The “This will be easy” curse

Today’s tale is one that started out with, “This will only take a few minutes…”

Dangit, I know better to say that – out loud or in my head. It’s the kiss of death my friends. From now on I’m just going to start out every project with “Oh this will take five times longer than I think it will!” and I’m sure it will be the opposite. It’s how I do.

This is one of those projects I wouldn’t have even blogged about but when it became a pain in my butt I figured I would share. It started with a mirror. I’ve been looking for one for our basement staircase for about six months. You may remember the wood planked wall I installed there last summer. I loved it as it was for a long time, but finally decided I wanted to put something on there. Specifically a white mirror in a fun shape.

So I looked for said white mirror in a fun shape for months. Finally found it about a month ago (at HomeGoods), brought it home, then realized there was a crack in it.

Wahhh wahhhhhhh.

I’d seen another one while there, so I took it back to exchange it but they didn’t have any more in white. They did have pink!:

painting a mirror frame

And I had to pay an additional ten bucks for the pink version! (Cat not included.) Pink is worth ten dollars? But now I was hooked and I wanted the dang mirror, so I got it.

This is where the “this will be so easy came in” – I saw there were little screws on the back, so I figured I could just remove them and the mirror would come out. Then I could spray paint the frame and have this sucker hanging 20 minutes later.

Well, 20-something screws later:

I realized the back was glued on. Wah. WAHHH. So why the screws I ask you? WHY.

So…I had two options. Spend an hour trying to tape off the curves and details of the frame so I could spray paint it, or just paint the thing. I went with paint. I should have just taped it off. :)

It took forever. I used white chalk paint so I didn’t sand or anything (just cleaned it well), but it took at least three coats:

painting a mirror frame

I stopped counting at three anyway.

And oh yeah, he’s not helping. I think he thinks he is.

OK, chalk paint is great, I’ve used it many times and love it. But the one draw back is it dries so quick. I think it dried even faster over the plastic. So you have to work quickly. Another thing about this paint is it leaves brush marks (which usually don’t bother me), but I wanted this to be smooth and shiny. Not happening:

painting a mirror frame

My paint kept “pulling” – I would go back over a spot to try to smooth it out and the paint would gunk up, even thought I had just painted it. It was a little frustrating. I did sand lightly between coats to get rid of a lot of it.

The good thing about this paint is that it is easily wiped off with just a wet rag. So no razor needed to get it all off the mirror when I was done – I just wiped it off. That kind of rocks.

All in all what I thought would take 20 minutes took an afternoon. I’d do a coat, go do something, sand it down, do another, go do something…you get the idea.

I’m not thrilled with the finished product either – it looks a bit messy to me close up. But from far away it looks great!:

Wood planked wall

And in the world of DIY sometimes that’s all you need!

I love the white pop on the dark wood! It makes me want to add more white things, but I’m keeping it to just this. We have enough going on down there with the gallery wall:

White mirror over wood wall

After I hung it my husband went down the stairs and told me how much he loved the new mirror. When my husband notices a project I feel like a get a gold star or something. (In his defense, things tend to change a lot around here.)

I think my favorite part is when I’m talking to my kiddo or husband I can see them either at the top of the steps:

Wood planked wall

Or at the bottom:

White mirror on wood planked wall

You can see the big map art there at the bottom of the stairs too. :)

I still have a few things I’d like to do this staircase – beef up the handles a bit and install thicker baseboards. And after that I think I can call this little area done. Wow. Can you believe it??

Do you have the “this will be a quick project” curse too?