first diy project.

My aunt gave me several awesome hand-me-down pieces of furniture when we came back to SC this summer, and I’ve been wanting to tackle a painting project ever since.  So this past weekend, David and I white-washed the oak china cabinet.

Before:

After:

We’re very happy with the way it turned out . . . a little brighter, a little more charm.  Here’s a few things I learned from the experience:

1. David teases me about how advice-seeking I am–in pretty much every area of life, and he’s right.  If you’ve walked into my house since we moved in, I probably asked your opinion about what to do with the china cabinet (yes that includes you, my neighbor-who-I-just-met).  I like to live my life in a flowing community of ideas.  That way it feels like everyone had a hand in the project.  I’m not very creative myself, but I think I can get away with it because I have lots of creative, talented friends and family, and I know how to ask for help!

2. This project was a lot more time-consuming than expected: scouring websites on Pinterest (or as David says, “Pin-tinterest”), three trips to Lowe’s, one clearance order from Anthropologie that I will return, as well as the actual painting (two coats of white-wash, rubbing it in, sanding, two top coats).  Also a lot more money than expected, which made me more grateful than ever that I was given the furniture–but also shows me how to realistically budget for the next project.  Also it gets me thinking: What else in my house can I paint Polar Sky? (although now I’ve built up my basic supply of brushes, painting tape, and seal which will help).

3.  I take myself a little too seriously for anything handy or DIY.  I tend to be a perfectionist, and that’s no good on a project like this.  I beat myself up over every little mistake and general make myself miserable when it’s really not that big of a deal.  Virtually anything can be fixed.  This is where my husband is invaluable.  He’s patient and fun and helps me learn to laugh at myself.  I loved doing this with him.

4.  Finally, I realized: I don’t love DIY projects.  I love the idea of projects.  I love reading dozens of websites and books about projects.  But doing them?  I’d rather be reading a book.  But this kind of stuff every once in awhile is good for me; it balances me out, makes me use a different part of my brain.

5.  I’m so over-analytical that I turn a DIY blog post into an introspective psychological essay.  Aaack.  Okay, I’m done now.