I love my bedroom. I love the color I painted it. I love my bed. I love my bedspread. I love the crap on my walls. But I’ve never really loved my side table.
At first blush, the table looks pretty decent—though up close it’s full of gouges and water stains and related evidence that the thing is 40 years old. And that’s the other problem: While the stuff in my house is definitely eclectic, nothing I own really embraces 1960s colonial. Especially orange maple 1960s colonial. Which is just gross.
But damn if the table isn’t well-made—with real wood and actual dovetailing and sturdy legs and not a single scrap of laminated particleboard. Still, I never really liked it. Replacing it seemed like a waste of money, though, and refinishing it seemed like a waste of effort since it would still be orange maple 1960s colonial. Which is just gross.
Then I had a great idea: painting it—just like they do on TV! I found an ultra-dark blue paint (“midnight mist” or “urban decay” or “subdural hematoma” or something like that)—and one light sanding, one coat of primer and three coats of paint later (because “one-coat paint” is as big a myth as “intelligent design” and “Tom Cruise’s dignity”), I had myself a museum-quality piece of furniture. I dressed it up with a new knob, a vase from the handsome Nate Berkus™ collection and a brooding, masculine box of facial tissue—and just look how sexy it became:
(I know: Visible electrical cords are just gross. So are shiny white outlet covers on dark walls. But you see these things only when you’re squatting in front of my side table with a camera. The rest of the time (i.e., when you’re standing up) they’re naturally hidden. And if your standing-adult perspective doesn’t do the trick, there’s usually a huge pile of shoes there to help.)