My mother's hope chest sat in my parents' garage for 20 years without me batting an eye at it. Last year, I finally took notice and was able to see the jewel it could be once more, with a little TLC. With my mom's approval, my husband and I took the chest home to refurbish. I'm not one to hold on to stuff, having condensed all my childhood stuff to just two boxes, but having a piece of furniture handed down from my family feels special enough to hold onto and carry around the country with us.
I'm definitely into the DIY movement, but I honestly have no clue what I'm doing most of the time. It's kind of like using duct tape for repairs, in most cases. I often get too anxious to do projects "the right way," don't have the proper tools, or don't have the knowledge, so I just manufacture my own way, and hope for the best. Being a military spouse, we move all the time and each house has its own needs. Art doesn't fit where it did in the last house, or doesn't match, or decor has to be switched around to new rooms, making for a mish mosh on the decorating front. A room designed to match in one house usually doesn't transfer perfectly to the next. Cue my shortcut DIY projects. Paint has become my new best friend and can fix a lot of these issues. I'm all for repurposing or recoloring instead of buying a whole new piece. (This drives my husband crazy.) Being pregnant, he's been called on to do a lot of the projects as a result of our latest move, since I don't want to breathe in paint fumes and old furniture dust.
Admittedly, we didn't take all the proper steps to procure a perfect, lasting piece of furniture, but for our unsettled lifestyle (in which furniture usually gets damaged in every move) it works just fine. Here's the steps we took to refurbish the chest above:
My I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing how to: