If you knew me as a teenager, you’ll probably wonder what doesn’t make me curse vehemently – a valid question. The only response I have is that I emerged into my twenties as a more mildly mannered lady. Except when I do something monumentally stupid.

For the past month, I’ve been refurbishing a couple of beautiful old hand-crafted rocking chairs. It took me longer than I expected to remove the multiple layers of paint on both chairs and with the multiple layers I planned to add, removing the original paint was definitely necessary. One of the chairs was child-sized and much easier to complete so it’s been done for over a week now. The big chair has been languishing in my living room since that time until yesterday when I went to put a crackle medium down over the base coat that’s been on it for over a week. I woke up early because once you put the crackle medium on, you have to let it dry for a couple of hours and then immediately apply the top coat, and since I’m painting outside, I had to work when it’s light out. Okay, so here I am, after two hours of painting the crackle coat and two hours of drying time, ready to apply the top coat and watch the magic of crackling happen.

Only, there was no magic. Thankfully I am a child in a twenty-seven year old’s body and only painted the arm rests and stopped to watch the crackle as it happened. It didn’t, though. No crackle whatsoever. I couldn’t figure it out. I’d painted the entire chair with the crackle medium, so for awhile I researched whether semi-gloss paint would or wouldn’t crackle. I resorted to the can of crackle paint to see if there was some indication of what I’d done wrong. Oh.

No. No no no no no no.

[Insert Multiple Expletives Here]

The can of “crackle medium” turned out to be a finishing glaze. [More Cursing] HOW could I be so stupid? Read the label when you know the two paints are basically identical otherwise! Oh [expletive]!

I sat in stunned disbelief at all the time I’d wasted for about five more minutes. Thus giving the top coat ample time to harden up. Blurgh. Acetone and paper towels were mostly effective in removing that layer, and thanks to the ample glaze coating I’d applied that morning, the base coat remained in tact. [Rude Words Regarding My Intelligence] I’d wasted four hours and what remained of any shot of my completing the project outdoors. I repainted the base color and let it dry, then moved the whole [bleeping] thing inside.

Around 8:30 last night I finished the two coats I intended to apply, and thank heaven, there was crackling. It looks great! But man did I ever bless out that chair, those two cans of identical (and yet clearly very different) paints, and myself for a good three hours. Sometimes cussing best sums up my mood. Most of the time I can get by with “son of a biscuit” and “mother of pearl,” but every now and then, “son of a [bleeep]” and “mother [bleeeeeper]” are just infinitely more appropriate.