Published on Thu, Sep 27, 2007
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Home Improvement

Blaine furniture store has
long-time roots

By Jack Kintner

One of the casualties of running the four-lane I-5 freeway through the middle of town was Bud Dodd’s combination gas station, hardware and appliance store.

In 1957 the business relocated to the waterfront and became the Blaine Marina, a store that served the fishing fleet with groceries, supplies and fuel and still sold appliances and furniture.

These days, with the store in the hands of Bud’s sons Steve and Mike, about all that’s left aside from the moderate amount of fish buying and fuel sales are the furniture and appliances, but with increased growth in the area the furniture business has come to dominate the store.

Recently they sought the help of contractor Jodie Hendricks to help re-design the interior of the store, taking it from a warehouse kind of display where items are lined up Costco-fashion to a more traditional furniture store arrangement with pieces groups into individual “rooms.”

“That’s so people can see how things will work together,” Hendricks said. She marshalled the employees to move the furniture in the three large rooms in the main store at 214 Sigurdson, a block off Marine Drive near the west end.

An upstairs will be devoted to tables and chairs, and across the courtyard are sections with appliances, bedroom suites and mattresses, children’s furniture and occasional accent pieces like end tables and occasional chairs.

“We’ve got a variety of stuff here but can also order out of catalogs and can get items in a wide variety of fabrics and styles,” said Mike Dodd, who is also chairman of the Blaine school board and sometime announcer at high school football games.

The store’s roots are an important part of the business, as it’s a Dodd family enterprise much like the Goff Department Store.

Not just stores, they’re historical relics and repositories, the antithesis of the build-it-quick big box approach, worth a visit just to look at a part of Blaine that’s been here for a long time and can teach you some of the deep background of this little fishing village on Semiahmoo Bay. They also have an old-fashioned approach to customers, of taking their time and letting you take yours.

The quick family history: Mike’s nephew Jay is Blaine’s football coach and nephew Rob Adams was the girl’s basketball coach before defecting to Lynden earlier this year.

His grandfather Clarence Dodd was the janitor at Blaine high school in the ’20s who agreed to also coach basketball. His 1929 team was the first Blaine team to go to a state tournament, taking fifth place.

Dodd’s main furniture line is manufactured by Robert Michael, and one of their main partners is Emerald Home Furnishings in Tacoma.

They sell and install carpeting and other kinds of flooring, and will deliver and install the rest of their furniture and appliances for free.

Though Mike said that as growth has come to the area he’s been able to add higher priced items to his showroom, it seemed like the prices were all a bit low, some of them quite a bit.

If the term home improvement means doing something to enhance the quality of your living space, then this kind of store, where you’re never hurried and where there are some real bargains to be had if you know what you’re looking for, is a good bet.

You’ll arrive looking for merchandise but in the process meet people whose roots go back to Blaine’s early days.

That kind of quality human experience is what improving your home, as opposed to just your house, is all about.

The Blaine Marina is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week and is located on Blaine’s wharf. For more information, call 332-8425.

A beginner’s guide to painting cabinets

Tools and materials checklist:
• Screwdriver
• Newspaper
• TSP (trisodium phosphate)
• Sponge
• Bucket
• Sandpaper (coarse & fine grit)
• Masking tape
• 2-Qts. Primer (water or oil-
• 1-Gal. Oil-base paint (s
gloss or semi-gloss)
• 2-1/2” Natural bristle brush
• Paint tray
• Two tray liners
• Roller handle
• 2 or 3 roller sleeves (lamb’s
• Paint thinner
• Can (coffee can or large soup

If you are remodeling your kitchen, or just want to give it a quick face-lift and don’t want to spend a lot of money, consider repainting your cabinets.

You can brighten your whole kitchen by painting your wood or veneer cabinets a fresh color. We recommend the EZ-Kare line to paint because cabinets get used a lot and EZ-Kare is durable enough to withstand everyday use.

The easiest way to do this project is to leave the inside of the cabinets alone. The inside is only seen when the cabinet is open so it isn’t as important.

Also, if you paint the inside of the cabinet you would have to take everything out that is in them.

Even without painting the insides, this project takes three days so plan to do it when you have the time.

Caution: The fumes from the paint and the primer can get intense so you need to make sure that some windows or doors are open. Don’t make this a winter project.

Step 1: Remove cabinet hardware and protect surroundings
Remove Cabinet Hardware & Protect Surrounding Areas Remove the door handles, hinges and knobs using a screwdriver. If your cabinets use magnetic closures, take them off as well.

Some doors have inside hinges that aren’t on the face of the cabinet, in this case it would be acceptable to leave them on. Put newspaper on the countertops and on floor to protect them from paint.

Step 2: Clean cabinets
Clean with TSP. This is a powder, so you need to mix it with water in a bucket. Wash the doors and the exterior of the cabinet facades and the front and sides of the cabinet using a sponge.

Let the cabinets dry, then sand them with coarse-grit sandpaper. You want to give the surface a rough texture so the primer grips. Sand until the shiny surfaces are dull.

Tip: Sandpaper know-how
Sandpaper comes in a range of grit or coarseness. There are very coarse papers to very fine.

This range is numbered with the coarsest having the smallest number and the finest the largest. A good coarse paper is number 80. A good fine paper for this project is a 200 to 300.

Step 3: Prime cabinets
Apply primer with a roller and brush to the front and back of the doors first, then do the cabinet facades.

When working on the doors hold them open with the tip of your finger.
When you have used the roller as much as you can, go back with the brush and prime any areas you couldn’t reach.

Tip: Oil vs. water-based primer
Generally, the oil-based primer works well because the paint really sticks to it. Although, there are now water-based primers that work just as well, plus they don’t smell as much. Check with our store’s Paint Pro for advice.

Step 4: Prime and paint
hinges (optional)
You can prime and paint the hinges while they are off the doors so they match or contrast with the cabinets.

t’s easier if you use a can of spray primer and spray paint in order for the paint to get in all of the small crevices and holes on the hinges. Let them dry overnight.

Step 5: Cleanup
Clean the brush using paint thinner. Throw away the roller tray liner and the sleeve.

Step 6: Paint first coat
Paint the cabinet with the first coat of paint. Follow the same pattern that you used for priming the cabinet. Let the paint dry for 24 hours.

Step 7: Partial clean-up
Pour some paint thinner into a can and soak the brush overnight. Put the sleeve into an air-tight zip-lock bag so you can use it again tomorrow. Pour any excess paint back into the can and close it up.

Step 8: Apply final coat
Lightly sand any bubbles that formed in the first coat of paint using the fine-grit sandpaper. Be careful not to take off the paint you just put on. Apply the final coat of paint.

By now you should know where the roller can’t reach so you can do the brushwork first, then the roller. Reuse your old roller unless it hardened overnight.

After you have finished applying the final coat you are finished. The surface should dry for 24 hours before reattaching the doors but be careful for a couple of weeks since it can still scratch.

Step 9: Final clean-up
Clean the brush in the can of paint thinner. Throw away the roller sleeve and the tray liner. Clean off the handle with paint thinner.

Some states don’t allow you to dump paint thinner down the drain, so make sure you find out first.

Courtesy of TrueValue

Yard of the Week winners

The following homes were recently recognized by the city of Blaine’s Yard of the Week program: 1242 Harrison Street, 680 Georgia Street, 1164 Harborside Lane, and 1116 Peace Portal Drive.

The award was developed earlier this year by Blaine community development specialist Debbie Harger to provide an incentive to homeowners to beautify their lawns.

For more information, call Harger at 332-8311, or visit the city’s website at www.ci.blaine.wa.us.