transform your space into
your personal haven

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host


submit your ideas

want more decorating ideas? jump to the discussion boards and share your questions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Minor Makeover Miracles small decorating changes that can make a big difference
Handy Household Tools  

o Lighten Up! make the most of your artifical lighting

copyright ©1999-2000

the Furniture FACELift Fiasco, 
a cautionary tale in two parts
| 1 2 3 4 5

I got as far as sanding one of the short front legs before my thumb had an enormous blister on it, my arm joints were sore, and I was physically unable to continue. At this point, my boyfriend happened to walk outside and, upon inspecting my (somewhat pathetic) progress, mentioned that I might want to buy one of those rubber sanding blocks to finish the rest of the job.

Off to the hardware store I went in search of this handy little tool, which I found, not surprisingly, in the sandpaper section. It’s a pretty simple device, actually – essentially just a piece of rubber that’s flat on one side (the side where you attach the sandpaper) and convex on the other (where you grip it with your hand). (See photo below).

I also picked up a sanding sponge (exactly what it sounds like – a squishy block that has 2 fine-grain sides and 2 medium-grain sides), which would be useful for sanding down curved areas.

My new sanding tools definitely helped speed the process along. Nonetheless, laziness eventually kicked in and, since my new stain would be a slightly darker color than the original, I rationalized that I should be able to get away with sanding down just to the point 
where the shiny varnish had been removed. This was my first major mistake (not counting my foolish attempt to sand down an entire chair with nothing more than a piece of sandpaper) – do not, I repeat DO NOT, do a half-assed job when sanding off the original finish. 
Think of stain as a translucent covering – it won’t hide variations in color, just change the overall darkness/hue. 
You’ve got to keep sanding, no matter how tired your little arm may get, until the entire surface is a perfectly dull, completely even color. Then, and only then, are you ready to move onto the next step.


more foibles ensue ... !

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.