It’s more of a confession rather than a sharing. In a complete reversal of everything I have ever believed in, I have to tell you that I am now a fan of painted furniture.
It all started because if you approach my front door, you can look through the side light and see all the way up the hallway and through a little ante room to gawk at a slice of my bedroom – the slice where I keep the chest of drawers that holds my underwear. I would get out of the shower and make my way over to that dresser to pick out something to put on and realized with shock that the unexpected arrival of the FedEx guy or even a dog walker with good vision could see something that could never be unseen again. So I got the idea that I could minimize the risk of being seen au naturale by putting a small dresser to put into the big closet.
So I took to the local Craigslist and found the perfect dresser on the first shot. It was the right size and color and looked very much like the simple, unadorned cabinetry in the adjacent bathroom. It was made of solid wood and the seller was only asking $75. So I sent a text and sadly found out that the item was in a second floor bedroom. That killed the deal for me b/c I can barely navigate a set of steps myself, let alone wrangling a solid wood dresser. Later that same day, the seller texted me to say that if I was still interested she would have the dresser brought downstairs for me. So arrangements were made for pick up the next day at 12:30.
In the end, it didn’t work out. As I pulled up to the address, the small front yard was filled with dishes, furniture, lamps etc for sale and she was slouched in a chair with her feet up on the porch railing. I will spare you the scathing description that I treated my husband and brother-in-law to but it will suffice to tell you that the seller was a dolt who was having a half-hearted house sale to avoid eviction. The dresser was not downstairs, she didn’t know anyone who could help bring it down, was unaware of a local gathering spot to hire day laborers and so on. FYI I drove 40 miles to get there and she knew what time I would arrive so I wouldn’t think it would be too much to expect a text or call to say don’t come today. To put it kindly, my judgement was that she was not familiar with or capable of this type of expected behavior.
As we walked out of the townhouse and back into the outdoor yard sale, there was a large bowl that had fallen to the sidewalk and smashed. I noticed it when I came in and now , the woman apologized for the mess and pushed some of the pieces to the side with her foot. Then she went back to slouching in the porch chair. As I drove away, my last sight of her was as she was raising her feet to put back up on the porch railing. The next day my BIL arranged for a guy with a truck to fetch the dresser and deliver it to me but she never returned his texts or phone calls. I tried reaching her again via text but she never responded. Five days later the dresser disappeared from Craigslist.
Not that I’m bitter.
But it left me with a hole in my consumer’s heart where a dresser should be. I kept my eye on CL and other online market places and second-hand shops looking for something similar. I gave up the matching bathroom cabinet idea but stuck to the specs of a certain size, 5 drawers and solid wood. And one day last week, I came across this:
Painted furniture! I know, right? I always railed against the ruination of good vintage furniture by the army of talentless amateur chalk painters never in a million years thought I’d own painted furniture myself but everything about this was right, even my favorite shade of green. It was love at first sight. And to complete my humiliation, as I was waiting for the shop owner to find somebody to get this into my car, I spotted this desk:
I had already been looking around for a desk for the guest bedroom and here was the perfect one right in front of me. Remember when I said it was love at first sight for the green dresser? I laugh now that I know what real love is. I bought this on the spot and came back for it the next day. They threw in that crystal lamp, too.
In my defense, I have to tell you that these items are not chalk painted. They are painted with Farmhouse Paints, a resin-based acrylic paint that is more durable than chalk paint. The floor clerk, the register person and the shop owner all used that same phrase and practically sniffed in disdain when forced to utter the distasteful words “chalk paint”. This greatly appeals to the serious snob in me (a snob who haunts Craigslist, junk stores and the Dollar Tree). So now, anyone who comes into my house will have to suffer immediate correction of any attempt to say the words “chalk paint” and the same casual but prideful reference to Farmhouse Paint. Come visit me and hear it for yourself!
And further more, yesterday I bought a solid but messed up nightstand for $15, also for the guest room. Here’s the thing: coincidentally the shop that sold the Farmhouse painted furniture also sells Farmhouse Paint. And the person who did the work on the desk told me that she paints things people already have. So now look where we are: I’m on the brink of turning into a painter of wood furniture myself. Although really, if I can slip it by Sami without too much of what we old marrieds call “discussion”, I might just take this over to her and ask her to give it the works in Creamy Linen with Aqua Provence accents.
I know what you’re thinking. I can’t even believe it myself.