Nanas Desk 




I tackled another piece of furniture this past couple weeks. My grandmother’s (aka Nana) desk is one of my heart pieces of furniture. It sat in my Nana’s apartment for years- I recall when she bought it- from Sloane’s furniture in Bethesda, MD.

She placed it on the wall in the living room that contained the kitchen on the other side. When you opened the door into her apartment the desk was one of the first pieces you would see. I often saw her sitting there writing checks to pay the bills. I remember her stuffing the envelopes and licking both the envelope closed and the stamp to place on the envelope. This was before the days where we had self adhesive stamps. I can picture this as if it was just yesterday.

I loved that desk. I marveled over it. A small secretary desk that didn’t take up much space but seemed to hold so much.  When my Nana passed away in 1987 I was 23 and living with her at the time. I was dealing with a chronic illness and I was not working.   I was profoundly sad at losing her. She was my best friend. I had never lost anyone I loved before to death. It was on the whole a very hard time in my life.

A couple months after she passed I found out her condo was being sold by the relative that had bought it for Nana to live in years before. I asked my dad to buy it and rent it to me after the relative said they only wanted to sell it.  My dad didn’t want to buy it – and that may have been the biggest blessing for me- bc to live there was living in memories so thick that I was drowning in sorrow. So I had to move. I needed to live my life.

My dad decided to sell and give away some of her furniture. He offered a bedroom set to me knowing i didn’t have one. I had just rented a room in a house from a friend and had just found a job that would actually lead me in an odd route to my career as a software engineer. I didn’t take him up on the old ornate dresser he offered – in hindsight I wish I had. I told him I wanted my nana’s buffet, her gate leg table and her desk.

Well, he knew I didn’t have room for any of that where I was going.  So he took the pieces and placed them in his own home. They would follow him through a couple moves. After the loss of his wife a few years later he moved to an interim apartment while he built a home in Florida. When that move happened I was finally settled in an condo that I owned and the gate leg table and hutch came to me. Dad must have loved that desk too because it mades its way to Florida with him. That was ok, I knew I would have it someday.

Someday came sooner than I thought. My dad became tired of living in a big Floridian house and he decided to downsize into a condo. He asked me if I wanted some furniture and part of that booty was my Nana’s desk. Finally it would become mine.

By this time I was married and living in a a home in Mount Airy, MD. My Nana had been gone almost 15 years. I remember the desk was delivered in a box with its legs detached. It survived a long trip from Florida well.

We unpacked it and placed it upstairs on our open landing. You could see it when you opened the door if you looked up. I could see it from my bed if our door was open as it often was because we had little kids. I would sometimes look at that desk and I would see Nana sitting there on the old chair reading over something- and I would smile.

That desk survived the move to our farm and was placed again right where you could see it when the front door opened. When we moved in the owner of the home had an old grandfather clock in the space where Nana’s desk was going to go.  He asked if I would like to keep the clock. I said “No I already have plans for that space.”  I had placed that desk there in my mind before we even moved in.

We have been here over five years and that desk has sat majestically in that spot- but it was getting a bit worn. I never thought I would take paint to that desk but the desk wasn’t an antique really – but the wood top had finish that was splitting – and it was saying boring to me – it never had before but now it was. I waited a while on painting this piece – but once I tackled my Nana’s side board I knew it was only a matter of time before I painted the desk.

So a couple weeks ago I walked up to the desk with a paintbrush full of white chalk paint. And I looked at the desk and I swiped it with paint. I felt ok. I removed the jade lamp (also from my Nana) and the other odds and ends that sat on the top- we pulled it from the wall and the painting commenced.

I changed my mind on the color and then wanted to add patina. I added too much..the desk and I fought for a while. I was scaring myself that I had really messed this one up and to a piece that I loved. I  panicked a little – but in the end I think the struggles were worth it. I love the end result. And yet again I learned much.

I did not paint the inside yet. I wanted to leave some of the original finish uncovered for now- I didn’t want to cover up all the surfaces that Nana had touched just yet. I might paint the inside gray later and add a chalkboard finish on the desk when its it open.

