Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DIY? Why not?...oh, that's why

Subtitled: The Bowling Shoe Table

Just the facts:

First, I should start off by stating that I have never been known as a do- it- yourselfer (is that a word?). Our family philosophy is: pay someone else to fix things. I have painted a few rooms in my life (only a few). I have ripped up carpet (once) and I have held screws, nails and levels for other people. As you can see, I'm just not handy. Needless to say, we haven't done much in the home improvement department.
So, why would I get the idea in my head that I want to do a DIY project, any DIY project? I'll tell you why: Because once the thought has entered your brain, "hey, I could make that and for a lot less." It is hard to shake it.

A not so impressive beginning:

Nothing will confirm to you the fact that you are not built for do-it-yourself than a project that goes horrifyingly wrong.
As my debut into DIY I decided that I really wanted to refinish our kitchen table. I bought the table 7 years ago from a consignment shop and frankly, it is no prize. We live in a tiny house and the table's uncanny ability to fit into small spaces was its main selling point.
I was perusing the net one day and came upon a table refinishing project that used only spray paint. (Can't find the site now) I thought to myself, "hey, I can do that, it looks easy."

Maybe the project would have worked out just wonderfully for a person who had say, spray painted before. For me, it became the DIY series of unfortunate events.

The table in question:

Things started out swimmingly. I purchased my supplies: sanding blocks, primer, painter's tape, paint and protective gloss to finish it off.

Table cleaned, sanded and primed, ready to go!

Here begins the What NOT to do when re-painting a dining room table:

1. Put a lot of effort into painting (not well because your spray paint technique has yet to be perfected) and then realize that you picked the most awful color of paint.

2. Leave newly painted table outside, next to a lawn that will be being watered that night. Standing water on a wood table does awesome things.
Now that wood-fill is required to fix the crack that developed overnight due to standing water congratulate yourself on creating the opportunity to re-paint the top of the table a more acceptable color.

3. Spend yet more time re-taping and re-painting the top of the table only to ruin it when you try to use a finishing gloss in spray paint form. Okay, so word to the wise, don't try to put a finishing coat of poly-acrylic when it is windy outside. Splotches everywhere thereby requiring that you sand down, re-tape and re-paint the top of the table yet again! Also, spray painting the finishing coat and making it look even is next to impossible. Definitely pull out a brush for this part of the process.
(no pictures, I was fed up by this point)

4 The last Do NOT:
Do NOT start a dining room table project with your only table and end up taking a month to finish it. *sigh*

Finished product:

Do pose your child underneath the table so you show just how happy he is to have somewhere to eat again. Also do this last step because you think your child is adorable.
Do tape off some of the ugly green paint as a reminder of your series of fails. Also so that your table will vaguely resemble a bowling shoe.
Do re-think any further DIY action. Although, we really could use some new dining chairs that match the table...

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