Test Sanding

There is a scene in an old movie, perhaps, The Sting, where some guys are contracting painting a large number of chairs. They paint the sample chair with a brush to see how long it takes in order to determine how much to charge the chairs’ owner. The owner stands by watching the painting with a brush and notes that it took nine minutes and agrees to pay the painters based on all the chairs taking nine minutes each.

After the owner agrees to the price he walks away and the painters throw down their brushes and pick up a spray painter and do the job at two minutes per chair. It made a big impression on me about pricing a job.

Today I am not only the painting contractor, but also the chair owner. I wanted to do a test about how long it would take me to clean the cabinets and do the first sanding. Since I am not ready to totally tear my whole kitchen apart I tested on the sides of the cabinets and shelf around the stove and the sink cabinets.

I used Kurd Kutter and wiped away years of grimy build up even though I had cleaned all the wood surfaces with Murphy’s oil soap last year. Then I got out my mouse sander and sanded every surface and edge. Then I wiped then all down again with another wet rag. The whole job took less than an hour. This gave me great hope about how long prepping 27 cabinet doors will take. I figure taking the doors down will be the longest and hardest job. I wish I had someone to charge for my work.

After finishing that test I cleaned out a cabinet finding things at had not seen in at least ten years. They all got thrown away. If I haven’t needed them for the last ten years I don’t need them now. This project is so much more than painting the cabinets!



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