SOMETIMES I WORRY THAT I'M A HOARDER.
My husband and I are experts at moving. Since the start of our relationship, we've moved a total of 7 times and we've only been together for about 5 years. This past year we moved 3 times including a cross country trip from Massachusetts to Texas. Now I wish I could say we've settled down, but I wouldn't be able to say it with a straight face. HAH! Not even close! We're living out a year with my brother and this most recent move proved yet again that we have a crapload of stuff. Both my husband and I love antiques and quality built furniture and we buy the stuff with the intention of lasting a lifetime. This and the fact that I watch the show "Hoarders," makes me worry that we're hoarding. But my husband has assured me we don't (without any explanation or defense). For some reason that made me immediately feel better. He says we aren't so we aren't. Whew!
THE FIRST PIECE OF FURNITURE I REFURBISHED. IT WAS A GOOD START BUT MAN I'M A MORON SOMETIMES.
You'd think we'd have learned by now not to purchase anything new until we've settled down, but we just can't live that way. When I don't have a place to nest, I buy permanent pieces to surround us in our temporary home. So the new piece I had to purchase was a bedside table. We've never had bedside tables and suddenly I felt I couldn't breathe, think, or function until I had the perfect bedside table. Quickly we decided we didn't want to have matching tables. Different ones would give our bedroom more character! So we went troving the antique stores in Old Town Spring and I found this wonderful white distressed tobacco cabinet.
It was sturdy, heavy, and in decent condition. It had such great detail on the door and legs and the inside was completely lined with tin.
WHERE I START DIGGING MYSELF INTO A DEEP DARK REFURBISHING HOLE.
I paid $80 for the cabinet which actually didn't seem so bad considering the first picture I took above wasn't what it looked like when I bought it. The cabinet was completely covered in white paint, but because the paint job wasn't great, I decided it would be a good opportunity to see what kind of what was underneath and whether I could strip the paint and make the wood gleam. That kind of idea is exactly what makes me a rookie! Look at the legs on that stand. Who the heck wants to strip the paint off of those? And I didn't look closely enough at the piece. The top of the cabinet is made up of 4 thin squares of wood. It has a one full piece of wood underneath that, but you couldn't tell through the white paint that the layer on top was not a piece of solid wood. Another thing I failed to notice was on one of the curves on the sides was patched with wood filler. So part of the curve wasn't even wood. Of COURSE I couldn't just strip the whole piece. The wood filler wouldn't look right unless I painted it. At this point I knew I had wasted my time sanding and now I had to live with the fact that I paid way too much for it!
So after wasting my time sanding the flat areas with a electric sander, the rounder knobby areas with a sanding attachment on a drill, and hand sanding the rest with my own brute strength...I gave up. Only 1/3 of the paint was gone. At this point I felt defeated and just wanted the piece to be done. So I decided to take a shortcut and paint it all white again even though there were still patches of paint here and there.
I painted 3 coats of Behr's Creamy White paint from Home Depot using a medium size brush I bought at Wal-mart. It looked surprisingly good. The paint coated the cabinet evenly and I was relieved.
So that's probably where I should have stopped...
THIS PART IS A LITTLE EMBARRASSING BUT HEY, IT'LL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.
Afterwards, I tried to follow Miss Mustard Seed's directions to just distress the high points of the piece, but I wasn't really sure what she meant. They say that everyone distresses furniture to what's pleasing to their own eye, but I guess my eye is psychotic.
Mistake #1: Don't distress everywhere because you think it'll look more even, especially the flat areas of the wood. You think I would've figured that out since MMS suggested to distress the "high points"...but again when I say I wasn't sure what she meant. I REALLY had no earthly idea.
Mistake #2: Use a steady hand. I would distress one corner and suddenly the side of the cabinet would get sanded too. I might be too spastic for distressing, but I figure I can eventually use this to my advantage.
Mistake #3: Take everyone's advice and sand where natural distressing over time would occur. Not rocket science but something that needs to be hammered into my head.
Mistake #4: And last of all, here's what you SHOULDN'T do. You shouldn't try to glaze the cabinet before the paint dries. Yes, I'm often a moron and this is exactly what I did to part of the cabinet. Sigh. This didn't look so bad in the beginning, but once I started the glazing process I got some funky uneven colored streaks.
For glazing, I followed the MMS directions and used Minwax's Dark Walnut Stain. With foam brush in hand, I tackled small areas at a time wiping the stain on the cabinet, and then wiping it quickly off with an old t-shirt. Here's a helpful hint, DON'T keep using the same rag during this process if it's covered in stain. This will leave lots of fun streaky stain marks. I did see this hint later on MMS, but it was already too late. So I had streaks on top of streaks!
SO THIS IS WHAT I END UP WITH?...YAY!
Even after all of that unecessary work, the frustration of knowing I paid too much for a piece of furniture, and far from perfect results...I ended up with a nightstand I love. It's my first attempt at refurbishing and it's a piece I plan to keep for life!
IT'S OKAY. YOU CAN FEEL BAD FOR ME.
You may read this entry and look at the pictures and think, "Wow she really doesn't know what she's doing" or "If this was my piece I could have made it look so much better". But that's okay! I know I'm still learning and I'm proud of what I did.
And for those looking for more aesthetically pleasing pictures, here are the ones I took with a better camera this morning.
My bedroom is a little crowded with furniture right now, hence the mahogany bureau sneaking into the first picture. But don't worry, I'm not touching that guy. When the wood is that nice, I leave it alone.
HEY, THAT'S A COOL PIPE!
Why yes, that is a cool pipe. Isn't it great? My husband carved it from briar. He's been carving and making pipes for over a year now. Don't you love the natural shape of the pipe and the craggy surface? It looks perfect on my tobacco cabinet nightstand!