Today I’m going to share a story… I mentioned this on Instagram last week and I had so many people message me saying, “I can’t wait to hear all about it!” followed by the beloved laughing face, of course. A few days have gone by since this laughable disaster happened and luckily, my frustration associated with the situation has diminished. I hope this gives you a good laugh and a really dang good lesson.
We bought a metal headboard last year on Clearance from Joss & Main. I knew ahead of time that it wasn’t exactly black, it was more of a grey/blue color, but I just figured hey, I’ll spray paint it eventually. It was such a good deal I didn’t want to pass it up.
Fast forward about a year and I finally decided that I was going to paint the thing. It was supposed to be really dang simple. Unscrew the headboard from the frame, set it up in the garage over plastic, spray it with black paint using the sprayer, let it dry, screw it back in. Badda boom, badda bang. I’ll tell you now, that’s not what happened. Not even close.
I got the headboard off by myself, set everything up in the garage, etc. It was all going just fine until I started painting. First, I tried using a Rust-Oleum latex paint that was supposed to work on everything. It worked well but I ultimately didn’t have enough for it to work in the sprayer so I headed back to Home Depot to pick up some more after work the next day. Going into the store I planned on buying the Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint because I’ve used it before, it’s reliable, and Chalk Paint works on just about everything. I was expecting to pay like $9.00 but when I got down the aisle it was $16 something. I don’t know what I was thinking… Anyway, I really didn’t want to pay that much so I started to look around at some other options and found some flat black Rust-Oleum oil-based paint right above it for $8 and some change. I read the back of the can; it said it works on metal and the directions were simple. “Was it going to be as easy to use as chalk paint though?” “I’ve worked with chalk paint so much I know the name of the game with that…” I stood alone in the paint aisle debating back and forth between the two options for about 5 minutes before I decided to save the $8.00 and go with the oil-based option.
Once I got home, I changed into my painting clothes and got to work. I followed the directions on my paint sprayer manual for oil-based paints, filled the sprayer up with the paint and started to paint the headboard. Within seconds I was having a serious issue with the sprayer spitting/sputtering. Because of that, the paint was not evenly coating the headboard which wasn’t a problem when I used the sprayer just a day before. I started troubleshooting a bit. I’d try one thing, spray a section, spitting… Try another thing, spray a section, spitting… Unfortunately, I’m quite optimistic about these things and I think, “Nah…. It’ll get better. It’s just a little grumpy right now.” Five minutes of optimistic thoughts later and I’m like JORDAN, YOU JUST FINISHED THE WHOLE THING AND IT LOOKS LIKE CRAP.
Now that I had a crappy looking paint job in front of me, my brain actually started working and I eventually decided to take the sprayer completely apart and clean it before trying again. When I started to take it apart, I twisted the paint canister off of the sprayer and paint started dripping heavily down the sides. I rushed to get the can of paint to catch it all but it was a lot of dang paint coming fast. Within seconds my hands were absolutely covered in black, oil-based paint. Now I had a crappy looking headboard and I was totally covered in paint. Things were going really well at this point…
I yelled for Stephen to come help me. That man… He’s seriously an angel. He came out and I handed him all of the parts to put in our utility sink. I didn’t realize at the time that would be the last time the sink was actually white… We tried everything. I’m yelling at him from the garage, “I think I have some nail polish thinner in my nail polish container, under the sink, in the back, blah blah blah.” This is late at night by the way. The neighbors are probably thinking, “Those people *that lady* is crazy over there…” We tried dish soap, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, nail polish paint thinner. None of it was really getting the paint off.
By the way, want to imagine how we felt? Go try sticking your hands in a mixture of Crisco and honey and then use some water to give it off. Hey, even try adding some dish soap and see if it makes the crisis any better… My bet is that you start to feel like the world is coming to an end.
The sink was completely black now, the parts were still a mess, and Stephen and I were both covered in this sticky black paint. This is when I almost freaked the bleep out… Nothing was working so I said, “That’s it. I’ve got to go get some paint thinner.” Covered in paint and almost completely unable to use my fingers, I drove to the store using my fingernails on the steering wheel. Once I was in there, I grabbed everything I could. Industrial grade oil remover (it literally said not to let it touch skin… meanwhile I’m thinking JUST SHOWER ME IN THE STUFF! Don’t worry… I didn’t…), paint thinner, brushes, sponges, citrus substance remover stuff, you name it. It was in my cart. I was so inclined to walk down the paint aisle and cause havoc by throwing all of the oil-based paint off the shelves but I refrained myself (obviously or this story would be SO MUCH better).
At the checkout line the sweet girl said to me, “You seem like you’re in a rush.” I looked up as I was trying to open my wallet with my sticky black coated hands and said, “I can’t use my fingers!!!” (I will admit my brain thought of saying a lot of worse things first) I laughed and told her I hoped her night went better than mine and rushed home to get my hands cleaned off. Needless to say, Stephen and I used a whole lot of that citrus stuff and our hands still were not clean. We eventually got to the point where we had to let everything soak and hope that our white sheets weren’t covered in black paint when we woke up in the morning.
On the bright side, it’s five days later and I only have some paint left on my hands. Unfortunately though, the sink looks gray now and the headboard is actually going to require more work now than it did before I decided to paint it a few days ago. It’s going to be a bear… It’ll probably require some sanding and obviously buying some CHALK PAINT to redo again. I can’t deny that I’m a little scared for how the next round goes. It was unnecessarily traumatizing.
So there it is… My terrible oil-based paint story. Next time you want to do a simple project and find yourself in the paint aisle, I hope you smile and get a good laugh when you see oil-based paint. Then, and most importantly, learn from my mistake and just buy the bleeping chalk paint.