5 Things I Learned from a DIY Project Gone Wrong

by Jennifer Haynie @Jenniferhaynie1

Our kitchen counter backsplash looked like something out of the DIY Network’s Renovation Realities. Our attempt to shortcut traditional thin-set for the application of glass tile had failed. Now tears filled my eyes as one by one, half-inch by half-inch tile dropped from the anticipated kitchen counter backsplash and tinkled onto the granite.

No way would we rip down the half that was already up and start over. No way. The tile was too pretty to waste. Not to mention, we’d dropped a pretty penny on it to buy it. And, let’s not forget that it had been discontinued. What we had was it. Nowhere else could we get the same tile. With a deep breath, I knew what we had to do. We needed to finish what we started.

I’ve learned some lessons along the way. Here are five of them.

  1. It’s tempting to give up. When the tiles fell off the wall, I wanted to give up and do something else. I couldn’t. My husband and I had come too far to stop. Sometimes lie throws us curveballs that tempt us to give up, to turn back, yet we know that we can’t, that we have to keep pushing ahead.
  2. Patience is required. As I’ve put up the backsplash above the counter literally tile by tile, it’s required patience. The same for my husband as he removes excess thinset so the grout will go in well. Sometimes a task seems insurmountable, but if we’re patient, work on it bit by bit and keep going at it, we can get it done.
  3. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned a whole lot during the application of the tile, like how much thinset is too much and how much is just enough. Has it been easy? Not at all. I’ve got the aches and pains from hours on end of work to prove it. But I know it’s something where I’ll be able to look back and see what I accomplished. I’ll be able to use the skills I learned in future work.
  4. It’s not all misery. Steve and I have had some good conversations while working on this tough project. We’ve also listened to some great music. And we’ve learned to collaborate. We’re in this together, and it’s such a comfort. So it can be with tough situations. We learn who our friends and advocates are, and it makes enduring tough situations a little easier.
  5. Keep the endgame in mind. In order to keep going on this project, I’ve had to keep picturing in my mind what the finished product will look like. I can already see glimpses of it even now. Life can be the same way. We may be in the middle of a messy situation, like a rebellious child or a rough situation at work. Keeping the long view in mind and remembering what the other side of the tough situation will look like enables us to keep going.

Steve and I are about 70 percent of the way through this project. We’re going to keep at it. We’ll finish it up, and the backsplash will look awesome.

When you find yourself in a tough spot where things seem to go more wrong than right, where it feels like you’re sliding back more than stepping forward, remember these lessons. Yes, it may be tempting to give up. Don’t. It does take patience to move forward. You’ll learn a lot along the way, things that you can apply in the future and share with others. And maybe it’s not all misery. Keep then endgame in mind, and hang in there.

Who know I could learn so much from a DIY project gone wrong?

Who knew I could learn so much from a #DIY project gone wrong? #Authenticity #encouragement Share on X

Question: What is a DIY project gone wrong, and what did you learn from it?

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