So.  Let’s start from the beginning.

We’re not DIY people.  We knew this from the start, but gosh darnit, I needed a white dresser for Mary Grace’s new room asap and was completely unwilling slash unable to pay full-price for a new one.  Craigslist was failing me.  And, well, Pinterest and other people make DIY furniture-painting look just so easy and fun with those charming before and after pictures.  So, completely posing as one of “those kind of people”, off I went to our local thrift store.  And behold!  The perfect old dresser for 25 small little dollas.  I could just envision it becoming the next big DIY success story, charming pictures and all.

So I purchased it and promptly dragged two unenthused kids to Home Depot to buy some other necessary supplies.  (Pause: I hate Home Depot.  It makes me feel stupid and inadequate.  Plus, there are too many choices of paint and brushes and hardware and things that I know nothing about.  And for an indecisive, non-handy person like myself, this place is nicht gut.  And yes, I have the tendency to speak German in my frustrated state.)  Thankfully, one of our small group girls can refinish furniture like nobody’s business (not to mention the other various crafty projects that practically elevate her to Martha Stewart status in my mind)… so of course, I send her a frantic “help! i’m painting furniture and don’t know what in the heck i’m doing!” email.

Tools in hand and Kait’s expertise in email, I got to work.  After about two hours of sanding the dern thing, I was toast.  I was already cursing the thing and freaking out that I had sanded my fingerprints off.  No really, y’all, I’m pretty sure they came off!  I was convinced that USCIS  would call me up and for some reason demand new fingerprints stat and that I would be unable to produce adequate fingerprints!  And wouldn’t be able to complete our adoption!  Because when I have nothing better to do while sanding for two hours straight, this is where my crazed mind wanders.  I digress.  The first coat of paint went on without issue, but things started to unravel quickly with the second coat.  I think it was a combination of my extreme inadequacy in painting and the crazy temperature/humidity in our garage where I was working… but the second coat got all drippy and nasty.  I tried to fix it with more paint, and it became even grosser.  Rookie mistake.  Cue a hammer thrown across the garage in sheer frustration… another desperate email sent to Kait… and then lots more sanding and repainting.

Oh but the disaster is not over yet.  Fast forward a few days to my eval of the dresser after two coats of polyurethane.  People, the polyurethane turned the dresser from white to yellow (because it couldn’t have possibly been user error. obviously.)  Not cute and totally not the plan.  So, long story short, I had to start from scratch.  Re-re-sanded and re-re-painted, took a look, let out a sigh of relief, swore to never refinish a piece of anything ever again, and smiled at the look of the final product: The White Dresser.  Hardly anything spectacular.  Shouldn’t have been difficult at all.  But d.o.n.e.

2 Comments on DIY disaster

  1. I completely agree with ya—refinishing is a nightmare. Ellie and I redid her little table so it was more appealing to a 10 yr old. It turned out ok – however, I must warn you that now 4 months later it is turning yellow from the polyurethane. Keep your eye on the nice white dresser and don’t get frustrated if it eventually turns yellow.

    • I have had that same problem with poly and I have NO idea why it does that. The first time, I was fortunately going for that “weathered” look so it was ok, but I don’t know if the brush was dirty or I needed to wipe down the piece before using poly. No clue. Next time, use spray paint. Waaaay easier, faster and simpler for those of use without diy skills/patience! 🙂

Comments are closed.