Monday, July 16, 2012

I've Got the DIY Blues

I've been slow/lazy on my posting, over the past week, due to the frustrations I've been encountering in the home improvement area. I must say, before now, I've had pretty good luck with home improvement projects. Granted, I've yet to do anything major (like a bathroom overhaul) all by myself. I tend to have a history of sticking to projects that involve painting, reupholstering, decorating, etc. So I've always considered paint to my BFF -- well I'm not so sure about that anymore.

As I mentioned here, I was looking forward to getting back into DIY mode after a few days spent on school related things. So on Friday, I picked up my paint brushes (and mini foam rollers!) and began the next items on the to-do list... Painting the front door and an outdoor bench. I thought these would be easy projects, something fun that would yield very satisfying, visible results (who doesn't love a pop of color in a front door?!), to kick my butt back into DIY mode, but turns out, I've been more frustrated than I've been in a long time. I've learned a very important DIY lesson, don't buy cheap paint!

I hate to knock this brand of paint because I'm sure there are many people who LOVE it and swear by it, but I'm just not one of them -- Valspar (Lowe's paint). I've had a MISERABLE time with it! I've painted quite a few things in my day, from lots of walls to many pieces of furniture, and I've never been so dissatisfied with the quality of a paint. I didn't even know that it was possible to be dissatisfied with paint, other than hating a paint color, but that's not the paint's fault, but your own; trust me, I've been there, too! It might be possible to say that I actually loathe this paint.

I bought Valspar's Semi-Gloss Exterior Ultra Paint + Primer, at Lowe's, in two colors, the color for the front door and the color for the bench. I started my projects by sanding both objects very well; I learned that lesson a long time ago! The man who helped me in the paint department told me that, if sanded well, I would not need to prime neither the door nor bench, as this was paint with primer... Wrong! When I began painting the bench, the paint was just going on like a stain. It was so thin, it felt like it was just a cheap quart of paint with no primer in it. I quickly realized that it was going to take 4-5 coats to make the bench look very solid, so I made a quick run to Home Depot to buy Rustoleum's spray primer. Once I sprayed three light coats of primer, I went back and painted on two, and in some areas, three, coats of Valspar's paint for a finished product.

I should've known better with the door. After finishing the bench, next up, the door. Same thing happened -- with the door sanded down, I painted a sample area onto the door and saw the same thing, it was also going to need additional primer. Another trip to Home Depot, this time to buy a paint on primer (I wasn't about to spray primer onto the door with it still attached and open in the dining room!). Austin bought Kilz2 Primer, but this time, the primer didn't do the trick. I kept painting, coat after coat (three to be exact!) onto the door, and I could still see through the dang paint! Seriously, it was sooo thin!

So, after putting my paint away, for 36 hours, due to being extremely frustrated, I decided to tackle the door again. This time, feeling as though I didn't have a lot to lose, I decided to put a nice solid coat of primer on AGAIN, hoping I can get a solid colored front door. Can you believe that -- this door might get a whopping total of seven coats of paint from this, what should've been easy, project?!

Here's the door, as of this afternoon. You can see the black coming through on the panels... (Yep, you're getting a sneak peek of the new color!)


Hopefully, I can wrap this project up, later this evening, so that I can begin to share some other projects!

Because this will be the one and ONLY time I buy Valspar paint, I'll be returning to my tried-and-true paints: Benjamin Moore's paint and I LOVE Behr Paint with Primer (Home Depot's paint). I've never run into any coverage issues with either of those paints.

I hope you've had a better start to your week than this not so paint pro!

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