Another DIY Project Gone Horribly Wrong

Another stay at home working vacation for us.  This one is to redo a recent remodel, which sucks.  We gutted the second bathroom off the kitchen four years ago.  We removed the old ugly gold enamel cast iron tub and institutional sink and replaced them with a corner shower stall and cute pedestal sink.  It looked great, but the shower started to leak so we have to rip it out and fix the leak.  This has entailed ripping out the shower and the tile floor to see how much of the floor underneath the tile was ruined.  Most of the floor was water soaked so Mitch has had to tear out the floor and a large section of subfloor, leaving a huge hole in the floor looking down into the basement.  What fun redoing a remodel.

While he is immersed in the redo I thought that this would be the perfect time to do some of my pet projects that need to be done and haven’t had the time to accomplish.  One of the projects is a quick and easy one day spiff up.  I wanted to paint the three metal entry doors a new color to brighten up the look of the house.  Simple easy project, pick out a color, buy the paint and paint the door, right?  Leave it to me to turn a simple three step process into a four day ordeal. 

After weeks of looking at paint chips, I finally decided on a red hue.  I bought the paint in a quart size can, playing it safe just in case the color didn’t look as good on as it did on the chip.  Sunday afternoon after I got home from Lowes with paint in hand, I covered the floor with newspapers, for the drips. There are always drips when I paint.  I taped off the door knobs and the little strips between the window panes in the kitchen door.  I will never have windows with the little panes of glass because taping off the little panes was a pain in the neck.  I was finally ready to paint.  I started with the kitchen door and all of its’ little window panes.   I stirred the paint again for good measure and dipped the brush in the can and spread the first coat on.  It was horrible.  The painted surface looked like I had used my hand and was finger painting.  Large streaks of the unpainted door below showed through.  I couldn’t believe it; I had never had that happen before.  I thought maybe because the kitchen door hadn’t been painted before it would look better after it dried and I applied a second coat.

I decided to paint the second door and see how it looked.  The other two doors have had three different colors on them so I was sure that they would look much better.  I was wrong.  Both the second and third doors looked as bad as the first one.  The only thing I could do was to wait for them to dry and hope a second coat would fix everything. 

Monday (day two) morning came and the paint was still tacky.  I couldn’t believe it, this has never happened before.  I grabbed the half full can of paint and headed off to Lowes for some help and guidance.  I explained the problem, what the doors look like and what could I do to fix it.  Those two women couldn’t have been more helpful.  They asked lots of questions and explained that red paint had lots of pigment in it and could account for some of the problem and the brand of paint I had picked out was not very good for coverage.  I wished that had been explained to me the day before when I bought it.  It was decided that I needed to prime the doors with gray primer because gray primer works best with red paint and switch brands to Valspar, which I’ve always had good luck with anyway.  The paint department manager didn’t think I would have to apply paint stripper and start all over.  After much discussion we decided that I could probably get by with just painting the primer over the top of the tacky painted surface.  They refunded the full price of the half used can of paint and of course the only size can in stock was a gallon, my usual luck, but they only charged me the price of a quart.  I went home and went about applying a coat of primer, hoping that this was just a little set back.  No, not my luck.

I applied the gray primer and it looked as bad as or worse than the red paint below.  The brush grabbed the paint and left blobs and smears all over the door.  A wadded up piece of paper and a match in the corner is starting to look really good right now.  And just because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided to paint one of the other doors to see if it would turn out any better.  It didn’t.  This time I stopped at two.  I’m not a total masochist.  I decided this would be a good time to mow the yard.  That I can do without it turning into a major ordeal. 

Two hours later the paint was dry so I thought why not put another coat of paint on to see if there was any improvement.  What did I have to lose, what’s one more coat for the paint stripper to have to take off if it didn’t work?   Surprise there is a god.  The second coat covered the first very nicely.  It looked like what primer should have looked like.  Maybe there is hope. 

Tuesday (day three) I wake up ready to paint a second coat of primer on the remaining door so I can apply the real color.  Tuesday morning, it’s also only forty five degrees outside, too cold to paint a metal door.  I have to wait for the sun to warm up the metal before I can apply any paint.  Waiting sucks.

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