Monthly Archives: October 2010

But You Don’t HAVE to Sand/Strip Your Cabinets!

I got a recent email which read,

I have been on your blog , a lot ….We took down the kitchen cabinets and started sanding finally . We both want to know if you have a secret weapon to remove paint , less sanding . I see a lot of different paint strippers , wondered if you feel any one is better than the other ?…

I must admit, I was confused.   At first I thought she was looking for a stripper for her walls…  but then, I wasn’t sure?   Why were they looking for a stripper?  Why were they sanding their cabinets?   If they were going to use the Caromal Colours base coat paints, then they don’ t need to worry about stripping or sanding….  so?

So, I emailed her back,

Are you stripping paint off the cabinets you took down, or off the walls? You don’t have to sand the cabinets before Caromal’ing them – that’s the beauty of their base coats – unless you are wanting to sand/strip for another reason??

Have any pictures of your existing cabinets ? Email them, in mean time, what color do you plan on refinishing them?

The reply,

I love the parchment color, with toner . The cabinets are so old and gross . LOL They are not nice . I will send pics of one sanded and one not . We have 24 doors and 13 drawers to re-do . Thanks

She sent me a photo  –

Which prompted me to reply,

Is that paint secure or is it crackling off?    I still say  I wouldn’t strip/sand.  Not unless it’s a peeling crackling mess, and it doesn’t look to be that.   Wipe them down good with mild clean solution,  and you’re ready to go.  You could even leave them up and paint right over your hinges – their paints bond to metal…

If you paint right over this red,   the only thing you’ll find IF you want to distress the parchment color,  is – anywhere you distress (sand down) you will more than likely sand down to the red below, so you’ll get  a line of red which will then tint to a brown-red from the toner… similar to colors below-

Parchment over Paprika, brushed smooth, and toned

If you strip/sand your cabinets to raw wood,  then do the parchment,  and sand to distress, you ‘ll get more of this look-  (then the toner will warm that up)-

The reply explained everything,

Thanks Patty . Hubs wants to sand as the cabinets wont close anymore ...

Ahhhhh!  Now I understand the need for sanding/stripping… I’m pretty certain Caromal Colour’s textured base coats won’t correct non-closing cabinets.


If this post was informative and helpful in your ‘how-to’ searches, a simple, but huge, way to thank me  is this:   if you decide to use these products,  use my code, PattyH in the coupon code area. This code is needed in order for me to receive credit for the order,  if you forget to use it I lose. You don’t pay more by using my code – and if you order online you won’t pay tax (outside PA).

If you want to place an order, click on the  store button below.



Be Careful When Renovating Old Homes…

Eric Stevenson is very passionate about the proper care that should be taken when renovating older homes , especially when it comes to lead paint, asbestos, frayed wires, etc.    He loves home improvement projects,  and writing to educate others, so I offered to share his thoughts here –

I always start those little weekend projects with such high hopes. Recently I decided to replace my old sagging ceiling fan. That Saturday morning I bought a shiny new ceiling unit, lined up the tools my dad bought me last Christmas and let the home improvement begin.

Unfortunately, when I unscrewed my old fan and pulled it from my bedroom ceiling, I was greeted by a blast of gray soot and industrial dust. I was coated. My dark hair was now white, my bed looked like a construction site and my nose, mouth and ears were caked with whatever was up there when they built my apartment sixty-something years ago.

Not one to whine, I did what my mother told me and kept going with the project. Eventually I had a new ceiling fan and had restored my hair to its natural brown. I congratulated myself and felt thankful a spent Saturday morning and a few breaths of industrial soot were all I had to endure. However, when I found a few errant bits of grime hiding behind my ear later that night, I started to wonder what I really encountered that morning in my ceiling.

After doing a little research, I got scared. Evidently, if you live in an old house like me, you run the risk of encountering some pretty dangerous chemicals every time you replace an old fixture or crawl up into the attic. Even the paint in my kitchen, I learned after a chat with my landlord, contained lead, a toxic substance if ingested. The name of that powdery insulation that rained down on me is asbestos, a naturally heat and fire-resistant mineral that was used a lot in the 20th century.

The technical term for the problems I could encounter with continued exposure to that gray stuff in my ceiling is called mesothelioma disease, which is actually a type of cancer that’s normally rare. There are four different kinds of this disease, with the most common developing in the lining of your lungs.

The worst part about mesothelioma symptoms is that they usually don’t show up until 20 to 50 years after your first exposure to asbestos. That means that you might tackle dozens of weekend projects, like I planned to, without ever realizing the danger you’re putting yourself in. Luckily though, there’s been enough research that we now know what causes this type of cancer and how to avoid it.

One of my bedroom walls has some pretty serious holes and I was thinking about replacing that whole section of drywall. Now that I learned a little more about what might be back there once I take a look, I think I’m going to reconsider my options and warn a few others to double check before they go messing around with suspicious dust, disintegrating insulation or old paint. Besides, I like sleeping in on Saturday morning anyway.

Eric Stevenson

Are Our Halloween Blowups Staying Out Too Late?

Our blow-ups look hung over

Black Works.

Have you ever read Sherwin Williams STIR articles?  I bookmarked this one,  Back To Black – How To Make Black Walls Work, by Holly O’Dell-

Black is no stranger to the world of interior design. It adorns sofas, desks, entertainment centers, tables and accessories. But consumers willing to take a little risk with their interior design are starting to use black in larger swaths — particularly walls — with bold, stylish results.


Consumers willing to take a little risk with their interior design are starting to use black in larger swaths — particularly walls — with bold, stylish results.

Amy Devers,  from The Learning Channel’s Trading Spaces, explains –

…  black is always chic, and though it’s dark, it is a neutral and goes with everything.

That reminded me of my all-time favorite actress Audrey Hepburn-

Black is always chic.

I like how Julie Hoylen describes the need for black-

1) a black room needs little adornment

2) the existing colors in the room will ‘pop’ back to life against it

3) it can cozy up a bright space or moody up a dark one

4) it can re-fresh a dated all white kitchen or bath

5.) the room will look super sexy in candlelight

6) you will look super sexy in the room in candlelight

7) your friends will think that you are cool