Clippings by another_linda

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RE: Pickled Banana pepper recipe for refigeration (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ksrogers on 09.30.2008 at 07:53 pm in Harvest Forum

About all you can do is mix the distilled white vinegar and pickling salt to TASTE. You could add up to about 15% water. Slice, or at least deseed the peppers. Then pack the jar(s) with them and pour in the room temp brine that has ben tasted. As an added tang, a couple of cut up cloves of garlic can be added as well. If you want a sweeter brine, you can add a little sugar to taste. A recipe isn't really necessary unless it was meant for home canning. These peppers are quite tender, so the addition of some Pickle Crisp, or food grade calcium chloride will help keep them a bit firm a bit longer. ANY heat applied will turn these to mush. Thats the reason I use a vacuum process for my also very tender pepperoncini peppers. They get no heat either and I am still enjoying 3 year old quart jars that are still quite crisp. My brine is full strength 5% whiet vinegar and pickling salt to taste. As you mentioned, these should be stored in the fridge at all times.


Jalapeno, Thai chili, garlic, peppercorns & allspice.
clipped on: 08.17.2012 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 08.17.2012 at 11:45 am

curtain panels - any opinions?

posted by: teresa_nc7 on 03.17.2012 at 12:03 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Found this idea on BH&G and really like the idea to add a simple window treatment in my LR and DR. I think they have used medallion post tiebacks to hold the curtains and simple self loops of the curtain fabrics.

I'd like to find less expensive post tiebacks - any ideas?

I want to add some softness around my large (old) window frames, a little color and/or texture, and fabric to help with the noise of all the original hardwood floors in my 1910 bungalow. I like cottage style, but not all white and I have mostly antiques in both rooms. I have to keep my mini blinds up at the windows for privacy most importantly and I'm o.k. with that. At some point I hope to change the blinds for something that looks better and is of higher quality - but these blinds came with the house.

Would like to hear any opinions you have about this simple window treatment. Thanks! ~Teresa

Image Hosting by


clipped on: 03.17.2012 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2012 at 05:33 pm

RE: Curb Appeal for Cape Cod Home (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: cattknap on 01.03.2012 at 04:11 pm in Home Decorating Forum

The white surround of the molding and storm door makes your door look like it is floating -I'd paint the storm door trim black to give the doorway some definition.

This is a pic of the front of our house - with dark green, almost black shutters and red door.

October 2010 Kentucky


Beautiful landscape for entry
clipped on: 01.05.2012 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 01.05.2012 at 10:37 am

RE: What's Your Favorite Garden Accent/Art? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: gardenweed_z6a on 08.30.2011 at 04:56 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

I love garden art/hardscaping and have a fair amount placed throughout the beds in my little green acre.

My son & DIL gifted me with this biker boot/creeping sedum for Mother's Day 2010 since they figured (and rightly so) "no one else would have one like it"

My daughter gifted me with this stone owl the same day:

I have shepherd's hooks with windchimes throughout the garden, various rocks (in particular, one my daughter painted with a hosta on it), seashells, pottery (including a gorgeous broken planter that was my mother's), a brass sundial, a granite bench and a section of split rail fence.

My granite butterfly observation bench:

This candytuft is growing through a broken pot that's just visible at the top of the image:

This section of fence originally stood up near the road in front of the house. I moved it down behind the bed where my bench is placed but last year set it at the top of a short, steep hill behind my garage. I'm hoping to coax a clematis to grow on it.

But the piece d'resistance is The Somers Cleat:

It's solid iron, roughly 3 ft. wide, a foot tall, weighs around 350 lbs. and could probably keep a super-tanker moored safely through a hurricane. My son saw it on his way to work, didn't know what it was but since it looked nautical and I love to sail, he bought it for me. A year later he proudly delivered the 24 ft. of bright blue nylon rope that's wrapped around it. If anyone wants a laugh, I'd be happy to share how he got his hands on THAT!


