My Love/Hate Relationship with Diy {and My Diy Milk Painted Buffet}

Are you confused by my title? After all, a lot of what I showcase on the blog is diy projects, right?

The truth is, I do sometimes have a love/hate relationship with diy projects.

Before Painted Buffet

This diy milk paint buffet is the perfect example of this. This was a furniture piece my husband had in his bachelor pad. Not bad, actually really well made. But the black finish with faux distressed look just didn’t go with the rest of what we had.

Instead of selling it or tossing it to the curb, I thought, why not give it fresh coat of paint? Just a few fresh coats of paint would make it look all shiny and pretty and blend beautifully with the rest of our furnishings.

DIY Painted Buffet-Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

The fact is, what you don’t see in these pictures is the hours upon hours it took to get this thing painted. I had never used milk paint before but wanted to give it a try since it naturally distresses. Well news flash folks, some finishes on furniture milk paint won’t adhere to. At.all.

This translates to coming out to look at it the next day after I applied two coats of paint and seeing the entire two coats flaking completely off. Not the pretty distressed look I was going for needless to say.

DIY Milk Painted Buffet

Next go around I applied a ton of bonding agent to ensure it would stick. Yup, still didn’t. So two coats later {we’re now at four coats}, it looks as if it was never painted to begin with.

This then led to applying two coats of primer and then applying another coat of milk paint only to run out. Hence the two tone look {I had a small container of chalk paint leftover from a previous project that I used for the doors/drawers and sides}.

Two Tone Painted Buffet-Drawers

Part of me wants to go back and paint everything the same color and fix some of the imperfections that are clearly visible. The other part of me can’t bear to think about pulling out a paint brush again for a very long time.

The point of all this?

Two-Toned Blue Painted Buffet

Sometimes behind a really pretty diy project and pretty styled photos are the unseen moments of stress and frustration. You don’t see the many hours it took, the extra money spent, and the mishaps and mess-ups along the way.

I think a big lesson I’m learning is to pick and choose when to diy something and when to just buy it. Diy’ing something for the sake of saying you diy’ed it, isn’t always the best decision {and I’ve made this mistake a few times for the sake of having a project for the blog}.

Antique Tobacco Basket

While I love the sense of accomplishment as much as the next person, I’m learning to weigh the pros and cons. Is this really saving us money? Is it worth taking time away from something else to work on it? Can I find something pretty close to what I’m looking for in a store?

I wasn’t willing to shell out several hundred or even thousands of dollars on a nice buffet for our screened in porch so painting it was the best option. But, unlike my naive mind thinking it would take all of a few hours and I would be done, it ended up taking close to seven coats of paint {read many hours} and a few hundred dollars.

DIY Blue Milk Painted Buffet

While I am happy with how it turned out for the most part {I think it looks way better than it did}, I want to be real with ya’ll. Diy’ing isn’t always glamorous and sometimes when you try to create a picture perfect photo or project, things will go wrong. And that’s ok.

I love being creative and love to make which is why I love to diy {most of the time}. But the honest truth is, sometimes things don’t turn out like I envisioned and sometimes the process isn’t fun. It’s a love/hate relationship at times.

Have you ever had a major diy fail? Anyone have the same problem I had with milk paint?

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  1. says

    YES!!! I was in tears when I came back and almost all of it flaked off. I have found that if I do a rough sanding before, it will adhere. It works best on raw wood or something that is porous. I was so frustrated that I finally threw some chalk paint on first to “prime” the piece and then put the milk paint on. Worked like a charm. I came to the conclusion that my love for chalk paint goes deep, after my experience. Although, I have used it a couple of times since and we are starting a new beginning in our relationship. 😉

    • says

      That makes me feel so much better! I knew that certain finishes might work differently, but I had no idea all of it would flake off! haha I think I’ll give it another shot when the perfect diy opportunity comes along!

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