Lesson #1: Know what you don't know...and then ask!
I know that there is a lot I don't know. Lucky for me, I have a great group of friends with varied interests, who are willing to teach.
Nothing is more true in the case of this buffet. Without my friend Karen suggesting it, I never would have thought to strip the paint first. Inevitably, I would have just power sanded the heck out of it and who knows how it would have turned out.
Lesson #2: Being crafty is one thing, handling power tools is another.
Upon further inspection of the piece, I decided that it would look ten times better if we just got rid of the side drawers and by extension, the frames they sit on.
Well, there was no way that those frames were going to come out without serious power tools. Items that my husband and I do not own, mostly because we have never needed to.
So, when you encounter a project that requires more heavy lifting than you have experience with, turn to your friends, family or fellow bloggers for help. Trying to accomplish this on my own would have been a big no, no and in the end could have cost additional time, money or worse an appendage.
In this case, our good friend Chad is a seasoned home improvement guru who kindly offered his expertise and his circular saw. By "offered" I mean that I begged and he agreed.
Lesson #3: Accidents happen and it's not the end of the world.
I don't know too many DIYers that don't make mistakes every now and again. In the case of the buffet, we ran into a minor snag - because of the angle of the drawer frame the circular saw cut into the top of the buffet, but only slightly.
Chad felt pretty bad about this. Keeping things in perspective, this project is about fun and creative solutions, so no time was spent crying over spilled milk.
We quickly decided that with a little wood putty and paint, you would never know this was even there. Unless someone decided to document it on a blog...which lives on the Internet...for everyone to see. Oh well, you know what it would be like.
Lesson #4: Follow your instincts!
I had a few moments of self doubt watching Chad take out the drawer frames.
After all, I was modifying the look and feel of something that was never intended to be open at all! It had side cabinets and drawers and I didn't build the thing so how could I know what it would look like? Who do I think I am anyway?
Well after my minor panic attack, some sanding and some wood putty. I stood back and looked at what had been accomplished...
Now I know it doesn't look like a lot right now, but it made me smile. With some fresh paint and knobs, this is going to be stellar.
I don't know where or how this lived in it's first home, but I truly feel like it is going to be a piece of furniture our family has for a long time to come.
It's not just a face lift, it's a complete makeover and I cannot wait to share the results with you!
If my followers have any other cardinal rules of DIY to share, please post! I, like this buffet, am a work in progress and welcome any helpful tid bits for future endeavors.