When asked what my hobbies are, I typically list (in no particular order): blogging, anything outdoorsy, and refurbishing furniture. Though recently, it’s been more like: binge watching Netflix, binge watching YouTube, and occasional video gaming- not as exciting.
There was a time in my life when I went camping almost every weekend. I was going on hikes every so often and would go kayaking with friends when they were available. I miss those days, but now I spend time outdoors playing with my doggos, doing yard work, and lounging by the river, so I guess it could still be considered a hobby of mine; just with a different meaning…
I would also spend time painting furniture. Granted, there were only so many pieces of furniture that were mine, but every piece in my collection was painted. I enjoyed the process: figuring out a color, sanding, priming, painting, adding character with a distressed look or replacing the hardware. Watching an item of furniture transform from an ordinary looking, run-of-the-mill, mass produced piece of meh into a custom statement piece was exhilarating.
The first piece I took a paintbrush to was my childhood dresser. It was an average looking 4-drawer wooden dresser with brass pulls. Nothing about it was original. I had the thought to add some character to it, so I dragged it out to the dinning room where I had my first taste of refurbishing. I liked it so much that I went out and found a nightstand I could paint to match it. When I moved out of my parents’, both pieces came with me to my first apartment.
Then I moved in with my aunt. Our living arrangement was that she lived in the upstairs and I, in the self-contained basement. I had a full kitchen, living room, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, and my own laundry room, but because of my previous living situation, I needed things like a dinning set, as well as living room furniture.
T’was a good thing I was working at a home decorating store! My store had a storage unit that they had to clear out. Most of the pieces were so badly damaged, they wound up in the dumpster, including a French Provincial style dinning table. It had deep gouges across the table top, and the leaf had a bit of water damage, but it didn’t matter to me. I ended up dumpster diving for the legs and hardware and spent a total of $12 on an originally $600 table. Score!
I sanded it down, filled in the scratches with some wood filler, and painted it a pale mint green color to match a piece of artwork I had. I paired the table with a set of 19th century chairs that my aunt bought for a steal at an auction, and vuala! An up-cycled dinning set fit for a frugal broke college student.
My most recent flip was an old desk that I turned into a dressing table. Since the piece was small enough, I worked on it in a small bedroom in the townhouse Fella and I were in a few months back, but painting in a carpeted room (especially in a rental) will give anyone heart palpitations.
So as of late, I haven’t had the space to continue this hobby, and with 2 pups, having a work space is essential. Then we bought a house…
I now have a 2 car garage that, until it starts getting frosty outside, I can now use as my work space. Yay me! It seems like every night since we’ve moved in, I come home from work, change, and head out to the garage. I’ve started on some projects that have been on the top of my To Do list for quite some time, and now, one of them has been completed.
When Fella and I first moved in together and my stuff and his stuff became our stuff, there were a couple of pieces that I rated as ‘tolerable’ because of the condition they were in; his desk being numero uno. It had ‘great bones’ as some would say; the shape of it gave off a very executive feel with its sharp edges and wide stance, but what made it not so regal was the condition it was in.
Now I will take some blame. Pumpernickle (my mischievous little bunny man), before he passed, loved to chew anything he could get his little teeth on including the base of the desk resulting in exposed natural wood. Bad bunny! But the biggest eye sore was the area on the top where the stain had been rubbed away, leaving a very unattractive spot. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on this beast and show how much of a masterpiece he really is.
So without further adieu:
The chair and wall color are temporary, but isn’t he a bute!? I stained the top and the drawer faces, painted the base a charcoal grey, and swapped out the drawer pulls. I’m so happy with how it turned out, and Fella loves it! He’s put it to good use already (as you can see by the piles of papers all around).
Next redo will be a matching bookcase for this piece, but I needed a break from furniture (so much sanding!), so I painted the front door and just finished painting a second coat of primer in the kitchen.
Some may think that I’ve gone a bit homeowner happy with all my projects, but I don’t care! I love making my house into my home.