My kitchen and I are not exactly fast friends. We’re from different generations and we don’t see eye-to-eye on style or function. But given that I don’t have the time, energy, or money to redo the kitchen, I’d learned to turn a blind eye to the 50-year-old faded beauty. However, right before Christmas my incredible sister called us to say that she wanted to give us a new dishwasher. Yup, just out of the blue. She said that we deserved something nice and since our old dishwasher was gross, gross, gross (Mark, in fact, had even stopped using it, preferring to hand wash his dishes), she wanted us to have a new one. So, after we mildly protested that she was being far too generous, we went shopping for a new dishwasher and found this little piece of eye candy:
The day the new dishwasher was installed, Mark and I swooned. The next day, Mark said to me, “I love this new dishwasher but have you noticed how it makes the rest of the kitchen look like hell?” Yeah, I’d noticed.
Though we can’t make the rest of the kitchen match the handsome ruggedness of the dishwasher, we can improve it in some ways (that is, the inexpensive ways) to make it look and function better. So, in what I hope will be the first of many mini-projects devoted to making the rest of our kitchen worthy of our dishwasher, I decided to tackle our cabinet drawers. They don’t slide properly. They’re not on any sort of gliders and instead the wood of the drawer just rubs against the wood cabinet structure and we end up with dust of wood on the cabinets below the drawers.
Disgusting, right? I know. Trust me, I know.
And, if you’re wondering why all that wood dust is concentrated right in the middle of the shelf, it’s because of this wooden bar that supports the drawer. Every time the drawer is opened and shut, it shaves off little bits of the bar.
All six of our drawers have this wood dust problem. Today I finally decided to do something about it. Well, it turns out that you can rub paraffin wax (or furniture wax, beeswax, or even plain bar soap) on the drawers and drawer casings to make them slide better. And, it also turns out that awhile ago my sister — the one from dishwasher-fame — gave us a fancy paraffin wax hand and foot treatment kit. (Did you know you can dip your hands and feet in melted paraffin wax, and when you pull off the wax your skin is oh-so-supple? Yes, it’s true.) So, we have lots of paraffin wax.
I smoothed paraffin wax over all the bits of drawer and cabinetry that might rub together. And since I was pulling out all the drawers, I also gave them a really good cleaning and ripped out all the old drawer liners because they were dirty and looked like this:
I may have been a bit premature in ripping out the old liners though because after I did so, I realized we didn’t have any other liner paper. Oops. Not to be deterred, I went to the den closet and grabbed some wrapping paper. My options were limited — a Christmas holly and ivy motif or this sort of colorful dot option. I went with the latter. I grabbed the scissors and scotch tape and cut a piece of wrapping paper to fit a drawer bottom. Lucky for me, all the drawers are the same size, so I just used the first piece of wrapping paper I cut as a template and cut 5 more pieces exactly like the first. Then I taped the paper in the bottom of the drawer.
At the end of the project, I slid the paraffin-waxed drawers back into place effortlessly and now when I open the drawers I can’t help but smile. And, there’s no wood dust.
By the way, while I have many fine qualities, being crafty is not one of them. Even my mom would tell you that’s true. So, if I can do this project, a trained monkey could too. And, I’m feeling awfully proud of myself because this little project was also completely free.