Urban nature

Sometimes it is difficult to see nature in the city. I am lucky to live near two large parks and a nice path running along the river. However, I rarely see any animals other than pets, pigeons or squirrels. I guess that’s why these ducks are so interesting to me. It seems that they have made their home on the side of the road as I’ve seen them there almost every day this month.


Furniture Refinishing

A goal of mine is to work our way through my to-do list before we move into a house of our own.  Since we are getting (hopefully) closer to that point, Memorial Day weekend we started working on one of my projects.

My Nana painted three pieces of furniture for me when I was very young so that I would have some new furniture for my bedroom.  Well, I’m no longer very young and I haven’t done anything with those pieces.  They have looked exactly the same as when I was given them many years ago.  It’s been a goal of mine to redo them for awhile now.

I was so excited to start that I didn’t get a good picture of the pieces before we started.  But, there is a large dresser, a smaller chest of drawers and a bedside table (that I believe at one time was a filing cabinet).


Close up of the dresser

Step 1:  Prep the furniture.  Clean off the dust (especially if like me, you don’t dust on a regular basis).  Remove all hardware.  We were lucky but almost all of the hardware came off very easily.  One of the screws was stripped pretty badly.  Since we weren’t planning on reusing the hardware, I took the easy way out and simply broke it off.

Step 2: Prep yourself.  Goggles.  Masks over your nose and mouth.  Clothes that can get dirty.

Step 3:  Get all of the paint off.  We decided to just do the chest of drawers and the bedside table and save the dresser for another weekend.  The paint flew off of the chest of drawers very easily and quickly.  It helped that we purchased a new toy for this job.  (I love our new power sander!)  However, the paint on the bedside table did NOT come off easily.  Upon close inspection, it seems that the paint on the bedside table was different.  It was shinier.  My goal was to not have to use any chemicals since I wanted to be able to do the work inside our apartment if need be.  So, I was sure that we were going to have to make a trip to the store and get some stripper.  Ryan was determined and he somehow got all of the paint off of it.  We used a very coarse sandpaper to remove the paint and then a finer grade to really smooth the wood.


Pieces sanded and since the rain clouds were moving in, the pieces were moved inside.

Step 4: Be realistic.  We were able to get almost all of the paint off.  Is the paint 100% removed?  Um, no.  If the furniture pieces were true antiques or if we were planning on staining the furniture, I would’ve been much more particular about how we removed the paint and how much paint was removed.  But, these are pieces that my Nana purchased for me at a yard sale or an auction a long time ago and we were simply going to repaint the furniture.

Step 5: Take a break.  We did the sanding on one day and saved the painting for the next day.

Step 6: Paint.  This is by far my favorite part.


First coat of paint applied. Let dry. Then, second paint applied.

Step 7: Put the new hardware on the furniture.



Step 8:  Clean up after yourself.  And be sure that others clean up, too.  For example, a cat….who got too close to the paint…..


A gray and white kitty…..with just a splash of blue.