Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Lesson Learned...

I prefer it when things go my way. I'm an analytical person residing in an artist's body. I have my moments of creative panache, but deep down I'm a very structured person. If I have a plan, come rain or come shine, I'll stick to it, by golly. Problems arise, however, when "the plan" doesn't cover all the variables. That's what happened last week as I began the refinishing and reupholstering process of the chair I bought a month ago. You will remember I posted details last week of the first phase of my "shabby to chic" chair project -- the refinishing of the wood. I took photos (above) of the lovely wood chair I had painted. It was a beautiful, satin black, and I mentioned in my blog post that I was looking forward to moving on to the reupholstering of the chair. I'll pick the story back up where I left off, but I'm warning you the story gets ugly...

Back to a week ago: Yes sirree, I was feeling very accomplished and, dare I say, a little cocky about my first attempt at furniture refinishing. I had primed the wood and applied two coats of black satin paint on my beautiful chair. It looked charming and I couldn't wait to start on the reupholstering...

Several hours after the picture taking and the uploading of my blog post detailing the painting of the chair, I went outside to check on my handiwork and, much to my chagrin, I notice the black paint had started to bubble in several places on the chair. My calling as a fine furniture refinisher came crashing down around me. Apparently, I had neglected one of the elementary rules of furniture refinishing ... that of sanding. I had drawn the erroneous assumption that one either sanded or used primer. I thought one replaced the other as the first step. A lesson learned. It appears one must sand and prime to achieve the kind of finish one would capture from a professional job.

Well, this totally messed up my "plan" and my analytical self took a tailspin. I wanted this project to be packaged in a neat little box, instead it was turning into a nightmare. My precise plan and time-line for this chair's revamp was booted from here to Kansas. Dang! The only thing left to do was to strip all my applied paint and the old varnish and stain off the chair and start over. Humility is a hard pill to swallow.

Saturday around 10am I started the dastardly deed of stripping all the wood on the chair. A little after 2pm, I was finished. Yes... it took that long. Horrible work. Horrible! Here's what the chair looked like after the first step of applying the paint and stain remover. In keeping with this spooky time of year, it looks like something one might see on Halloween night.

Applying the remover was the easy part. Clearing away all that gobbily-gook was the test. All of a sudden all the handsome curves and rounded corners that I had bragged about on this chair became my nemesis.

After four long hours of back-breaking work, this is what I have to show for it. He's down to his bare little bones. No paint. No varnish. No stain. N'ked as a jay bird. All he needs now is a little sanding and a kick in the pants. Hopefully the weather will improve and in the next couple of days, I'll be able to (1) sand, (2) apply primer, and (3) give him a proper painting...

11 comments:

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Suzanne, that is too demoralizing. I had no idea that a silly little thing like forgetting to sand could have such disastrous results.

It had nothing to do with the layers not drying properly did it? Or high humidity? Sanding? Go figure.

Well, at least it is a lesson learned. Can't wait to see the end results.

Jen

Suzanne said...

No, I know that I followed the instructions perfectly as far as when to apply the second coat of paint so it would all dry properly and we have no humidity to speak of in Colorado so I know it wasn't that! The primer just didn't have anything to adhere to because I put it over the unsanded varnish. Live & learn!

Jenni said...

I'm impressed you stuck with it! That is a testament to your character right there. I'd have smashed the thing into a bazillioin tiny pieces with a sledge hammer and then headed to a furniture store and spent $600 on a new chair.

Yeah, I think I have a few things to learn from you...

Shawn said...

Wow---you are so dedicated to keep going! This is amazing!!

MiaKatia said...

What a bummer!

Devri said...

Oh how sad, you are a die hard. I would never have started the thing in the first place. lol I lazy like that! hugs to you, I saw on mia's blog your little totes you gave the grankids.. YOu are simpley #1 grammy evah!

Annie of Blue Gables said...

well, I am impressed. I have never gotten into refinishing the wood part. When I reupholstered a chair for someone else, they wanted the old wood as it was and I didn't have to worry about it.
you are so amazing, first to try such a thing, second to stick with it, third to figure out what happened and forth, to admit your blunder on the internet. Thanks for that. I will remember this lesson you learned if I ever attempt such a project.
hugs
~a

Julie said...

Oh dear! What a horrible thing to happen to you! I feel so bad that you had to go through all of that! Gracious!!! Best wishes on your next try...I'm sure it will be perfect!!! Hang in there...can't wait to see it all finished!!!

Cole said...

The black did look amazing. Just think, now when you're done, you'll have accomplished even more. Sitting back sipping coco and reading a book will be evem more satisfying! :)

Renee said...

Oh no! I'm getting ready (yeah right) to paint some furniture, so thanks for the heads up!

Jill said...

WoW thank you for sharing! I wouldn't have known when I jump into a project like that. Kudos for sticking with it. After 1 hour I think it would have been proper material for a bon fire.
~ Jill