Walkway - pretty!
clipped on: 09.02.2011 at 10:52 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2011 at 10:53 pm

Per request, a few pics of My3dogs home interior

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

Let me start by saying that I'm a newbie, and that my home is in southern Maine, near the coast. It is an old cape built in 1937, and a modest home of about 1700 sq. ft. I have owned it almost 22 years, and have added to it and updated it so it's perfect for me and 'my 3 dogs'! For those who haven't seen the exterior, here it is. I added the garage in the 90's.


I live on a small river which forms my irregular property line. I have many perennial are a few. This photo was taken in the spring, so not much is in bloom.

You enter through this 6' x 6' porch. 99% of furnishings, wall paper , chandy in here are from eBay.

I added this half bath years ago. The only bathrooms in the house when I bought it were upstairs and a 'rustic' one in the cellar!
I made the vanity from an old bureau that I bought for $100. Top is a remnant of Delicatus granite. Again, most accessories are from eBay.

Again, it's a modest home, and I remodeled the kitchen in the early 90's! It had a large wood stove in the kitchen when I bought it, 24" of counter space, and dark plywood cabinets. This remodel still works well for me today.

As you see from the above pic, some of the rooms still have their original, and beautiful (IMO) radiators. The house is primary heated with oil, but it also has electric heat, a gas fireplace in the LR that I put in, and the old kitchen wood stove is in the cellar now. I can use whatever is least expensive at the time, and won't freeze.

The back of the LR isn't that 'country, any more, and now looks more like this. The vintage secretary is the largest item I have ever bought on eBay. Hunting toile on the re-covered (but not by me) love seat is also from eBay.

I make all my own window treatments, and this is what is in the kitchen for the summer. A Pierre Deux 'Geraine' bargain from eBay.

Whatever fabric I use for the kitchen WTs, I also shirr on dowels that I mounted inside the glass doors, and use them to cover cook books etc, on the pantry wall in the kitchen.

Whew, I'll take a break and post a few more, if you want to see any....


clipped on: 10.05.2010 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2010 at 04:58 pm

RE: Antique brass OVAL shaped coffee table with glass top? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: my3dogs on 05.30.2009 at 02:54 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I got this on eBay last October. It's from the 1960s, made in Italy, solid brass base with faux bamboo look, and glass top. It's 30"x18"x16" high. I LOVE it, paid $341, and later found 2 sellers on 1stdibs selling it for $1000 and $1575 respectively. I have seen one on eBay since, so if you like it, you might keep your eyes open there. It had just been delivered when I took this pic, so that's why it's so bare.


I don't know where you live, but this one is on the Maine Craigslist for $50! See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: brass glass oval coffee table


clipped on: 10.05.2010 at 04:57 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2010 at 04:57 pm

finished! Vintage Cream in the City

posted by: shanghaimom on 05.01.2010 at 09:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

We are finally finished with our kitchen remodel of our 1889 home. I have been a daily (truthfully, sometimes HOURLY) lurker and sporadic poster for almost two years. There is NO WAY I could have planned this remodel without the help of GW--We were living in China for over 5 years and I had to do all of my planning from there. This meant NO MAGAZINES, nor could I visit showrooms and see anything in person. Every time I had a question, I seemed to be able to find a thread about it. Not to mention all of the inspirational photos!!! I was so afraid of missing an important tidbit! (We were 13 hours ahead there, so I could easily miss a thread as it fell off onto pages two, three, four...)

Anyway, many thanks to all of the great TKO people who contribute to this forum.

Photos first! Details at the end. (o:




pass-thru detail

cabinetry--local custom painted in BM Bone White oil-based enamel
walls-- BM Ballet White
counters--Zodiaq quartz Mystic Black (kind of a charcoal color)
pulls--Amerock Revitalize in Burnished Bronze
sink--Ticor zero-radius SS508
faucet--Kohler Vinnata in Vibrant Polished Nickel
range-36" Bertazzoni Heritage Series in Anthracite
hood- Vent-A-Hood NPH9-136
backsplash- 3" hexagonal Calcatta marble
pendants--Hinckley Knickerbocker (these are on clearance all over for a song right now...)
windows--Marvin double-hung cottage style


clipped on: 05.02.2010 at 08:04 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2010 at 08:04 pm

RE: Home made art for a tight budget? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: dilly_dally on 07.10.2009 at 11:46 am in Home Decorating Forum

I love that dictionary page art! Very cool.