I plan on this piece following me to my next home and there it will have a prominent spot- maybe even a place where you it can be seen right when you walk in the front door.

Painting Process-

All Paints Maison Blanche

  • Began with white paint on one side and changed my mind
  • Began again with Jolie Blonde – 3 coats.
  • Tried a glaze on the back and nope not good.
  • Used Organza Creme (leaves a metallic sheen kind of) in Pewter and I used too much and hated the effect.
  • Panicked!
  • So I went back over the piece with some of the yellow paint and kept working with it (painting it on and wiping off if needed) until I got the effect I wanted.
  • I painted the drawer hurricane grey and I added a stencil in the Organza Pewter
  • I distressed desk and drawer as needed
  • Used three coats of light brown wax (2 coats on legs) and when dry I buffed with a #0000 steel wool.
  • I “antiqued” the hardware by painting over it and then painting with a glaze in coal tar color.

Here is the gallery- :

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Tea cart anew 

My latest furniture painting victim is a tea cart I got from my sister-in-law Leslie. It was in her family I think for a good while. She didn’t have room for it anymore and asked if we wanted it. I am not sure she knew we would transform this piece and maybe that is better…often we get used to seeing a piece of furniture in one way and it might seem horrifying to think of it being painted over and transformed anew. I did send her photos as the transformation was underway and she was sent back her thumbs up.

This was one of those projects that took a while. I began last fall in the garage/studio. But the weather turned cold and I didn’t want to work out there – plus paint dries slowly in cold as I learned on a couple short attempts to work on the cart on cold days. I was able to get it nearly complete out there thanks to some indian summer days.

The project got tabled (no pun intended) for a while over the holidays and early into the year. The top of the cart was ready for its last coat of paint so I got inspired and asked my husband to bring it inside so I could work in the warmth of the house. Originally, I wasn’t going to paint inside the house but one day in January I looked at an old piece of furniture and I realized I needed to paint it bc I really didn’t like looking at it anymore (see my post on that project here) and I brought paints in from the garage and painted the small chest into a new piece that I now liked again.

So the painting studio had moved inside. Chalk paint has no odor so nobody was being bothered by the smells- but the clutter – well – thats another thing entirely. I certainly am not the biggest messer-upper in this home so I will not listen to any complaints about my paints and supplies covering our dining room table!  And the TV is not blocked in any way so all is ok in Sweeneyland.

For the tea cart I had an inspiration piece that I found online.  I wanted to just have at it with no cheating(surfing the net for ideas) but I had no idea what I could do with a tea cart. I also thought there might be some way to deconstruct it and make it into something else – but as soon as I saw this picture below I decided I wanted to do something like this.


Inspiration Piece- loved the red wheels!

I used Maison Blanche Paints and for this project I used their Maison White – which is whiter than the paint in this picture – in hindsight I might have used their Vanilla color but I like my results. I also used a grey color called Hurricane as the base coat on the top. I crackled the top using their Crackle Extreme product. The top coat is the Maison White which cracked well and exposed the Hurricane color underneath.

Here is the cart as I received it- it wasn’t in bad shape at all – it was well cared for- it was just a bit boring:

The Process was as follows:

  • Took apart the piece as much as I could and  wiped it down to get all the dust off.
  • NO Sanding needed with this chalk paint and so far that has rung true.
  • I began with the bottom part and painted it with three coats of Maison White.
  • I distressed it using a medium grit sanding block. Mine dried for at least a week bc I was taking my time- but it can be distressed within a couple hours of drying  even sooner probably.


