Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Paint Your Wagon"

Well, of course I don't really have a Wagon to paint, but I do have a thrift shop chest of drawers and a garage sale headboard in desperate need of painting.  The chest is hot pink with brushed gold metal knobs (seriously!  Garish is the word you're trying to think of!)  The headboard is a pale baby blue, with only a carved design of some flowers that is barely visible.  Both of the pieces are wood, not the same wood though.

For a couple of years, before I stopped watching TV altogether about 3 or 4 years ago, I discovered HGTV and a couple of other channels that had a lot of home improvement shows.  I really enjoyed some of the programs and loved to see a home transformed by a designer and a team of home owners.  Some of the designs were peculiar, and some of the finished projects were not very successful.  Nonetheless, it was fun to watch what a designer could come up with for very little money.  Now I realize that film can be edited so that the disasters never make it on air, but still, some of the techniques didn't look like they would be too difficult to do.

Because I am married to a locomotive .....uhhh, I mean ....a World Class snorer, the Big Guy and I have separate bedrooms.  So he gets the Master Bedroom (MB)with the  big walk-in closets, and the bathroom with the jacuzzi tub, and I get one of the other bedrooms.  Of course, my bedroom is a LOT smaller, has a closet that's about 1/3 the size of the MB closets, and has NO private bathroom....but it's mine!

One offshoot of not being in the MB, is that I don't have the pretty bedroom set with an armoire and a big dresser with a three way mirror, plus a rocking chair and a couple of nightstands with lamps.  In my little room, are a twin bed, some extraneous bookcases, my desk, and some small wicker furniture from World Market.  There isn't anything wrong with it, its just small and doesn't hold much.

I decided I needed a grown-up chest of drawers that could hold more than 3 items per drawer!  We went bargain hunting and found just what I wanted, the above-mentioned hot pink number.  I probably paid more for it than I should have, but I liked it.  Other than the color, it was a nice piece.  Not too long after that I was at a garage sale and saw the blue headboard.  I really needed a headboard to lean against so that I could read at night without killing my neck.  The headboard was only $10. 

So after watching all those do-it-yourself-ers, I figured I could rehab both pieces in a sort of shabby chic look.  I found a paint color (sort of a creamy off-white) and would then distress both pieces.  I found new pewter drawer pulls and a nice liner for the drawers.  Under the guidance of the Big Guy, I bought paint brushes, sand paper, and other such tools to do the job right.

I was all gung ho and wanted to get started on my bedroom up-do!  I stripped and sanded the top of the chest, and found a lovely wood underneath that I decided to stain rather than paint.  So back to Lowe's, compared stain colors, choose just what I wanted, and got some polyurethane to seal the top against future damage.  I sanded the rest of the chest and got much of the pink paint off and prepared the surfaces.   I was ready to paint!

The only place we have to do that kind of work is in the garage.  May I remind you, we live in Austin, TX.  It was summertime.  It was HOT!  No air conditioning in said garage  Before I could get onto the painting, the Big Guy informed me that it was too hot to paint.  Evidently the paint would dry too quickly and wouldn't "cure" properly.  O.K.  I could understand that.  Temps over 90 would never do!  Sooo, I agreed that I should wait until fall, when it was cooler.  I'd lived with my tiny wicker stuff for a while, I could wait a bit longer.

Early fall came around, the temps dropped, but it was so nice, I ended up doing other outdoor things for a while.  When I was once again ready to begin the painting.  It was November and the temps were in the upper 50s.  Perfect, right??The Big Guy said "NO!  You can't paint now, it's too cold!"  WHAT?  What do you mean it's too cold?  You told me I couldn't paint when it was hot, and now it's too cold???  When CAN I paint? 

It turns out that you can paint only when the temps are being 70 and 80 (or something like that).  So the two pieces continued to sit in the garage over the winter.  Stuff started ending up on top of the chest and other stuff ended up in front of the headboard, by the time spring rolled around and there was a chance of the right temps, I had lost my enthusiasm and I didn't feel like finding somewhere to put the stuff that was blocking the pieces.

Soooo, there they sit.  It's been a couple of years now.  I still have the little wicker furniture with not much room.  More stuff has been accumulated on top and around the them.  (I would like to explain that 98% of the stuff  that's in the way belongs to you-know-who!)  I suppose I'll get to it one of these days.  Some day when it's 72 degrees, the stuff finds a new home, and I remember the technique I wanted to use, and I'm not too old to lift a paintbrush!!

Vern Yip, where are you??  "Paint Your Wagon"???     Evidently not at my house! 



  1. Could you put down some major drop cloths and do it inside? Sounds like some cool pieces!

  2. I know just what you're talking about. I get all fired up over a project, but if I have one set back (i.e., the temp. isn't quite right), my enthusiasm is gone, and the project waits. Sounds like it will be great when you do get it done. (Love your sense of humor!) laurie

  3. I think we all have projects like this. My favorite one was a sweater I decided to knit when I was in college. A lovely autumn gold mohair thing. I got down to having one sleeve left to do and I began to hate the sweater AND knitting. So, when I moved out of my parents house, I left the sweater there along with the ball of yarn and a couple of needles. My mom got so tired of seeing it around, that one Christmas she wrapped it up and gave it to me as a gift!


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