Paint Problems and Surprising My Sister

Me and My Little Sister Caitlin

I just got back from surprising my little sister, Caitlin in San Jose, CA. My sister’s husband, Ryan, and I conspired to give her a real treat for her birthday. She was really sad when she couldn’t make it to my 40th birthday party. And she has been lamenting the fact that it was taking too long to get her 3 yr. old daughter’s room big-ified (insert big girl furniture and pull out the baby furniture for when their new baby arrives.) One of the projects that was holding them up was painting an estate sale bed frame. Ryan had sanded it, primed it, and then ran into problems while painting it. It was killing me that I couldn’t be there to help them. With over 3,000 miles between us, it was difficult to help only over the phone.

But, with some frequent flier miles and a few secret phone conversations with Ryan, a plan was hatched. I was to fly out to California and give her a grand birthday surprise.

View over San Jose, CA from the Airplane

The ruse was perfectly planned and timed. Ryan told Caitlin that he was going to the hardware store to pick up some things to finish the bed painting project that had gone awry. Meanwhile, he was actually picking me up from the airport. Upon arriving home, he told her, “Honey, I got everything I need to finish painting our daughter’s bed.” And then I rounded the corner. The look on her face was PRICELESS! You can watch the short video of her reaction if you want.

 

Caitlin’s Surprise from Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl on Vimeo.

 

 

Ryan and I got busy working on repainting the bed the next day. Here is what had stalled the project:

The paint Ryan had used was Ben by Benjamin Moore. And it was bubbling and gumming up. It wasn’t until I started stirring up the paint can and pulled out a big wad of gummy paint at the bottom that we realized he had a bum can of paint.

The date on the can was almost a year old. Now, Benjamin Moore assured me that it still should have been okay if it had been stored properly. But, for whatever reason, it just gummed up on us.

We returned it to the Ace Hardware near their home. And they kindly upgraded our paint to Benjamin Moore Regal which boasts a paint and primer in one can.

The paint was better, no bubbles or bumps, however, we were still having issues with the paint drying very fast. I have to tell you that I’ve painted in heat before. But, we were having a very hard time painting that day. I’d brush on the paint, and could only brush through it one or two more times before it started to dry! CRAZY! I couldn’t understand what was going on. So, I contacted a few experts:

1. Diagnosis by Benjamin Moore Paint expert (I called their 1-800 number).  The Benjamin Moore Regal line is good paint, but it dries much faster than the Impervo (that I am used to using.) The other possibility for the fast drying time is the weather conditions. This makes sense because it was 96F in San Jose, but it was dry. Any paint would have dried faster that day as we slaved away in the garage. In NC, when the temperature reaches above 90F, it is icky, sticky, and muggy humid! You are lucky if your paint dries after 24 hours!

2. Diagnosis by Kate from Centsational Girl (a CA native blogger and furniture painting expert)- I figured she’d be a good resource for advice on painting in the CA dry heat. So I sent her a quick message asking for her help. She replied that I should look into buying some Floetrol to extend the paint and dry it slower. Thanks Kate for your quick reply!

We ended up moving our painting operation inside and that helped a lot. We didn’t buy the Floetrol, but I figured it might help y’all in the dry environments to know about it.

One other issue I had with the Regal Select was that there were a few spots on the furniture that we had sanded a little more thoroughly (through the separate coat of primer that was applied), and the stain or underlying paint kept coming back through the paint. I have to say, I am not exactly thrilled with the Regal “Paint + primer” in one. I suggest that you save yourself the headache and prime with a primer before you paint. Don’t try to cut corners.

Here are my lessons learned on this project:

  1. Check your new paint can carefully, if when mixing it creates a gummy blob at the end of your mixer, return it immediately!
  2. Use high quality paint to save you headaches and hassle. If we had driven the few extra miles to the Benjamin Moore store to buy Impervo paint (instead of the Ace Hardware where they only carried only a few Benjamin Moore lines), we would have had better painting results.
  3. If you have to use paint you already have and are working in a dry region, add Floetrol to it or move indoors.
  4. Don’t try to eliminate steps with a paint + primer in one product. Spend the time to sand your object, prime it, and then paint at least 2 layers of paint.

