Aug 12, 2012

Mint Condition Part II: Lessons


As you may or may not know, I decided to repaint one of my little Ikea LACK tables this weekend. All about my plans here. While I've been doing extensive research by reading and re-reading furniture painting blog posts, I have encountered some setbacks along the way on what should be a really easy, and cheap makeover. Here's what I've learned so far.

And please be patient with "reveal". I'm still waiting for paint to dry and I started this project yesterday. Whomp. Whomp.

1. Never, never go to Ikea at 1pm on a Saturday. Especially right before classes at Stanford start. List in hand, Brandon and I set off for Ikea, Home Depot, and Trader Joe's. Immediately upon entering the Ikea parking garage, we knew something was up. The place was more packed than usual. In fact, not only were there no parking spots to find, there was a full blown traffic jam in the garage. We sat, stuck, for about 15 minutes when I decided to jump out of the car, run into the store and grab what I needed (another LACK table - to be explained later). I was in and out in 10 minutes and Brandon still sat there in the same place. It was ludacris and we ended up stuck in the garage for 45 minutes.

2. Set a budget. Prepare to break it. Everyone says that doing things yourself is cheaper. Yes, it will take some time (see below), but DIY is always supposed to be affordable and geared toward penny-pinchers. What they failed to tell you is that DIY is cheap if you already have the tools. Painting furniture when you have brushes, primer, rollers, drop clothes, etc. is in fact very cheap. Starting DIY projects from scratch, with no materials = pricey. On the flip side, I now own all of the proper tools for painting and my next projects won't require all this investment.

3. Make a reasonable timeframe for completing your projects. Then double it. Err, triple it. I thought painting little table would take me a full weekend, shopping for tools included and I thought that was being generous with my time. At this point, on Sunday evening, I have no idea when I'll get to finish this darn table. I have at least one coat of paint on right now and two coats on some sides, but I need let that to thoroughly dry before I apply poly, which will be tomorrow night (playing it super safe). Again, there's a flip side. I am learning to be patient and am able to get other chores done in between coats of primer and paint drying.

The 1.00 drop cloth I purchased would not lay flat. The wind from the balcony below ours was the culprit.  I had to improvise and lay down paper grocery bags.

4. Projects may take more time than you anticipated and break the budget, but they are darn fun. Despite set back after setback, I'm really enjoying this project. I love picking out paint colors, working with my hands and trying new things. I love seeing something transform into something else. Its exciting to see something you envision come to life. I also love going to the hardware store. That I didn't expect at all.

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