The Power of Oops: Roadside Transformations

July 9, 2009


A quick early morning post. In addition to the packing and sorting, we have been re-habbing several of my roadside/garage sale finds. It's been a tedious but very satisfying task. Really is amazing to see what some paint and new fabric can do in terms of transformation. I wish I had taken some before/after pics but I can barely find my brain much less my camera these days. Just wanted to post a couple of thoughts on this while I had a chance.

This post is confirmation that I am one step closer to turning into my mother. As a kid I swore I would never be late and I would never stop on the side of the road to check out new loot. Never say never, right? I now set my watch fast in attempt to be on time and I pull over to examine curbside furniture while my children groan in the backseat. And I now realize my mother is a master. I have learned to appreciate her eye for good finds and her creative methods of re-purposing. She was doing it before it was trendy and lucky for me she is willing to share her wisdom. Here are a few things she's taught me in the just the past few days:

-Always check the "oops" section of the paint area. Just as with roadside finds, someones mistake can be your $5 magic transformation. And even more satisfying than the newly painted bookshelf is hearing your husband utter those magic words: "wow, you were right".

- If you are attempting to paint two bookshelves, one large stool, one chair, and two small tables while also watching two small children, you will be taking lots of breaks. During those breaks, wrap your paint brushes (still with paint on them) in saran wrap and stick them in the freezer. When you are ready to return to painting, take them out of the freezer, defrost, and get back to painting. Truly a very quick and handy way to take painting breaks without having to do major clean up each time.

-Paint bookshelves lying down. Not you, the shelf. Do several coats on the inside shelves before standing it upright and painting the exterior sides and tops. Prevents dripping, easier on the back, and much less frustrating.

-Let your mother and husband do the upholstery work. They are much better at it. (ok, this wasn't one of her tips, it's mine).

-When feeling overwhelmed and unsure, take a break and get some inspiration. We headed over to the local museum a few nights ago to see the Gee's Bend Quilt Show . Amazing women, beautiful pieces of art, and the ultimate examples of re-purposing and renewal: very inspiring and motivating.

Ok, I hear some wild monkeys waking up. Headed to start another busy day. I'll try to post some pics of our hard work after we get settled in Sicily. Have any stories of favorite roadside finds or dramatic transformations? Any tips?
Weasel said...

Thanks for the brush tip. I can't tell you how much money I have spent on replacing brushes that have waited for my return from a kiddo "so-called" emergency. Oh wait! Yes I can. Too much money to be REALLY proud of the money I swore I would save re-habbing my dumpster dive treasures. Have fun...from the posted pictures...I already adore the color.

Dana said...

Thanks for the tips. It is safe for me to say "never" in the case of my mother, I assure you. Funny though, just yesterday my sister guilty confessed to me that she is indeed becoming our mother. Her poor children! Have a safe transition. . .

A Day That is Dessert said...

Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the brush tip, too. I'm in the middle of redoing my kitchen and it's hard. I paint at night while the kids are asleep. but I still get interrupted. Maybe by the time you're settled in Sicily, I'll have my kitchen done, ya think? Me either, at the rate I'm going. Can't wait to see your finds.

I said I'd never date anyone shorter or younger than me. I married him. So much for NEVER.
Best NEVER I ever did.

Jan

Cami said...

Holy COW I'm happy to know that brush tip. I'm about to be doing a lot of painting, and I don't always get to determine the schedule. You are doing so much! Great job.

Dawn said...

Sounds like your mom and my mom would get along great! :)
Cool tips!
Looking forward to seeing your finds!

Lisa said...

Great tips!

MBC huh? I attended for a year and a half, graduated from the graduate program in 1995. I'm wondering if we were there at the same time.....

My grandparents live in Staunton, my Grandfather has lived there his whole life. We visit 4-5 times a year and it is one of my favorite places. It is so beautiful and time seems to slow down a bit. Wow, the downtown has changed, a couple coffee shops, whole foods market, and a few hip vintage and antique shops. It has become very earthy and organic, my Granny says, "us old folk just don't go down there anymore!" Hopefully you can make it to your 15 year reunion.

Good luck with the move to Italy!

Lisa :)

Sam said...

I like the brush tips too - very useful :-)

Hope everything is going smoothly. I haven't been around for a while, so I'm only just catching up. Best wishes for your relocation over to our side of the pond ;-)

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