Real. Life. DIY.

So remember how I told you at the beginning of this series of our Master Bedroom Makeover to expect some in-process, messy, in-real-life type posts?  Well…this is hopefully the worst one of those.  I figure let’s just get it over with and hopefully  it all can just get better from here.

Yesterday was one of those not-so-good, frustrating type of days.  Ever have those?  So I had done a good bit of prep work last week on the tall dresser for our room.  It had the worst damage on the veneer – a huge chunk out of it on one drawer and I got it all repaired and was happy with hot it looked.  Going into this I wasn’t sure if I was going to stain or paint the set of furniture I got at a yard sale or maybe do a two tone look.  So I tried a mix of sanding and using Citri-strip to get the finish off.  Sanding worked great – so I definitely plan to stain the top.  BUT the Citri-strip did not work at getting all of the pigment of the stain off (the 2nd drawer down was stripped twice with Citri-strip) – so the drawers/bottom will need to be painted since there is no way I can sand the decorative trim in between the drawers. 

Real. Life. DIY.

So I got the top all protected from paint, pulled out a new paint sprayer which worked amazingly (more on that later), and started to paint.  Excited and hoping to maybe be finished with this piece by end of day!

Real. Life. DIY.

I should have known that things were going to get worse when as soon as being to paint, the neighbor pulls his lawnmower out of the garage and begins to cut his grass.  While my white freshly painted dresser sits in the driveway just a few yards away.  And to make matters worse – we don’t have sodded yards so that means cutting the grass = cutting whatever green weeds happen to grow and also patches of dirt in areas too. LOTS of dust!

Then through the fog of GA red clay dust I begin to see that as soon as I finished painting one side all these orange splotches started appearing through the paint!!! 

Real. Life. DIY.

I am using Behr Ultra Pure White paint and primer in one which I have used many other times to paint over white or creamy French provincial furniture so I know it is not the paint.  So I tried another coat.  Seemed like more orange was coming through!!   

Real. Life. DIY.

So I happened to be texting my friend Angie and she said to try white spray paint as a stain blocker so I did that.  And let it dry.  Came back about 30 minutes to an hour later and tried to sand the front to fix a spot and the paint literally is peeling off the piece (as you can see on the front of the drawer. 

Real. Life. DIY.

No matter how much paint I sprayed on the piece, the orange is still coming back through.  It seems to be in areas where I sanded down to raw wood (I had to fix several areas with filler and sand several rough spots) or where I used Citri-strip.  And I don’t think the paint is adhering to the piece well.  I finally just walked away to let it dry overnight and left my neighbor to finish his yard and let the dust settle.   I plan to pick up some Kilz primer this morning, resand the entire piece, and then repaint.    And when I get done, I can write a whole tutorial on how NOT to get orange splotches in your white painted dresser or how to fix it if you do, right? 

And on top of my furniture painting debacle… this is the state of our room right now.  Lovely, right?  I have tried 2 different gray paints and neither one is the one I am looking for.  The lighter one is too blue looking and too light and the darker one is close but not enough “gray” in it.  So I am waiting for more paint.  And looking at this scene every time I walk in the room. 

Real. Life. DIY.

But wait, it’s gets worse!  Because this is what the other side of the room looks like  We got a new mattress and bedframe from IKEA (which we LOVE – spoiler alert!) which I will tell you all about once the room is cleaned up enough to take pictures.  So the old bedframe and mattress and all the old bedding is on the side of the room waiting for me to get the new dressers done so we can list the entire old set on sale on Craigslist.  I think I am just about ready to dump all our clothes in the floor or in bins and list it anyways and hope it sells right away to get it out of the room.   

Real. Life. DIY.

On one happy note, you probably noticed I got my new comforter out on the bed! Smile  And some of the pillows that I have found although some of those will probably get switched out as I see which direction the room is going.

