Hobby by desperation- part two 

Whew! That painting project was quite fun and tiring! The bedroom set still has one piece left to go but since 3/4s are done I decided to share the results thus far. Read Part One of this series here.

So when I left you in part one of this saga I noted that I was in the thinking phase of the project for much longer than my normal thinking usually goes. I have been known to be impulsive in my life and this is something I have tried to fix. Being impulsive isn’t bad all the time but I am finding thoughtful consideration is often a better way to approach things that are new to me. Though I had painted outdoor furniture before I was not concerned about sanding and finish as much as I was with the bedroom furniture that we’ve had for over 15 years – I wanted it to look good – so I think planning it out (maybe procrastinating) was ok.

I read up on painting furniture on the internet and realized I had a lot to decide. Sanding or no? Paint sheen – Satin, Semi-gloss- or glossy!? Would I need a poly coat on the top? The poly coat question didn’t even surface until I was reading about proper sanding during a break in the project. I have to put a poly coat on? Really. But I decided that yes I should do this since the furniture will be home to water glasses and contact lens solutions and face creams. So that would delay getting the project done by a day but I am trying to learn patience. Normally I would have just blown off this step bc I would have wanted to get the project done fast. This time I was willing to wait.

IMG_0552In the end I chose to use a satin paint by Clark and Kensington. I got this from our local Ace Hardware. I like to use our local small shops when I can and I have been having them mix paint for me for years. I chose Designer White and Drift for my colors. I wanted the bulk of the pieces (4) to be the white but I wanted one to be different. I chose to paint my dresser the Drift color.  I went with satin at the advice of the sale person at the store. I had wanted Semi-gloss and in hindsight I think I might had liked that a tad better. But just a smidgen.

As I set off to work I had help. My son Ozzy, as he is know to those of you who read my blog, was very eager to help me with the sanding and since we were planning on doing two nightstands and my large dresser there was a good amount of sanding. His efforts were rewarded with an IPod shuffle- which he has since gotten and I haven’t seen since. (His last one took a swim with him in the ocean and did not survive – so I am hoping this new one – which was given to us for free- is still with us. )  I will just say this- having a helper with a project like this is really a plus. He saved me a lot of time. Kevin helped paint between doing other projects that are needed on a regular basis around this farm. Painting is really taking time off from the real stuff that needs to be done here! So I guess this was a vacation for me!

I wont go bore you with the stroke by stroke details but I have a couple things that are of note- I had to water down the Drift color -maybe it was the air temp that first day when I began working but adding water created a more forgiving paint. I also learned that rolling was better for me. I used a foam roller and I had brushes for details. I learned to use a light touch with the brushes. I also realized early on that I was going to need 3-4 coats of paint – so again my patience was being tested.  Getting good brushes is a must. I spent a whopping $20 on my brush I was going to use for the poly coat…and I am hard on brushes but with that brush I treated it like a baby. I plan to keep that as my topcoat brush for some time(I hope).

Here are a few things I learned on my painting journey-
1-I am a messy painter. Worse than when I paint walls. It was all over my feet legs hand and clothing. It was on the driveway and on the garage floor. I had it on my leg when I went to church on Sunday- yes I bathed. I tried to be neat and yet it just doesn’t happen for me. I had it on the bottom of shoes and then went to bare feet and stepped in it. Really I am like a child and I suppose I should just embrace it.


2. The first day was great. Great weather – hot but low humidity. I was patient. Very methodical. On Sunday – day 2 – not so much. It was hot and humid and my patience was not great. I was cranky and snappy but I pushed on and practiced patience physically as in I painted slowly – but mentally I was like when is this going to be done!?!”


I tried very hard not to get snippy with anyone but alas poor Ozzy got a few snaps at him but he is pretty understanding bc he certainly has his moments – so he had some grace for me.

3. I added water to the paint – as I mentioned above adding water to thin out the paint is good in that it allows the paint some viscosity to smooth out. I felt bc of the hotter temps that the paint was getting gummy quickly on the surface. This was on a warm day with low humidity.

4.IMG_0326 Egg crates make great knob holders. – My husband is a genius. We had to paint the knobs and that was a pain. He brought out egg cartons (we always have a bunch bc of our laying hens) and we kept the screws in each knob and stuck them into the crates for painting and drying.

5, I hate humidity- on day 2 the humidity was brutal and if I could have moved the operation indoors I would but there isn’t room in the inn for that big dresser. So I sweated it out in the steam.

6 . Patience- I am trying to learn it and sometimes I surprise myself and actually achieve it – maybe for a short period but I do.

7. Sanding before and between coats – I had never taken the time (see #6) to sand before. This time my son did the initial sanding and between coats I sanded the piece using a fine grit sandpaper. I wiped it off after sanding and then applied the next coat.

IMG_03308 . I read about doing a top coat as I mentioned above. I decided to go ahead and do it and I chose to use a polycrylic. It has low fumes and is easier to use. I bought a very nice brush (2.5 inches) and I put it on in thin coats. I think the top coat will help protect the piece. I need to learn how to apply it better- I was not very good at evening out the coat from on side to the other – but for my first time it was pretty good.


9. Mistakes will happen.  I was being pretty picky about this project – I really wanted to do a good job – but mistakes do happen. I had a big issue where I went to sand off a lump and it tore off a large piece of paint down to the wood. I stayed calm – maybe I was delirious bc of the heat! I wasn’t sure I could fix that but I kept going back and painting over the area and was able to get it to a point where it is hard to see. I know its there but I am ok with it. I just realized I am not going to paint to perfection and really the stuff looked much better and a little imperfection is ok.


10.IMG_0360 I had fun. I learned a lot. I had fun and learned so that was great. I will not paint in that heat again. Well…we still have the high dresser so maybe I will have to be in the heat again. Or maybe I can set up in our entry way. It will be tight. The messy factor worries me about this idea – see #1 above.




IMG_039611. Our room is cute! Its beachy! My daughter doesn’t like the bed by the window- we re-arranged things since the furniture was out of the room. I like it so far there is more room on each side of the bed – and the windows are so cloudy bc they are so old so we aren’t losing a great view. Its a nice cloudy view! We will see- we can always move it back…but she did like the furniture!

12. I have sore muscles that I didn’t know I had. Yes- I do! But worth it!

13. Next time I will take on a piece at a time and complete it before I move onto another. This time I was working on three pieces at the same time..Dresser..nightstands..it was a a lot!


14. I have too much stuff! I was able to get rid of some stuff and it felt great. I have more to go though but a step at a time.

15. Lastly, I am just very happy that I had the stamina to do this job. After my radiation treatment was over in 2013 it took many months to get my stamina back. I could not have taken this on last summer and I am glad my bum shoulder was cooperative and my nerve damage didn’t flare up too badly. It also felt good to have the mental drive back to want to do this project. I was in a funk for quite a while so to have this spark was truly awesome.

I will be doing my husband’s dresser next and then I have my grandmother’s hutch in my scope. I am determined to renew my tired stuff. Maybe with each project I will get better and better- but if not I think I will have fun trying. It might have been a new hobby founded out of desperation but I think I like it!

Thanks for reading (or looking at the pictures – or both!)…


The dresser is a pale blue green- hard to see in these photos










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