  • I added a stencil and after it dried I distressed some more.
  • I then varnished it with two coats of Maison Blanche Varnish. I didn’t feel like waxing this piece and I like the varnish finish.
  • I took the top and painted it with a couple coats of the white on the underside of the top.
  • Then when dry I painted the top with the Hurricane color and let that dry. I applied  a crackle medium (Crackle Extreme by Maison Blanche) and that sat for a month or more waiting for me to finish it with a top coat of Maison White.
  • I added the top stencil after the white paint dried and I sanded a bit as there were a couple areas that felt lumpy- probably from the crackle medium where it was put on a little to think by yours truly.
  • img_3019
  • I finished the top with three coats of varnish.
  • I spray painted the carts big looking wagon wheels with blue Rustoleum Paint. I had two very nice days in the last few weeks that allowed for me to spray paint in the garage.
  • img_2871

Wagon wheels before paint

  • The small wheels and drawer pull I painted with a hammered metal finish spray paint also by Rustoleum.
  • I put everything back together and Voila…a new trendier tea cart.
  • Here it is completed(click on the photos for a larger picture):


Every time I tackle a new painting project I learn something. This time I learned that you can take your sweet time doing something and not stress about it. I really enjoyed the process. The other thing I learned is that if you make a mistake- I make some each time I work on furniture piece – that you can undo most of them. Paint is more forgiving than I thought. AND if I end up hating the entire thing I can always start over!

I showed my sister-in-law the finished tea cart and she loved it. I asked her if she would like it back – but she didn’t have room for it. I am glad bc I sort of become attached to these pieces as I work on them. This will not bode well if I keep accumulating furniture as we have a small home and not much room! I have no idea as yet where I might put this cart.

And if I ever want to sell anything I paint I will need to release my feelings for them and let it go out into the world. I have had to do this with photography as I have sold a few of my photos lately and at first it was a little hard to see them go but now I am glad someone somewhere has an “Anne Sweeney” on their wall.

I have always longed to be creative because it was what my heart told me to do. I fell in love with photography early in my 20’s. After I got that bug I never looked at the world the same. Every field became a scene for a photo- I looked at the light in a new way.  I began was writing as a kid and I journaled my way through high school. My favorite part of my job way back when I was a programmer/software engineer was creating the processes which drove the program.

For me art is a form of therapy – its a way to pour my feelings into something- I get something back from it as well. And I when I share my creativity it may inspire or effect another person.  I have been wondering why I have such a hold on some of my art.  I write (and that is a form of art) and I send that out into the world freely and I share my photos all over the internet where anyone could claim them I suppose. So why did I feel such a hold when it came to selling them in a frame- the original is not really anywhere except as bits and bytes on a computer why was it so hard to put them in a frame with a price tag? And now furniture? Why I am feeling so attached?

I need to ponder on this a bit more because I think the answer is important for me to know.

In the meantime I will keep doing what I do bc it brings me joy.

…… ‎”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield



The next furniture victim

I didn’t get good before and during photos for this project but this was another Asian piece we had. It’s not a great quality piece but I use it for storage. I fought with this from the start. I tried black semi-gloss on the body and green chalk paint on the drawers and I hated it. So I finally ended with chalk paint all over and I distressed it to reveal the black paint and I didn’t distress the drawers. I accidently Used a coat of crackle paint on top as I mistook the jar for varnish. I’ll read better next time. I sanded that coat lightly and covered it w two coats of varnish – you can see a little crackle up close but barely. I added new knobs and I like it the after much better than the before! 

–You can see the cans of paint on top of the piece in the after pics. I’m onto painting the walls – they are in need of freshening!   

The Creative War 

I have always been at war with myself. Maybe it is because I am born on a cusp between Sagittarius – the more creative sign- and Capricorn the more practical sign. But I always have felt there is this inner creative who wants to come out. She wants to wear bell bottoms and grow her hair long and keep it in a braid and maybe get a few more tattoos. She wants to have a studio where she makes cool art. The practical side of me had tried to squelch creative Anne. Miss P wants to do the more left brained things like have a proper job and be all serious. The right brained me has been writing since I was a young. I wrote poems and also I wrote for my high school newspaper. I didn’t always get published but I tried.  I never thought I would ever be a real writer it just wasn’t practical. How would I pay the bills?  That Miss P- she can be a downer.

