DIYers are notably bad at finishing projects. There are many jokes about the 95% club (meaning a project is only finished to 95% completion). Little tedious details that might be worth it but might not be seen to an audience are frequently left out. But why leave a project incomplete?
I think the biggest reason is that we’re creative people. After the big exciting parts of a project are done, what’s left is sanding, caulking, filling, sealing, etc. These are all details that make a huge difference in the quality & finish of a pieces but are rather, well, boring.
Once a project is 95% complete, the temptation is to move onto the next one. There will always be something that feels new and more exciting. As creative people, our brains are usually spinning with creative ideas and the urge to jump into something new is always there.
Now another reason for leaving a project at 95% could be project fatigue. If you’ve worked really hard at something and it’s not quite working out, it’s easy to want to leave it incomplete. While I completely believe project fatigue is real, and that sometimes you need a break, my goal this year has been to see every project to completion. This does mean sometimes I step away from something for a week or two, but I’ve decided not to call anything complete until it’s reached the full 100%.
For this bench build, the finishes were the final 5%. After I finished the construction, I wasn’t exactly sure what finish I wanted to put on it. I sanded it down working my way from 80 grit to 220 getting rid of the imperfections and making sure it was smooth. Then I took some time to think through all my options of paint, stain, both, oil, epoxy, etc.
Since I’ve been recently inspired by Art Deco design, I decided to try taping a pattern & spray painting my design. This bench is very textured, so I didn’t want to figure out hand painting it. Spray paint worked like a charm! I also decided to spray paint the legs for more variation.
The bench is going in my sunroom, so I decided I also needed to seal the raw wood. The entire bench got a coat of polycrylic. This is one of those final 5% things that no one will see, but I’ll know it’s there and that the bench is finished well.
Last up was adding some comfy pillows & a blanket. This is meant to be a cozy reading spot after all. With that, this bench is 100% complete and so is my portion of #wediytogetherweek.
It’s been fun to watch everyone come together and build their own bench with their own finishes. I hope this inspires you to keep pushing and complete that final 5%.
2 thoughts on “The final 5%”
I have enjoyed seeing your projects Rachel. Creative, fun and interesting! Also loved the yarn hoops! Diane (friend of Bob & Cheryl from Sioux Falls)
Thanks so much Diane! Glad to have you here following along 🙂