16. #FAIL

I had before pictures of my lovely chandelier make-over, edited and uploaded, including all the stages of progression. With the new fancy light bulbs purchased yesterday, all there was left to do was apply the final top coat of spray paint before assembling and installing it in our dining area. Then I would experience thrills of delight as I photographed it to share.

Sounds perfect, right? What could go wrong? Crafting and general DIY shenanigans never fail! Hahahaha. Ha. Fluffy nope.

I’m sipping on disappointment while I type from my couch. Eeyore’s raincloud growling above my head so to speak. I told you at the start of this blog that I’m not the King Midas of crafting, gold, the perfect touch and what not. I’m just bummed it had to be true this time around. What went wrong you might ask? Trying to be thrifty is what went wrong. Note to self: always be willing to splurge on brand new spray paint. What I mean is, don’t cut corners or pinch the pennies on the final touches that will seal your masterpiece for ages. “Treat Yo Self” with a little extra insurance by going and buying the right stuff now and then.

Basically, when I needed the top coat to seal the beautifully repainted chandelier, my husband, being the helpful man he is, reminded me we definitely have a can of sealer in an unpacked box downstairs. Don’t worry about going out and buying more, he said. Kent dug through boxes for me and pulled out a set of Rust-Oleum “Never Wet” Sealing Top Coat that I had used on an outdoor bird feeder a while back. Hesitantly, I asked if it would really work for my indoor chandelier and he reassured me it would look just like any other top coat. It would be fine, he said. I shrugged and went with it. It would be fine, I thought. Maybe another lesson here is that I’m too trusting.

After applying the Step One layer of the top coat duo, I let it dry. All good so far. My days had been a smidge crammed. I had been working on the project here and there over the course of the past few days when I got a chance. I couldn’t wait to finally get this baby up on the ceiling and see the result! Not to mention, finally hiding the taped up electrical cords that have been hanging out of my kitchen ceiling like old spaghetti, while guests have come and gone. I digress. The point is, I applied the final Step Two of the top coat. As I began spraying I quickly noticed a frosty sheen like you might see on something freeze-dried or on the edge of an object that you applied too much super glue to. I held my breath hoping it was just the drying process. Nope. No amount of shaking the can would make a difference or spraying from a greater distance. It was still leaving a white sheen with inconsistent splotches of dried top coat on each branch of the chandelier.

I’m an optimist. Or I just hang on to denial by my finger nails until there’s no point. With an uneasy feeling in my gut I thought, “maybe this will be one of those happy accidents and it will give it an aged effect.” Fluffy fat nope. Twenty minutes later, I poked simmering chicken around in a pan for dinner and accepted defeat. I wanted to cry. It’s a little silly, really. It’s just a chandelier I got for free from a friend. But on the other hand it was a home decor project that I had been squeezing in time for in order to make our home more lovely. You get me. It was a crappy few minutes.

When my husband got home he felt terrible that he had steered me wrong and tried offering all the helpful solutions he could think of. Which included scrolling through my Pinterest boards pointing at anything that looked like it could be made in 10 minutes which I could try to make into a blog post before bed. He instructed me not to listen to his craft advice again. It’s not 100% his fault. I just needed to stew in my moody thoughts for a bit, pretending it was the end of the world and grieving the waisted time. Kent offered to take the chandelier to work and sand blast the layers off so I can try again later. Crossing fingers that doesn’t end in disaster. Ha. I’ll let you know.

And then he said I should just blog about the truth. Yay! No, that’s not really what I thought at first. Let’s be real. #%$&@! or some sarcastic thought ran through my mind briefly and then I realized he was right. The internet does not need more false perfection. Nothing else leads us to unrealistic expectations like comparing ourselves to other’s polished and seemingly flawless achievements. I don’t want to be that person. We all have a skeleton in the closet at one time or another. Or at least loads of unfolded laundry which we shove in the nearest closet and piles of mail we cram in random drawers when last-minute guests come by. No one is Barbie. Actually even Barbie has her own problems too and we all know what they are. Haha.

I admit, I tried first to hastily finish another half finished project. It would not have turned out the way I want it to. A late night just in an effort to meet a personal New Years blogging resolution just isn’t worth it. I’m a finisher. I hate not completing what I set out to do. It’s also perfectionism. In reality it gets in my way more than it helps me in life. I’m working on that. And one of the steps to making my weakness work as my strength is by putting it in it’s place and knowing when to roll with the punches. The real resolution is to be real about it. 

19. Refinished Chandelier … Finally

About a month ago I was almost ready to post my upcycled chandelier project. But sadly, failure struck when it was ruined by using the wrong finishing spray. See previous post titled #FAIL. It’s done! *deep sigh of relief*

Luckily, my husband was able to sand blast it all off so I could start from scratch again. He says that sand blasting the spray paint and the original layer down to the true bones of the light actually made the final results even better with fewer imperfections and bumps. Perhaps he’s right. I’m just so happy to have this over with and a light in my dining area that I don’t want to think about the hiccup in the process anymore. Ya feel me?

Here is the specimen before. I got it from a friend when she was redecorating a new house. I saved it for a long time because I just knew it could have a second life someday! Updating outdated pieces of furniture and decor is my favorite type of project.

Step one: take the entire chandelier apart. Save the install hardware and use painter’s tape to protect all cords, wires and plugs. I also wrapped the white candle light covers and covered the tops with tape so the light bulb sockets would be protected. Ditched the old lamp shades and reused one of them for a previous upcycle craft.

