Who: Al and Mercia Hobson
Where: Herndon, Virginia
We were still thinking through what to do when Mercia, for some reason, agreed to put our house on the town's annual holiday tour. At that point we figured we could simply paint the cabinets and we'd be ready for company. But after watching her play around with putty to hide the grain and try umpteen paint colors to match her sample piece of dream cabinet, I finally said, "In this amount of time, I could make new doors!" Well, she took me at my word and whipped the old ones out to the curb.
With six weeks till the tour, we set up two assembly lines. I made the doors and drawer fronts from poplar and stock molding, and Mercia painted them—13 doors and 26 drawer fronts, in six steps. I used 1/4-inch plexiglass to make one pair of fronts, which we "frosted" with an aerosol product, and to make inserts for some open shelves, to let the lights shine through.