Well - here it is! My first DIY...fail. After months of watching HGTV, pouring over blogs, and watching my favorite bloggers effortlessly (ha!) turn old to new, I decided it was my turn. I scored this cabinet for FREE on craigslist and was super excited to "quickly" paint it and replace the knobs.
I should have known when we walked into a cluttered, dirty, curry-smelling house that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Once I got the cabinet into my apartment, I noticed that it was a cheap and covered with veneer, peeling around the edges. Not knowing much, I decided to start peeling it. And I peeled...and peeled...and peeled...
I peeled for about an hour and a half - making very little progress. You can see my excitement when I pulled off a gigantic strip. After much effort and little progress, I scratched that idea and decided to hold off til the weekend. I borrowed a sander from my co-worker and thought that that would do the trick! (NOTE: I had not done any research on how to remove/paint laminate furniture *rookie mistake)
So come the weekend, we sanded...and sanded...and sanded. My dearest and ever-patient boyfriend even pitched in to help. After almost three hours of sanding, we BARELY got the top of the cabinet sanded. Is this how much work every DIY project takes? This is for the birds. We called it a day and headed inside to have some wine. Finally I did some research on how to remove laminate. I learned that steaming might help get it off - this seemed better than my endless scraping with a spackle knife.
At this point, perhaps due to frustration, I stopped taking pictures. I bought an old iron ($4) at the local Good Will so I didn't ruin mine. The next morning, I woke up full of enthusiasm (and caffeine) ready to go. Steaming worked great! I quickly removed an entire layer of the veneer and was super excited! Until I realized that there was a layer under that. Thinking back now, I should have stopped, sanded, and then painted but I persevered and tried to remove the last layer. Because of all the moisture, I ended up ruining the actual wood beneath the laminate. It was bubbly and soggy and unfortunately, not going to work for my ideal bar cart.
For a few hours, I was defeated and quite down. Then I realized that perhaps I started on too grand of a project. Next up: something simple!!!