In my mid- twenties I fell in love with photography. I got my first camera in New York City. I began taking picture of New England. I lived in Boston at the time- I worked in a practical job at a mutual fund company. But the photo bug hit me hard and when I moved back down to Maryland I began taking courses. I even took a class taught by National Geographic photographers.  This was all before digital photography came about and I wasn’t great in the darkroom and my focusing left a bit to be desired but I persisted. I even got paid for a couple small jobs for friends.

Creativity took a back seat to kids. I still felt that inner artist within and I loved to decorate the house and paint the kids rooms. I kept taking pictures but mostly of my kids and of their growing up- and really what better art is there when you are taking pictures of those you love?

I once wrote a piece for The Washington Post- just for the Health section it was a personal piece but it got published- that felt great! I still want for something more in my creative life. I love blogging and  Love taking photos. I have entered photos in fairs and won a few ribbons. But I feel like there can be more- that creative person in there is the real me. I still feel she is afraid to come out and really try. Miss P likes creative Anne to play it safe.

I think as I have gotten older the inner artist has cried a little louder. I am not sure where this will go. I have some ideas. Will they stick? I am not sure. I have been enjoying my newest creative hobby..painting furniture. I am learning a lot. I have a number of projects completed. I have a studio and I feel very calmed when I am painting pieces. It was born out of nessecity – but it touched the artist within. I never thought I would be much good at painting anything but walls- and I am very messy at that!  And maybe I am not that good at it but I am enjoying it. I think the more I try the more I tap in to the creative Anne. She wants to write, and take pictures and she wants to paint furniture and maybe fuse glass..maybe more. I want to listen to her more. I want Ms. Practical to shut up for a bit – there is a time for her but maybe it is ok for creative Anne to live out front for a while. Maybe I wont get to grow the long braid or wear bell bottoms but I sure as heck can give this inner call a listen and see where she wants to go…thanks for reading.

Here are a couple of my projects- I have many more waiting for me!


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A place of my own. And painting Nana’s hutch

I can’t wait to write these words. I’ve been hoping to announce this well before now but I had to wait for it to happen but now I can tell you- I Have my own studio!! Ok it’s only my garage but it’s a place for me to do my thing -whatever it may be. It’s my creative place.

It took a very long time to get a studio. Partly because I never considered using the garage for my creative space until I began to paint furniture. Also the garage was a sty. There is no nice way to put it. It was a huge mess. I couldn’t walk across the length of it to get to the extra refrigerator so I would send a teen in for me hoping they came back in one piece.  We had made many attempts in the past to move crap around and to reorganize it but it would end up collecting more and more stuff.

But last week after I had mentioned twice that I might like that space to house my newest creative endeavor of painting furniture the ball got rolling. I heard the garage open. The teens were summoned to commence removal of crap. There were two trips to the dump with our trailer filled with stuff. Kevin only asked me once or twice what id like to keep -there wasn’t much I really wanted and I’m sure he thought I might slow down the process with my considering what to keep and what to toss if he kept asking. Some things went to the dump , some to the shed in our paddock, and some down to the basement storage -another scary black hole that we need to sort through this winter. I bit my tongue when I realized some items made there way back indoors – I didn’t even ask what they were. I realized I best shut my mouth because what was happening in the garage was a miracle in the making  I know when to just let things go-sometimes!

After two days (yes two) the garage was empty. Then I heard hammering and sawing. I peaked in and legs were being made  for my salvaged countertop so I would have a work area. Yay! I thought to myself as I went down to feed the chickens and horses. Yay!

When I came back up from the barn my space was ready. My project that I was already working on was moved in. The space was mine. I have two work tables and storage shelves. I have a fan for the hot days and am planning on some type of heater for the cold weather. I figure there will be some indoor work still in the deep of winter as paint might not dry well in the cold. But I plan on spending some time out there.

Painting isn’t the only thing I hope to be doing in the studio.  I am still hoping to do some glass fusing as soon as I can buy a kiln. I may use the space to matte my photos. Who knows what else might inspire me. I probably won’t write in there but if I can figure out a way to set up a decent writing space I just might. It’s peaceful out there. Nobody (except Rudy who will have a dog bed in a primo spot) really wants to hang and bug me in the garage. It’s the only space that’s truly mine in the entire house. So I’m going to claim it. Maybe Rudy will pee on it and mark our territory- ok we won’t go that far but personal space is hard to find in my home. It’s that cherished.

