Practice Makes Progress

Two months later…it is finally finished!

I started this on a whim in the beginning of February and soon realized it was going to take much longer than I expected it to. It’s pretty typical of me to get a jump-start on projects without fully thinking through all the details first. My self-awareness on that should have been motivating, but it actually turned into overwhelm after about the first coat of paint. These moments usually result in either unfinished projects or something that looks absolutely nothing like what I had in mind…or like that Pinterest article said it would…

I was looking for something in one of our spare bedrooms when I stopped for a moment to look at this pitiful, brown desk I kept hidden. We’ve had it since we first moved in together but I honestly couldn’t tell you why we kept it and why we moved the darn thing from place to place. It held some important papers but for the most part it was just storing junk!20170204_123554

I’m pretty certain my thoughts were really just looking to clear up the clutter within my mind- so when the opportunity arose to clear up some physical clutter and re-purpose it into something beautiful- I didn’t think twice about letting my enthusiasm take over. This, “clear out the clutter” and, “give this desk a new purpose” is suddenly all so relevant to where my life was in uncertainty of my purpose. Looking back now, it’s almost as if I believed that if I just took the time to make this into something more beautiful than it was, or just distracted myself long enough from my day-to-day thoughts, then my purpose in life would be more clear to me too. These were not conscious thoughts, of course. It never ceases to amaze me how absent minded I can be in the moment, yet how intuitive and analytical I am when reminiscing on the past.

Life happens. Other tasks crept in and piled one on top of the other and before I knew it, it had taken me over a week just to put the first coat of chalk paint on. I thought to myself how I should have sanded it down like that Pinterest pin said to do, or maybe I would have been better off using spray paint? I decided there’s definitely something therapeutic about painting with a brush (and Lord knows I have plenty of therapeutic opportunities around the house for years to come!). It took two coats (some areas took three) of the chalk paint for the brown to be completely hidden but it did indeed work! As therapeutic as it was, I wish you could have heard my sigh of relief when I washed out the paint brush for the last time!

The first coat of overwhelm!

Three coats of the “Sheepskin” color Folk Art chalk paint, three trips to the store to try and find the right sized baskets to fit in place of the bottom two drawers, and an afternoon of learning how difficult it is to paint stencil designs with absolute perfection (and failing)…I had the most imperfectly perfect desk I had ever seen. And the best part is that it turned out to look even better than how I imagined it to be…way more unique than anything I could find online!

The burlap baskets don’t fit in there quite perfectly…but after three trips to the store I decided to settle. Good enough until I happen to come across better ones!
I found the perfect dresser knobs to match the color of my Folk Art Cascade blue stencils in the clearance section of Marshall’s…$7 for 7 knobs. They were the only ones left! It was clearly meant to be 🙂

The only thing left was to put a layer of the wax seal on the top surface after the stencils dried…and voila! My very own piece of artwork…and a great sense of accomplishment.

This dresser is definitely not photographed well with my dinky smartphone camera.  You can see brush strokes throughout some parts of it still. You can see where I messed up the stencil paintings and then tried to correct myself. The baskets don’t seem to fit perfectly in place despite all the careful measurements I took, and since I’m being honest here…I didn’t even paint the inside of the top two drawers! But I definitely learned a lot of what to do and what not to do…just by doing it!

So what is its new purpose, you ask?

I still have absolutely no idea 🙂

My original plan was to use this as my coffee bar since I was having a hard time finding the perfect piece at local antique shops, but I fear it is still too big for the area I’d like the coffee bar to be. It might still make its way to the dining room though…and I’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s in its perfect setting when the time is right.

As I continue forth on my journey of finding my own purpose and clear my mind of the clutter of the world, my focus seems to have changed from obsessing over perfection to being focused on progress. And every time I start a painting project like this, I’ll just keep getting better and better.

Bring on the next project!


Those stencils were hard! But my favorite part!



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