I'll second the idea for using calendars for cheap wall art. I did it in my guest room. I used square frames that were made for displaying record album covers. They sell them at Target. The best part about using old calendars is that it is quick and easy to change it out if you get bored with it. When your son grows older and needs something more sophisticated than bunnies on his wall you can switch it out to trucks or something he says he likes.

If you only need one, or maybe two matching frames for your art, project go to Goodwill, or another store like it in your area. They have oodles of framed art being sold for a couple bucks. Sometimes there is even nice matting in them. The art is usually crappy but you can remove it and use the nice frames. I found all the frames for holding my family photos on the wall by going to Goodwill.

Also, if you decide to paint your own oil paintings you can often find old oil painting at Goodwill to paint over. The ones at GW are usually some kid's high school art project and not anything collectible. Very famous artists are known to have painted used canvases and some very famous painting hung on museum walls have junk painted behind them.

Since you like Contemporary styling consider using print fabric stretched over a frame. This gives you a huge art piece for a wall. If you do not know how to do this an artist supply shop where they stretch canvas for oil painting can do your piece of printed cloth but there are plenty of step-by-step 'how tos' if you Google.

Don't limit yourself to the bargain bin at the fabric store either. Check Goodwill for XXL Hawaiian shirts, old prom dresses and the like, for vintage printed material with nice designs for wall art. I found a needlepoint throw pillow of Elvis's face done ala Andy Warhol style at GW. I was not going to use it as a pillow on my couch or bed :eeeew: but instead take the pillow apart and take that finely done needlepoint and frame it. Unfortunately it got ruined in the flood we had in early July.

peace out girl scout Pictures, Images and Photos

peace out girl scout Pictures, Images and Photos

peace out girl scout Pictures, Images and Photos

peace out girl scout Pictures, Images and Photos

peace out girl scout Pictures, Images and Photos


clipped on: 10.25.2009 at 10:10 am    last updated on: 10.25.2009 at 10:11 am

RE: Home made art for a tight budget? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: metromom on 07.10.2009 at 10:55 am in Home Decorating Forum

You said your style runs more traditional, so I'm not sure this will help you much but I have framed fabric:

Here's one where I ripped a page out of an old dictionary and printed a leaf print (google images) onto it:


clipped on: 10.25.2009 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 10.25.2009 at 10:10 am

Brutuses - I will post easy valance directions later

posted by: my3dogs on 07.17.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

I have LOTS of work - my real job - to do today, so will not be able to post them til later, But it's just a piece of decorator fabric 54" wide, lined, with trim glued on the bottom. I make matching or coordinating ties to hold them up, and depending on your choice of fabric, you can get MANY different looks. Here are a few more that you haven't seen in other posts.




I typically don't show bedroom pics, as I just throw an old sheet over the bed, due to sharing it with the dogs!

These are hung inside the trim in my office/sewing room.

You've seen these in another post, but fall/winter in upstairs bath

Currently in dining room. I used inexpensive cord curtain tie backs to hold these silk ones up.


clipped on: 04.23.2009 at 03:32 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2009 at 03:33 pm

RE: Easy to sew valance directions (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.28.2008 at 11:04 am in Home Decorating Forum

Hi sheesharee,

Let me take these in order -

Lining fabric is sold at any store that carries home dec fabric. It's usually white or off-white and comes 54" wide. I buy mine on eBay about 20 yards at at time, since I use quite a bit of it. It comes in all cotton, all poly and cotton/poly blends. Joann Fabric has many different linings.

Pin your fabric ALL the way around. I use a pin about every 3".

You can leave the opening for turning on the top, side or on the bottom. As noted above, if the openings you leave on the sides near the top are large enough, based on the type of curtain rod you are using, these openings may be large enough to use for turning the fabric.

