I’ve prepared quite a few coursed meals in our kitchen now. Every year for New Year’s we host a group of 8-10 friends for a 5-course extravaganza. It’s always been frustrating to not have enough counter, refrigerator or oven space. But never quite as much as with this Thanksgiving, when I realized this kitchen is just not set up for a large meal, where multiple components need to be hot at the same time, at different temperatures, etc.

It was only natural that after Thanksgiving, I decided it was time to get my butt moving on finishing the mudroom so we can move onto the kitchen. So I bought myself a paint sprayer – a Graco Magnum X5, which was just reduced to $269 at Home Depot. It had the best reviews, and Graco is a well-known name, so I went for it.

I also bought some pre-catalyzed lacquer to finish off the interior doors like a pro. But about 5 seconds before I started spraying it, I decided I better figure out exactly how to clean it out of the sprayer afterwards. Good thing I did, because it turns out most DIY or homeowner sprayers aren’t meant to shoot lacquer, as it’ll gum up the hoses and o-rings. I’m assuming they don’t make them for lacquer for number of reasons (including that minor one where you can blow your garage up w/ the highly flammable spray). Read More The Bathroom Has a Door Again.


As ye faithful readers know, I’ve been putting off painting the house for some time. I wanted to wait until the addition on the front of the house is done… but let’s be honest, that will likely be another 10 years. Meanwhile, the fascia board has been peeling and siding blistering.

It was time. And it needed to happen before the rain came. So I blocked off a weekend. Makes sense, right? A single-level, 1755 sq ft rambler… two days max.

And that, my friends, is where the hazard warning lights should have started… Read More Painting A House (A Job Better Left to College Students)


Summer’s barely started in Portland, but the weekend calendar for the rest of the season is already full. Which leaves little time for DIYing. Before our summer kick-off trip to see Sean-in-law next week, we decided to stick around the house, have a little BBQ action with some friends, bottle a batch of home brew (well, most of it) and veneer the cabinet boxes I’ve been working on.

Let’s take a step back… Because of the way I designed the mudroom, the cabinets need to be custom built to fit properly. I got a few quotes to have custom cabinets built, and they were upwards of $2,000. NO THANKS.  So I decided to build them myself (oh, weird). Read More Veneering Plywood for Cabinets