Right. So. I was all prepared to go with the path of least resistance (ie option 3) and simply get the paint off the handles, repaint them, and be done with it. Except once I starting stripping the paint (which by the way boiling does work, I didn't give it enough time last time after freaking out about the green - it's like magic really, the paint just peels right off) this is what I was left with was something that looked like it would be perfectly at home at the Museum of Early American Artifacts:


Which is to say, yuck, I don't want to be touching that every day. No wonder they painted them. With wood paint. Anyway.

So I thought I would just clean them up a bit, just a bit, so that all the gunk was gone and I would have a nice smooth surface to work with when I got on with the painting and all. And that's when I discovered they were fake:


Not fake handles, ha ha, but they are not copper they are copper plated. Some of them were all shiny and nice like the very first one I cleaned and some of them were trashed like this one. And it wasn't my scrubbing that made the copper-y color go away, because I scrubbed that first one to within an inch of it's life, so I still think it is copper. Plated. You were so right Schrodinger. 


So I cleaned them all, all seventeen of them, after prying them from the cabinet doors with brute force sometimes. But I couldn't leave them bare, because some of them were shiny pretty and some of them were thrift store rejects. So then they got primed:


This actually happened in batches, because the cleaning was really hard work, so 6 were done last night and the rest in 2 batches this morning. After the priming was the painting:


I love them. Love love love. You can see that that front one is actually pitted where the handle meets the base, but I did not sand them, nor do I have any intention of sanding them, because a girl can only go so far.

Or can she?

So the doors that are like french doors (where two meet in the center and swing outward) - I have 6 sets of them. Two are smaller doors that are above the fridge (with the weird "other" handles) and above the stove, two are "below" cabinets, and two are "above" cabinets (though technically the small ones are "above" cabinets as well). These doors all, except for one pair, stick, such that you cannot open one without opening the matching one, and what's more annoying, you have to close them at exactly the same time (or really shove on them to get them to close). This has bothered me for an entire year. I was (and still am) convinced that the reason they stick so badly is because they had been painted with 18 coats of paint, and thin though they may be, when you get up past 15 coats of paint you start to get a measurable surface. 

When I was at Ace getting more paint for the handles (I ran out because I was using one of those mini spray cans because actually I had bought the paint to paint some shelves to hang in the guest bedroom, which I did also do (hooray for long weekends!), but which consequently caused me to not have enough to finish the handles. This is why the handles are glossy black and not flat black, as I would have preferred, because the small cans do not come in flat black and I already had a can of glossy black. Anyway.) So I was at Ace and I ended up getting the brilliant idea that maybe I could strip the paint from the edges of the cabinets so that they could close normally. Just the edges, mind you. One pair of paint stripping gloves, a paint scraper, a pair of goggles, and a can of Citristrip (it was the least bad stuff I could find) later I was set to go.

I got a little over enthusiastic and messy on the right one.



Now the damage was not actually that bad initially, but it was bad enough, and I just kept pulling the paint (the top layer anyway) and it kept going... Notice that the cabinets used to be white. And before that (at some point) they were wood. Not plywood (I don't think, we'll see) but regular old wood. So, I thought, I might as well go for broke, the damage is done and I'm gonna have to fix this anyway, and my nice shiny pretty handles actually make the crappy paint job they did the last time look really crappy, so I Citristripped the hinges so I could get those suckers off and strip all the paint off properly and see what we had. 

The right one came off no problem. 

The left one... the left one. The left one is the figurative problem child. I think the screws are stripped, plus I have no leverage on a screwdriver above the stove and 1/2" from the wall (so I don't think my power drill/screwdriver will help). I don't have a photo, but picture the right door off, the left door hinges covered with orange goop (again, this is my third try), and the right door out on the balcony also covered in orange goop. I got the hinges all the way off the right door, and plan to boil the rest of the paint off them, but as far as I can see they are perfectly fine, nice hinges, and why the hell would you paint over the hinges anyway? Oh yeah, I forgot. Lazy.

So to recap, I have beautiful shiny black handles that I love for my kitchen cabinets that I hate. And oh by the way one of my cabinets is currently out of commission because one is on the balcony and the other has orange toxic goop on it. Happy Memorial Day to me.

(PS I am about 10 seconds away from finishing Jeanie except that my paint stripping adventures this weekend have prevented this from happening. Perhaps once it gets dark.)


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Veronique said...

Wow, your new handles are beautiful! They are so 50s :) I'm on an upholstering kick, so that's what I'd suggest... Easier than striping them all and painting them!

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

I didn't want to be right! But they do look great now!


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