“If you can’t get rid of it, you have to try to make it look a little bit better.”
- The Basics
- Name: Sarah
- Item: ACE Metallic Finish
- Project: Repair rusty medicine cabinet
- Estimated time to complete project: 90 minutes
- Estimated difficulty level: Easy
- Location: Ace Hardware, West Village, New York, N.Y. 10014
Q: What brings you here today?
A: My daughter is in the middle of a jewelry project, and her wire needed repair. She’s making some jewelry. It’s her first project. I’m trying to match the color of the wire that she’s using. I bought her this Metallic Finish to paint her wire. Hopefully this will work.
Q: Does she make jewelry for a living?
A: She’s beginning to. It’s a sideline. She’s a college student, but she’s very artistic.
Q: Do you make jewelry yourself?
A: No, I do home repair. So I got this one, which is chrome, because I have a very old medicine chest that actually has rust. It’s probably 30 years old. They don’t make the size of medicine chest that I need, so it’d be a big elaborate…I’d need to get sheet rock and fill in the big hole. So I thought I’d try painting over it. I thought at first I could only do spray paint, which would be very messy in a confined area, but I’m going to try this and I’m really excited.
Q: You really know what you’re doing?
A: Why, yes. So these [the paints] are dual purpose, but the same brand of paint. One is artistic and one is for home repairs.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being an expert, professional, home renovator, and 1 being a ‘jack of no trades whatsoever,’ how would you rate yourself?
A: I do painting. I do some repairs. I try to do plastering. I’m not great, but it looks better than it started off.
GETTING IT DONE
Q: How do you plan to do this project?
A: I’m going to try to be careful. I’m going to cover up the whole sink area and move everything out of the way. An ounce of prevention…they always say, right? Cover everything before and then I’m going to test a little part of the edge of the medicine chest, the chrome around it. It’s gotta look better because it’s actually rusted after 30 some odd years.
Q: What tools do you need?
A: I think just a paintbrush and some dropcloths or some plastic. Or maybe open up a big garbage bag and just cover everything.
Q: Are you getting help from anyone?
A: No, I’m just going to do this by myself. I just do plain, kind of mundane projects.
Q: What are the basic instructions?
A: You have to shake it up. And make sure that it’s all mixed up. And I’ll shake it and I’ll stir it. And then I’ll just start painting little by little and see how it goes.
Q: What’s the easiest part of the project?
A: I guess pouring the paint in a plastic container and using the paintbrush. It’s a small project. I think I also need to put some tape around the edge. I just remembered that!
Q: What’s the most difficult part?
A: Cleaning up! Cleaning the brush because it’s oil based. It’s messy and smelly. You have to try to get enough ventilation.
Q: Are you excited?
A: Well, I certainly think it’s going to look better. It can’t look much worse! I’m going into it with a positive frame of mind.
Q: How do you think this project is relevant to New York itself?
A: A lot of times, we just get rid of things. But sometimes you can’t. It’s problematic, especially when they’re old. So if you can’t get rid of it, you have to try to make it look a little bit better and repair it.
Q: Are you a do-it-yourself type of person?
A: I try. My father fixed everything. He was very, very handy. God rest his soul. And I kind of come from: don’t throw it away, try to fix it first if you can.
Q: Regarding your daughter’s jewelry project, do you know what she has to do?
A: She just has to paint part of the jewelry, part of the wire. She was going to throw it out. It was so pretty and she thought she damaged the wire. She’s kind of a perfectionist, so I said, just wait, maybe we can fix it!
Photos and interview by Jai Mitchell