Ugg…Frustration…Redoing It Until It Is Right…Not Settling

Frustration makes us grow and learn and if we’re never frustrated we don’t struggle to move our art forward. At least this is what I told myself this last week. I have a lot of experience in furniture upcycling and painting with knowledge of color being a particular strength. I can almost always predict the final outcome of a particular combination of colors and techniques and I can see the final product in “my mind’s eye”. However, this week I dropped the ball…I screwed up…I miscalculated…I wanted to throw this project out the darn window!

A few months ago we were on one of our thrifting trips and found this little beauty.

Although it is flawed, it had a lot going for it. First of all, it is solid as a rock. I also like the size as it would take up a small footprint in a decorating scheme. Finally, I liked the multi-functionality of the piece as it could act as a plant stand, a small bedside table, or a small stand to hold special pieces. As a result, we bought it to upcycle so we could move it into our shop and sell it. It is a relatively small piece that I could easily finish in an hour or so….well that was the plan anyway.

One of my friends gave me a small jar of grey chalk paint to try and I thought I would use that paint and some black to give the piece a modern aesthetic. I would further add interest by distressing the piece. Here are the results:

Cathy and I never lie to each other so she walked in to see it and said, “huh”, not “oh that is nice” or “I don’t like it” just “huh”. Of course I knew what she thought of it because she was just confirming my thoughts. She didn’t like it and neither did I . Honestly, neither of us liked the grey color as it was too cold and we thought the chalk paint lacked the character that we look for. Now we could have put this in our shop and someone would have bought it but we made the agreement that we would never sell anything that we wouldn’t put in our house. That is our standard and if we lose time or money, so be it. So, as frustrating as it was I decided to redo it.

I did a quick search on the Internet and found some other pieces that I liked that were painted with a white and gold combination and I thought I would try that.

I didn’t like this one either. The contrast between the white and the gold was too great and made the relatively unimportant details too prominent. There was too much contrast and it just didn’t work. UUUUGGGGHHHHH…..

I was mad and I decided to just put it back in the storage area awaiting the right kind of inspiration. I was defeated…beaten down by this little stand. Well, I just can’t let well enough alone and lost sleep thinking about this piece. The next morning I got up at 5 am and before I left for work, I knew what I was going to do. A reddish brown treatment with the details picked out in a toned gold would probably be lovely. I mixed the color and painted. After two fails I didn’t trust my own judgment so I awaited Cathy’s opinion. She walked in and said, “I love it and it would look great in our dining room. Score. Finally I can move this little piece to our shop and quit thinking about it. Thank God!

I have painted and upcycled over 100 pieces in the last year or so and this is the only piece that I have had to redo. I guess that is a pretty good record but still, what is the lesson here? The lesson is that even the most experienced artist will occasionally strike out and don’t be afraid to redo a piece to get what you like. It really is worth the final product. Thanks for listening to my rant!
Until next time,


I’m partying at:

French Mod Vintage Life Making the World Cuter
Keeping It Simple Boogie Board Cottage
DIY Home Sweet Home The Dedicated House
Serendipity and Spice Stylish Once Again
The Girl Creative Between Naps on the Porch
Nifty Thrifty Things Homemaker on a Dime
Miss Mustard Seed My Girlish Whims
Handy Man Crafty Woman Ginger Snap Crafts
Ivy and Elephants Primp
Savvy Southern Style The Thrifty Home
Coastal Charm Cedar Hill Ranch
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia Elizabeth and Co.
A Diamond in the Stuff Lady Bug Blessings
Knick of Time Not Just a Housewife
The Shabby Creek Cottage The 36th Avenue
Katherine’s Corner The Brambleberry Cottage
From My Front Porch to Yours A Delightsome Life
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson Live, Laugh, Rowe
The Artsy Girl Connection Stacey Embracing Change
A Glimpse Inside Beyond the Picket Fence
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