Monday, August 4, 2014

Painted Jewelry Case

Last week I had a burst of creative energy and inspiration, so this week I'll be showing you some of the fun projects I worked on! Our home is feeling so cozy and so "us," which is exactly the quality I most want it to have.

This jewelry case project had a very awkward and ugly middle stage that I will shamelessly be showing you, just to prove that DIY mistakes/errors in judgment are normal and fixable. Sometimes you have a vision that ends up looking awful in reality! I used to be more discouraged by these failures but I've learned to just gulp, have a laugh, and make a change as quickly as possible.

This vintage spool cabinet was a hand-me-down from my mom (who got it from my grandma) and I've always loved the words on the drawers. It's obviously not designed as a jewelry case, but it's perfect for housing and organizing delicate little things that you don't want snarled. I also used lots of little dishes and bowls to keep things in their place. The wood on the frame of the chest was pretty beat up but I knew I wanted to keep those drawers as is. I love the look of painted wood against non-painted wood and I didn't want to mess with that unique old lettering.

So here's how the ugly middle stage happened. I have a favorite dress that's a pretty, subtle blush color and one day it was lying on my dresser next to the jewelry case and I thought it looked lovely with the walnut wood. I was inspired. So I picked up a bunch of blush paint chips, found the closest match to my dress, bought a small sample size at Lowe's, and....bleh! It looked terrible!

It looked neat as I was painting but as soon as I put the drawers in and got it in the room, I knew it wasn't right. My husband actually cringed a little when he saw it. The color was just too sharp a contrast. The light pink looked fussy and precious against the rustic, worn-in drawers. Luckily though, I was able to make the pink go away within a matter of minutes. I had an extra can of glossy black spray paint left over from another project and I had a feeling black would be a much better fit. This is a fairly masculine piece (which I only realized once I saw it painted pink) and I figured black would blend much more seamlessly with the unpainted drawers while still providing a fresh, updated look. 

So much better! That blush stage was thankfully short-lived and I love how the glossy black transformed the piece. Modern and polished but still rustic and neutral.

Oh, and a word about the drawing on my dresser. It's one of the most special pieces of art we have in our home. My husband's best friend is a fantastic artist and one Christmas, my husband (then-boyfriend) commissioned him to do a drawing of us as a gift for me. Let me tell you, I was so moved as I unwrapped it, especially when I noticed the initials at the bottom. It's certainly one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received and I'll cherish it forever. (Here's the photograph he worked from.)

In fact, now that I think about it, just about everything pictured in this last photo was a hand-me-down or a gift and reminds me of a specific friend or family member. Including a lot of the jewelry! And those flowers, fresh from our neighbor's garden yesterday morning. I'm so very grateful for the people in our lives who love and spoil us. 


  1. ooh good call on the black in the end - it's suck a striking piece regardless so no need to try to tone down its strength!


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