A while ago I got the brilliant idea to stain my half bath vanity cabinets a darker color, and to paint my den cabinets white. Then I could decide which I liked better for my kitchen, dark or white.
My half bath was actually one of the best looking rooms in the house, the cabinets had the least wear and tear and the paint job was much fresher than any of the other rooms. Seriously there are probably about a thousand projects that should of taken higher priority than this. However since it was the cheapest project and a test on how I will handle the rest of the house, it was actually the perfect place to begin.
I've had this idea in my head for a while and finally I came home last week and my wonderful husband had taken everything out of the bathroom and started sanding the cabinets for me. We taped a tarp over the door and brought in his shop vac and reversed the air flow to eliminate a lot of the dust from getting in my house. It worked pretty well. The dust stayed mostly on us and in the bathroom!
Once we got down to nearly raw wood (we weren't extremely particular because we are going darker), we cleaned up and vacuumed all the dust off the cabinets.
Oh, and I'm SOOO putting shelving paper on those shelves. They are disgusting, I know.
The next day we began staining.
If you know me well, you know I have trouble making a decision. I sat in Home Depot Sunday morning with a can of Ebony and a can of Jacobean stain for about 45 minutes while surfing the net on my iPhone at what these colors actually looked like completed. I finally went with the Jacobean and came home, because the people at Home Depot were starting to think I was weird.
So we stained.
We stained more. And more....finally four coats in they just were NOT getting any darker. I wasn't happy. It was not my vision, but I sighed and figured I'd just live with it. They did look a TON better than the old color, but still not my vision.
My wonderful mother in law (who knows a LOT about staining) told me not do do anything else until she came over with some of her stuff. I wasn't certain we could fix the cabinets, because they are pretty cheap pine plywood (seriously the edges of these cabinets are NUTS people...they just soak up the color like crazy).
Anyhow, she came over with a couple other options for color. She took one look at my cabinets and said "those aren't very dark." She confirmed EXACTLY what I was feeling. (It's so good to have her opinion, she is such a great lady). She had a gel stain (Java) that she got from Woodcraft and she said I should put that on top. I tried it on the back of the cabinet and I LOVED it. It just gave it that richness that the Jacobean was lacking. So, I started staining....AGAIN. Gave all the cabinets backs, fronts and built in's in the bathroom another coat of the gel stain and it turned out just about perfect.
I may need ONE more coat on the cabinet fronts. For some reason the base is taking the color better than the cabinet doors, and I don't want it to be mis-matched. The flash doesn't help, but it really does look gorgeous.
I'm SO over staining and ready to move on to painting my bathroom, putting down new baseboards and getting the decorations back in there. I almost have my paint color picked out. That was a funny story in itself. Proves how brilliantly crazy that I am.
Thrifty Decor Chick has the most gorgeous colored walls I've ever seen in her stairway, and that is the color I'm wanting to go with. She got the color at Porter Paints. So I found the place up in Edmond that sells the paint and went up there. The color is discontinued but they still had a swatch of it and said they could match it for $32 a gallon. Uh, yeah, I can't pay that it's WAAAAY out of my budget. Of course since it was discontinued they didn't have a swatch they could let me take. So I took the swatch around their store and found one similar to it that would work, grabbed that swatch and plan to try and color match it at Home Depot later this week.
I told you I'm nuts.
I think I've decided though that painting my kitchen will be a LOT easier than staining. I'm getting this vision for it. White cabinets with a black glaze in the cracks, dark granite or poured concrete counters...oil rubbed bronze pulls....dark espresso beams across the ceiling with some canned lighting. Farmhouse table with a bench in the dinette area, with dark hardwood floors. Are you seeing my vision?
Anyhow, stick with me, the full reveal will be coming soon!