|(it was actually much worse than it looks here)|
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
THE DOWN SIDE TO DIY
Well, shoot. Remember on Friday when I told you I just had some finishing touches on the dining room table I'm refinishing? That meant all I had left to do was put on a top coat of polyurethane. I had stripped, scraped, sanded, filled, sanded, wiped, stained, wiped, stained, and done lots of waiting in between all of those steps!
I posted things like this on Instagram-
And then I put on the first coat of poly. And I waited 4 hours (or so). And then I put on a second coat. And after a little while I went to check on it, and there were cloudy streaks all over the top of the table. Hmmm, I've refinished several pieces and that had never happened before. So I waited until the next morning, thinking it must be drying unevenly.
In the morning, still there. And I knew something wasn't right. I tried to convince myself that maybe it looked like a cool faux-finish. My sweet daughter said she liked it and it kind-of looked like metal. I called the expert (a.k.a. my Dad) and picked his brain. He said to give it a day or two, that it might just be taking an extra long time to dry thoroughly.
I gave it another overnight, and nothing had changed the next morning. I knew there was nothing I could do but start over. Womp womp.
So, this is where I am.
I've re-stripped, re-sanded, and am currently re-staining. Yesterday I visited Munger's, my favorite Mom and Pop paint store, and sought some advice before I proceeded with a top coat again. I was really considering waxing the top this time, which I've never done on a refinished piece before. He strongly encouraged poly since it would be a high-use piece.
He also really felt that I probably didn't let the first coat of my poly dry thoroughly enough before applying the second coat, and the remaining moisture from the first coat just got trapped in there. He gave me a great tip to pass along. He said when you think your previous coat is dry, press your thumb in an inconspicuous place. If there is any stain or residue on your finger, or if it leaves your fingerprint or feels tacky at all, it's not dry yet.
For the record, I DID make an effort to follow directions on all of the products as I went along. The poly can was "fast-drying" and said to wait 3-5 hours between coats. I checked at around 4 hours and thought it was dry enough to proceed. Guess not. It's been SO hot and sticky here, I'm sure humidity was a very likely factor as well.
Here's hoping round 2 works out better! Just wanted to let you know, even with all the care taken to do things right, and even though I've done this before, in the world of DIY things don't always turn out the way they should. Sometimes, that's a happy mistake. And sometimes, you have to be willing to scrap it and start over. I like the first option much better.
What's your worst DIY fail?