How to paint IKEA Faktum Kitchen Cabinets and save lots of money.

We have an IKEA Faktum kitchen which was installed when we first moved in to the house. It looked good then, but after 15 years and a handful of floods from a leaking roof it is looking a bit of a mess and needs replaced.

The kitchen is a bit dated

The kitchen is a bit dated

Roof has leaked a few times

Roof has leaked a few times

With so much work needing done across the whole house the expense of a completely new kitchen was not something we could justify at the moment so we decided to just update the doors and change the worktops. The only problem is, IKEA hvae stopped making the FAKTUM line of cabinets and have replaced them with a new range which all have different dimensions. This meant we had to either completely replace the cabinets to get the new doors to fit, or we would need to get custom doors made.

The cost of the custom doors was going to be considerable compared to how much the replacement doors would have cost from IKEA so we came up with another plan: painting the original doors to give them a fresh look. Below are the steps we took to do this:

  1. Before removing the doors label them with some masking tape so you know where they go, this is only really an issue if you have lots the same size that could get mixed up. As we had decided on new handles as the old ones were rather worn and also looking dated the holes were marked for where they would go. To make the job a bit easier we bought a drill template, although this one is from IKEA it is pretty universal as the new handles came from Amazon and it worked perfectly.

    Marking the holes

    Marking the holes

  2. Remove cabinet doors. You don’t have to unscrew the hinges to get them off as there are clips at the back of the hinge that allow the door to come off with part of the hinge and then they clip back on when you are done. This saves a lot of time as you don’t have to realign everything. (I wish I had known this before I unscrewed all the doors and then found out about the clips!)

    All the cabinet doors removed.

    All the cabinet doors removed.

  3. With the doors off the new holes were drilled for the handles.

    Drilling the holes

    Drilling the holes

  4. Sand down the doors. We used a detail sander with 120grit paper to do this. The detail sander was good as with the doors being ‘shaker style’ it made it easier to get in to all the corners. The doors just need a light sanding to give the paint a surface to adhere to. It would be possible to just use a sanding block, it would just take longer to do it manually.

    Sanding the doors

    Sanding the doors

  5. With the doors sanded apply the undercoat. After some research we decided on the Farrow and Ball range of paints their Estate Eggshell range is designed for going on cabinets so we used their matching woodwork undercoat for the cabinets. The undercoat is just the standard undercoat, nothing specific for cabinets, but the colour of the undercoat depends on the colour of the top coat so make sure to check.Two coats were applied. Initially the backs of the doors were painted so that they could then be put back on the cabinets and the remainder painted (Make sure you have a large area available to do the painting in as the cabinets take up a lot of space and need a long time to dry properly):
    Painting the backs

    Painting the backs

    Painting the fronts

    Painting the fronts

  6. After the process had been repeated for the second coat of undercoat the doors were taken off again and given a light sanding with 320grit paper to smooth off any rough brush marks. A test door was painted with a brush, roller and paint pad before we started to see what they looked like and we decided that the brush looked the best. Just make sure to apply thin coats of paint and the brush strokes won’t be too visible and any rough bits can be smoothed out with a light sanding.
  7. The top coat was applied in the same manner as the undercoat, backs first, allowed to dry and the put back on to do the fronts. Again a thin coat was applied, a light sanding was done and a second coat was then put on to finish them off:
    Top coat on the backs

    Top coat on the backs

    Inbetween coats

    Inbetween coats

  8. With the paint applied a final light sanding with 1800grit was applied only to doors that had rough edges or paint drips before we put the handles on and the job was complete:

    Job Done!

    Job Done!

The painted doors have made a huge difference to the kitchen, even though the new worktops and flooring aren’t fitted yet the kitchen looks like new. It is a massive change from the old tired looking doors and handles.

All told the job cost around £150. the paint was £100, and then the new handles along with the template were £50. When we were pricing up doors, if IKEA still made the FAKTUM range they would have been £25 a door and the custom replacements were in the £35-40 range. We made a huge saving as we needed around 20 new doors and 6 new drawers, between £500-700 depending on where we got the doors from.

