Leave it to the Pros

Whomever said Sunday is a day of rest didn’t have my to-do list! For some reason, I feel like I can’t get ahead of my to-do’s this weekend. It might have something to do with the fact that I decided to take on a random project yesterday.

A few years ago, I got some tables for my living room from Ikea. They’re cute enough, but I was never in love with their light wood color. I have always kind of wanted to attempt darkening them, but I didn’t feel brave enough. Well, yesterday afternoon I was perusing the fabulous home blog Young House Love, and I suddenly felt confident and inspired.

A quick trip to Home Depot

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and I was ready to get my project on!

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First, I spread out my ridiculously oversized very practical drop cloth. I got the “double guard” version so any stain splatters wouldn’t seep through onto the carpet. Always thinkin’, dontcha know!

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Next step: sanding.

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Not long into the sanding, I had a revelation: sanding isn’t that fun.

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Luckily, this is a tiny piece of furniture, so it didn’t take too long.

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After wiping all of the dust away, I was ready to stain! Don’t you worry, I read the directions.

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Trust me, I am more aware than anyone that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I got a “2 in 1” stain plus polyurethane to simplify things. I figured that left less room for error, right? Then it was time to stain!

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I used a cheap brush (because I knew I was just going to have to throw it out when I was done) and brushed on a thin layer of stain. I let it sit for about 20 minutes, then wiped off the excess gently with a clean, dry towel (which also went straight into the trash when I was done).

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Hmmmm. Two thoughts: I am not in love with the color. It’s a lot shinier than I wanted. Yes, I did look at the swatches that they had in the store, but it looked different there. I needed wine to contemplate my project.

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Overall, I have decided that it wasn’t a great success, but I can live with it. I am also considering sanding it again and just leaving it as is. At least I didn’t lose much. $20 for supplies isn’t the end of the world.

The lesson here? I’m not all that crafty when it comes to “home improvement” type projects. Best for me to just buy things that are exactly what I want or to leave such projects to the professionals. I’ll stick to cooking. And running. And drinking wine. I know I’m good at that stuff!


This morning, I had another great run, even if it was a little rainy!

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{Please excuse the way my crazy stomach bulges on the left side. All of my food likes to sit there. One of the world’s great mysteries.}

I’m not sure why my runs are suddenly going better, but I’m really glad they are! It was a long time coming. I also found out yesterday that some recent blood work shows that I’m anemic. That’ll certainly make running harder! I’m supposed to start taking an iron supplement, but with my stomach issues, I’m not sure I can deal with the side effects. In short, iron supplements stop you up. As someone who spends most of her life already in this state, I’m not about to add fuel to the fire! I did a little research yesterday, and I think I found a solution that will work. I’m going to check with my doctor tomorrow, but I’ll keep you posted! Until then, I’ll just eat a steak or something. Winking smile

Alright, that’s enough out of me this morning! Time to get back to that to-do list!

Are you crafty? What was your last successful (or unsuccessful!) home improvement project?

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6 thoughts on “Leave it to the Pros

  1. Jen says:

    I have the same problem with iron because I have crohn’s
    I found a liquid iron that works for me called floradix
    Can buy it at a health food store
    This will not back you up, this is coming from someone who was constipated 3 years lol
    What is your solution? I’m looking forward to hearing it, always nice to have options!
    Loved your project good for u for trying! I think it turned out great!

  2. Thanks for the tip! The iron supplements I was looking at have only heme iron rather than ionic and they’re supposed to have fewer side effects. I will look for the floradix, though! Thanks!

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