Sanding and Deglossing

We’ve been making some major head way at our Etheridge house recently… mainly J.C., but I’ve helped some too.  Since I’m expecting, I’ve been letting him do the painting and I’ve been helping out with the prep work… like taping off the room, sweeping, sanding, washing baseboards, etc.  This here little project we tackled together and finished in under an hour.

If you’ll remember, the kitchen in the house looks like this…


Very dark and dated… and it screamed the 70s with an avocado green sink.  The cabinets were in fairly good condition, so instead of doing a total kitchen redo like we did at our other investment property, we decided we would work with what we’ve got.

Here’s a better shot of what the actual cabinet doors and drawer fronts look like:


And the same style doors were used in the living room…


I was OVER those little diamonds on the front and the hardware (not show in the pics)… so when my brother was working for us last year on the house, we had him remove all of the diamonds in the middle as well as the hardware, which was in the middle of the diamond.  It was bad… just bad.

He also took all of the doors off the actual cabinets and removed all of the greasy, grimy hinges.  He was smart and labeled all of them.  THANK YOU!  It would have taken us forever to figure out where everything went…. all 41 doors.  As you can see in some of the above photos, some of the doors have a little damage on the trim.  And the kitchen cabinet drawers?  Yeah, most of them are shot.  The drawer front is fine but that actual drawer is falling apart.  J.C. got the names of 3 really good wood working guys that can whip out cabinet doors and drawers so we will have that problem remedied soon.

We are going to paint the cabinets, doors, and drawers but knew we would need to do some MAJOR prep work before painting them due to the large amounts of stain and polyurethane on them.  They were so shiny you could almost see your reflection.  And you can’t expect paint to stick to that.  It will literally just peel off with the smallest effort.  NO bueno.  I ain’t painting those cabinets twice… so prep work had to be done.

I took all the cabinet doors, one by one, and sanded them with my little hand sander… it’s an Octo.  I used some pretty rough sand paper because I knew it would need it to get all that clear coat off.  Here’s the before:

cabinet door before

I made sure to really get it good where that diamond was because there was some build up from the stain and polyurethane and we don’t want that diamond showing later on.

sanding cabinet door

After less than a minute with the hand sander, here’s what they looked like:

sanded cabinet door

Seeing that sanders are a flat surface and that trim around the edges wasn’t, I couldn’t really sand the trim.  So, that’s where J.C. came in.  After sanding, I’d hand the door off to him and he wiped down the whole thing, including the trim, with this TSP substitute.


Its purpose it to get dirt, grime, top coats, etc. off of surfaces… like these cabinet doors.  I wanted to use the real stuff, just TSP, instead of the substitute; however, when I went to Sherwin Williams I read the back of the box and it said it was like SUPER TOXIC.  Basically if it got on you, well…….. you might die.  Ok, I’m being a smidge dramatic but not much.  It’s super bad for ya and I’m preggers so that was out of the question.  I found the TSP substitute at Wal-Mart and it seemed to work like a charm.

Here’s the sexiest man alive getting after those doors…

JC tsping

And here are a few of the 41 all sanded and deglossed:

cabinet doors after sanding and TSP

At this point I thought we were finished and then J.C. reminded me that we would need to fill the holes where the hardware had been.  So, I got my wood filler out and a little “spatula” and went to putting icing on the cake.

wood filler

TIP:  If you are filling holes and want to paint over them later on, make sure you get the kind of wood filler that is paintable.  The process of filling holes is so simple that a child probably could do it.  Squeeze the filler into the hole.  Smooth it out with the spatula/knife.  The end.

filling in holes

You see how simple that was?  Child’s play!!!  Anyways, we got all 41 doors done and now they are patiently waiting in the wings for a quick sanding over the wood filler then a coat or two of Kilz then paint.  I can’t wait to see what the kitchen looks like all bright and airy.  The place will definitely look more clean and updated… that’s for sure!!

I’m so glad to finally be getting some work done at this place.  It does mean that we aren’t getting as much done at our own house but on the flip side, this property will make us money… so it’s worth it.  Plus, we want our hands to be clean of any renovations (other than at our own home) before our little guy arrives.  I’ve got 4 months left so we need to be working over there as much as possible…. chop-chop…. get to it!!  And another plus is that one of my March Hopes was to get some work done over here.  And you ought to know by now how much I love scratching things off my list.  🙂


3 thoughts on “Sanding and Deglossing

  1. Looks good! So thrifty and smart to re-use your existing cabinetry, especially in a rent house. And they are going to look very nice when finished. Be careful about sanding and sweeping and breathing in all the dust, especially in your condition. Hope you are wearing a mask 24/7! Love, mom 🙂

  2. Pingback: March Hopes Update | R SQUARED INTERIORS

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