The main thing about doing this job is taking the time to do it properly.  If possible try and do a test door if you have a spare door, if not paint the back of one so you can see how it will look when it is finished.

It took us a week of work to get it done, that was with painting the backs of cabinets in the morning and then waiting for them to dry enough to put back on so in the evening we could paint the fronts. Add in a day or two for sanding as well.

One thing to bear in mind is the doors take up a lot of area when they are off the cabinets and being painted, we could only manage about half of them in one go, so make sure you have an area you can dedicate to laying them out on that you don’t mind giving up for a few days.

It is very labour intensive, but for the result and the savings I would say it was well worth it. There are no big expensive power tools required and apart from drilling holes for the handles, if you need them, there isn’t really much that can go wrong, if the paint doesn’t look great sand it down and try again, or try a different colour.

I would say it is a job for people with any DIY skill level, you just need patience.

Rooting a Hudl2 on Windows 8.1 and removing IntelCPHS.log to free up space

Both our kids have Tesco Hudl2 tablets. For the price (if you use ClubCard vouchers it can be about £60) there really isn’t much to compete.

I will admit they are far from perfect, each one has its own problems. The touchscreen is not 100% accurate and will miss maybe 1 in 15 touches, that doesn’t sound much, but it is enough to be frustrating. Occasionally they will not charge despite saying they are charging and the charge light coming on, and they also don’t have much space for apps and media.

When the tablet is new there is about 9GB of space, which isn’t too bad, but add in a couple of games and sync some movies via Plex or Google Movies and suddenly you are running low on space. Luckily there is an SD Card slot which helps out.

The problem we had with one of the tablets though was it was running out of space even if nothing was installed or synced. At first I thought it might be because it was caching a lot of thumbnails from my Google Photos, and other data that was being synced from my Google account. This freed up some space but within a couple of days I was back to the same problem of the device running out of space.

I installed the Disk Usage app, and it showed me that there was 7.5GB taken up in the System Data directory. Unfortunately this is a protected directory and there is no way to see what is in there without the device being rooted. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that initially as the process is not as 1-Click as most of the devices I have rooted recently. I decided to hard reset the tablet instead and see what happened. After a couple of weeks of normal use the device was full again and the same directory was showing as having a large amount of data, so this time I took the plunge to discover what the problem was.

To root the device there is an excellent guide on the Modaco forums which I suggest you use. What I will document here is the issues I had following that guide and what I did after successfully rooting the tablet.

The main issue was because my desktop is running Windows 8.1 which causes problems with drivers for the device. It probably doesn’t help that I have installed various different drivers for phones over the last couple of years that is just confusing everything.

I found an updated post within the forum thread which had instructions for how to install if there are driver problems.

How do you know if you have driver problems? If you open up Device Manager and see a device labeled as below, that is a pretty good indication something is wrong:

Wrong Drivers

Wrong Drivers

The solution from the above post is to install PdaNet, which I already had installed, all I needed to do was install the correct drivers, right-click on the device, select Update Driver, then use the manual option to choose from a list:

Select ADB Interface

Select ADB Interface

Google ADB Driver

Google ADB Driver

With the correct driver installed you should see:

Correct Driver Installed

Correct Driver Installed

You should now be able to start the rooting guide and restart the tablet in bootloader mode, at which point you will need to reinstall the drivers for Android Bootloader to allow the Fastboot commands to work:

Bootloader driver

Bootloader driver

Which should then give you the following in Device Manager:

Bootloader device

Bootloader device

From here on you can just follow the rooting tutorial and everything ‘should’ be fine.

Once I had this done I was able to run Disk Usage on the data partition and it showed me that one file was taking up all of the space: IntelCPHS.log.