I already have a plan to put my photos up on the walls. I gave it a shot the other day but an hour after I got all the pictures up on the wall they all fell down -I used painters tape to put them up. Not too bright. Good idea bad execution. So I’ll start again and either use my giant push pin and string idea that I used in my husbands office or I’ll think up something else. But I’ll put my stamp on it no doubt.

It didn’t take me long to get working in my new workspace. I had decided to take my Nana’s hutch (I guess it’s a small sideboard but we’ve always called it a hutch)- that was ever so old and ever so beat up- and paint it. I’ve been trying to get things brightened up in my house. The hutch sits against the wall under a window and is partially blocked by our pub height dining table. It was looking ragged and I had considered getting rid of it. There isn’t much of a market for antiques like this and frankly I’m attached to the thing. It’s one of a few pieces I got from my dad when he moved 20 years ago to Florida. The hutch was in my Nana’s dining area in her walk up apartment for as long as I could remember. I took China out of it for her to set her table. I put the clean dishes back in. I just can’t part with it. I could have had it refinished but I felt like it was calling out for paint. So I had my sander -Ozzy -give it a once over to get it ready. I wanted to leave the character (dents and scratches ) in it      I like patina.

I was going to use chalk paint for the first time. I was going into this process rather blindly but I had some quick instructions from my friends who owns a local consignment and new furniture/home decor store in my town. I also had the Internet. I used Maison Blanche chalk paint and their clear wax. The understanding of how wax on chalk paint works became clearer as I worked on the piece. I really enjoyed the process. The end result isn’t perfect but I love the aged look it still has. The paint did some crackling naturally and I distressed the piece some as well. I think I would have distressed it more had I understood the whole process ahead of time but it’s fine like it is and I’m told that I can go back and distress it again and add some wax to it and buff it out again. The beauty with wax is in the buffing I discovered. I used steel wool to buff (#0000). I wiped it also with a cloth. For me the wool brought up the shine faster and was easier on my bad shoulder than just using a rag. Once buffed the piece has a shine and smoothness that I couldn’t imagine before I began buffing. I wasn’t a fan of chalk paint until I finished the buffing – then the aha moment happened and a fan was born.

I didn’t paint the inside except for the inside of the doors which are I’ve 1.5 inches thick. Who makes stuff like that anymore? I painted the inside door white and stenciled 2015 on them and signed my name. The year of the rebirth of the piece. I had had visions of painting the inside entirely. I thought some fun color and then some pretty contact paper for the shelves would really be awesome But I bailed on the idea when I realized that the smell that reminds me of my nana when I open those doors might be gone if i changed the inside too much.   I swear it still smells of her apartment from 1987. It just takes me back. It’s a comfort.  Even at 51 I miss her.

The hutch now sits back inside my dining area -it looks so great. Like new but with the history that I know.

I’ve become so into reusing, updating and repurposing things. I already have two old pieces of furniture from our house in my workspace that hope to paint and maybe sell. But up next is my dining room table top and the wall cabinet and shelves (probably a real hutch ). I’m on a quest to bring in more light.

The wheels are turning in my brain at the prospect of all that I can create In my studio. It’s just a space in the garage and I’m told I may have to share it with a car if we are to get a large snow storm (we’ll see about that) but it’s so much more to me. It’s solace, it’s inspiring and it’s mine.

Thanks for reading.

These photos all fell down! I used blue paint tape. I will put up again with a better execution.

My studio! Some new projects waiting fpr rebirth. Last week you could not see into the garage!

My next project. Dining table top.

Hutch before. The detail was not easy to paint- great for the first time using chalk paint! – Not

My sander – Ozzy

In progress inside the house (my studio wasn’t complete yet)

Crackle just happened- I like it.

I painted the inner doors white.

All finished in the studio…the hutch looks greener here than it is.   


