You guys. You will never guess what happened to me. I went on vacation with a friend for a week, and while I was gone, the Five-Percent Fairies came to my house and finished the buffet.
They DO exist!
Can I just say one thing, though? Between you and me? While I am extremely grateful for the work of the Five-Percent Fairies, and I would very much enjoy collaborating with them again on future projects, I think “5%” might be overselling themselves a bit. Maybe 1-2% would be more accurate.
All they did was install the hardware and hang the doors.
Don’t get me wrong, here! That’s 1-2% that I DIDN’T have to do. And it was the last 1-2%, which always seems to be the hardest. But look at where we were right after I finished painting the rest of the dining room woodwork…
…and look at where we ended…
…and imagine all the work that had to be done before it was time to install the hardware and hang the doors. Here, let me help you.
For starters, those drawers didn’t even exist before. Well, the bottom two of them didn’t – they were just false fronts, glued and nailed and screwed and caulked into place by some mysterious anti-drawer homeowner in the past. And the top three were splintery and old and janky. And I just figured, what the hell, if I’m gonna build two drawers, I might as well build five. And then they will match and be new.
If I were a great blogger, I would show you the inside of those drawers, styled with perfectly folded cute table linens and matching silverware or something. But since I am a regular person who owns neither table linens of any kind nor matching silverware, you should just be impressed that the drawers match. BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, I HAVE FIVE FUNCTIONING DRAWERS THAT MATCH.
Chris was like, “Why don’t you just build two? Isn’t building five, like, 150% more work?” And I was like, “But then I’d have to fix and sand and paint three drawers, which is a million percent more work than just building a few more boxes, and in case you haven’t noticed, I’m kinda tired of fixing and sanding and painting, and anyway mind your own business because you’re not the one that’s going to have to do it either way.”
And then one day while my parents were in town, I had class all day and my dad said, “Anything you want me to help out with while I’m here?” So of course I said, “Well, if you’re really bored, I’ve got five drawers that need building.” Which is how I got out of building the drawers, which probably constituted about 50% of the entire buffet project.
Oh, and Chris helped him. So, Chris, I was wrong. You were the one that had to do it. But, if it makes you feel better, I asked my dad, who has more building and woodworking and renovation experience than me: “If it were your house and your buffet project, would you repair the old drawers or just make new ones?” And he said he’d probably just make new ones. So…that makes me feel better, anyway.
I did all the painting, which accounted for 30% of the effort but probably 66.667% of the time required for this project, because four coats of paint basically takes four days to do, unless you’re one of those overly ambitious people who spends more than an hour or two per day on a project. And that doesn’t include the time spent removing the hardware, taking the glass out of the doors, sanding the door frames, etc.
And then there was the hardware itself.
I spent about 4 hours boiling, scrubbing, and polishing the hardware to clean off all the layers of stain and shellac and polyurethane (a process that I’ve talked about before), which is totally reasonable if you love the hardware and are restoring a house to be your forever house.
But, I am…neutral toward this hardware. I don’t hate it. It looks nice now that it’s all cleaned up. I wouldn’t choose it if I were buying new hardware. I wouldn’t keep it if I were going to live in this house forever, not when these are an option:
But whoever buys this house isn’t going to appreciate new hardware any more than they’re going to appreciate the hours I put into cleaning up the old hardware, so I went with the “free” option.
And then, once the drawers were built and everything was painted and the hardware was cleaned up, I had to clean and re-install the glass in the doors. All that stain and shellac and poly that was on the hardware? It was slopped all over the glass, too. Going back to things that are reasonable if you are restoring a house to be your forever house: this should TOTALLY be leaded glass, right? My next built-in buffet will have glass pulls and leaded glass doors. But this one? Meticulous scraping with a razor blade and a streak-free shine will do. Took me maybe an hour.
And then, once the drawers were built and everything was painted and the hardware was cleaned up and the glass was cleaned and re-installed, then it was finally time to install the hardware and doors, but instead I went on vacation, and now somehow the buffet is done. And since I wasn’t the one that finished it, that must mean that finishing fairies really do exist.
I just think maybe they might want to consider a minor re-branding.