After hearing this story a few weeks ago, I begged Room Fu designer Claire Patrick to do a guest blog post about her recent do-it-yourself (DIY) project gone wrong. If you’ve ever accidentally glued your fingers together with SuperGlue (or laughed at someone else who did), you’ll appreciate her tale…


Claire's nightstand, post DIY misfortune.

Some DIY projects run smoothly, and then there are those that go horribly awry. Even those of us who attempt to do most projects ourselves and succeed fairly often can jack stuff up now and then. Any time those creative juices start flowing, there’s a chance they might get spilled.


All over everything.

Case in point: I’d consider myself a professional DIY-er. The hubs and I constructed our own headboard, we’ve painted both homes we’ve lived in, I helped build my college loft bed, I’ve refinished or painted at least nine pieces of furniture currently showcased in our home, and there are at least four more DIY projects waiting in the wings. I’m no stranger to doing it myself. I’m familiar with paints, varnishes, glues, saws, hammers, and electric sanders.  You name it, I’m not afraid.

Let me rephrase that. I wasn’t afraid.

One Thursday in March (picture the birds chirping, gorgeous blue skies, 70 degree temps with a slight breeze – yes, it was that perfect a day), I got the idea in my head that I HAD to finish a particular furniture project. I’d been sick with a sinus infection, but that wasn’t going to get in my way. We were selling some of our made-over wares at a big tent sale a few days away, and they weren’t going to finish themselves. Chance and I were out in the garage, jammin’ to music, painting away.

Whenever I redo a piece of furniture, I like to adhere some sort of decorative paper (wrapping paper, wallpaper, etc.) to the interiors of drawers as a nice little surprise when they’re opened, generally using Mod Podge for Furniture or spray adhesive.


There I was, with my funky paper cut to size, the nightstand painted a slate gray with some fun grellow in the open section, and all I had left to do was to glue the paper down and put a few coats of poly over it. Easy-peasy, right?

The moment I picked up my brand new, completely full can of spray glue, my carpal tunnel and/or my lack of coordination kicked in, and I dropped the can. Which fell on something pointy. My husband heard what sounded like a gunshot and a blood curdling scream.

Note to self: Pressurized aerosol cans will explode when they hit sharp objects on garage floors.

I’ve never seen an aerosol can drain so fast in my whole life while simultaneously seeming to spray in slow-mo. The can shot around the garage floor and drenched the following:

  • – My favorite painting from high school
  • – Some décor items purchased for a friend’s upcoming wedding reception
  • – The furniture piece Chance was working on
  • – My nightstand
  • – The floor

About ¾ of the way into the can’s release, I finally managed to grab it. All I was thinking about was, Save the garage!  Save…everything! I clutched the still-spewing can tightly, squatted down and folded my body over it so it would just spray me and nothing else. I realized a little too late that this meant glue was getting all over my legs, stomach, and ummm, girly bits.  At some point in the process, my eyelashes were glued shut. I couldn’t see anything.

When the can finally stopped draining, hubs was pretty devastated over the damage. He was literally stuck to the garage floor, yelling at me. Then he laughed, and I laughed…until I realized two things: (1) my underwear quite possibly may be permanently stuck to my body, and (2) I might have trouble with that decorating career, if my eyes were forever glued shut.

As with all mishaps in life, sometimes you just have to get back on the proverbial horse. An hour in the shower, lots of soap, olive oil, rubbing alcohol, and half a can of paint thinner later, the furniture and I were as good as new… mostly. I still sported glue in my eyebrows for days, and our garage floor is now a permanent collector of sawdust, leaves, and rubber from our tires.

It can happen to the best of us, people. No matter how professional we think we are. So if you’d rather save yourself a similar butt-shellacking experience, I do take commissions.