The opening that you leave for turning your fabric right side out must be left OPEN. You will choose where to leave your opening - I suggest the bottom or on a side.

Wherever you leave it - stitch across the top of your valance using a half inch seam. Stitch across the bottom of it next. Now stitch each side, from top to bottom, using the seam allowance. Doing it in this order reduces the chance of puckering. BUT, you must also leave the openings near the top of each side that will become the openings for your rod pockets. If they are large enough, you do not need to leave another opening to turn the fabric. You can stick your hand in the rod pocket openings to turn it.

No, if you do it correctly, the opening that you have left open, when you turn and press your valance, will be folded under by ironing. It will fold in itself as you iron. You simply need to cut the fusible tape to the length of that opening, place the tape inside on top of the folded fabric edge, and press it closed. It will look just the same as the stitched fabric above and below it.

I suggest cutting off the selvages, which are the white parts with the writing, before you pin the fabric and lining together. This assures that you will not see that writing through the lining when you finish your valance.

You will see in the 3rd paragraph above where I say that I use about 1 1/4 yards of fabric for the length of my valances. This extra fabric is needed for the folds that are created when you tie up the fabric.

However, if you are making this for a short window, you can buy less. The center 'drop' on my finished valances after tying them up is generally 20" - 24", but there are folds in that, as you see above in the pic, or in the one below that shows it clearly. I'd always err on the side of it being too long, rather than too short. When it's short it looks skimpy and cheap, IMO. You can tie it up as high or as low as you want, but the folds add richness to the valance.


Here is a link that might be useful: see lining fabric here on ebay


clipped on: 04.23.2009 at 03:31 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2009 at 03:31 pm

RE: Easy to sew valance directions (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.18.2008 at 07:52 am in Home Decorating Forum

Hi, lyban...hmmmm, I would not use the whole 54" width of the fabric for a window that narrow. You do want to have some 'gathering' at the top across the width, but that is too much (IMO) for that size window.

I just measured my half bath window width. From outside to outside trim, it is 36" wide. I used the full width of the 54" fabric on that. So, doing the math, my fabric was 18" wider than the overall width of my window. Is the 22" the entire width of your window including trim? If yes, my suggestion would be to have the width of your fabric approx. 38" - 40" to have it the same ratio as mine was to start.

Hi, tinam61, I actually buy a tad more fabric to start due to the fact that it may be cut unevenly in the store. So, I might buy 1 3/8 yards. If I am making my ties from the same fabric, I'll buy 1 1/2 yards to start. I am very careful to have my starting piece of fabric be the exact same length on the left and right sides.

BUT, for the ties, you need to see if your ties can be cut across the WIDTH of your fabric, or do you need to buy a longer piece for the ties, so the pattern on them will be correct? If it's solid, plaid or dots, it doesn't matter. But if it is a print with a definite up and down, you need to see how the pattern runs on the fabric.

In these with the striped fabric ties, the stripe ran the length of the fabric, not the width, so I bought about 1/2 yd of the striped fabric and cut 2 pieces lengthwise for EACH tie, and carefully stitched them together end to end, matching the stripe, so it ended up looking like one long piece of fabric.

I hope this all makes sense. It does as I write it, but I have made several valances and used many different fabrics.


Someone last night on the HGTV boards was asking how to make this valance that she saw online. Isn't it beautiful? It just shows what you can do with the right fabrics and trim. I gave her my directions, because even though I didn't make this one, it's exactly the same 'pattern' as mine!

Once you become comfortable with the directions, you will really enjoy finding great fabric combinations to make YOUR custom valances! The possibilities are endless!


clipped on: 04.23.2009 at 03:23 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2009 at 03:29 pm

Easy to sew valance directions

posted by: my3dogs on 07.17.2008 at 08:01 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Hi everyone!

Here are the directions for the valances that you saw in the post linked below. They ARE EASY - but the directions are long, because I am trying to give you enough detail, even if you are a beginner. Read them all the way through so you understand them, and ask any questions you may have. If you are a real novice, you may want to make a sample using just muslin, or other inexpensive fabric, til you get the hang of it.