The five days I was in CA flew by, but we did accomplish a lot! My little niece has a big girl bedroom now and they have moved her baby furniture into the new baby’s room.

My little niece seems to like her big girl bedroom! She loves to stand on her bed and peek out the window now.

And check out the dresser that Caitlin refinished and hand-painted herself! Reminds me of a Miss Mustard Seed original!

I think she’s pretty talented, don’t you?

We added the “You are my Sunshine” vinyl graphic to the mirror.

Caitlin also wanted a art on the wall. She picked out a graphic from Leen’s site.

And I hand-painted a similar graphic onto the wall. After doing the dandelion mural in my bedroom, I knew this one would be a snap.

We also repainted this bookcase to match the new color scheme.

Finally, Caitlin found this tutorial written by Jen Duncan for sewing roman shades. She sewed the roman shade herself with just a few questions for me. (It was quite comical because neither one of us are strong at math.) But, we finished, and in the morning we had JUST enough time to hang it before leaving for the airport.

That little blue chair in the room was the first piece of furniture I ever painted. I painted it for Caitlin while I was in college. A long, long time ago.

Caitlin already had the curtain panels. She chose the roman shade fabric to coordinate with them. I love it!

I had so much fun surprising and helping my sister. Plus, it was fun working in and around a girly room. There is so much testosterone flying around my house (1 man + 2 boys + 1 male dog) that pink is not a color usually seen.

What do you think? Do you like my nieces’s big girl room? Have you ever surprised someone you love? I wanna hear!

Comments

  1. What a fun trip and great transformations!

  2. What a happy post…I love it. Not just the room…which turned out great but that you would go help your sister was even better.

  3. I love it! Such a cute room!!

    I have a swap shop find bed I need to sand and paint for my step-daughter’s room that I’ve been putting off because I’m afraid I’ll screw it up. Your tips will definitely help!

    A few years ago my parents went away for their wedding anniversary and while they were gone my brothers, sister, husband, and I took down the old wallpaper in their kitchen, repainted the kitchen and dining room and put it all back together before they got home. They loved it!

  4. Your niece’s room is just gorgeous! How sweet of you to do that for your sister and her family. Very, very sweet. ;)

  5. That is so nice!! Love the room. We surprised my dad for his 60th birthday in Florida a few years ago. He was SHOCKED – I wish I had video’ed it like you did!!

    • Melissa, how wonderful that you could surprise your Dad like that! Although you didn’t video it, I’m sure the memories will last forever!

      We surprised my mother-in-law for her 60th. All her children and their spouses (and grandkids), plus some family friends flew into town and we bought baseball game tickets for the row right behind her. We all walked in and sat down, then we tapped her on the shoulder. It was so fun watching as she kept looking down the row and recognizing loved one after loved one. ;-D

  6. How sweet of you to surprise your sister like that!! I’m sure she feels a lot of relief over getting those projects done. Last year my husband had to travel for 3 months in a row for work, over my birthday and our anniversary. On my birthday he surprised me by renting a car and making the 4 hour drive (each way) just so that he could spend 2 hours in the evening with me. I will always remember that surprise!

  7. Lol, you were hear during the heat wave. You wouldn’t believe the weather now! So nice right now….. that furniture looks so adorable. Your niece is a very lucky girl with that bedroom.

  8. I know all about the dry CA heat living in the central valley. Blah. I’m from the GA, so I’m not used to this. Your comment about the testosterone made me laugh since that’s exactly how it is around my house. :)

  9. How fun! I grew up in San Jose, so I know that area well! Her bedroom is just darling! What a great treat for you to do with your little sister, I’m sure she is totally feeling blessed!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  10. SheilaG says:

    What a sweet surprise! and I especially love the graphic you painted on the wall!

