How NOT to Paint a Shower Door (And How to Fix Spray Paint Mistakes)
I will be the first one to admit that I’m constantly prone to making mistakes in my DIYs, and there are times I think, “Boy, I’ve really messed up this time. What was I thinking?! Curse you, Pinterest!”
If you don’t believe me, just check out this post from eons ago when I thought there was no end in sight in an ugly varnish removal process from our dining room chairs. Thanks to this trick I figured out in a moment of desperation, those icky chairs had a happily ever after.
Then there was this post in one of my very first projects last year. It had a happy ending too.
My shower door spray painting project this weekend was like a total flashback.
Yes, this too ends well, and you’ll be seeing a pretty reveal later on, but if you ever find yourself in a spray painting snaffoo, I hope I can help you out here.
I took all the necessary steps in the long process of covering up everything with plastic drop cloth and taping ever so meticulously with Frog Tape (which, by the way, I prefer much more than the blue painters tape).
I used my favorite spray paint, Rust-Oleum Universal. I’ve used it countless times and I’ve always had amazing results.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this coming. Our bathroom transformed from quarantine site to horror film in about 5 minutes.
Here’s where I got really nervous after the first coat. If you’re spray painting your shower, it’s okay. Breathe! Well, into your ventilator mask that is.
After three thin coats of the spray paint, and the finish was looking nice and even, I thought it was all going to end up beautifully after all. Oh, little naive Lauren. How wrong you were.
If you ever venture to spray paint your own shower door, here’s what NOT to do:
1. Don’t assume because you cleaned your shower a few days ago that it is spray paint ready.
Wipe down your shower frame with a rag and white vinegar to break up any soap scum left behind. Spray paint absolutely won’t stick to soap residue.
2. Don’t let your impatience get the best of you.
I made the mistake of peeling up the Frog Tape after an hour. The paint peeled with it! So I was left with this lovely mess. Let your paint dry for a full 24 hours before dismantling your crime scene.
*Tip: Here’s how to fix peeled paint:
I definitely didn’t want to tape all of the plastic drop cloths back up and spend hours doing all of that prep work again to fix my trouble spots. So I grabbed a deep cardboard box, my spray paint, and an artist brush to spray a little paint on the brush at a time to touch up the peeled spots.
I used a little tape again to get a crisp line. And, since I learned my lesson, I let the paint dry completely before removing the tape.
It’s still not perfect since painting around silicone caulk can be really tricky, but it’s much better and only noticeable up close.
3. Don’t cut corners by not taping any gaps where your plastic drop cloths separate.
That spray paint can travel! And it’s sneaky stuff. It actually went between and under the plastic that I had overlapped. So when I peeled up the plastic, I got this nice surprise of paint overspray.
*Tip: Here’s how to remove paint overspray from plastic and/or tile.
Nail polish remover works wonders on spray paint mistakes! I use it all the time for any permanent marker mishaps, so I figured I’d give it a try. It worked!
Soak a cotton ball with nail polish remover, scrub the spray paint spot, and it’s gone! And it really doesn’t take much elbow grease either.
4. Don’t assume applying painter’s tape will always give you a clean line.
Even though I get pretty great results from it, take an extra step to score tape lines with a knife. Or you’ll end up with this loveliness.
*Tip: Here’s how to fix smudged spray paint lines.
I used nail polish remover again for the spots where spray paint leaked under the tape by soaking Q-Tips in it, and running them along the smudged lines.
Use your fingernail or a razor blade to scrape off any paint that isn’t completely removed with the nail polish remover. Ahhh nice, clean spray painted edge.
I keep thinking this, but one day I should probably devote a post to Bless’er House blunders just to show y’all how many DIYs have gone horribly wrong. Sometimes the only way you can get through a bad situation is to laugh it off.
If you find yourself running into road blocks on projects, don’t give up! Learn from those mistakes, let it shape you into a smarter DIYer, and keep on with your bad self. 😉 I bet you after the next amazing project you pull off, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up.
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