This is a no-pattern valance that I started making last summer. It requires just straight stitching. My windows are generally about 50" (more or less)in height. If your windows are very short or very tall, you may want to vary the length of the fabric you use. I would say to err on the 'buy more' side though, so they don't look skimpy. The fullness adds richness.

I generally use 1 1/4 yards of 54" wide home dec fabric to make the valance. You will need an equal amount of lining fabric. If you choose to put trim on the bottom (it adds a lot to the treatment, IMO) buy 1 1/2 yards of trim to make sure you have enough to go across the length of your 54" wide fabric. If your fabric is wider than 54", buy enough trim to cover its width.

Cut your valance fabric and lining to equal lengths. I always measure the side edges of my fabric and mark the length before cutting. It may have not been cut straight at the store, and you want to be sure that your left side is the same length as your right side.

Pin the two rectangles of fabric together on all sides, with the RIGHT (front) sides of the fabrics inside, facing each other. Before putting the fabrics together, I mark lightly on the back which is the TOP of the print (if using a print) and which is the bottom, so your print will end up right side up!

Depending on the type of rod you plan to use for the valance, you need to leave openings on each side that will become your rod pocket. Continental rods (the flat wide plain ones) need a 4" rod pocket. If you use a decorative rod, with finals on the end that screw off, I would recommend making your rod pocket 2" wide. For a small tension rod, I'd make the rod pocket 1.5" wide. You don't want to force your fabric onto the rod - allow room to make it easy for you.

Measure down from the TOP of your pinned together fabric, and make a light mark with pencil on each side, the size of your chosen rod pocket, plus 1/2". That 1/2" is going to be the width of your top seam. You'll be making a mark on the left and right sides 4 1/2" down from the top if you use a Continental rod, for example. Stitch from these marks down each side to the bottom, using a 1/2" seam.

You'll need to leave an opening in the top or bottom to turn your valance inside out when you're done stitching.

I'd suggest a 4" - 6" opening for turning. If your rod pocket openings are 4", you don't need to leave another opening, you can use them to turn it inside out.

Mark the opening you need to leave, then stitch across the top and bottom edges, using a 1/2" seam, leaving your opening...well...OPEN!

Clip your fabric corners off OUTSIDE of your stitching. This is just a small triangle of fabric from each corner. This will allow you to get nice sharp edges on your corners when your turn the valance right side out, as it reduces the bulk of fabric there.

Turn your valance right side out, pulling it through the opening you left. I use a wooden chop stick to push the fabric gently at the corners to make them nice and square, once I have turned mine right side out. Don't push too hard, or you may poke a hole through your valance! At this point, you should have a lined rectangle of fabric, with rod pocket openings near the top of each side.

Close the opening you left for turning, either by folding and pressing the edges in and hand stitching it closed, or use 'stitch witchery' type of fusing tape to do it. You can also sew it closed with your sewing machine, but you want to do it right at the edge. You want to make this closure as 'invisible' as possible, so I always use fusible tape.

Carefully iron your valance. Use your fingers to work the edges, so that you have your seam right in the middle of each edge, so you don't see the front fabric on the backside, and you don't see the lining from the front.

Now, to stitch the rod pocket. You will be making one row of stitching across the front of your fabric from side to side.
Measure down from the top edge, so you have the same length opening on each side. The size of the opening you left on each side was determined above by the type of rod you're using.

You can lightly pencil on the line that you need to stitch across, or do what I do - Place the fabric on the sewing machine, and put the needle down on the place where you'll start stitching. Take a 4" (approx) length of masking tape, and lay it against the upper edge of the fabric, to the right of the needle, and stick it to the sewing machine base. You can use this tape edge as a guide to hold the top edge of your fabric against as you stitch across. It helps you make a straight, even rod pocket. My sewing machine has tape on it for all different widths of rod pockets!

