Friday, April 15, 2011

Building fun

Oops, I swear I didn't forget about this thing.  Actually, the guilt of not posting has been plaguing me.  It's just that there was an impromptu weekend trip to Houston, a basketball final to watch (and too much tequila to drink), work stuff, a foster dog...and, oops, next thing you know I haven't posted in two weeks.

To  make up for all my laziness, I had a super productive weekend.  I finished a project that I've been working on since pre-Houston.  The problem with having a million different things to do on the house is that it's really easy to get distracted and start new projects before I finish the old ones.  I can't explain why 1/2 of the living room trim has been taped off and un-painted for over a month now, I just can't, but we're getting a lot of other things done!

My latest building project came about due to the awkward setup of our living room.  The room is long-ish and narrow-ish and has a really awkward layout, so we decided to use our sectional couch to split up the room and form two distinct areas.  This will make more sense when I post pictures of the room at some point in the future (but not today because I didn't take any - sorry!).  Anyhow, due to the new setup, our chunky Crate & Barrel coffee table just wasn't going to work.  However, since we're kind of lazy and our couch is like command central, we needed a place to put drinks, food, laptops, etc.  I'm planning on eventually buying/building a long console table behind the couch, but I haven't really figured out what to do there yet.

Enter the wonderful, home of amazing and surprisingly not that hard to build furniture designs.  I saw the plans for the rolling c end table a while back and it didn't really catch my eye, but when I started thinking about table solutions for the living room I looked up the plans again and decided to give it a shot.  It doubles as a side table/sofa table/anything you want table so I thought it was a good solution for our smallish space.

I forgot to take a before picture, so just imagine a pile of plain boards from Home Depot.  Then imagine me doing some circular sawing, drilling, gluing, sanding, filling, etc.

Then these appeared!

They were actually really easy to build, the most time consuming part by far was sanding and filling holes since I wanted these to look nice and sleek when painted.

Then the problems started.  Paint.  For some reason the brilliant idea popped into my head to spray paint the end tables.  I imagined it being amazingly simple, with stunning results. 

It started out OK - I used a can of primer on both tables since I was dealing with bare wood.  It went ok, and I thought I was getting the hang of it except for the hand cramp from spraying. 

Then things started going downhill.  I had decided to bring some color into the living room since it's looking awfully grey in here lately.  After 15 minutes of harassing the guy in the spray paint aisle for design advice (he really didn't care about my color questions), I decided on a dark purple-y color and a light green.  After deliberation with Sean at home, he picked the light green, so of course I decided to paint the tables dark purple.

There are no pictures of this stage because I was too distraught.  Let's just say I am not destined to be a spray painter.  Everything I read said to do multiple light coats, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.  I tried to do what I thought were light coats, and ended up with totally uneven coverage with primer showing through in some spots and drips of paint in others.  So.  Not.  Pretty.  And neither was the color - it looked different from the can and was very, uh, purple. 

This is where the day got a little stressful, and I headed back to Home Depot to grab some regular paint to try to salvage my poor tables.  Multiple trips to Home Depot in a single day is not really my idea of fun, especially since I somehow always get lost and it takes forever.  However, once I got there I totally lucked out and found a $5 oops gallon of $30 paint in the exact color I wanted - I think the paint gods felt bad for me after my spray painting debacle.

Removing the horrible purple paint was, well, horrible.  I didn't just want to paint over because it was so uneven, so I ended up sanding it all off which also sucked.  My power sander kept jamming up so I did it all by hand.  I also unintentionally created a kind of cool tie-die finish.

Cute, but didn't really fit in the living room.

So, after sanding and sanding and sanding, a coat of oil-based primer on the tie-die table, and a few embarassingly easy coats of paint with a teeny roller, I was done.  I have no idea why I thought it would be so much easier to spray paint, rolling it on was so simple.  I did 3-4 very thin layers of my $5 semi-gloss paint, and let it dry for about 24 hours.  I'll probably put a layer of some sort of sealant on top to protect things, just to make sure.

Here's the finished product:

Overall I'm really happy with how they came out, and Sean was totally right about the color.  They're not perfect, but I'm not sure homemade furniture is supposed to be.

Here's Ernie, demonstrating the side table usage.

...and another view after I shut the dogs outside.

I really like these and I think they're a good fit for us.  I didn't add up the exact cost, but I think it was somewhere around $40 for both, including paint.  Not too bad, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment