The story of a DIY Disastrophe

K on treeEvery once in a while, when you are doing DIY projects, one inevitably turns out bad. It’s just the nature of it. You can never foresee everything.

This weekend, the Artist and I tried to do a project, and it failed. So sad.

To start off with, do you remember the awesome artwork we did together for Valentine’s Day? If you don’t you should check it out. That one turned out SO much better than this one did.

So, we started off with that artwork, which was looking awesome in its awful brass picture frame. We didn’t want the picture frame to be brass anymore, so we decided to go for a polished chrome.

Feeling very sure of ourselves, we bought a metal primer and the chrome paint.


So we got straight to work. We found a paved empty lot near our house, a beautiful day and some newspapers and set to work priming. We got two coats of primer on and everything looked great.


Then we got out our exciting chrome paint and put on a couple coats.

Paint!It was such a beautiful day that we went for a walk for a few hours so the paint could dry. It was when we came back that we realized something might be wrong. Barely touching it left a really obvious finger print. Trying to pick it up had us getting scratches in the paint. When it rained on Sunday and we realized that we wouldn’t be able to do another coat, we went ahead and put the art back in the frame. Big mistake. Just lying it face down on the table scratched off a bunch of the paint, and now it looks pretty bad. What’s interesting is that the primer is sticking pretty well, it’s only the chrome paint that’s behaving badly.

Here’s a closeup so you can see what it looks like. (Ignore the drip. That’s a separate problem. We WERE just going to sand it off and reapply, but now we’ll have to redo the whole thing.


On the bright side, it happens to not be terribly distracting from a distance.

Kinda donezo. I guess.

When the weather gets nice we’ll have to do something about it, though I’m not sure what yet. Do any of our readers happen to be paint chemists who could possibly give suggestions? Maybe about why our paint won’t stick to the primer?


4 thoughts on “The story of a DIY Disastrophe

  1. If a paint expert was reading this then it is does not appear to be clear what problems you have. Was it that is did not dry and/or is not adhering to the primer? Is it not sticking to the primer or the primer to brass?

    • Problem 1) the chrome paint is not clearly adhering to the primer. So when it touches something like the table, the paint comes off, but the primer stays.
      Problem 2) I am unsure whether the paint completely dried, but touching it leaves dark fingerprints on the paint.I suppose that could just be because of the shiny chrome color, though.

  2. I am not a chemist but if that happened to me I would think I didn’t shake well enough (I’m sure that is not the problem). Was the day too humid? If so it should have dried by now. That only leaves one thing. The paint is BAD. Return it for a different can.

  3. Your weather was well above 50F, you applied the coats in less than an hour which is Rustoleum’s recommendation. You might have applied more than 2 total wet mils, but if the material still left fingerprints after a day or more, then trust your Mom.

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