Step two: sand and clean. Because we had our mishap and had to sand blast all the layers off, I didn’t take a picture of that part. If you’re doing a similar project at home, hopefully you will avoid that and do what I intended first. Which is to use a fine to medium sand paper to roughen up the original surface paint of the chandelier. Then use a damp clothe to wipe down the dust before spraying starts.

Step three: protect your work space! Be sure to cover your area with plastic, newspaper or a drop cloth. I wish I had a better set up to hang the chandelier while spraying. If you can hang it and keep your surroundings protected while spraying, do it! It will be much easier since the light must be sprayed from all angles.

Also choose a day when there isn’t wind. I got stubborn (ok, maybe impatient too) and did it when there was a slight breeze. I was finding spray paint on my person for a day or two!

Step four: I’m really happy with the color I chose at Home Depot, Midnight Blue Spray Paint + Primer by Rust-Oleum. Check all angles for full coverage and touch up missing spots. Read the instructions on the can and be sure each coat dries before continuing.

Step five: Choose a basic clear coat of Rust-Oleum varnish. I picked matte over gloss. I cannot stress this enough: do not use old cans of spray paint from previous projects whose purpose you are not 100% sure of. Again, see previous post, #FAIL.

Step six: once top coat is dry, carefully remove all painters tape, free the wires and put your chandelier back together.

Step seven: hang that beauty up and screw the light bulbs in place!

Note: in the photos below I had not properly threaded the cord through the chain in my hasty excitement to get the light up. It has to be re-hung, shortened and centered anyways when we get our dining table soon which was passed down to me from my Grama Arlene.

You get the idea. I’m relieved it’s finally done. And relieved my choice of navy blue turned out so well.

Shout out to my husband who hung the chandelier late at night! I was too excited to get it up and the timing was its own mini #FAIL. He had to alter the hardware unexpectedly in order to get it up and in the process, the drill majorly ripped into the skin on his finger at the joint. So. much. blood. Naturally, I felt terrible even though I didn’t cause it. I felt responsible. I cried. It was a whole ordeal. I bought him the Christmas Beer Advent Calendar at Costco as a present the very next day. It was like the man version of buying him flowers.

I can’t say any other project has been such a hassle. Fortunately, it looks like it was worth it!

15. Popular DIY’s on Pinterest

A handful of large craft projects are lined up for our new home that I can’t wait to share with you. Carving out the time to do them is the biggest challenge. From furniture distressing, cozy couch blankets and chandelier make overs, each takes extra planning. Stay tuned next month!

In the middle of hectic summer fun, BBQ’s, hosting and soaking up as much sun as possible; I squeezed in a little quiet time to craft. Usually late at night, which means I drag myself out of bed for work in the morning. Oh well, as I said, crafting is my air.

Each of these crafts on their own didn’t seem entirely blog worthy. But together these simple crafts accomplished some needed quiet space that I’ve been missing. I spent a little time doing a few silly projects that have been crowding my social media accounts over 2017. Slime and painted rocks! You’re probably thinking “Slime? Really? That’s so over done.” You’re right. I saw glitter glue at Target in the back to school sales and I can’t resist glitter. So I gave it a shot. It took 3 minutes. I probably won’t do it again until I have kids but it was kinda fun! I added jasmine essential oil to make it smell good for a little added therapy and because … well, why the heck not?

I’ll be honest though, as I promised at when I started this blog… I messed up the goo the first time around. Embarrassing, right? It’s three ingredient slime! Six year olds make these how-to’s on Darby Smart, lol. Look, I got the ratios wrong and added too much baking soda and contact solution. I just want you to know everybody messes up. Hahaha. Moving on. It was therapeutic!

By now, everybody knows how to make slime in their sleep from watching the homemade clips on Facebook, Pinterest, Darby and Instagram. I admit, I watch them all because there’s something satisfying about it. Here’s mine:

 

​Then there’s my new favorite. I swear my Pinterest is over run with painted rock inspirations. Primarily Mandala dot style. Click here for the exact pin I used to follow along for my first try. I want to make a bunch more like these ones here by Elspeth McLean. I plan to scatter them outside our front stoop mixed in with all the regular rocks along the walkway.

This was the perfect summer evening activity. It reminded me painting sea shells for the garden as a child. I have a distinct memory of sitting at our family dining table as a kid, painting sea shells we collected at Grama and Papa’s beach house. Warm summer breezes came in through the patio door and my brothers and I were eating banana popsicles like nobody’s business.

I have a soft spot for crafts that remind me of sweet memories.

14. Living Room Makeover 

Here are the first before and after photos from our townhouse renovation! We still have ongoing projects but our living room is the first place that feels complete. It’s my cool, blue and white oasis. I wanted a calm, spa like environment and I’m tickled pink with the results!

The bland brown covering the walls blended in with the fireplace in a most unattractive way. The color Sky High by Sherwin Williams contrasts so well against the stone, I was surprised how much I actually like the fireplace now. It’s amazing what paint color can change.


We also scraped the popcorn ceiling clean and re-textured it. The messiest job in renovating but 110% worth it! The laminate was also removed and we put in new Pergo flooring from Home Depot.

There isn’t a coat closet by the front door or anywhere on the main floor. I searched for a solution and found this coat and shoe organizer on Overstock.com. The rest of our winter things are in the guest room closet and can be traded out as needed.

I love the lighting in this room.

Meeko seems to approve.