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Five Favorite Tools for Painting Cabinets + Furniture

Hello friends!

As I continue to tackle more cabinet and furniture projects, I'm constantly on the hunt for new products and tools to streamline my process and provide a high quality finished look.  So, I read and I talk to experts.  A lot.  And in doing so, I find, and experiment with lots of different products and tools in the process.  I've shared some of my favorite tools and products before, but the list just keeps on growing.  This post contains some affiliate links.

Abranet Sanding Discs
I started using these after reading about them at Traditional Painter.  Abranet discs are, by far, the best sanding discs that I've ever used, and I've tried a lot of different products.  The way they are designed is different than any other product out there, and I think that's what makes them stand out above the pack.  You can use them with your orbital sander, and watch them go to work.  They're a mesh type of sanding disc, and all I can say is that they get the job done.   Do you have a furniture piece that needs to be stripped?  You need these.  As the guy at Woodcraft said, "The 40 grit could take the bark off of a tree."  By the same token, they also can give a finished look with a higher grit.  Love them, and they're a staple in my toolbox.  When I was ready to give up on furniture paint removal, I used them to get the two layers of old paint off on this dresser redo.
If you don't have an orbital sander, don't worry.  You can use these with a hand sander, or you can get the rectangular ones and work with those.  Even for hand sanding, I was amazed at how well they work.

Festool Orbital Sander
While we're on the subject of sanding, I can't not talk about my Festool Orbital Sander.  By far, one of my favorite tools for a task that is not my favorite.  It should be said that it's an investment tool, but worth every penny, in my opinion.  Considering the fact that I expect to have this tool for a long time, and it's a pleasure to use, it was worth the money ($195).  It's a low vibration tool, and when you lift it off of what you're sanding, it stops vibrating so that you don't get those "skid marks" on your furniture piece or cabinet doors.  That alone makes it worthwhile, in my opinion.

Plus, one thing I have learned as I do these projects, is that prep is key to a beautiful end result. And, since prep is arguably the worst part of painting, why not make it as painless as possible?
Festool Dust Extractor
Granted, this tool may not be for everyone, but I have to share it anyway because it is just that good.  Again, I'm doing a lot of work for other people, and you know that sanding and dust go hand in hand.  The use of this dust extractor (the Festool Mini) has practically eliminated dust from the equation.  I kid you not.  My orbital sander hooks up to it, and it sucks the dust away while you work - brilliant, yes?  

I was working on this kitchen, and the homeowner told me that she had put off dusting because she was expecting a dusty mess from the painting of the kitchen cabinets.  She was amazed at how there was no dust flying around while I worked.  That is a huge selling point for me, as a painter.  If you can reduce the dust factor and keep a clean work environment, that means less prep work, and everyone is happier as a result.
I also used it for sanding down and repairing my walls after removing wallpaper during the One Room Challenge.  We all know what a mess drywall dust creates, and this tool eliminates it.  Like a boss.

If you don't want to invest in a dust extractor (or even an orbital sander), but still want to minimize dust, you can go with this handheld setup and hook up to your Shop Vac, which I did for awhile before making the leap to a bigger set up.

For this, I used the Abranet rectangular sanding sheets (that can be cut to size), along with this hose to hook up to my Shop Vac.

High Quality Paint Brushes
If you're brushing your cabinet frames, you'll want to make sure you have a good paint brush to keep brush marks to a minimum.  I have a couple that I've been using regularly, and am embarrassed to say how many of them I have in my toolbox.  I have shared Fox paint brushes here, but Picasso is another brand that I like - particularly, their angled brush.  I like using angled brushes for cutting in, and I also like the shorter handle for getting into small spots.
Paint Brush Cleaner
While I try to avoid it, in some instances, I need to use oil-based products, and this paint brush cleaner is great for clean-up.  It's also a great product if you happen to forget to clean your brush, and it gets a little bit hardened as a result.  Not that I know anything about that...  You can pick this up at Home Depot or Menards (which is where I found it).

