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Yo Mama Says You Ugly, HUH!

Here’s my expert opinion on pigment-based wood stain:

It sucks.

It sucks so much, Wilmer Valderrama dumped Lindsay Lohan for it.

It sucks so hard, Dyson put a mob hit on it.

It sucks on such a massive level, black holes see it and say, “DAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!!!!”

In other words, I’m not a fan.

It just wouldn’t soak in right, regardless of how much I sanded/how long I left it on/how I removed it. It looks like streaky paint on muddy wood. 😦


But, I figured if I was in for a dime, I was in for a dollar. So I continued the massacre.

From a distance it doesn’t look nearly as bad as it does up close…


I told you acrylic paint & wood stain shouldn’t marry. And you called me a bigot. 😉

To ‘help’ things, I even tried dry-brushing the stain off, rather than wiping it the traditional way with a rag.

This took forever & I got paintbrush bristles ALL up in my business. Plus, why was I wasting my life trying to recreate wood grain on top of existing, gorgeous wood grain? Not to mention that getting the weirdly thin paint/stain to stick was still a big issue AND it was nearly impossible to make the lines of pain/stain come out straight and even enough to truly resemble wood.

But in one last grandiose attempt at finding a way to use this godawful crap, I figured that if it was going to act like latex paint, well then, I was going to treat it like latex paint.

So I rummaged around in my brain a little & pulled out an old Tucson trick.

Paint the piece badly on purpose, then distress the hell out of it. That way, it’ll look like you found something totally unappreciated and ugly & decided to love it just the way it is. Which makes you SO much better than everybody else. With their aesthetic standards. Pffftt. Fascists.

So I slapped on a thick coat, right on the front doors. ‘Cause you don’t step to me, fool.

Once it was dry to the point of “tacky” (coincidentally on two levels…) I grabbed my handy-dandy sandpaper and went at it. Outside of trying to stay more or less with the grain, there’s not a lot of coaching I can give you on this. It’s distressing. Just beat it up.

Ideally, you’ll be left with a piece that looks like it was painted long ago & has suffered its share of neglect. It’s called ‘shabby-chic’. It was all the rage a couple of decades ago. Be the first in your crowd to bring it back!

It really does look cool on a lot of lower-quality pieces, and I figured I’d give it a shot.

Alas, it would be sacrilege to downcycle this once-proud armoire. The original wood is just too nice. Covering all those lovely knots with chipped paint? Don’t think so.

But I wanted to show you how anyway. In case you’re feeling blasphemous.

I’m not. So I’m going to have to strip it & start all over again using ACTUAL stain. Stupid incompetent big-box store jerks tellin’ me to use this crap and now look at it… rabble, rabble.

Oh well. No biggie. The stain/paint never did grab on, so I doubt it’ll be too hard to get off. I’ll just use some paint stripper & sand the bejezzus out of it to get it back to its original bare look. Labor of love.

RENTAL HOUSE RULE #8: DON’T STRESS, MISTAKES ARE FOR FIXIN’ There are very few DIY errors that can’t be undone. Or otherwise made acceptable. Don’t let fear stop you from trying. It’s only decorating.

I’ll spare you the rest of the crime-scene photos. You’ll be happy to know that the armoire has been removed from the reach of her abuser and is resting comfortably on our porch. And there she’ll stay, classing up the joint while I head out of town for a week. Sorry, Dan.

At least there’s no car on blocks in our yard…



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