A quick Google search turned up…..nothing. I seemed to be the only person that had this file on an Android device. As the file was so huge there was no way to open it and find out what was in it, all I could do was to try and delete it. Disk Usage has a delete function, but it wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get ES File Explorer to delete it either. I installed a couple of terminal emulators and they weren’t any help either.

The only way I could find to make it work was to use adb to enter an interactive shell using the following commands (if you are using the tools from the rooting thread then use “adb-windows shell” for the first command, the remainder should be the same):

adb shell

su (Check hudl screen for SuperSu message to grant permissions)

cd data

rm -F IntelCPHS.log

The file was removed and I had all my space back!

After a reboot I found the file had recreated itself, and was 253MB, but it has remained that size now for the last couple of weeks, but I will keep an eye on it.

The one problem with resolving the issue this way is that I am fixing the effect, not the cause. I still don’t know what caused the file to grow so large. I am hoping that in the future if I notice it growing I can pull it off of the device and take a look to see what it is filling up with.

Sick Kids, Shed Demolition and Shovelling my own Sh!t!

The past week has been filled with a lot of bodily fluids. Both of the kids have been sick, literally for several days. Max started around midnight on Saturday and continued every hour for the next 48. Luke was better and was once every 8 hours or so from Sunday night. Today (Thursday) was the first day they have both been back to school all week, so we are a bit behind with what we had planned.

Anyway, before we had all the sickness in the house we decided to demolish a rotting old garden shed that, like with most things around here, we had been meaning to get rid of for 15 years!

Old Rotten Shed

The old shed

To start with we removed the glass and then the roofing felt to make it a bit easier and safer for pulling down:

Remove the glass from the shed

Glass removed

Then the whole family set about breaking apart the structure:

Everybody getting stuck in.

Everybody getting stuck in.

Once we got to a point where one of the ends had come off we had a bit of a problem:

Shed is leaning

The Leaning Shed of Resthivet

The shed was leaning in a rather precarious way. The green tank you can see in the picture is the oil tank for the central heating, which would not have taken nicely to being dropped on. So we had to break out the Land Rover which meant 2 people were very happy:

Happy Boys

Happy Boys

As they got to do this:

The process was repeated for all of the sides and the roof before everything was broken up. This left us with a nice space where the shed used to be:

Empty space where the shed was.

Shed no more!

And with all the wood broken up and burning it meant we could have some toasted marshmallows for tea:

Toasting Marshmallows

Toasting Marshmallows

We woke up yesterday (April 1st) to this:

Snow in April

Snow In April!

Clearly some kind of April Fool’s joke?

Then today I got to go and shovel excrement as our Septic Tank has filled up:

Fixing the Septic Tank

Can you imagine the smell?

The whole time we were away nobody thought to empty it, and now we are back it has filled up quite quickly. This means it has overflowed and covered the entrance where it will be emptied from. I found the breather pipe today by flushing the toilet and seeing where the water was coming from. Tomorrow I have to find the main entrance, lovely!

Eclipse, small jobs and Mounting Bike Hangers to the Steading Wall.

Since getting back from vacation, we have just been catching up with some small jobs and not really been up to anything interesting.

It took us at least 3 days to work our way through the mountain of washing that we brought back with us. The whole family was also ill with a stomach virus that came back with us from our travels, so most of last week was a complete write off.

There was a partial eclipse on Friday, but it was rather difficult to get a decent picture of it, as to begin with there were no clouds and it was just too bright and then all of a sudden the black clouds came over and we got a load of rain:

Sun through the clouds

The Best Photo I managed to get.

We spent the rest of Friday helping our friends move house and then the weekend was catching up with friends and family.

This week I am getting back in to training for the Edinburgh Half Marathon which is only a couple of months away. I was hoping to be in decent shape, but I am suffering from a distinct lack of motivation at the moment so we will see what happens.

What we have managed to achieve is moving all of the wood from the 2 wood sheds in to one of the other out buildings we have so we can get some work done in the sheds:

Packed to the rafters with wood

Literally packed to the rafters.

