wood filler.  I prefer the stuff in the tub and generally spread it on with my fingers.  Overfill it, because it might shrink as it dries.  Make sure you wait the appropriate time, then sand, fill some more, and then sand again.  I know it's ready when I can close my eyes and run my hand over the wood and not feel any imperfections.  You cannot use paint to fill in these imperfections, it will only exaggerate them, especially in a glossy finish, so get the wood filler right.

Sanding is a big theme of this project.  After every sanding step, I carefully vacuum, wipe with a dry cloth and then wipe with a wet cloth.  I'm a big fan of microfiber for this step.  I picked up this cleaning mitt at the Dollar Tree (for $1, yo) and have had the same results with it that I experienced with more expensive tack cloths in previous projects.

Once I felt everything was consistently smooth, I moved on to priming.  I bought this primer at Lowes for about $7 for a quart.  It's water-based and cleaned up nicely.  I used a 1-inch angled brush to get into crevices and corners, followed by a four-inch foam roller (the one specifically made for cabients).

Here's the cabinets after one coat of primer.  You do not need a solid look to the paint, just enough to help the paint stick.  This was enough for me, so I stopped after one coat and moved onto the fun part - the final color!  I'll save those pictures for later, but I'm super excited about how it's looking so far.

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