Decisions, dilemmas

Calling all do-it-yourself-ers. I need your advice. I’m stuck in a project and don’t know how to get out!

You know the dining table project I mentioned in my last post? Yeah, that’s the one. It’s starting to become a proverbial thorn in my home improvement side.

Seriously, though.

Here was my plan. We had this dining table that I got at a yard sale before I even started college, I think. (Weird that I got a table in high school, huh?)

It was already painted that cranberry color. Kinda fun, but I was over it. It was also getting a little worn, particularly on the table top.

So, I had hopes of painting the table a uniform, dark espresso color. As for the chairs, I wanted to have 3 mismatched pairs (using one “pair” from the chairs I currently had and making 6 chairs instead of 4) painted all in a creamy yellow. I bought 1 set on craigslist for $20.

I was feeling excited and set to work. I used a liquid deglosser along with a minimal amount of sanding to prep the chair surface.

After that, I primed one chair and then used yellow spray paint. I used 2 cans. The problem was, it was nowhere near covering the chair. At $6 a pop, I decided that was getting too expensive for a refurbish job.

A quart of Valspar paint was my next choice. And here’s where we stood.

Pretty nice, you say? Until you look closer.

See the brush strokes?

Kinda cakey-looking. Yuck.

I’m not sure how well the pictures capture it, but it’s rather disappointing.

I tried to go back and sand again (this time with an electric sander) and apply a super thin, even coat with a foam brush. Sadly, this didn’t seem to make a difference in the brush-stroked cakiness.

And, so, I am at a standstill. I’m not sure what else to do, and I don’t want to scrap the whole project.

Also, I’m having second thoughts about the yellow. I love the yellow. I think it ties in nicely with curtains. But it dirties easily. I used a semi-gloss paint, but I think that is not wipeable enough.

So, this is my dilemma. Advice? Thoughts? Encouragement? I’d appreciate it! 🙂



Filed under DIY projects, home improvements

7 responses to “Decisions, dilemmas

  1. I like the creamy yellow and don’t really mind the brush strokes as much as I suspect you do. But, a darker color would hide some of the flaws along with the grubby little paw prints you will be seeing soon. Maybe just make the chairs the same as the other set, espresso, when you get there? May not be as fun as the offset colors, but still very nice.


  2. First of all, I really like the color. Sometime when things don’t come out as we want it is just better to start over, or you’ll keep spending time to “patch up” the project until you end up starting over anyway or keep getting disappointed. Anyway, about the brush strokes I guess you need to sand the part that bothers you and then apply thin coats, let dry in between a day or two. You could put a glaze/wax over the chairs to both tone down the color and make it more wipeable. Finally, this might be a tad late (since you painted already), but chalk paint (+wax) works really well on furnitures. Chalk paint comes in different colors, and you could even make your own, since that stuff is quite expensive. I was going to try to do our cabinets in the future, but I don’t have much experience with it as of right now. Darker colors usually don’t show as much grime and dirt from daily use, but not as cheery. If you are done trying more paint, you could start over and just use stain and wax on the bare wood (comes in different color, but probably not as light). Hope this helps. From the pictures I can’t tell the brush strokes…

  3. You are looking at it waaaaay too close! 🙂 You are the only one that will notice the brush strokes. Stand back five feet, sip a glass of wine and admire your work, and say….”Wow…they’re right! Those look great!!”

  4. Patrick

    I would take one of the chairs into a paint store to get some advice. After you sand out the runs and brush marks, you might be able to go back over it with a premium or self-leveling paint like Benjamin Moore Advance. Or use an oil-base paint – it’s harder to clean up but typically leaves far fewer brush marks. The third option that comes to mind would be a paint spray gun, if you can find one to borrow or rent.

  5. Anonymous

    Hey Sami, Judy Dhaenens here. I popped over to check out your meatball receipe and saw this project so I thought I’d share some thoughts with you. Everything I know I’ve learned from my talented husband and this is what he’s taught me. Unless you sand the chairs down to bare wood you will always see what’s left on them underneath your paint. It looks like you may be putting your paint on too thick which may sag and run after you’ve moved on and therefore will cause lumps. You may need to thin down the paint and put on several light coats to avoid the brush strokes and runs. If you are using water based paint you can thin it down with water and if you’re using an oil based paint, use mineral spirits. We have a painted cabinet in our kitchen that the expert in our family painted using these techniques and starting with bare wood, you do see light brush strokes. As someone else said the only way to avoid brush strokes is to use a spray gun. You can rent them I believe. Also, the higher the gloss the easier they will be to clean but if you don’t like a high gloss you may have to go with a darker color which won’t show grime as easily. I love your ambition and creativity and wish you the best .
    Blessings, Judy

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