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Natural Satisfaction

I will be the first to admit that I am hard to please. As soon as I figure out exactly what I want, I change my mind. It’s not that I’m weird or hard to satisfy, I’m just…..deep and complex. (I can’t even write this B.S. without cracking up.) Either way, my furniture is no exception. When I’m given a piece of natural wood furniture I can’t wait to get a coat of paint slapped on it. So you’d think that when I’m given a painted piece of furniture I’d be satisfied, right? Negative. I wanted it natural. So here’s the saga of “The girl Who Couldn’t be Satisfied.”

It started out like this!


Actually, that’s a lie. It started out natural, and then was painted white about 30 years ago. And then my mom painted it yellow 2o years ago. Then I got my mitts on it and spray painted it pink nearly 2 years ago. But I knew it was an old piece and I KNEW my hot pink didn’t do it justice. There are very few screws in this, most of it is tongue and groove pieces that slide together. Things aren’t made like this anymore, I just never had time to finish it, until now.

Because this was mostly tongue and groove, there were a lot of pieces overlapping each other so I had to take every piece apart in order to sand every inch of it. I went through my pink layer, then the yellow and finally the white. The good news is that there wasn’t a nearly impenetrable layer of varnish on there, in fact there was no varnish at all. So once I got through all of the paint there was nothing but natural wood, sweeeeeet!


As you can see, there is some wood filler splattered on here. In retrospect this was not a good idea. The reason I put a long line of it was because there was a huge seam between two wood pieces and also you could see a few shiny tacks. But I learned that a couple tacks and an honest seam is much more attractive than cracking wood filler.

I sanded down the wood filler and created a new back for the piece because the old one somehow got broken when I disassembled it to sand it. I don’t know WHO could have broken it? Certainly not me. Vandals!


Next I applied two coats of stain and a layer of lacquer.


There were some funky, brown bubbles on the wood after the lacquer dried. I can only assume it’s because I did’t sand the wood smooth enough. But I just sanded the lacquer and used my favorite Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane. It has never steered me wrong.

Once everything was dry, I replaced the knobs (which I had purchased when I painted it pink) and placed it at the end of my hallway!

Other side

After a few days at the end of the hallway I realized my knobs weren’t really doing it for me. They were really cute when my chest was bright, but now that it’s dark they seemed lost in the color. So what’s darker than oak? Black! And it just so happened that I had a few black knobs with little leaf designs laying around.

So here is the REAL finished product!


About Kristen Van Loon

My name is Kristen Van Loon and this is the chronicle of my search for *Oomf!* Not only have I deemed myself qualified to revamp, repair, refurnish and refine my house, but I also jump into any DIY project that my friends, co-workers, family and practical strangers stumble upon. I would love to tell you that this is my full-time job and my complete life mission, but I make my bread and butter elsewhere and raise a daughter (Olivia). I have some experience but no time, no formal training and no money. My only saving grace is that I love figuring things out, I’m great at improvising and I’m always inspired. For the record, some things that I do (play with electricity, for one) may seem risky, and some of them are. I will always tell you what I’ve done, but I won’t ever suggest things for you that aren’t safe. Even though I push the envelope, I am only marginally incompetent. If sources (father, my brain, Google) tell me not to do something then I usually won’t. But if I do try and it blows up in my face (figuratively or literally) you will hear all about it, and you hopefully won’t attempt it. At the end of the day, I hope to inspire you. Space-Lift isn’t just a blog, it’s a verb. It’s an action that brightens your surroundings by assaulting everything that needs improvement. Nothing is off limits, and all possibilities will be considered.

One response »

  1. There is no limit to the possibilities you can accomplish!! Look at the fab job you did the bubble gum pink cabinet. Bravo. Virginia


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