When you are a DIY blogger, there is a little pressure to produce original and unique ideas. But, they also need to be simple…because people like simple projects. So what happens when you have a great unique, original, simple idea…that totally flops? Sure, you could sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. Who would ever know? Or you could share your project failure on the blog to show you readers that DIY isn’t always easy and doesn’t always work out. That is what I am going to do today.
I originally wrote this post right after completing the last step of this project. It was upbeat and positive. Surely a project my readers will love. Then, before ever hitting publish on the tutorial, I began to watch my project fall apart before my very eyes. Instead of fall apart, it might be more appropriate to say drip away.
So the story goes something like this…
I had this genius idea to make finials. When I discovered these hollow glass candlesticks, I couldn’t help but daydream of painting their insides and not using them as candlesticks. A while back I tinkered with back painted glass and was eager to try it on another project.
So why make my own finials? Decorative finials just seem so pricey for a non-functional decorative object. I’d rather spend my money on functional decorative objects like vases or decorative boxes. But, I am drawn to finials. I made a trio of wooden finials for my dining room. This time I wanted a glossier look.
The hollow glass candlesticks were my inspiration to make my own finials. I just needed a top. I recalled CB2 carries these gorgeous glass balls. They have one tiny hole, so their insides could be painted too. The plan was to top my candlesticks with the glass balls.
I almost left them as clear glass finials…how cool, right? Sadly, the glass did not match. The candlesticks were a thicker glass and not as clear as the balls. I did not like the difference.
Instead, I tried back-painting my glass finials. It was an opportunity to add color and keep a glossy glass look. Since this project ultimately failed, I will spare you the tutorial and details. Basically, I poured paint into the candlesticks and balls (using a tiny funnel), let them drip dry upside down for one day, and then turned them over and waited more than 3 days for them to dry completely. Or, so I thought.
Once I felt the paint coating was dry, I used E6000 to glue the glass balls, hole side down, to the tops of the candlesticks.
I was pretty proud of my DIY finials, which cost about $38 for the pair. Not cheap, but most decorative finials of this size are sold for more than that price individually.
Normally this is the part where I profess my undying love for my new creation, but not today. The finials have a great shape, I loved the color I chose, but then something went horribly wrong.
Oh my! This is no good. All the paint is dripping right out of the balls!!! I guess they weren’t dry after all. I let them dry for days, but who knows how long the dry time is with only one tiny opening. I think the culprit was the flow medium I added to the paint to help it spread more easily in the glass. It must have a crazy long dry time. I am so bummed.
So there you go, I don’t love very project I do. They don’t always turn out the way I want. I always weigh my decision to spend money on a DIY project against how I will feel about the cost if the project does not turn out. I never spend any money I don’t have or an amount I will regret if the project fails. Luckily 99% of the time my projects work out great, and For the other 1% I usually find a way to fix it.
I don’t think the finials are beyond repair, but I certainly won’t end up with the back painted glass effect I was hoping for. At this point I think my best option is to use a nice glossy spray paint. But I am open to suggestion if you have other ideas…