Saturday, February 16, 2013

DIY Nightmare!

So I'm not one for redoing furniture. I don't have the patience or the time. Then a friend put me on to this dresser that someone was selling on Kijiji.


We don't have a proper T.V. stand/media center. The one we have was my husband's from when he lived by himself and with a crawling, exploring baby it's been an absolute accident waiting to happen. For some reason she is drawn to it like a magnet and is sporting lots of bruises to show for it. It has to go! 

So, when I saw the dresser I thought this would be the perfect solution! Last year, I redid an old dresser and night stand from the 70's for my daughter's room and they turned out awesome. I didn't have the patience or time then, either but I used spray paints and literally had them done in about a two hour period. Here's what they look like. Nice, right? So, I thought, I'll take this dresser, do the same thing with different colours and be done with it. I wanted to do an off-white with some distressing. Easy, right? WRONG! 

I don't know what is up with this thing but it is not going well! I spray painted it and did three coats. Three coats and it had a "crackled" look that I didn't love so much. Like the paint is sticking to some areas, but not others. Plus, it comes off if scraped hard which just won't do with three crazy kids running around. So, I decide I need to sand it better. I go out and buy the paint stripping gel and take off all the paint I just put on. Most disgusting, messy job ever. Picture curdled milk mixed with baby spit up. Piles of it. Gross. 

Then I sand. I sand and sand and sand and get it all down to it's natural wood and cleaned up all nice. This time I try a spray paint with primer in it. Same result. On the raw wood I get the same result! It's like this wood is very porous where the grain is and the paint just won't stick there. 

 So, I decide it needs a melamine paint that can be brushed on instead. We'd done my daughter's doll house that we made in melamine and it turned out wonderful. Turns out no one sells it anymore as it's illegal in Canada since September of last year. Ok. I had no idea! So, the guy sells me some cabinet and furniture paint that he says is awesome and the closest thing but water based still. "Do I want it tinted?" he asks. At this point I just want this done. "Just give me the white, we'll do white now." Ok. I get home. I sand some more. Want to make sure this baby is ready for paint. I pull out my brush, I put some on. SAME RESULT!! It still has a "crackled" look about it. You know the one I mean. You can buy the crackle paint to get the look on purpose. Here's a photo: 


I've now put in many more hours than anticipated. Hours I don't have. The great deal I got on the dresser isn't so great now when you include all the supplies I've bought. So, I keep at it. I've now painted a coat of white on everything. It will sit over night and tomorrow I'll go out there and put on a second coat of white. If it still has the crackled look, well, we'll call it antiqued. I'm not sure what else to do at this point. My only thought is that perhaps the original stain on this dresser was oil-based and because the wood is so porous there's still lots of the oil finish in there that's not liking my water-based paints very well. I have no other guesses. My back hurts, my hands and wrists hurt. I'm done. On a good note, I decided to keep the original hardware and just paint them and THEY turned out amazing! I'll let you know how the rest goes after I drag myself out to the garage tomorrow.....


  1. DIY is never as easy as it looks on Pinterest! Just remember to take a step back and look at it vs. looking at it up close. The imperfections will give it character if you are going for a distressed look.

  2. I think you should try Bullseye 123 Primer. Its super sticky and you don't need to sand before. Its what I used to paint my cabinets. It will seal the top. You can get it at Home depot in a spray or paint on type. I hate when that happens!

  3. Brook I'm breaking your heart, aren't I? lol! Do you think I can do the primer over the paint I've already got on there or should I sand again? (ugh!)

  4. ...and now that I know this ONE LITTLE SECRET I may not be so afraid to take on these types of projects again. Get it right the first time!

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