So there it is – the non-pretty side of DIY and decorating!  I was discouraged yesterday and frustrated and stressed at how much I still need to get done, yet nothing is going right.  It can be so easy to watch decorating shows on TV, visit Pinterest, read magazines, or even visit DIY blogs and get discouraged because you see the “after” picture but you are in the middle of the “mess” like I am.  Making a house a home, redoing a room, decorating your home doesn’t happen overnight or in 30 minutes like it does on TV.  It takes TIME, sweat, maybe some tears, patience, and a lot of hard work.   Remember that every pretty “after” has a “before” and even sometimes an “in the middle – looks worse than the before”.  HGTV shows have entire crews of people behind the scenes helping to demo, renovate, install, shop for things, paint, do many other things – many that are professionals in their field.  Magazines have entire warehouses of props that they can go to and most of those “pretty pictures” are sets that they stage just for that shot.  And bloggers have old mattresses piled in their room, multiple paint swatches painted on the wall, and orange splotches seeping through their supposed to be beautiful white dressers – they just don’t always show the messiness that happens in between the “before” and the “after”.  So remember that when you see those pretty rooms and the discouragement starts to creep in – I know I need to remember that! 

So it’s a new day!  Both neighbors have already cut their grass in the last 2 days Winking smile, its a nice day with good weather for painting, it’s 1/2 price day at Value Village and Home Depot happens to be right next door where I can pick up my Kilz, and hopefully by this evening I will have a beautiful white dresser with no orange spots sitting in my driveway. 

What’s your worst DIY tale?  Seems like some projects go off without a hitch but most have some stories like this behind it.  Ever had a painting debacle like this?  How did you solve it? 


  1. Oh, Christina! I’m glad you’re sharing the whole story! your bedding looks great and I know everything will be gorgeous! Can’t wait to see more!! 😀

  2. It’s all going to turn out great! I just know it! Love the bedding, I have a light blue similar. Today is a new and brighter day with a happier ending! :0)
    Leslie Marie recently posted..A Swap Meet Roll Top DeskMy Profile

  3. So sorry to hear things didn’t start out well but just think how much prouder/happier/in love with your dresser you will be when it’s done. I would recommend getting a bonding primer since it’s supposed to adhere to whatever you’re painting and serve as a good base for the paint. Good luck! And the new bedding looks great!

  4. Thanks for being honest! I always wonder if I am doing something wrong when my entire house looks like an audition for the show hoarders in the middle of the project. To a new day!!!

  5. Hang in there, I know you can make it happen!! : )

  6. Cheryl MacKay says:

    I feel your pain. I worked tirelessly on bedroom furniture redo and was so proud of how it came out. I was so excited to apply the poly that I didn’t know to wait until it was completely cured. I ended up with an ugly milky finish which requires an entirely new redo.

    I like the suggestion of getting the bonding agent. I would recommend that.

  7. I really like the gray I used in my dining room. Its Driftwood Gray by MStewart. Its what I call a balanced gray….not too blue not too purple. Just a suggestion, and I can’t wait to see what you chose.
    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos recently posted..Garden Gate Inspiration for My Side YardMy Profile

  8. Hi Christina,
    I’m not a fan of gray paint but when my local Ace Hardware was giving away free pints I chose a color called “baby elephant”. I used it on one wall of my bedroom and I really like it. It seems to me to be a “warm” gray, not a cool or harsh color.

  9. Hang in there. You are an inspiration to the rest of us! Can’t wait for the reveal.

  10. I hope Kilz does the tick for you. I have never used a paint sprayer but the paint looks so thin. What if you used a brush? Just a thought. Hope everything works out next round. Good luck and thanks for sharing. Know it will be beautiful when you finish it.

  11. trick not tick!

  12. Sherri S. says:

    Thanks for keeping it real. 🙂 I know your room will be so pretty!

    Have a blessed weekend!!

  13. A couple of thoughts from an ancient DIYer…painting the walls—the “new” color sometimes does not look true when painted in a swatch over a yellowish color. At least that is my experience. As far as the furniture painting, there are stains and chemicals that do leach up through paint. Enough coats of the new (especially if you’re painting white) will solve the problem, but it does mean much more painting and investment. You will persevere.

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