 Inside the house

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 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










New hobby by desperation – Part One

I am not a patient person. Anyone who reads my blogs might recall my ongoing battle with patience. So I wasn’t sure how I’d do taking on my new hobby-furniture painting.

I watch a lot of HGTV.  A lot. I have decided that in my next house I’m either having Joanna Gaines from “Fixer Upper” decorate my entire home or Candice Olsen. I think my style is more JoJo than Candice though. The budget – well it’s more do it yourself at this point!

I’ve tried hard not to look at the tired furniture in my house. I’ve tried to cover it with knock knacks and dust. I keep the lighting low but it’s no use my furniture looks like crap.  Being that we have no money to buy new stuff (I’m saving for a new mattress-Ours matteress is crappy too) I decided I needed to do a little fixing up of what we had.  Ok also hubby and I decided that we didn’t want to get new stuff until teens had left the premises bc teens, as it turns out, are harder on furniture than little kids -maybe bc they weigh more- I don’t know but they are tough-or we have elves that are wrecking my house. Case in point: recently my son told me he broke his box spring. Ok – I asked-how did that happen. He doesn’t know. An elf named I dunno- see? Well have fun sleeping on the broken bed I hope the thing doesn’t mysteriously blow up.  I have peeling “leather” chairs and scratched coffee tables – ok the dogs may have done a bit of scratching -but you get the point. I think I’ll just live with the crappy stuff now and when the kids are gone maybe we will get some new good crap.

I realized that if I wanted some of the crappy furniture to look better I needed to fix it myself.  I decided to take me inspiration from Lara Spencer from HGTVs “I Brake for Yard Sales” and “Flea Market Flip”. Those shows show some great salvaging and repurposing of crap. (I told you I watch a lot of HGTV). I could do this. I could make our crap look less crappy.  I loved the looks she came up with on her show and man she can make crappy happy!

I decided to start with our bedroom furniture. I figured if I messed it up entirely it would be in our room so only Kevin and I would see it regularly. Plus that set had been with us about 17 years and it was looking very worn.

My planning phase began months ago. In that I began to think about painting the set. I didn’t actually do anything to prepare for the project. My thinking phase lasted a long time this time. I’m usually much more impulsive. I figured the delay was perhaps because I felt guilty about painting nice wood furniture. I really did -even though it looked bad. I pulled the trigger after I saw a friends guest room and they had taken some old furniture and painted it and the room had such a cute beachy vibe. I left their house and decided it was game on.

I’m not new to painting furniture really. I’ve painted stuff before all very poorly – no quality control-and most of it was for outside. It still is outside and a couple pieces look ok. But painting a bedroom set was a bigger deal. I wanted to make sure that I did it correctly and it would look nice. So I consulted the internet. The world of answers to all things. What the heck did I ever do without the internet? I suppose in this case I would have asked someone I knew who had done this sort of thing before. But the internet- it gave me infinite options to painting my furniture. I could watch it on Youtube, pin pages on my Pinterest, I could have glazed furniture, distressed, shabby chic…I got a bit confused! I decided for this project to go straight paint- no frills. I bought the supplies put them in the garage and went to the beach for a week. No sense in rushing it. So unlike me.

A week after my return to the beach the weather was so nice I decided to paint some furniture. I attacked the dresser emptying first. Maybe the best thing that will come of this is that I will get rid of stuff since I have to empty out all my drawers and clear the tops. That is a task in itself – I am surprised I didn’t quit for the day(weekend) after I did the emptying because it took a lot of moving around and sorting through and I had to store it in something(s). I am definitely not ready for a tiny house – (another HGTV reference).

In fact, I am so enamored with a show on HGTV right now that I will have to continue this another time…

TBC – Thanks for reading….

My dresser before. In my defense we had just returned home from the beach and I was still disorganized. I am hoping this will look much better in the After picture!

 My son was my sander and he did a great job prepping my stuff. I highly recommend and assistant if you can get one. This help earned him an Ipod shuffle. He took his old one in the ocean with him- it did not survive.