  11. That is touching. How wonderful that you and your sisters are so close. What a wonderful thing to do for your sister. The best surprise ever!

  12. Your neice is a very lucky girl!

  13. Great job on the big girl room! Very sweet. Love the murals! And, the dresser is to die for! Feel free to pop over and check out the big girl room I did for my little girl. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/falling-off-pink-cloud-and-landing-on.html

  14. Your post had me smiling this morning. All of you did quite a bit in such a short period of time. Such a lovely room too. I imagine your niece is very proud of her new big girl bedroom.

  15. What a FUN surprise and the room looks adorable. I love that dresser too! So cute.

  16. You are one handy family! That was really nice of your husband to arrange. Now, did you do this before or after the I love Thrifting Saturday? This room is really spectacular. Kids usually have only two or two and half rooms in their life, so they should be memorable. Ann (nutbird)

  17. I really love the room. It looks like a magazine room. Green is one of my favorite colors and I love the green shelf. What color of green is it. Your mural looks awesome. I am glad you got in a visit and that you are feeling better. I just read your last post. What was wrong with your eyes?

  18. J’adore cette chambre ! tout est magnifique ! les couleurs sont fraîches et gaies. Une vraie belle chambre de petite fille (et même pour les grandes).

  19. It’s true – Floetrol makes all the difference! What a fabulous surprise. Take an extra couple of days on your next trip to Calif and surprise me! We could paint up a storm!

    I’ll bring the Floetrol :D

  20. So beautiful! I wish I knew how to draw like you -the dandalion mural is so cool.(I’m heading over to that link next) And it’s really cool to see sisters who “love on each other” like you two.

    • HudsonHero says:

      Okay- went back to the dandelion tutorial. I think I could *maybe* do something almost as cool. Almost. But not until the kids go back to school. :-)

  21. Everything just looks awesome!! It so inspires me to get moving on my sons’ room. I just repainted my son’s chest of drawers and used a satin paint. I sanded, primed, and then painted. It just doesn’t look right. Do you use a roller to paint furniture? How do you get such a nice flawless finish? And do I need to put some kind of poly on afterward for a finish coat? I plan on doing several more pieces since I’m redoing his room and I want them all do look better than the first one does. HELP! :)

  22. We don’t fall for fake cures that may actually kill us.In fact, some medicines, including those for children contained cocaine heroin, and opium..Also, hydrotherapy helps the cells and organs of the body to function properly, skin being the largest organ in the body, requires huge supplies of water to remain in good condition.Embedded videos as well as links of online streaming site are provided in this e-book.It doesn’t satisfy medical doctors, who
    should give hope recommended to their overweight sufferers, and it doesn’t satisfy consumers who want instant fat loss and never having to change their healthy eating plan.Excess body weight exercise program for beginners.Are you interested in losing weight?The best part of this fitness regime is that you can follow these exercises at home also.Do you would like to get in wonderful form?The videos related to this fitness program give a detailed explanation of the exercises to be performed.The issues starts when users never follow your manufacturer’s guidelines.
    As this program has been developed by an ex-warrior, hence full dedication is
    expected from you.Instead, rely on eating in moderation, five-six times a day.
    Some of these types of lasers are made to exfoliate and
    activate skin traits to produce more collagen that will
    later on create help a younger looking appearance in the epidermis.
    The food which is in fashion these days is the processed food.
    Thus, you always have two options to view these exercises.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] pretty cruddy and had to lay back down for a nap. I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase from my surprise visit to California. It might have to wait another [...]

  2. [...] it as soon as the frame was available. Unfortunately, the frame arrived right before I left to surprise my sister in Ca. Then I came home and got deathly ill. So, the poor frame sat in our garage for a month. As soon as [...]

  3. […] sweet little sister, Caitlin, sent me vintage blue Ball Mason jars for my birthday. I had resisted buying them because […]

Add Comment Register



Speak Your Mind

*