The tale of an enlightening DIY project

The tale of an enlightening DIY project

The tale of an enlightening DIY project


One of my favorite furniture acquisitions is also one that nearly gave me a fit a few years ago. My husband’s mother’s husband’s daughter’s husband’s mother (I’m not even following. Let’s just say my brother-in-law’s mom) was down-sizing from her beautiful family home into something smaller. My daughters and I went over to “help” with the clean out. No shocker that we ended up taking home several beautiful pieces of heirloom furniture.

Fast forward a few years and these wonderful pieces that were in storage were pulled out for use. There was one particular buffet that I loved. Here it is in all of its perfectly imperfect glory:



It was in seemingly beautiful condition, with a cool striated (aka striped) painted finish, BUTand this is a big butI thought I saw mold. Look closely at the picture (bottom middle of the doors), and you can see for yourself.

I wasted no time at all to remedy the situation. I immediately took to scrubbing the piece with vinegar water, followed by painting it with primer. And this is the part where the story gets…. Interesting.

Somehow, some way, I realized the ‘green mold’ wasn’t mold at all. It was beautiful green paint. Errrr, at least it used to be.

I could have cried. I may have cried. Who am I kidding, I totally cried.

But tears weren’t going to fix this amazing piece of furniture. That’s when I set my sights on a new goal: Undoing what I had just done. This piece is one-of-a-kind, and that’s what I wanted to recreate—its true, beautiful former self.

It took nearly an entire summer of painting, repainting, dry brush painting and more painting (Oh, and crying. Some crying, too.) before I was satisfied with the result. I only changed a few minor structural things: The feet, and the knobs.






Then one night, my husband came home, and I told him it was finally done. He took a look, and said, “I’m sorry to tell ya hone, but it looks exactly like it did when you started.”

I could have cried. Again. But this time, the tears were happy ones.

The lessons I learned, and the lessons I feel obliged to pass on to like-minded lovers of design are simple:

  1. Tell everyone you know that you are a furniture/décor scavenger. Trust me, they will remember you when they want to clean out.
  2. Do NOT start priming over what might be a perfect finish. Take time to evaluate a piece before you make any quick decisions.
  3. Once you decide that a piece needs work, practice color and technique on a scrap piece of wood. It saves stripping unnecessary layers.
  4. Lastly, love the one you’re with. Furniture, that is.



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  • Marla says:

    Great words of rehab wisdom from alittlekooky women! Your ideas are so inspiring an make me wanna get on to a project sooner than later!! This is such a gratifying way to decorate our homes, an then there’s always a story to tell!! Keep the ideas coming please!!!! Love them! Marla

  • Nancy says:

    That was so good! Sue, you have the patience of a saint! It turned out beautiful and looks so nice in your foyer..
    Love seeing these posts! Keep em coming!

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Morgan Hanson

360-degrees of DIY-bliss. Read about my kooky ideas, creations, kids and general chaotically beautiful life. Get inspired. Learn from my mistakes. Steal my ideas. Be merry :)
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