If you chose to put trim on the bottom of your valance, do it now. I use 'Aleen's OK To Wash-It' fabric glue that you can get at WalMart or a fabric store. If you use glue, just follow the directions on the bottle to glue your trim evenly to the front bottom of your valance. I lay my valance on my kitchen island, and let it set overnight, while the glue dries. You can also stitch your trim on, either by hand or by machine. I prefer the glue, because you see no stitching on the back side. (I'm anal.)

Now to make the ties. You can simply buy ribbon (such as grosgrain) or use purchased cord (see my dining room silk ones in the link) or make them out of fabric. Use either the same fabric or a coordinating one.

Here, you first need to decide if you are going to tie your valance up with bows, or do knots. Bows take longer ties.

Allow yourself a MINIMUM of 36" long ties. You can always cut them shorter if necessary, but you can't make them longer. I suggest hanging your valance up and using string to tie them up temporarily to see how long you need to make your ties. (It's longer than you think!)

Cut your strips of fabric approx 4" wide and the length you have decided on above for your ties. Fold and pin the strips in half the the short way, so you have a long strip of fabric that is 2" wide. Make sure the right sides are together, (inside) because you are going to turn them inside out after stitching.

Stitch along the pinned edge of each strip, about 1/4" from the edge. Now the fun part - turn those narrow strips inside out. My chop stick comes in handy for this, but use whatever method you choose to accomplish this.

Press the ties just as you did the valance rectangle, making sure your seam is even on the edge. I fold in the raw ends and use my fusible tape to close them, but you can machine stitch them closed or do it by hand - Your choice. Your valance is done!

Put it on your rod, using the rod pocket. Hang it in your window. Now, take the ties, and simply drape them over the rod on each side, having half of the tie fabric strip hanging in front, and the other half of the tie hanging behind the valance.

Now, gather up one side of the valance in your hands, and reach behind it it grab the dangling tie in back. Tie up the valance, by tying the front and back pieces of the tie together, either in a knot or a bow. Do the same with the other side, making sure your ties on each side are tied up at the same length.

Now stand back and make sure your valance looks even at the bottom on each side. Use your hand to 'finger fold' and drape your fabric until the look is what you want.

You'll be surprised at what a difference it can make in the look by spacing your ties closer together, or moving them further apart on the rod. Also by tying the ties higher or lower...

This is where you need to play around until you get the look you want. On the HGTV message board, a woman made these and kept posting pics asking for advice - Higher? Lower? Move the ties apart or closer...It's really all up to you. Hers looked GREAT when she was done, and she was so pleased to have made her own custom valance. I hope you all feel the same way, if you try them!

Here is a link that might be useful: several shown here - all the same instructions


clipped on: 04.23.2009 at 03:23 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2009 at 03:23 pm

Another way to hang WT's

posted by: brutuses on 01.27.2009 at 09:27 am in Home Decorating Forum

I advised a poster the other day on what I thought would look best when hanging her curtains. Sorry, I can't remember your name. You're the one with the beautiful yellow bedroom that you wanted to incorporate blue into. I had suggested the blind be brought up to cover the empty space between the top of the curtain and the blind. Anyway, a photo of what I was trying to explain came to me in a newsletter and I wanted to post it for you to see. Here is the before and after.




clipped on: 04.23.2009 at 03:20 pm    last updated on: 04.23.2009 at 03:21 pm

Do you think my3dogs valances would work in a bay configuration?

posted by: valinsv on 03.05.2009 at 01:23 am in Home Decorating Forum

I've been debating if I should make some valances for my office and am wondering a combination of a curtain rod like Parma's with three my3dog valances would work. My windows trim-to-trim are 39"W x 50"H with 5" from the end of the trim to each corner.

My office is so small it's difficult to get a single shot of all three windows, but you get the idea:


I'd use a rod similar to what Parma has in this picture:


And one of my3dogs's valances:


I would make three and put one per window.