As I finish this up, I'm thinking of even more products and tools that I like, so I'm going to have to do another installment on this topic.  Bear with me - there is just a lot out there that makes the job easier!

In the meantime, I'm going to be getting started on this gorgeous client kitchen (and using these tools as part of my arsenal). :-)

If you need me, I'll be painting...


Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don't)

Happy Friday!

We're wrapping up the first full week of school and suffice to say, we're all tired.  The puppy doesn't help matters either, and I should say that Murphy is making a lot of progress.  But I'm still looking into obedience training so that we can get him off on the right foot paw.

Let's get started on this week's 5+1, shall we?  This post contains some affiliate links.

Nail Polish for Fall
I think that the fall months are the only time where I really get excited about nail polish colors.  I love all of the different shades of gray, taupe and deep moody blues that are on the market, and OPI always has great names for their colors, which makes it even more fun.  I wonder how you get that job?

These OPI grays are perfect for cooler months.

And I love this Roadhouse Blue shade.

If you're feeling indecisive, you can always get a full fall collection of colors.

Weather Tech Mats
I know that these are hardly exciting or even pretty, but I have wanted them ever since I saw them in my friend's van.  These Weather Tech Mats would be lifesavers in the winter months, when the kids are trekking their dirty, snowy feet in my car.  They are molded to fit the specific measurements of your car, thus saving your floor mats from complete ruin. These are on my holiday wish list.

Think of these for yourself, or even for your husband.  I don't know about you, but my husband is practically impossible to buy for, when it comes to gifts.  These are great in that regard - sometimes functional and practical wins the race.

Copper Mugs (for Moscow Mules)
I have heard from several people now about how amazing a Moscow Mule is.  If you don't know what it is, it's a drink that contains ginger beer, vodka and lime, and is served in a copper mug that's supposed to keep it nice and cold.  I have all of the ingredients for a Moscow Mule, but am missing the copper mugs!  If this is the reason I need to justify copper mugs, than so be it, because they're pretty.

Something like this will do the trick.

Or these, if you prefer to have mugs that aren't "hammered".  Drinking from "hammered" mugs just seems to be setting the night up for trouble from the start, doesn't it?  Why risk it?
Mobile Car Detailing
Now, I'm not one to get my car detailed on a regular basis (perhaps I should), but we recently sold my minivan, and since it was a disgusting mess, I figured I could, at the very least, get it professionally cleaned.  We are lucky to have a highly praised mobile car detailer in our area - Starwash Mobile Detailing, so I gave him a call, and was blown away at how fantastic my van looked when he finished.  It was like it got a new lease on life.

But the best part was that they came to my house to do the work.  No trying to schedule a drop-off to a car wash and then being stuck without a car.  SO convenient, which is definitely a priority for me.  And his prices were competitive as well.  If anything, I think he should be charging more, since they save so much time and hassle.  If you're in the market, see if you can find one in your area.  If you're in the Dayton/Cincinnati area, give StarWash Mobile Detailing a call - I can't say enough about their quality and service.

More Bad Lip Reading
I've shared a Bad Lip Reading video before, but there is a new one that is worth watching if you missed it.  It's from the Republican debates.  Funny.  Click here to watch, or you can click below.  I dare you not to laugh.

My +1 for the week is about my iPhone, and needing to update the iOS.  However, I'm low on space, so I can't update it.  I have a ton of photos and set it up to go to the iCloud, but since my iOS isn't updated, I can't login to the cloud on my computer.  Which means I can't free up space to updating my iOS...  I even tried plugging the phone into my computer, but, you guessed it, since my iOS isn't updated, the computer doesn't recognize my phone.

I think Apple has little gremlins behind a curtain just toying with me, hoping I'll cave and just buy a new phone.  Their plan may be successful at this rate.  My old eyes need a bigger screen anyway...

Have a fantastic weekend!