Monday, February 15, 2016

When easy is not an option (and failed DIYs stories)

This post is about a failed DIY project that ended up being a beautiful disaster that I simply felt worth sharing.

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking in my project's backlog and decided that it was time to start a refashion work of an old piece of loved-hated furniture (it holds a big water container, meaning is more functional than ornamental). I still can't tell what has been bothering me the most about this piece, maybe the fact that it has a rustic vibe that got nothing to do with the minimalistic-vintage style of our house, it can also be that I just realized that until I find something that can replace it (which is very unlikely) I'm stuck with it or maybe is that every time that I look at it I can't help but thinking that this "thing" (not sure how to call it, it's definitely not a chair nor a table) somehow represented the big list of things that I knew I needed to do that I had failed to prioritize in my "tight" schedule.

I needed to do something, and to do it fast

Right, furniture refashion was part of a huge to-do list and I just couldn't wait more, I needed to do something with this growing list and to do it fast so I though that probably the easiest item to check would be the furniture update, in my head I would only needed to spend an afternoon sanding and painting and it would be done,  I even bought spray paint (thinking that it might be quicker) ready to turn this ugly thing in something that could perfectly fit in a Scandinavian home style.
There I was wearing a mask, gloves and ready to defeat the ugliness but something was wrong since the first moment, something just didn't work, starting with my lack of experience with spray paint (have never been a graffiti artist) it took me some time to understand the proper way to do it without messing everything and then I had some weird hesitation moments (Should I sand the tiles? Should I paint the back? ) and by the time I got tired the furniture was not looking half-decent and I had already run out of paint.

The non enviable, no beautiful and no modern result

I took a break, went to buy another can and got back decided to get this done, I really needed this to be done, it was personal now, so here I was in my best "artist" outfit working that paint spray until the "thing" seemed totally covered, then I added a "modern" note with some tile color blocks, oh yeah, I was so inspired thinking the amazing pictures I'd get to share in this blog that I just let it dry and went to sleep dreaming of my new enviable-beautiful-modern thing.
But it was non enviable, no beautiful and absolutely no modern, once I saw it under the daylight it looked weird, the color was uneven and dirty (did I clean it correctly after sanding?) and the color-block tiles? those were the cherry of the cake because with the color selection it now looked like something that belongs to a children playground or a kids party place.
I was very upset, not only it was not completed and I had nothing to post in the blog, but now I needed to rethink this project that was adding more work to my endless to-do list, I decided that the furniture and I needed to take a break so I gave it a rest for a couple of days before I started to think what to do next.

A trivial decision that could mean a lot

What options did I have? Leave it like it was? mmhmm it would be easier but I'd probably couldn't live with that decision, what else could I do? Repaint? Take out all the paint and use oil? Could I?
And somehow I though that taking a trivial decision like this could eventually mean a lot, yes, something as vain as the color of a piece of wood could be the difference between doing what is easy and doing what is right.
I mean, how many times we have settled for something just because it was easier?: food, clothes, work opportunities or even relationships. You probably have been in this position millions of times, deciding between the most convenient/the faster/ the easiest/the cheapest/ the closer and the one that you really want, for me the easiest was living with my Ronald McDonald piece and moving to the next thing, but that just didn't feel right.


Taking the high road pays

And then it hit me, good things take time, and I though that I might need to let this go organically: to re-plan, to do things different, to stop rushing and to enjoy the process, as with everything in life, because there was no reason to settle, in fact we should never settle because if the easier, faster, cheapest and closer option is not remotely similar to what you really want you will have to live with the idea of the now remote desired option that was changed for something more "comfortable".
So cheers for those that take the high road, that go the long way, that do the right thing even when that means doing the most tedious/difficult as starting something over, taking the unpopular choices,  going away from unhappy relations or buying a new can of paint to restart doing a failed DIY project with a smile in the face thinking that when Plan "A" fails it's OK, because there are still several letters left before reaching the Z and that it will always pay off to be stubborn and to go the extra mile until you get what you really want, in furniture and in life, because you don't deserve anything less than that.

 Update: furniture pictures added

 Some of my friends have been asking me to include a picture of the ugly furniture just to understand the size of the issue, so for those wondering about it below are 2 images, in the first of them you'll notice that even with the filter it looks very weird, in the second you'll appreciate how uneven the color was.

Love Tany


  1. Me hubiera gustado ver la foto de como quedó ñoña "haiga" sido como "haiga" sido :P * y conociéndote, no cesarás hasta que quede perfecta :)

  2. Jajajaja, pues las fotos del como quedó feo ya las agregué, y las fotos de como quedó ya bonito en la siguiente publicación del blog vienen con todo y tutorial =)