More of the trials and tribulations of being married to an absent spouse – I’m a grass widow– doing it all alone.
I wrote this post assuming it possessed some merit; after all, it’s got the bones of a story – a DIY project along with some humor, but I’ve since decided it’s a pretty worthless and unimaginative effort and should rightfully be relegated with a click to Trash, but I’m just gonna go with it
Screw it. Whatev.
Hope it’s not a total waste of your time.
But ou’ve come this far, you might as well keep going.
I offer my apologies in advance.
Here we go…
I’m a trash picker upper.
For example, if I see something that’s been tossed out and I want it, I have no problem bringing it home, and if it’s too big for me to grab by myself, I’ll get hub to do it, unless he’s out to sea, and then I’m out of luck.
I want what I want, no matter where it comes from. Almost anything can be cleaned and even disinfected, right?
I don’t know where that idiosyncrasy came from; it’s definitely at odds with the part of me that’s a Chanel-loving, obsessive shopaholic, but hey, an acquisition is an acquisition, no matter how it got to me.
(Am I hearing you think “hoarder”?)
Driving in our neighborhood one evening (probably the next day was our trash pick up), my little eagle eyes spied a library table on the curb all by itself and looking very lonesome.
I made hub stop (actually I screeched, “STOP!!!”) and we got out to take a closer look. Upon inspection, it was a little scarred and well-used, but definitely crafted of a good solid wood and worth a rescue, in my opinion.
I’ve had to teach hub to enjoy alley picking; it doesn’t come naturally to him. He reluctantly agreed that it was too well made to ignore, plus he always needs to weigh in his own mind the level of nagging he must endure.
We He muscled it into the back of the truck and brought it into the garage. It had been painted a hideous institutional gray and would have been too arduous a task to strip the paint and stain or oil it, so I repainted it my favorite shade of fern green.
I couldn’t find a place for it, so it stayed in the garage for about a year — as a platform for some of my projects — until a couple weeks ago when I had the brilliant idea to use it as a laptop table in my son’s room, which now doubles as hub’s man cave.
Hub cut the width to make it narrower and rough-sanded it. When I returned from taking him to the airport last week, I went to Home Depot and got a quart of high gloss burgundy; a deep, rich, saturated hue.
I painted one coat. Then another. Then another. Then another.
Finally, it wasn’t streaky and it was all shiny and perfect. It took practically the whole quart.
This is where I screwed up.
I thought I should protect the top from stains and rings from glasses and coffee mugs. I found some stuff in the garage; Dupli-Color DE1636 Clear Engine Spray Paint.
Not smart. Paint for an ENGINE, not painted wood. Duh.
The first coat came out all cloudy and streaky and felt rough, so I sprayed a second coat and it was even worse. I emailed my tugboat man and he told me where the sandpaper was in the garage and that I should sand the bad stuff off and repaint.
His final words were, “And then leave it alone until I get home.”
Of COURSE I ignored him because I was getting really obsessed with protecting that perfect paint job on my free table.
Another brilliant thought exploded in my brain that I needed to bring it up to my son’s room and finish painting/sealing it there.
Therein lies a problem.
We have a tri-level house with two flights of stairs.
The table weighs about forty pounds (I told you it was solid) but it felt like it weighed a thousand pounds to me. I’m pretty strong, but it’s a very unwieldily shape and my short little arms couldn’t fit all the way around any part of it.
The table’s about 47 inches long and I’m 60 inches. Do the math.
I turned it upside down with the legs sticking up, got an old blanket and sort of picked up each of the four ends of the table while sliding the blanket under it.
I started pulling up the first steps.The table kept sliding down and I kept pulling.
One step up, two steps back.
I had ANOTHER BRILLIANT idea. Turn the table end over end like a cartwheel.
I huffed and I puffed and I wrestled that stupid table up to the second level.
I took a few minutes to wipe away the sweat and come up the rest of the plan.
These steps are carpeted and should have been easier to push/pull.
I pulled that stupid table ALMOST all the way — and guess what? I bet you figured out where my next mistake was. Yup, I forgot to move the table at the top of the landing — there I was, holding up the thousand pound table with one hand while I ATTEMPTED to maneuver the other table out of the way.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that idea wasn’t gonna work.
I leaned that elephant of a table up against the wall and did what I should have done the first time…move the table out of the way so I could get around the corner.
Up to this point, the process had taken no less than two hours.
And I was only halfway there.
Finally, after much grunting and groaning, that stupid piece of shit table made it to its final destination. I laid a tarp under it and touched up some of the paint that had chipped off on its arduous journey.
Still obsessing over the top, I rummaged through all of hub’s stuff in the garage and found high gloss spray polyurethane. “Hmm, this should work fine”, I said to myself. I sprayed the first coat and it was all streaky, but I gave it a few minutes, then I ran my finger over it and immediately ruined it ‘cos it was still wet. I read the directions and it said to wait four hours between coats, so I went shopping (haha) and came back a couple hours later. I figured that was long enough and sprayed another coat. FYI–this is NOT a good thing to do inside the house even with the window open. The fumes are GNARLY.
I thought maybe I used the wrong stuff again so I drove down to the village to Ace Hardware and picked up a small can of oil-based polyurethane. I was just about to paint on a coat of that over the other two coats of the spray-on stuff when I thought I should double check with my tugboat man since he’s really the expert around here. When he finally emailed me back, he told me not to use the oil-based stuff on painted wood unless I first tried it in a spot that wouldn’t show, because it might not work with the kind of paint I used, and could cause all the paint to “lift and pe.
Who knew this was going to be so difficult?
I decided to spray one more coat just to do it, and lo and behold, that third coat did the trick! It’s shiny, it’s glossy, it’s perfect!
This time I didn’t give in to the temptation to run my fingers through the fresh spray.
This whole ordeal was shared by my hub with his crew; another story about his wife so everyone laughs at my escapades, but I don’t mind because I have a beautiful table and I did it all by myself.
Look at the shine on that baby! I can practically see myself!
Now when my Angel Boy comes home, he’ll have a lot of room to spread out his work.
Thank you for slugging through to the end of this longwinded glimpse into the complex workings of Princess Rosebud’s slightly OCD mind.
On a scale of 1to 10, was this the WORST post you’ve ever read?