KaiserCraft Advent Calendar Part 2

To read Part 1 of this article click here.

So as I mentioned earlier - this little gem of a project came with NO instructions for assembly.  This was a bit intimidating at first, but I quickly realized that it wasn't that difficult.

Basically - if it looks like it should be snapped apart - do it, and if the piece looks solid, leave it that way.

Now, on to the next step --- Sanding.

Due to the way this was packaged, once you snap all of your pieces apart you'll be left with a bunch of extra 'nubs' that need to be removed.  If you don't remove them, not only will you calendar not sit properly against a wall (if you decide to hang it), but also, it just won't fit together snuggly.  To remove them, you should first snip them off with a craft knife, and then sand, or file down what's left.  Trust me when I say if you skip the snipping part, you will be sanding for a really really long time (there are way too many nubs to remove)!

The picture below will hopefully help you understand what I mean.

I actually took that photo before I had snapped those pieces apart, but I think it's still clear.

To sand down the nubs, I used a hand-held metal file that I found in my husband's tool box.  I don't actually know what it's intended use is, but it worked great on this project!  I initially tried regular sandpaper, but found it was really tedious.  The metal file worked much better.

Up to this stage I had probably spent just over an hour unpackaging, snapping and filing.  Now it was time to paint - so I laid all of my pieces out like so.

It was right about now that my husband came home and saw me doing this on our dining room table.  Let's just say he was unimpressed -- but c'est la vie.  It was the only surface around that was large enough to spread out all of the pieces.  {I was careful, I promise.}

Since I knew I wanted to paint it brown -- I initially reached into the craft cupboard for some brown acrylic paint.  Bad choice.  I am NOT a good brush painter, and I quickly realized that there were WAY too many pieces for me to fiddle around with.  So instead, I went to the basement, and got out the extra wall paint that we had used last year in our hallway (brown of course), grabbed a small roller and tray and started painting.

Because the MDF tends to absorb the paint, a good 2 coats was required to get even coverage, and of course because I wanted to paint both sides of each piece, this took a while due to the drying time.  One caution here.  You can see that I covered my work surface with newspaper.  In retrospect, this wasn't all that smart.  Plastic of some kind would work better.  Since I'm a bit of a messy painter, some of my pieces (actually a lot of them) ended up sticking to the newspaper after I had painted side one.  Once they were dry, and I went to flip them, I found this out.  As a result, some bit of newspaper did get stuck to the undersides - newspaper which I tediously peeled and picked off so that I could continue painting.

Finally though.....here was the fruits of my labour -- a whole whack of MDF board that was now Brown instead of the unfinished tan that it was when it arrived here.  I think I would have had a bit bigger sense of accomplishment had I painted them Red.  While I knew that it would be worth it in the end, at this stage, it seemed like an awful lot of effort had gone into this for what really was a marginal change in appearance.  But again....c'est la vie.

Here's a pic of the painted pieces.  I took this photo when the second coat was still wet, so you'll have to trust me for now that it did dry a bit darker than this.

To be continued.....