The scary thing is, that is all the wood we already had, before we chopped down all our trees, we have about 5 times that still to be cut up and put away. I think it is fair to say we won’t be needing for firewood any time soon!

Speaking of fires and keeping warm, as it is now Spring, it was time to put the Oil Radiators away that we have been using to keep the bedrooms extra toasty:

It's spring so oil radiators go away for a few months.

It’s spring so oil radiators go away for a few months.

Hopefully it will be a long time until we need them again.

Another job we got done was to put the legs on the cabinets in the utility room and kitchen before the new flooring gets put down next month. This meant I got to use my new toy:

Makita Impact Driver!

Makita Impact Driver!

There were a few issues with getting the legs on one of the cabinets and we had to basically flip it over and put the legs on the other end, which was fine as we needed to swap the door round anyway, so this made it easier. I also got to use the table saw to cut up a piece of MDF to put on the new base of the cabinet to screw the legs in to, this meant I could use bigger screws as they would have just ripped the chipboard base of the cabinet to bits otherwise.

The biggest job I finished was mounting the bikes in the Steading.

Mounting bikes to the wall

Where the bikes need to go.

I got to use lots of tools for this. I had to rip an old plank in two to make some battons for the hangers to go on. Then I got to use my SDS Drill to make the holes for the screws and then the Impact Driver to put the screws in the wall. The battons ended up higher than planned as that was where I managed to find decent stones to drill in to and not just go in to the flaky mortar that wouldn’t hold anything:

Battoning to attach the bike hangers to.

Battoning to attach the bike hangers to.

With the battons on, I just had to screw the hangers on, again though, I used some MDF as a spacer to allow longer screws to be used to hold the hangers up.

The finished job looks pretty neat and frees up a load of space in the other half of the Steading which we can now clear out.

The bikes on the wall

The bikes on the wall

Not quite as interesting as the last post, but wanted to just post something.

There should more interesting stuff coming soon as the last of the worktops arrived for the kitchen and Utility Room, plus the sink and taps are arriving today, and we have scheduled my Father-In-Law to help us with all of that in a couple of weeks.

Tutorial: How to setup GPG4Win with Outlook 2013

My wife’s business requires her to deal with clients who prefer to use email encryption for sending important documents. This means she needs to be able to decrypt and then re-encrypt the documents to send them back.

Instead of paying for the Symantec product we decided to go with the free GPG4Win package instead. It is easy to install but, it isn’t quite so straightforward as to how to use it. Here is a quick tutorial on how to install, setup and then use the GPG4Win tools with Outlook 2013 as I found the documentation to be slightly lacking as to how to effectively use the tools.

Firstly, download the installer from the GPG4Win website, I chose the full package as it includes the Kleopatra key management tool.

Run the installer, accept the defaults, ensure the following packages are installed:

GPG4Win Packages

Once the package is installed then create a Key Pair using the Kleopatra management tool.

Kleopatra Key Management Tool

Insert the relevant information and select a secure passphrase that you will use to unlock your key.

Certificate Creation Wizard

Secure passphrase

The process should complete successfully and you can backup the key, send it to users who will need it.

Certificate Creation Wizard

The key will then be visible in the My Certificates tab of Kleopatra.

Newly created Key

If you have an existing key pair then import them in to the Kleopatra application. Browse to the exported key file and import it. You should receive a success dialog if the process worked and the key will be in your My Certificates tab.

Imported Key

If you import your certificate you will need to change the Trust Level. Right click on your certificate in the My Certificates tab and choose Change Owner Trust. On the following dialog select My Certificate and OK.

Change Trust Level

The trust level will be updated and the certificate will appear in the Trusted Certificates tab.

Import all of the public keys from your contacts. This is done by selecting Import Certificates and then selecting the public key file provided by your contact. Once the key has been imported it will appear in the Imported Certificates tab.

