Through the years, your network and its array of talented and talent-less stars has provided me with hours of entertainment. When I'm with my family, we love to watch HGTV together--well, maybe not my brother Joshua, but he's the black sheep of our family anyway. You can ask anyone. But HGTV is our go-to channel when the girls have the remote or when the kids are finally in bed. On New Year's Day, we always watch your Rose Parade coverage and then get the sneak peeks of the new shows. (Lucky for you the America's Funniest Videos marathon was on ABCFamily on New Year's Eve this year, otherwise my moma would have had an impossible dilemma.) We watch the Dream Home every year. We like House Hunters and predict their choices--#3 is always a safe bet. We have been known to rearrange plans to have an official viewing of Design Star episodes. I actively miss certain shows that are no more (Decorating Cents with Joan What's-Her-Name).
Are you getting the point here? We are HGTV fans. But because I rent instead of owning and because 90% of my furniture is second- or third- or fourth-hand and because my decorating budget is nonexistent, most of your programming has never been useful in my life in a practical sense beyond a cautionary tale. I'd like to share, if I may, how this weekend, I began to put my years of accumulated HGTV knowledge to use.
I suppose the most important lesson I've learned is that though high-maintenance home-owners like to bring the drama, the best sort of drama comes from those big reveals, the slow pan of the before and the startlingly better after. So I was careful to document my projects with before, during, and after photos.
Meet my dresser.
And the paint job has seen some better days.
But I'm not one to give up on a piece of furniture just because it's got some wear on it. This dresser has been mine since I lived in my first post-college apartment. Nearly every place I've lived (and I've done some moving), I've been able to hide it away in a closet so no one had to be exposed to the hideousness. But after this most recent move (you may have heard about it on the blog previously), the closet hiding wasn't an option. It was time to do something about the ugly. So last Saturday morning, I gathered up every tip and trick I've ever learned about refurbishing old furniture and hauled ugly dresser out to my front porch.
Getting the hardware off took some muscle as it had been painted over a time or two.
Then came the sanding.
And the first coat.
Eventually there would be a second coat and a bit of meeting the neighbors and a great deal of paint coating my hands, arms, feet, clothes, etc. and another painting project mixed in that I'll show you in a minute. There was a certain amount of the project I couldn't document because of my messy hands. Sorry, but don't worry because the big reveal is coming up after this message about new hardware.
If there's one lesson I've learned from budget decorating shows, it's that new knobs or pulls can really update and transform an old piece of furniture. May I say amen to all those knowledgeable folks? Amen. Take a look at the finished product (pardon the glare, it was getting pretty bright out on my porch).
I had to do a bit of settling and rearranging to get the dresser into the corner of my room where I've always intended it to go, but I'll spare you the before photos of my disorganized room (this time). I'm completely blown away by how much better it looks. What a fortunate transformation.
Someday soon it's going to have a mirror hanging above it, and I'll be sure to get back with you once the whole corner is finished.
While I had all the paint and mess out, I also took on a little side table painting project. I've been meaning to paint this table red for something like three years, but I've finally accomplished it, thanks to your inspiring influence! Let me show you the transformation.:
My grandfather made me this table, what will likely be the last thing he'll ever build for me. But though it was stained a respectable shade, I always wanted it to be red. So I sanded it down . . .
. . . and got really scared by the fire engine tone of the paint . . .
. . . so I gave it a drop or two of black paint, and I got even more terrified that I'd ruined the rest of the red paint because it looked crazy. But when it dried on my hands to be just the shade I wanted, my confidence returned. So I painted coat after coat after coat until I ended up with this.
Exactly as I'd always pictured it.
I've got a few more projects up my sleeve I'll probably want to show you, but I know you're busy running your network and stuff, so I'll just save those for another day. I'll know you check back often, so you'll see it.
In the meantime, let me thank you again for all that entertainment, which actually turned out to be fairly successful from an education standpoint also. And if that's not a meaningful and glowing recommendation for your network, I don't know what is. I'll be happy to say so in a commercial if you need me to.
Your avowed fan,