Monday, October 8, 2012


I have a confession to make.

I, Emma Wagner, got too cocky with my superb spray painting skills, and I done did fail.

Great. Now that that is off my chest. Let's evaluate what happened.

About 3 years ago, when I moved to Michigan (with an air mattress, my laptop, and a duffel bag) I knew how to score good, cheap stuff, and I knew how to fix it, I just didn't have the time and the means to do it. I was nannying from about 6am-4 and then working at a movie theater from 5-2. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. No wonder Nate and I didn't really date; I didn't have time!

Anyway, I scored this three drawer nightstand thing for $2 at a garage sale. It was forest green, had no drawer pulls and was heavy as shit. I saw it though and thought, painted fuchsia in my pink and black room I was working desperately to put together would be totes adorbs. Plus, I could make it function as a nightstand, a dresser and a dining I had none of those items. Sadly, not only did it never get finished, it sat it's ugly ass in my various abodes for the next three years.

Enter ambitious me saying "you need to work, or GTFO" (which has kind of become my mantra lately) and I decided that the ugly dresser was on the to-do list. I had some leftover orange spray paint form when Brenna and I did the bistro table and I thought that I was not going to put money into this thing- it was either going to work or it wasn't.

So, Nate, the 3 scruffs and myself wandered to the back yard to attack the ugly dresser. We even got to play with my new toy (the power sander) and sanded as much off this thing as we could.

Anybody else see the happy little face on the sander? like he's so happy to be sanding?

Low and behold. This solid and super heavy dresser was PRESSBOARD. We both swore by the weight and the few pieces of exposed wood that we saw that it was wood. Nope, most of it was pressboard and the drawers were wood. Sneaky Brat.

At this point, I should have primed it. Did it occur to me that I had KILZ in the basement? Nope. Did I perhaps think maybe I should have primed it? Yep. Did I do it? Nope. I didn't feel like wasting time on something that I "didn't care about" so I just grabbed the can of spray paint and went at it anyway.


Being a piece of pressboard, I should have primed it. The spray paint formed little bubbles and honestly, the places we super sanded got less coverage than the places we hardly sanded at all.

This project ended really really badly.

For now, we've tucked it in the garage for Nate to put his saw on until we build him a tool bench. Once I'm done being mad at it I may take another stab at it. At which time I will sand it, prime it and THEN spray paint it. I guess I got too caught up in my awesome "spray paint fixes everything" mindset.

After all, I have been known to say a rouge woman with a can of spray paint and a staple gun can change the world.

I thought I'd post this to prove that I too, can suck at life. However, I am considering this a free failure since I paid $2 for the thing 3 years ago and used spray paint I already owned.

The scruffs on the other hand, had a marvelous time getting filthy while Nate and I slaved over this.

Did anybody else fail this hard this weekend?


  1. I hate when I don't prime. It always ends bad. About a year ago I tried to paint our black coffee table red without priming it. I don't know what I was thinking! Black to RED. I didn't prime it. 6 coats in, the red STILL wasn't covering. (DUH!) As for my fail THIS weekend.... those damn barn doors. They aren't hanging level, and I'm pissed.

    PS- the face on the sander? so damn cute :)

  2. What I'm impressed with is that you did the sanding but skipped the primer. Sanding is totally the part I try to avoid (read: make DH do)

    1. Yes...not my proudest moment. The sanding was just so much fun because it was a new toy!

  3. I repainted my pressboard medicine cabinet and it was AWWWWFUL. It basically had this wood-print sticker over the whole entire thing so once I was able to peel that off, then I had to get off all the adhesive. It was brutal. It was my first time using the paint/primer in one (Behr) and it’s held up pretty well for over a year, even though my bathroom gets steamy and whatnot. Sometimes you just gotta set those “fails” aside and come back to them later when you have the energy for it again!

    1. Truer words have never been spoken. It's important to take a step back and do something successfully. If I didn't know my limits, I wouldn't still be doing this. This piece is still on the shit list though. ;)


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