When Good Projects Go Bad

You guys. I haven’t done a real project in so long that it seems now everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At the end of this month my nephew turns one and I’ve decided to follow suit with a million other bloggers and build him a bitchin play kitchen (also, apparently I’ve decided to start rhyming). I’ve been working on the darn fridge for like a week and it’s still only halfway done… it should have taken no more then 2 days.

Because he’s just turning one it isn’t a completely age appropriate gift yet, but I figure he’ll have it there when he’s ready. My goal is to give give him the fridge by his birthday, then the cabinet and sink by Halloween (mainly because he’s getting one of my faucets when we redo the bathrooms).

Here’s what we started off with:



I picked up cabinets at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for about $40  (that includes this piece above and the not-shown sink area). First things first, I removed all the hardware and took off the door. Next, I spackled and sanded the areas that looked rough, sharp, or cracked. Once that was done, I brought out the Krylon Magnetic Spray Paint. Then things went horribly wrong.

diy play kitchen


I put three light coats of paint on the door. Nothing. Then I put another light coat…still nothing. Then I put an extremely thick fifth coat. NADA. Then I emptied the whole damn bottle on the door and let it cure up overnight…. it did not do a darn thing. But it was a lovely shade of ashy gray? I tweeted Krylon asking for tips and advice and they just responded to call with the batch number because I must have gotten a defective can. However, if you read the reviews it appears no one has ever gotten it to work at all. I felt like my best friend was talking about me behind my back… Krylon is a legitimate name with a good reputation. Whyyyyyyyyyy!!!

I panicked and messaged my blog friends because if this darn thing isn’t magnetic I’m basically a failure at aunt-dom. Emma directed me to Rustoleum magnetic paint because her mom had used it with great results, and Kenz backed it up saying Young House Love used it too (duh! how did I not remember that!).

magnetic paint review


The Rustoleum paint is THICK. You need to stir it for about 15 minutes, then give it a good occasional stir as you’re painting. I used a foam brush to coat it on, 3 coats about an hour apart each. I gave the frame an extra fourth coat too because the back is  exposed wood and it really seemed to soak the paint up.

I recommend you do this outside if you can. It smelled PUNGENT. I didn’t realize this until I had already set up shop in the kitchen so I just opened all the windows and turned the fan on.

Once it was dry I called Matt in for backup- he’s much better with hardware then I am.



I got a 5in. handle off Amazon (this one) then we measured, drilled a pilot holes, and checked that it was all lined up (spoiler alert: it wasn’t. the door is now curing up some wood filler and we’ll try again tonight).

After failure #2 I moved outside to prime and paint the inside. And you know what kind of primer I got? Krylon. Which did nothing but sputter and spit everywhere. WTF. My best friend betraying me again? I was so hurt. I sanded down the drips and just went ahead with a light coat of leftover Rustoleum aqua paint from my DIY sunburst mirror. Here’s where I’m at now:



So here’s what I’ve accomplished successfully so far:

  • spackled, sanded, and primed with magnetic paint
  • sprayed the inside and shelves with one coat of leftover aqua paint

And here’s what I’ve got left:

  • 1-2 more coats of aqua spray paint on the inside
  • redrill the holes for the handle
  • spray paint the outside
  • add a touch light and door shelf
  • build up confidence to create the rest of the kitchen


You guys, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? This project is a real no brainer and I am an absolute disaster Please, share your project horror stories below.


9 thoughts on “When Good Projects Go Bad

  1. Pingback: DIY Play Fridge : Now a Successful How To! | Sandpaper & Glue

  2. BOOOO krylon! I think you can blame any future issues with this project on them, whether it’s directly related to their paint fail or not. Good news is, he’ll LOVE it when it’s finished!

  3. Haha, YES! You are not alone. Every. Single. Project. that we do takes, like, 4 times longer than it should. A prime example? Our recent attempt at installing a new toilet. Or maybe that time I painted the brand-new kitchen and hated the color, so I had to repaint? And then there was the first kitchen cabinet I ever built, which might just be the last. So Stephanie, I hear ya, sister! 😉 But as you know, it’s always worth it in the end. Just imagine all the fun your nephew is going to have playing in his kitchen!

  4. Don’t fret! One afternoon I decide to paint the interior of my closet, top half with a yellow chevron. It was a disaster…
    Day 1, Painted Based Color – Sweet
    Day 2. Taped off Chevron Lines – This had to be the worst part right? (spoiler alert.. it wasn’t)
    Day 3. Paint multiple coats of Yellow 🙂 Get giddy because you’re almost done.
    Day 3. Pull off Tape.. and.. DISASTER… who knew there was oil based paint as the base coat? surely not me..

    But I get it and I felt the exact same thing! Don’t get down, it happens, but next time we’ll be prepared. You and me now that i’m learning your pain with you through your experiences.

  5. You know, sometimes projects just take a million wrong turns. At Haven, in one of the classes we went around the room and all shared our worst project experience, and it made me feel SO much better about myself knowing even the pro bloggers have had rough-goes with some of their projects. There is STILL a horrible project I’ve done that I haven’t blogged about. I can’t bring myself to do it. At least you are working on the kinks, and it is going to be SO great for Jack when it’s done. He will LOVE it 🙂

  6. I give you a million claps for not giving up and buying that wooden kitchen set at the yard sale! You can totally do this and your nephew will LOVE it!

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