Certificate Import Result

If the key appears to be correct, i.e. if the name and email address match the contact you are importing then change the Trust level for them. Right Click and select Change Trust Level. If you trust the user you have received the key from and are certain that they are who they say they are then you can select ‘I believe checks are very accurate’. If you aren’t as certain then choose one of the other levels. This will mean a few more steps when decrypting their mail later.

Change Trust Level

Now the key needs to be certified to move it to the Trusted Certificates tab. If you fully trust the contact then this will only need to be done once. It will take more certifications if you chose one of the other Trust Levels.

Right click the contact in Imported Certificates and select Certify. Then choose the contact, there should be one. Then select your certificate to do the certification with. Enter your passphrase and you should get a success message and the user will be moved to your trusted Certificates tab.

Certify Certificate

Once this is complete you should be able to decrypt and encrypt messages.

Open up Outlook 2013, there should now be a new tab on the ribbon

GPGol Ribbon

Unfortunately the Decrypt options on the Ribbon aren’t much use, it seems the inline function that used to be used to decrypt the PGP file within Outlook has been removed so now it is a bit more of a faff.

To decrypt select the message in your inbox, there should be 2 attachments, one is a version number and the other is the actual encrypted message (it should be called Message.pgp), select the encrypted message and then right-click and choose ‘Save and Decrypt’, then select the save location for the file.

Decrypt message

Once the file has been saved it will then launch the decryptor tool, it should show you the key it is going to use to decrypt the message and ask you for your passphrase you created when you generated your own Key Pair.

Decrypt_Verify FilesDecryption Complete

If the decryption process was successful then you will have a file called whatever you saved the attachment as, but without the extension on it (if you saved out Message.pgp the decrypted message will be in a file called Message) in the same location.

Files

You should be able to view this file using a standard text editor e.g Notepad.

A better way to view the message would be in Outlook itself, to achieve this add the .eml extension to the file when saving out the attachment from Outlook (if the file was named Message.pgp then change it to Message.eml.pgp).

Save attachment

You will need to perform this step if the encrypted message contained an attachment as the only way you will be able to view the attachment is by opening the .eml file in Outlook.

Outlook file output

Encrypting a message to be sent is a lot simpler and can all be handled within Outlook. All you need to do is type out the message and then from the GPGol menu on the Outlook Ribbon select Encrypt. This will display a dialog which allows you to check the certificate that will be used to encrypt the message and also the recipients of the message.

Select Certificates For Message

You will then get an encrypted message which you can send as any normal email:

Encrypted Message

If you want to send an encrypted file then use the Encrypt File option, which opens a dialog to allow you to select the file you want encrypted. You will then view the same dialog confirming the certificates to be used and the encrypted file will be added to the message.

All pretty simple once you have got it setup and working, but not entirely logical to get it going in the first place.

Hopefully this can help some people with getting everything going. If I missed anything let me know in the comments.

Boarding in Kaprun (and a Wedding too!)

We just spent 9 days skiing and boarding in Kaprun, Austria, we were also there for my Brother-In-Laws wedding.

As with all snow holidays to Europe, the trip started in the middle of the night (3:30AM) to get to Aberdeen airport to catch our first flight which was to Frankfurt.

Holy Cow! How can a nation that is renowned for its efficiency and attention to detail let Frankfurt airport happen? You get to bus everywhere, you then have to walk about 2 miles between terminals, followed by security which is another nightmare! Not a great experience, it was so bad I came over all RedFoo:

#letsgetridiculous #selfie #vacation A photo posted by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on Mar 7, 2015 at 1:01am PST

Anyway, after another quick flight we arrived in Salzburg and all jumped on a coach that had been chartered for us:

A bus to take us to Kaprun

A bus to take us to Kaprun

Luckily, for us, we had chosen to stay in apartment a bit away from the main hotel that everyone else was staying in. This meant we had a lot more space as it was 2 bedrooms, and we were also right next door to shops so we could cook for ourselves which, overall, saved us a lot of money and we were all a lot more relaxed than if we had tried to fit in to one hotel room for 9 days!