Then I wonder if doing three all together is going to look too fussy and I should leave it as is. For point of reference, the office is basically a nook off of the master bedroom so I don't want it to look too businessey.


clipped on: 04.21.2009 at 12:38 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2009 at 12:38 pm

My Cabinet Touchup Process for Minor Nicks and Flaws

posted by: lmalm53 on 11.19.2008 at 04:34 am in Kitchens Forum

I was asked by nomorebluekitchen to write up something about my process for touching up my old cabinets and to include some before and after pictures. Let me preface this by saying emphatically that I am NOT a refinisher and really have just been using trial and error to find something that works on minor nicks and water damage on the cabinet finish. In fact I would still like to know if there isn't some kind of final finish or wax that I should be applying to help keep my touchups protected from future moisture. But at least the touchups I did almost 6 months ago still look like new.

Please be aware that I have used this process only on natural solid wood cabinets that have been stained, not painted. This may not work on laminate surfaces or composite woods. If anyone out there has more experience with this type of repair, please add your input also. This is the process I used.

First off, my 19 year old dark cherry cabinets were in need of a good cleaning. I have read some negative posts about using any kind of oil soap on cabinets, but I have had no problems using Murphy's Oil soap for cleaning up greasy spots. I just dilute a small amount of the soap in a pail of warm water and using a soft microfiber cloth I clean up the cabinets. If I have any tough dried on gunk, I gently clean it off using a piece of 0000 fine steel wool.

After drying with a soft cloth I then like to put a little Orange Glo furniture cleaner and polish on a clean white cloth and further clean and polish up the wood finish. At this point I carefully inspect for signs of wear, worn finish or nicks in the wood. You will be surprised how much you thought was damage turns out to have just been dirt or specks that easily clean off. Be sure to open up all the drawers and cabinet doors where there is often damage to the finish just inside the doors. I use my Minwax Stain Marker pen which matches my cabinet color perfectly. (I use 225 red mahogany)

Using the stain pen I just start filling in the damaged spots. Sort of like filling in the lines in a coloring book. :) I apply the stain generously, wipe up any excess with a paper towel and then let it sit for awhile. You could probably let it sit for a few hours or overnight, but I get impatient and tend to move from one cabinet to another with the cleanup and touchup process then work back to the first cabinet again to check the stain and see if I need to apply a little more.

Once I am satisfied that I have done my best touching up any damage, I then like to get another clean soft microfiber cloth to buff up the cabinet faces. Some of the stain will come off on your cloth, but in most cases the areas of damaged finish will have absorbed enough stain to improve the cosmetic look greatly. If you need to reapply some stain in especially large damaged areas, I would let the stain sit longer before you buff it out.

Now this is where I am probably missing a step, because it seems logically there should be some kind of finish coat or preservative put on the cabinets to keep them protected. But I have not added anything yet after buffing out the stain. Since most of my cabinet finish was in good shape I couldn't see the need to apply any all over sealer, but I guess a real refinisher would use something to seal the damaged areas. I am hoping my stain doesn't all come off the next time I deep clean the cabinets!

So...buyer beware!... but I was asked to explain how I do it so this is it. Here are some pics if it helps to see the types of damage that can be greatly improved without going to a lot of expense and trouble.

Here are the touchup supplies I use:



And here are some before and after pictures:

Small Cabinet Drawer Face Before Touchup

After Touchup

Cabinet Center Panel Before Touchup

After Touchup of Center Panel only

Whole Cabinet after Hardware Removed and Before Touchup

After Touchup and New Hardware installed

I will say that there are some types of damage that this process cannot repair. I have yet to figure out what I will do with my laundry room cabinet that has had so much water damage that the finish has turned a milky white in places. I suspect in that case I may need to strip the old finish down to the raw wood, restain and reseal completely. That will be a project I will tackle after I have done some more research!

But for now here is my updated kitchen. I saved a lot by keeping the 19 year old cabinets and by touching them up myself, instead of having them professionally refaced or refinished. Only time will tell how long my process holds up, but at this point I feel it was worth it! Most of my guests think the cabinets are brand new.

Hope this is helpful to someone. I am sure there are others who can improve on my methods, so please add your comments.


clipped on: 11.23.2008 at 07:11 pm    last updated on: 11.23.2008 at 07:11 pm