Well, I did it. It sort of felt like the first time I was on a diving board at about age five and was about to dive into the deep end of the pool.
I was contacted by someone to source (find and buy) a table and chairs to paint and refinish the set. Scary. I have sold a few pieces of furniture before, but they were more of a “I did this piece does anyone want it” type sale, or “I am moving away, would you like to buy the stuff I made for myself?” kind of sale. When you do work for someone else, you are putting yourself out there. What if they don’t like it? What if I totally misinterpreted what the person wanted? This particular set was for someone who does not live in the same city so all the work was shared by message and through pictures.
We started with this golden oak, scratched set I picked up in Beaumont while visiting my folks:
I had a friend tell me that I took a dated piece of furniture and made it look old, but in a good way.
I sanded the top down, stained it dark walnut, Hubby painted the chairs and the base of the table sea salt with his awesome paint sprayer then I got busy distressing them and glazing. Once I was finished distressing and glazing Hubby took over again and used his sprayer to polyurethane everything. The top of the table took four coats of poly, but it is beautiful.
I was so thrilled with the results of this set and as we drove over to deliver it, I hoped it was what the new owner wanted. This was all really silly because she had purchased an end table from me before, but it was one I found, I picked out the colors, and then I posted it for sale.
When we arrived, she liked the set. Woo Hoo. She like it enough that she sent me home with another piece to work on and several more to come. This time I feel more confident because she and I got to talk about the color and finish. I will be starting with the night stand of the set then the headboard and dresser.
The pictures are not great because we stayed too long at the lake Sunday mowing and cleaning so that meant we had to rush to get them delivered. The bench fest took more time than expected. I decided to go ahead and write about this experience even with terrible photos because this is one time that the story is not about the furniture I did, it is about taking risks. I still feel more comfortable doing my own thing then selling what I don’t keep for myself but I will admit it felt pretty good to have someone like what I do enough to seek me out.
Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – e. e. cummings
I promise to take better photos of the table and chairs when we drop off the night stand.
The bedroom furniture is going to be a sweet mid century modern set that has been in their family since it was brand new. It is getting refinished so that it can move on to the third generation when they move out on their own. If you are one of my Weekend Country Girl Facebook friends, you got to see the dresser and even weighed in on the color scheme.
I now have my second project, a headboard into bench, that I sourced the furniture and am doing for someone else who is paying me. She is a dear friend, but it is still a little scary. The good news about this one is she sent me a picture a while back and said ” I want this.” As soon as I found the headboard and foot board I could see it in my mind already. It is going to be beautiful.
When I grow up selling my re-purposed furniture may be something I want to do more of. We shall see. For now, I love being able to do what I love.
If you are a professional in the painted furniture field, I would love to hear from you about your first sold piece. I hope you tell me you were scared too, so I don’t feel like such a sissy.