I love this little cupboard. I have no idea why. It’s just the right size. It’s cozy. And it’s red.
I knew it would stay red from the moment I found it, for two important reasons. First, I love red! And second, whoever painted it the first time made no repairs beforehand and applied a single coat of paint with no primer beneath… and this to cover pine with several large knots.
The first thing I had to tackle, obviously, was the red paint. I stripped and sanded and got down to the bare bones of the wood but certainly not to the end of the stain. Red is an amazing dye.
On to the knots, filling and sanding smooth, inside and out.
Then the primer went on. I’d heard and read that tinted primer improved paint tone and made the colour pop out more, so I asked that my primer be tinted red. Now, not many colour drops can be added to a can of paint so of course I ended up with bubble gum pink! Plus a lot more pink primer than I could ever use on one little cupboard. Sigh.
Red exterior and white interior colours went without a hitch, apart from annoyances trying to paint inside walls without touching other inside walls!
As the cupboard sat curing for its obligatory month, I went on to other things. When I finally checked on it, my eye was drawn to unusual shading on the top interior shelf. At first I thought it might just be dust but closer inspection revealed the worst… those old food stains seeping upward through the primer and paint. Drat. I had used shellac-based primer on the outside but not on the inside. Why not the inside you ask? My only answer would be that, well, it was an oversight, or bad planning, or simply idiocy.
At any rate, I put two coats of Zinsser BIN primer on top, followed by 2 more coats of white, followed by another month of curing. No stain bleeding this time. Varathane sealer went on and the cupboard sat some more. Still no bleeding (and none since, by the way, after many more months). Phew.
At long last I decided it was safe to put the door on and paint the hardware, which was completed without any fuss.
Those extra coats of paint may have made the interior slightly smaller (smile), but the refinishing effort has been totally worth it. It looks lovely!