Things I learned in my DIY Adventure, Vol 1

I am now a user of power tools.

Well, one power tool. The handheld orbital sander. Pictured above on my soon-to-be-awesome bookshelf.

I used said power tool this past Saturday in my first-ever attempt at redoing a piece of furniture. As you may know, mine and my husband’s newfound love for HGTV/a need for a place to keep my photo albums and Disney Princess picture frame spawned the idea for this project a few weeks ago. You can read about that here.

Here are some things I have learned so far:

1. Call ahead before you drive 20 minutes to what you believe is the only tool rental store in the metro Nashville area, because you may find out that not only do they “not rent those anymore” (even though it is clearly pictured on their website), but the Home Depot a 1/2 mile from your house has one in stock (which they did NOT have it pictured on their website). Moral of the story: do not trust websites for tool rentals. You will waste gas.

2. People at Home Depot are eager to help you when you first enter the store and are set on attempting to find your items on your own first—until you inevitably cannot find it in that mammoth of a store and decide you do actually need their help. All 1200 of them then either disappear or are too busy helping customers who do not, in fact, insist on scouring 8 aisles for sandpaper before asking for help, and you must then wander around trying to find someone in an orange apron who is not occupied and/or hiding. You will also mistake several men in orange t-shirts for Home Depot employees at first glance because you are desperate for help and just want to get out of there.

3. Always check the weather forecast before you rent an orbital sander for a 24-hour period of time in which you MUST use it or you have to pay more money. If you don’t, you could be outside in 100 degree heat trying to sand a bookcase and get the sander back to Home Depot before 2pm. (Read: midday sun.) This is especially important if you are as pale as me, because you will realize halfway through that you need to stop and apply sunscreen. You will also not be able to wear sunglasses due to your protective eyewear. (See below for red-faced, squinty-eyed feigned excitement)

4. Make sure you turn around when you are examining the bookcase for portions you may have overlooked while sanding. The yet-to-be-sanded shelf could be sitting in the chair behind you. You may not notice this until after you have cleaned the sander (so as not to incur charges from Home Depot) and have put it away. Seeing as you are now sweating profusely and frustrated from the impossible task of cleaning an orbital sander, not to mention under a time crunch, you will resolve to sand it by hand later.

Today I fully intend on finishing the sanding and getting the priming done. I will probably learn more things like these.