Sand and Buff!

I went to a second-hand store with my friend Jenna and found a great bookcase for my ever-growing collection of books. I loved it but it had some dings and the color was kind of ugly. Jenna mentioned that I could sand it all down and repaint it. I am not really big on manual and she knows that, so I was surprised at the suggestion. But she said it would be easy and I finally caved. The bookcase is really cute! Anyway, we haggled the owner down to $10 so I figured what was the worst that could happen? I waste a couple of days and I am out $10? I’ve experimented with enough recipes to know that sometimes you really just have to see what happens.

We got the bookcase back to my place and I asked Jenna how I should start. She told me that she had one of the best air compressors on the market and some tools I could borrow, and the way she explained it, it sounded ideal. Her whole family works in construction so she is super handy. I think she felt bad for me and offered to help but once she planted the idea in my head, I really wanted to do it myself. You know that expression too many cooks in the kitchen? I was afraid that if she stayed to help, that would be the case. She brought everything I’d need the next day, so I could get started. Then she walked me through how to turn everything on and how to attach it all. We went to the hardware store and picked out a new paint color (I chose seafoam green). We hung out for awhile and then she had to go. It was just me, the bookcase, and Jenna’s tools out in the yard. It was a little intimidating, but I felt the same way I do when I approach a new recipe: just because it is unfamiliar does not mean it is impossible.

Her compressor is electric, but we had an extension cord running from the backyard outlet on the deck so I could operate it out there. I didn’t want the dust or paint getting all over my house, but the deck is fine. I got the sanding attachment set up just the way she told me and maybe I just wasn’t doing it right. The compressor kept kicking on and it was very loud. The sander was kind of fighting to get away from me, too. I toughed it out for awhile and got as much of it done that way as I could stand, and then I gave up and did the last bits by hand. I have to say, my arms were pretty sore so I sort of wish I had stuck with the sander. It got the dinged bits smoothed out much better than I did when I did it by hand.

After that experience, though, I was a little nervous setting up the paint sprayer. But let me tell you—that was a totally different experience. I thinned the paint like Jenna told me using water. She recommended setting the PSI to 45 and had even showed me how to do it so that was what I did. I got started with that and wow. I have no idea how long it would have taken me to paint it by hand with a brush, but it was more time than I would have been willing to put in.

I did the first coat in about a half hour, and some of that was figuring out how to work it. The second coat took me only twenty minutes.

I was lucky that it didn’t rain or anything overnight because I left everything—bookcase, tools and all, outside. I cleaned the paint out of the paint gun and cleaned up the sander but even with wheels, Jenna’s compressor is bulky and kind of a pain for me to move. She can get it going like a pro but I just wasn’t as good as her.

Sunday Jenna came back to gather up her tools and helped me get the bookcase in place in my living room. It looks great. So the final verdict on my air compressor review is this: if I ever get another piece of furniture secondhand, I would definitely use the paint sprayer again. But I don’t think I would use the sander. Jenna says that it can take the paint off of a car, and I believe her! She also told me that I need to lift weights and get my arm strength up, lol!