Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith

When a perfectionist moves into a fixer-upper…

Woman versus Furniture

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“I vow to paint the furniture.”

“I vow to paint the furniture.”

“I VOW TO PAINT THE FURNITURE!!”

This was my mantra last weekend.  I felt like if I did not repeat this mantra, the job would not get done.

So I repeated it fervently.

And the job got done.

[Hallelujah chorus]

Ever since I was nine years old, I’ve wanted matching white furniture.  However, brand-new furniture is over-priced and underrated.  Over the years, I’ve been accumulating cheap and even free pieces that are all sturdy, have great character, and are ugly!  But there is nothing a little white paint won’t cure so now, twenty one years later, I finally have my white furniture thanks to sandpaper, spray paint and determination!

The journey started in February when Dave and I moved practically every piece of furniture we owned to the garage…where it sat for two weeks.  What can I say?  It was too cold to be outside sanding.

“I vow to sand the furniture.”

“I vow to sand the furniture.”

“I VOW TO SAND THE FURNITURE!!”

I am looking at the camera as if to say, “I give in, okay.  I’ll sand the damn furniture already!”

I tell you, nothing would get done around here without some serious vow-making.

Confession: Completing a task does not make me feel accomplished.  Instead, I feel anxious because I start thinking about all of the other tasks I wish I could accomplish at that moment, too.  (Does anybody else feel this way??)

With that said, I got so overwhelmed with all of the sanding that I shut the garage door and left everything where it was for another month.  Meanwhile, Dave and I used (and are still using) the corner of our bedroom to store our socks, underwear and t-shirts.

I feel like a refugee.

By mid-March, I was willing to tackle painting our furniture.  I decided spray paint would be the easiest option since I hate maneuvering all the nooks and crannies with a paint brush not to mention all of the drips!

Unfortunately, I had [unknowingly] purchased old spray paint that spittled out drops of paint haphazardly leaving the surfaces of my furniture a big, spotted mess!

I tried and tried to make the paint work, but after an hour I gave up and once again, left everything where it was for another month.

Had it not been such a beautiful day this past Sunday, who knows if my mantra would have worked?  But wow!  Eighty-five degrees, a light breeze, sunny.  It was a perfect day to spend out on the back deck…painting furniture!

However, the Leilani part of me wanted to stress out over supplies.  I would need to go out and purchase lots more spray paint if I wanted to finish the job right.  And if that still didn’t work then I would need to buy paint rollers and new paint!

But then I had a Tim Gunn-esque epiphany:

Use what you have and make it work.

So I did.

Thankfully, the faulty spray paint had smoothed out a little bit since the last time I tried using it.  (Perhaps the warmer weather helped?)  It was still a little spotty, but it made for a quick and easy primer.

Then, taking my favorite angled paintbrush and leftover semi-gloss trim paint, I applied two coats to each piece which covered the spray paint spots beautifully.  I also sprayed the tops of the furniture with a protective gloss.

I even got to work on my tan.  (I’m in a bikini.  I am NOT naked.)  (Just clarifying.)

I am so pleased with the results!  And to think, it only took me three months and roughly four hours.

Once everything was dry, Dave and I moved all of the furniture into our sun room where it will remain until we replace the carpet in our bedroom.

“I vow to replace our carpet.”

“I vow to replace our carpet.”

“I VOW TO REPLACE OUR CARPET!!”

*************************

Visit Pancakes and French Fries for more home improvement inspiration with the William Morris Project!

Jules has great ideas for getting the job done.  With or without mantras.

14 Responses to Woman versus Furniture

  • Love the way you wrote this with your vows! Big job! I completely understand walking away for a while. I do that same sort of thing. I kind of have to be in the groove to get going on something like this. Once it is done I am so glad, but my challenge is step 1.

  • Nice job! The furniture looks great! And you definitely rock for just using what you had to get the job done!! Hopefully the promise of your great new furniture waiting for you will help you get your carpet done quickly! :)

    No Ordinary Homestead.com

  • May you be able to make a decision on the carpet quickly! That’s the part here I procrastinate the most: actually choosing something. I hate closing off the possibilities to everything else I could have had! (Though realistically, there aren’t really as many choices as I like to think there are given our budget!) It looks great! Looking forard to seeing the room done.

  • It all looks great! It would have taken me MONTHS to get all that accomplished, even doing it one piece at a time. May you accomplish a speedy carpet replacement and get all that pretty furniture inside!

  • Oh, I love Tim Gunn. Also, I totally relate to feeling anxious about further projects before I am even done with the one I am on…That’s why my to-do list grows with each thing I accomplish. I think of ten more things. The furniture looks great! Nice work on painting…I still am afraid of doing it, so all mine is a mish mash of wood. Someday….

    • Yes! You said it perfectly–my todo list grows after accomplishing something! ugh! i hope you find the courage to paint your furniture. I hate a mish-mash of wood. I’ve spent my whole life looking at mish-mashes of wood!

  • I love, love, love your inspiration to use what you have. I let “supply anxiety” get in the way of some of my projects too. Love the white!

  • Leilani, you’re adorable. ADORABLE! And I totally feel that way about getting stuff done..right now I’m sitting at the computer, procrastinating finishing my already-late projects & articles for the scrapbook magazine, while thinking about all of the other things I need to be doing, too. It’s maddening. And I only have 3 kid-free hours left. *sigh*

    Furniture looks great! Come help me paint the top of my dining room table, would ya?! ;)

    • Ugh! Bless your heart. I hate that procrastination rut, even though I fall in it just about every week. May you have focus for the next few precious hours!!! :)

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