It’s been a few moons since I did an update on the progress of Songbird’s room. Betchya thought I gave up on it, huh?
Well, today I want to share a story of triumph and perseverance.
If you were to ask Handsome the top 3 things I do that drive him crazy, they would be — 1. Leaving the lights on in a room I’m no longer using (he actually installed a motion sensor switch in my closet to thwart my most frequent offender). 2. Forgetting to turn off the air conditioning in my car before shutting it down (apparently it’s hard on your compressor, whatever that is). 3. Rescuing “trash” furniture because it’s free or nearly free, only to have it take up space in the garage for an ungodly amount of time before I actually do anything with it.
Guilty on all counts. The lights and the A/C, well… whatever. But the furniture is the one I get emotional about. “Babe, it’s FREE and with a little elbow grease it’s gonna be gorgeous! And then I can be so proud of how I saved it from the landfill and gave it a new life in our home!” Such was the case when I found this antique vanity thrown out in the alley behind our townhome in San Diego. It was missing the mirror and the faux finish was an awful dingy white with brown streaks, but it had a great shape and was otherwise in good condition.
Songbird and I wheeled it home. She was two and a half when we found it in 2011… my tiny sweetheart! I had every intention of making it Songbird’s desk, but then I got pregnant with Bug and then I had a newborn and then Handsome deployed for 6 months and then I was busy building a house from 2,700 miles away and then we moved to Virginia. So it sat in our garage for 3 whole years. It’s a small miracle that Handsome even agreed to move it.
When I finally got around to working on it, I almost gave up, three times. What I thought would be an easy sand and repaint turned into the removal of 4 (read them 4!) coats of paint. I’m pretty sure that original green was so old it contained lead.
I ended up in the garage every night after the kids were in bed for a week straight, using heavy-duty chemical paint stripper, rubber gloves, eye protection, face mask, a wire brush and a putty knife to get it clean. Those beautiful turned legs were nearly the death of me.
Much like the loyalty I feel towards my loved ones, I’d grown fond of this little orphan piece and was willing to fight fierce for its success. I had to prove to Handsome that the desk’s long-term garage residence was not in vain. But mostly I wanted to see it restored to its beautiful, functional former self.
Plus, how could I turn down my only daughter’s request for a pink desk?!
I could’ve just bought a cute desk for a couple hundred bucks, but that wouldn’t be a very good story and good stories are what life’s all about. Who knows, maybe this desk will become an heirloom that my great-granddaughter will inherit some day. Probably not, but it’s fun to think about. Until I can capture a photograph displaying its full glory as Songbird’s new creative space, I’ll leave you with this little teaser.
What about you? Have you ever turned a rescued trash into treasure?