Laura Has Two Nervous Breakdowns! And Recovers.

After the past couple of days, I feel like I should lie down for a very long time.  Earlier this week, I had to strip a portion of the buffet so that we could stain it to match the new breakfast bar.

So, needless to say, I was a bit insecure about stripping the buffet for the following reasons:

a.) I have never stripped any piece of furniture in my life

b.) this buffet is a huge, hulking antique piece of furniture

c.) I have no idea what I am doing

I read a couple of tutorials on Citristrip and took a deep breath. I can trust everything I read on the internet, right?  Surely these tutorials wouldn’t steer me wrong?

I spread the stripper on like frosting using a metal putty knife-like contraption. I left it sit for 3-4 hours and then began scraping it off.  It got most of the finish off, but I had to go around to different spots and do a bit of touch up.  The stripper left a residue, which is apparently common for gel strippers to do.



After some sanding, it looked like this:



Pretty darn good.

Now it was time to choose a stain.  We played around with a couple of colors.  I wanted a medium shade of walnut and chose a color that looked good with the veining on the countertop.

After staining, I liked the color.  However, as the day progressed it kept looking darker and darker to me. Because it’s oak, the black really stuck in the grain of the wood and made it look almost charcoal-toned.



Cue nervous breakdown #1.

“Now what do I do?  I just stripped a section of 90 year old wood…can I strip the color off again, or would that wreck the wood?  It will take me forever to strip, sand and re-stain the breakfast bar and buffet.  I am such an idiot…how could I have chosen this color? You are an incompetent buffoon…” and so on.

The china cabinet was scheduled to come the following morning and I didn’t know what to do.  The cabinet was supposed to be stained to match the countertop & buffet but I didn’t like the color on those.  I figured the best approach would be to get the color nailed on the china cabinet and then tackle the color on the countertops, which meant a lot of pressure to get this right this time.

The china cabinet arrived the next morning and it was beautiful!  But I still felt sick about choosing a color for it because I had obviously chosen poorly the day before.  And I still felt like an incompetent buffoon.




Our contractor put some danish oil on a piece of maple and I instantly loved it.  That  is the color I’ve been searching for.



So long story short, we’ve been adding a danish oil with a yellow tint to the countertops to try to bring it closer to the color of the china cabinet.  We have two coats on it right now and I think it’s as close as I am going to get, plus the added bonus of not having to strip and sand both surfaces down again.  Our contractor is a genius.

After an eventful day, I decided to enjoy the simple pleasure of putting my plates away in the cabinet and admire its general splendor.  Cue nervous breakdown #2.

The plates don’t fit.

I tried a different plate from a different set and it doesn’t fit either.  I called our contractor and the cabinet was made 12″ deep, not 13″ like our upper cabinets.  The standard upper cabinet is 12″ deep but our manufacturer makes inset cabinets like ours 13″ deep to compensate for the inset.  I asked him what could we do….and he said we may have to scrap the cabinet.

Luckily, this nervous breakdown was shorter.  I googled to see what the standard size dinner plate is and it ranges from 10-14″, in case anyone out there wants to know.  Oh, sweet relief.  I can just buy new plates and all will be well.  I found a set at Target and will score them when they’re on sale.

I think I can say the kitchen is officially done!

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