Decisions, Decisions

OK, folks, this may require you to use your imagination a little. If you don’t have any, well, I can’t help you, and consequently you can’t help me.

While trying to figure out exactly what project should christen my new sewing machine, I decided that pillows are a good idea. As I typed those words, I realized that I actually had what I needed, but let’s ignore that for a moment. So I’m in the process of refinishing my nightstand, right? Here are some very rough pictures of it post-sanding but pre-priming. [Editor’s Note: when I’m done, I intend on posting a complete description of everything I did, but unfortunately I neglected to take a “before” shot, and and I didn’t realize that until we’d removed all of the paint. Oops.]

So, here’s the nightstand (upside-down, of course)
What, you need a better shot than that? OK, how about this?

Sorry, that’s the best I can do. If you click to view the larger size, you might get a sense for it (unless, of course, you’ve seen it in person, in which case… who cares).

Here is the wrapping paper I found at Hallmark the other day on clearance that I thought I’d use.

It is very clearly and crisply white and black. So I thought I’d paint the whole thing white, put the paper on the fronts of the drawers, and then do some high-gloss accents in black.

However, as I looked around at other paper (in case what I had wasn’t enough and I needed to find something that coordinated), I realized that the stuff I really like is brown and white. So… what do I do about that? Incidentally, here is the rest of the furniture that will eventually be refinished to match.

Dressers (there are 2 of these) – I hate the ornate detailing on the top drawer, and the hardware is atrocious too.

bought these for me at a garage sale shortly after I moved to Michigan. Yes, there are some issues with them, but basically they’re good pieces ( might argue with this, but the main problem with the one drawer is all my fault). The hardware was originally brass (and ugly), and I spray-painted it silver at one point, which now looks gross. All the hardware needs to be replaced. The second dresser that doesn’t appear in the photo already has the engraved design filled-in (with spackle, not wood filler, much to some people’s chagrin). The tops of both have seen better days, but I think sanding them down will help. Both have been used at one time or another to hold the fish tank, since they are just about the only piece of furniture I own that is sturdy enough for such a thing, and there’s a little bit of water damage, peeling veneer, etc.


Another crappy photo, I know, but apparently I don’t just keep photos of my furniture lying around.

The original instigator of the FleckStone, my parents bought this when I was in junior high and it’s stayed with me all these years. suggested I just get rid of it, but I like its compact size – it fits just about anywhere, and it’s light and easy to use (unless you’ve filled it completely with heavy stuff). The only real bummer about this desk is that the bottom drawer is just slightly too short to be used as a hanging file system. Oh well. It should work nice as my sewing desk, which it will slowly be repurposed to in the next few weeks. Currently, the main unit is a solid cream FleckStone, and the drawer fronts are a darker beige FleckStone (the original color, so the main unit has multiple layers of FleckStone to be removed, unfortunately). Also, the top is formica, so it can’t be painted and has to remain cream. But the sides of the top are paintable, and they are currently glossy cream. The knobs are currently plain wooden ones that I spray-painted silver at one time, which looks awful.


Of course the wrapping paper I already bought can just be used for gifts we have to give in the future. It wasn’t that expensive. I don’t think that I can use it and pretend that it’s really dark brown. I either have to do white and black with that paper or white and brown with new paper. (Technically, I haven’t even finished priming yet, so I can do anything I want, but those are the options I’m currently dealing with.) I like that white and brown is potentially more neutral than white and black. pointed out that because of the combination and how bold it is, it isn’t exactly neutral (white and black, that is).

And if I’m truthful, I don’t really want a white and black decorated bedroom. (FYI, my general decorating idea, however poorly implemented, is to have neutral furnishings so that if I want to “redecorate,” all I have to do is paint the walls, and maybe add a new pillow or something.)

Our current bedroom is shades of khaki (with one very green wall) – all Prince Charming’s design, of course.
The new curtains we got are brown. Can you tell from these photos?

In a new house, ideally we’d keep the comforter, and the curtains might stay or go, depending on who buys the house. Yes, that is an Ikea Poang in the second picture, and it is also finished in a khaki-like color, and I’d like to keep that too, though it could probably be easily recovered to just about anything my heart desired [link removed].

So what are your thoughts? Brown and white? Black and white? What’s most neutral? What’s most pleasing? Do you need more to go on (because I have quite a few sample papers bookmarked that I could share, but this post is already way too long as it is)? Comments, please!

[Editor’s Note: If you’re wondering how we got here, it’s because I thought I should make pillows, and if I was making pillows, they should match the new furniture, even if it doesn’t really exist yet. But then I decided to make pillows for the spare bedroom that match the curtains we have there, and I don’t really need advice for those. But I still need to decide on this color scheme for the furniture, so… there ya have it. Clear as mud?)

2 Replies to “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. Since you’re stripping the dresser, why not just find a stain you like? Perhaps one that matches the ikea chair?

    I know I’ve seen a dresser recovered with paper and I liked it, let me look around

  2. Ah, excellent question, my dear L. Simply put, there’s no way that all the paint can be removed from the nightstand. We tried. The top is some kind of weird laminate. Other parts were painted black on raw wood, which after stripping, has become purple. Staining is out of the question (obviously, a great first choice, just not an option in this case). My parents content that the desk is also made out of crappy wood and has to be painted (which is why they covered it up with the FleckStone).

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