An Almost DIY Flop!


My husband and I bought this cute little cabinet from Goodwill last fall when we were going to move. We did have a picture of it, but we can’t find it! So, you’ll have to imagine the before. It was baby blue with old hardware. We primed it and painted it mustard yellow, but never finished it. It has sat in our garage for months. We finally reached a stage in our house makeover where we needed to finish it to make room in our garage. I wanted to distress it and stain it with the same stain I used on my endtables.

A couple Saturdays ago, my husband decided he would finish it. Needless to say it was a big flop. Sanding it didn’t look right and staining it black made it look spotty and almost green. It was not cute! We are not sure what happened. We think that we assumed the cabinet was wood, when in fact its laminate. We also think we didn’t prime it well enough all those months ago.

(Above: The cabinet: yellow and spotty)

(Above/Below: Sanding off all the glaze and yellow paint. You can kind of see the original blue color underneath.)

My husband worked so hard in the humidity to sand it with a power sander, prime it, and repaint it. We decided this time to pick a darker red color very close to the color of curtains in our living room. We did buy a spray sealer in matte, but after spraying it on one of the doors and that looking spotty and ugly, we decided not to seal it and leave as is. (My husband only had to redo that door this time, not the entire piece of furniture! Thankfully!!)

We bought this cabinet for $20 and between supplies, new handles, and our flops, this DIY ended up over $50. Not my ideal situation, but we learned!

I am glad we went with the red! I may add a couple details to it down the line, but for now it makes a perfect place for all our games and puzzles. I still need to accessorize the top, but here’s how it turned out:



Moral of this DIY story, staining doesn’t work all the time and sometimes just doing one more step may end up being too much! Simple is just as cute! Thanks to my husband for all your labor! It looks great!

Have you ever had a DIY flop or almost flop? What did you do to save it from disaster? 

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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.


  1. I totally had this experience with a piece I did yesterday! The stain came out aweful and I hate it! I was just going to prime and paint over the stain…do you think that will work or do I have to sand it first??? Might need to borrow that power sander if that’s the case :/


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