I am not a big fan of do-it-yourself projects. In my experience, my projects have typically been either incomplete, over-budget, of poor quality or some combination of issues.
My incomplete projects include an automatic shut-off switch and a kitchen soap dispenser. I am sure there are others that I don’t care to remember.
Over-budget is a popular one for me as I usually do not have or cannot find key tools which I may need. I once refinished a propane grill and probably spent $50 to refinish a $10 grill from a yard sale rather than buy a new one for $100.
Poor quality haunts me as my eye has a tendency to drift towards things that I worked. I can easily overlook mistakes made by others. These projects include clean up of writing on the walls with the now blue stain of Windex. Also my ability to spackle over holes is not that great either. I have stopped with projects that have failed in spectacular fashion in the past. I once hung a ceiling fan in my parent’s house only to have the light fixture portion come crashing down. I also managed to try to weather protect the deck only to have mismatched colors.
My latest project falls under the some combination of issues. I decided to refinish the kitchen table top that was pretty beat up. I started with sanding the current finish to reasonably even. Next I went shopping for stain and polyurethane ($16). While at the hardware store I also bought a paintbrush and more sandpaper ($16). The stain went on amazingly well, except for the dark spots where I did not sand so well. The polyurethane was a little tougher, but after the third coat it turned into a reasonably smooth finish. I did finish the project. The quality is reasonable, but the poorly sanded spots are evident along with the brush strokes and finishing sanding against the grain. $30 to finish a table and chair set purchased for $40 is not horrible considering a table set would cost at least $200. The overall time cost was not too bad. It was 48 hours start to finish with multiple drying sessions and about 2 hours of actual work and cleaning up.