The first morning we discovered some of the problems with Kaprun, it isn’t actually all that close to anything. Yes, there was a chairlift about 100m from our front door, unfortunately that isn’t where the Ski School was for the kids, that is half a mile in the other direction. It might not sound far, but herding 2 small children while everyone is in skiing gear is hard work. Ski School also starts at 9:30 so once you do drop them off and head off you need another bus to get to do some actual skiing. The best skiing is up on the glacier, and that can take you an hour to get there if you are unlucky with buses. As you then need to do the return journey to pick the kids up at 2:30 you are only getting 2-3 hours of time to hit the slopes. Not the best value for money.

But on the plus side, the kids do look very cute in their skiing outfits:

I think the word you are looking for is #cute #skiing

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

Anyway, the first day I spent in a Private Boarding lesson with my instructor Gu. He was just cool as he was called Gu, but also because he had me back on my board after 8 years in no time, and after about an hour I was off down the Super-Pipe and over the Kickers!

By the end of the day I was feeling pretty confident, which normally only happens after half the holiday has gone.

The rest of the week was spent in this cycle, although our youngest, Luke wasn’t enjoying the skiing so much so he switched back to just nursery. He is only just 2.5 and isn’t old enough to go with his brother, but he could see him on the other slopes and wanted to go and play with him and just spent the days miserable.

I had some major problems with my Snowboard Boots, the heat in Cayman did a number on the glue which caused them to start to fall apart:

Seems my boots couldn't stand the pace. #shoppingtime #snowboarding

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

This only got worse:

Plastic bags required to keep boots dry today.

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

Until eventually they became too dangerous and I had to hire some new ones for the last few days.

The weather was pretty awesome for most of the week:

The hills are alive….. #zellamsee #snowboarding

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

Although one day it snowed and there were Whiteout conditions at the top of the mountains:

#whiteout

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

The silver lining of that day though was we got to meet up with Max on some of the lower slopes in the afternoon and we played with him. It was a fantastic experience to be skiing with your child. He is not even 5 and just points his ski’s straight down hill and off he goes. In fact I was having to go flat out to catch him up (30mph+!).

Once I have worked my way through the video we took with the Garmin Virb’s I will put together some clips.

Another advantage of the snowy day was the next day was full of off-piste powder runs!

@s2sudz killing it in the #powder #freeride

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

We also did our bit for Comic Relief:

#rednoseday #selfie #boarding #kaprun

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

By the end of the week we were ready for the wedding, so time to get the dapper threads on:

Ready for the wedding #smart

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

It was great to see everyone travel across for the Wedding, in fact I think Mike and Abi were rather surprised there were nearly 40 of us there:

Wedding Party

Smile

We then went off to a Mountain Restaurant for a “light lunch”, but actually turned out to be a full on meal. Very nice, but it was only a couple of hours before we were meant to have the main evening meal!

To work up an appetite some of the wedding party went for a ski in their outfits which was very cool:

Skiing Wedding

Wedding Party off for a ski

All in all everyone had a very good day, and we were all very tired by the end of it.

The final day we got to take Max out as he had completed Ski School and we spent the whole day with him on the slopes. He had no problem in the Super Pipe, Slalom or over the Kickers. He loved all of it.

It was then time to pack everything up and head home. Unfortunately we had late flights so didn’t leave Kaprun on the coach until 3:30pm. We travelled back through Frankfurt which was worse than going out as we had one sick child (Max) and one very sleepy and grumpy child (Luke). With all of the busses and walking we were lucky to make it to our connection.

Despite all of the sick bags we used up and the stress we made it back very late that night:

Tired family at end of tiring journey home. #gladitsover #goodtobehome

A post shared by Paul Kelly (@boondockgeek) on

Since getting back we have spent 2 solid days washing all of the clothes, and all the boys of the family have come home with upset stomachs!

I do have some tips and thoughts on Skiing holidays with small children, but as this post is getting on a bit I will save those for another time.