This week I did something I’ve been too scared to try for decades.
I PAINTED a piece of furniture!
Please take a moment to appreciate how monumental this is for the girl who only just bought her first house at the age of 40. A lifelong renter, I’ve never felt roots deep enough to take risks on the places I’ve lived.
But we’re moving into our new house in a week.
And while that means I should probably start packing, it also means I’ve suddenly been struck by the desire to channel my inner Nester.
I’m not sure why the idea of painting a wall or a piece of furniture seems so intimidating to me. But it just does. I have a long history of home insecurity. (Please tell me in the comments below if you can relate.)
But we have this old dresser that my husband got in the fifth grade. It’s very pine and very dated now and very bumped and bruised. And I’ve thought about getting rid of it during this move.
I mean, look at how sad the poor thing is. (And yes, it doesn’t help that it’s become a catch all for ALL THE JUNK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD while we wait to move).
But knowing Nester over the years has taught me not to be afraid of my house. It’s taught me that my furniture is not the boss of me.
And that when it comes to taking risks, painting something that’s old and a bit beat up and that you really don’t like anyway, is hardly a risk at all.
SO I DID IT.
I painted the thing!
And you guys, CAN YOU EVEN??? (It’s ridiculous how proud I am of myself).
I got so excited at what I had pulled off that I shared it with all my friends and they said I should share it with you guys too. So while I will never claim to be any kind of design or home blogger, I figured, maybe there are other furniture painting newbies out there who might appreciate the encouragement.
Because if I can do it, believe me ANYONE can do it too!
I started with this old blog post of Nester’s. She made painting her pine bureau sound so simple. I figured I’d just basically copy exactly what she did. (Yes, I am totally a Nester stalker. Ain’t no shame).
So I went to Home Depot. Alone. You should know this is a big deal for me. I find Home Depot totally intimidating. I may even have written about it in my book. Anyway, I walked in with a screen shot of Nester’s paint and the exact paint formula she used and LIKE MAGIC they easily whipped it up for me. (You’re welcome to do the same with my photo below. Newbies gotta stick together. And no, Behr Paint has no idea I’m about to brag on them like crazy).
I was nervous at first because it looked more green than blue. And I really wanted more of a eggshell blue.
But Nester said it might seem that way at first, but to be patient and wait until you’d painted the whole piece.
Side note: I did not need a whole gallon. But what can I say, I’m a newbie. I’m learning as I go.
So while at Home Depot I also (bravely) bought the cheapest 4 inch paint roller they had. I found a combo paint roller/paint pan (I have no idea what the technical names are) and snagged that.
I also bought the cheapest paintbrush and then also ended up using one of Zoe’s brushes when I needed something smaller.
Finally I got the second cheapest drop cloth (because I really, really wanted to be sure I didn’t stain the floor in this rental that we are moving out of in a week).
And an 87 cent Phillips Head screwdriver, since apparently Pete already moved all our tools to the new house.
I also picked out some pretty new hardware for the drawers – make sure you measure your old ones to get the right length.
And then it was time to crank up the music.
I barely sanded. It’s such an old piece of furniture that it didn’t have any real shine left to it. I only hit the spots where my kids had drawn on it, or left trails of dried modeling clay.
Pete unscrewed all the old hardware – it was easy.
We saved all the old screws and this was key because as it turns out the screws in the new hardware sets were all either too long or too short. So I just ended up re-using the original screws and it was perfect. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s such a dated piece?
I didn’t even move it – I just slipped the drop cloth under it in our dining room.
I put coasters under each leg to help absorb the worst drips before they hit the cloth – totally stole this idea from Nester. (Again, renter’s paranoia – can anyone relate?)
And then I just went to work – rolling paint across the top, sides and then painting the front with a paintbrush. It was ridiculous how much fun it was.
The best part is that this is a primer and paint in ONE. So no extra priming steps necessary.
While painting I listened to this album. On repeat.
I wasn’t paranoid about perfection.
I was focused on the fun.
The fun of making something old new again.
It took a few hours because I wasn’t in a rush and I was enjoying the process.
I wasn’t sure if it needed a second coat or not. So I texted Nester. Her response made me laugh out loud because of course THERE ARE NO PAINT POLICE.
“Paint it till you like it.”
Isn’t that just the best advice?
Sand it till you like it. Pick the color till you like it. Paint it till you like it. Move it till you like it.
Yes! Our homes should be safe places. Why do we allow them to boss us around? No ma’am. Make like Nester and just move it, paint it, redecorate it till you like it.
So I did. Two coats. And gorgeous new hardware that didn’t cost anything more than $3.98 each.
And I like it very, very much.
It’s so pretty I keep walking over to pet it and admire it from different angles in the room.
Let’s take another look at that before and after, eh?
Big fat happy, happy sigh.
You know it was a hit when my husband called while I’d stepped out because he was so impressed and had to tell me how much he loved it.
Yup, ultimate compliment.
My only regret is that I didn’t try this a decade ago.
It was easy-peasy as my kids would say. I was worried that reattaching the handles would be hard. It was not. My 87 cent screwdriver did the trick in mere seconds.
For real. Don’t let your house be the boss of you.
Go ahead this weekend – and try that thing you’ve been wanting to do for years.
You might surprise yourself – I know I did.
I’ve been inspired by “The Nester” for years.
Her blog over here is one of the best spots for FREE advice for your home. And she constantly reminds me that, “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” And really, her blog pretty much covers everything you could ever want to know about home decor that’s easy and inexpensive.
But if you want to dig deeper – you can check out her online course – Cozy Minimalist. It’s not just about painting furniture, it’s about how to create the home you’ve always wanted. But it’s for those of us who have no idea where to start.
Nope, this is not a sponsored post. I just adore Nester and am so grateful for all she’s taught me over the years.
Yup, I’m totally a Cozy Minimalist affiliate. Because obviously I need all the help I can get.