Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Project Is A Real B$#CH

Did you ever embark on a project thinking it would be simple, and before you knew it you were pulling your hair out in frustration? That is exactly what happened to me with this b$#ch. Ahem. Bench, that is.

Several months ago I stopped into a local consignment shop, and spotted this sweet little bench. 

Looks pretty harmless, doesn't it?  The price ($35) was right, so I brought it home.

I figured a little sanding, a little painting, and the bench would make a nice addition to my sons' room. Man, was I in for a rude awakening.

The bench is covered in some type of varnish that is very difficult to remove. I used my electric sander on the seat, and sanded the spindles by hand. I couldn't completely remove all the varnish, but I figured I had "roughed" it up enough that the paint should adhere.

I had the paint store match a Benjamin Moore black paint that was recommended by another blogger. The paint supposedly works wonderfully, even without priming.
Well, let's just say the paint I was sold did not match up. It was the strangest consistency. Thin, sticky, tacky... yuck!

Discouraged, I left the bench alone for more than a month. When I was finally ready to deal with it again, the paint was STILL tacky. In my haste to start over, I failed to take pictures. You'll have to take my word for it. It was awful.

I took the sander to it, yet again. It resulted in this lovely look...

Nice, huh? The awful black paint that wouldn't adhere properly, would now refuse to come off. It was time to pull out the big guns...

As far as strippers go, the Citristrip is rather pleasant. It smells like an orange dreamsicle, and is easy to apply. I applied it with a paint brush and used the scraper to remove the leftover black paint and varnish.

It's pretty gross, but it's getting there.

Wish I could end this story with an amazing tranformation, but the truth is there's a lot more stripping, scraping and swearing sanding to be done. Wish me luck!

I hope someday it turns out fabulous and all the frustration will have been worth it. Right now, I'm still feeling that $35 was a rip-off :)

Oh, and I'd love to hear if you've ever worked on any projects that were a real b$#ch!


  1. I am constantly over-estimating my capabilities and under-estimating the amount of work any given project will take. Constantly. Looking forward to seeing the finished project. Hang in there.

  2. Great deal on the bench! Can't wait to see it finished :)

  3. Girl, you have WAAAAAAAY more patience than me! I woulda slapped some annie sloan chalkpaint on it and called it a day. paris grey would look amazing. just a thought, lol. xoxo shel

  4. Ugh... I HATE when that happens!!! It seems like that has been the story with most of my projects. "Oh, I'll have this tackled like it's no one's business" I'll say all cocky like to my husband. Days... weeks... sometimes months later he'll ask me why such and such project isn't done yet. My response - "Don't even talk to me about it... I'm not mentally prepared to deal with it again." Hahaha!!!

  5. i always have big ideas and lose my gusto 1/2 way through the project. don't even ask me about the time i decided to mosaic an entire coffee table. it was not a pretty site.

  6. As they say here in the south "bless your heart"! This was a job for chalk paint. You will get her purty I am sure!

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  8. I just did a bench and was luckier than you by far.. but know your pain since I have been there before. Might I suggest some Annie Solan chalk paint in a deep inky color that they have .. but for the life of me I can't remember the name right now. I think it would be perfect on your bench and it holds to anything..even varishined benches.. I know :)