October 24, 2011

Jen vs. The China Cabinet

The year was two thousand and eleven. It was a hot September morning when the battle began. I proceeded to the armory (Home Depot) and armed myself with a variety of weapons from chemicals to paint, woodglue to suffocating plastic, guns to the roughest of sandpaper (okay I realize that 220 isn’t that rough but for the sake of the story, just go with it okay?)

 I knew this was going to be a doozy of a battle and realized I might get wounded. However, I knew it would be worth it and that in the end….VICTORY would be mine!

I hate to admit that I am the one who threw the first punch but my opponent just stood there, shivering in its boots. Someone had to start the fight. I grabbed my 220 and hit the ground running. I sanded the finish right off its horrified face. As if that wasn’t enough, I took my TSP water and wiped it down, inflicting more pain. I sanded again, and again, and again, until I knew for sure it had reached its weakest point. I did one final wipe down and then proceeded to get my gun.  I filled the gun with its bright white primer ammo and fired the first shot. “Sput, sput, sput” whimpered the gun; it had no intentions of getting in the middle of THIS fight. I wrestled and wrestled until finally I had to take my gun back to the armory for a professional to fix. You wouldn’t believe how many trips to the armory were made during this battle. I decided it was best to enlist the help of a veteran (my awesome dad); one that had much knowledge and could provide a second point of view. He was willing to serve for a good cause and joined my side right away. We continued to wrestle with the gun until it finally gave in and started to work with us. I again filled it with ammo and fired a shot (while crossing my fingers). Out came the most beautiful shot of white primer you ever saw. The adrenalin kicked in and I was on a roll! I couldn’t stop, I kept firing; coat after coat until my opponent was covered in primer, not a glimpse of icky brown wood in site. 
I decided to rest for a bit after kicking behind in the first battle. I was wounded and needed to bandage myself up before beginning the second round. 
I pumped myself up and went back to the battle ground (the carport). This time I loaded my gun with the brightest of white paint. I pulled the trigger…sput, sput, sput. SERIOUSLY?!? I thought. I ran back to my bunker to figure out a game plan. I saw no other solution than to make yet another trip back to the armory. I knew I had to hurry; my offense was weakening and my opponent’s defenses were strengthening. I ran (drove) back to the armory to have my weapon fixed once again and was back in no time. I loaded up and ran in to battle, arms swinging. I covered that thing like nothing anyone has ever seen before. It was a beautiful and horrific site, depending on which side you were on.
 I must give credit where credit is due. My opponent did put up quite the fight. It tried it’s hardest to show its disgusting brown blood through my beautiful white paint. It had its annoying crevices, inconvenient corners, and its rough exterior which refused to sand smooth; but in the end, it was no match for my soldier and I. We pushed through and soon, the second battle had been won.
The third and final battle went quickly. We had already kicked our opponent’s defenses to the curb. We armed ourselves with cans of clear coat and went to town, unleashing the final weapon of battle. We sprayed until we could see our war painted faces in our opponent’s eyes.

After the final resting period, it was time to take my opponent by the head and mount it on my wall (or just move it into position). We hoisted its heavy body onto our shoulders and made the long journey (maybe 20 steps?) home.
We stood there, in awe of the war we had just fought. It was over, we were VICTORIOUS! The once ugly china cabinet had been stripped and beaten down to its very core and had been given a new life. 

I knew that it would take time before my opponent came around but it eventually realized that it had a very important purpose and I am happy to report that we are now the best of friends. I’d even like to think that it regrets putting up such a fight. It has grown into its new skin and adjusted to the new home very well and I could not be more proud. 
I am stronger because of this war, I AM a survivor! I am fearless now and await the opportunity to pummel my next opponent to the ground. 


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  1. Great Job! I have a similar cabinet I re-did http://www.oliveandlove.com/2010/07/china-hutch-furniture-evolution.html

    No fights with the spray however as this one was brushed.

  2. totally awesome, i love love love it and the blue glass inside really stands out great against the white!

  3. Love it! It came out beautiful. Also love the blue glass in the inside.

  4. Just found your blog - this turned out beautiful! Great work!!

  5. Holy cow that turned out great! Now I want one. Along with the beautiful glassware. So clever!

  6. Great work. it turned out so pretty. Glad you won the battle!

  7. Thanks for all the sweet comments. We are so glad you took the time to stop by! Hope you will all come back soon!


  8. So pretty! You did good!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  9. Oh wow that looks amazing! I love the crisp white with your blue dishes

  10. It's all better in white! Hope you win many more battles - if the victory looks like that!! :) Looooove the turquoise gems inside!!! Thanks for linking on the Korner.

  11. that looks amazing, especially with the blues, it completely pops. love the way you told this story, too.

  12. Just found you over at Ucreate! Wow the purple TV stand turned out so great! Would love love love for you to share this at our party going on now http://space46.blogspot.com/2011/12/co-hosting-pinteresting-link-party-week.html. Happy holiday! My

  13. Wow! This came out so great, and with the touches of the blue glass. Just perfect!! Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  14. It is beautiful...worth all of that work for sure! I have been looking for a hidden gem like this myself.

  15. Just found you on How Does She? Love your site! I have a question if you have the time, I have 2 end tables that I would love to paint but it scares me. One I think is solid wood the other looks like a prefab type that has the "vinyl"type paint just peels off. How much did you sand down this china cabinet with all the detail on the bottom I would think that would take forever. Do you have to sand everytghing down to the core in order to prime amd paint? And when do you spray paint as compared to brush on the paint?
    Sorry for all the questions, just taking baby steps towards stripping...furniture that is:)
    Thanks for your time.

  16. Hi Lisa! I'm so glad you found us! I understand the scariness! If the solid wood table has any type of varnish on it, it will need to be stripped and then sanded. Trust me, I learned the hard way on the purple dresser. After you strip it, a light sanding is all it should need. If there is no varnish on it then just lightly sanding it should be fine. I wiped down the china cabinet, then lightly sanded it, then wiped it down with tsp water and then again with clean water. After trying to sand the bottom doors, I learned that the doors were extremely thick because they had one thick piece of wood and then the outer part was some type of plastic mold so I just wiped it down before priming. I actually sprayed the entire thing with the exception of one small scratch that took off some paint when moving and I brushed that. I feel your pain with the veneer. I'm working on a side table with it as well. I had some pieces break off that I filled out with wood filler and sanded smooth. My best guess and what I am planning on trying is just a good wipe down, and Glidden Gripper Primer. I hope that answers your questions! You can always email me at ourdiydiaries@gmail.com if you have any others. I would love to see your projects when you get them done. Make sure to send us an email!


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