I hinted yesterday with the word justification. I’m tired of it. Big breath, here goes.
There is no pretense here. I paint furniture. My furniture. I do not order my pieces from Sotheby’s. I rummage through the backs of the dirtiest shops you can imagine. I crawl under and over and pull junk off of my furniture. Junk like used toilet seats. I find it and…hello…finders keepers! And, guess what? The reason they were hidden in the back of a junk store is because they were discarded as junk. No one wants granny’s old dining room set anymore. No one even wants their parent’s furniture any longer. The only way to keep old furniture relevant and out of the dumpsters is by changing it up to fit into today’s modern decor.
I love my pieces. I try and give them back the respect that they lost when hidden under a toilet seat. I don’t slap paint on. Each one is painted with its own individual style. If you prefer the “before” in the before and after post, so be it. Our taste is different. However, telling me that I ruined a piece of furniture is not constructive criticism. I take umbrage at that. I happen to know a true antique. My mother is British and I was raised in and out of thrift stores, estate sales, church sales as well as true antique stores here and in Britain. I have an excellent eye for quality.
Whew. Felt good to get that out off my chest!
And, now we come to today. My computer crashed (hence the late post). Wait! It gets better. I parked my car in a parking lot, got out and closed my door and began to walk between the parked cars to exit. The car parked directly next to me suddenly flew backwards in reverse and missed my foot by inches. Yes, I as SO angry. I looked at the woman and said, “You almost ran over my foot!” Her response? “I don’t like your car!”
It’s a Honda minivan.
Point being, some people exude negativity. Breath in deeply, smile and exhale it out.
It’s one of my all time favorite comments. Cracks me up every time 🙂
Suzanne I love your work but isn’t it amazing how one negative comment can knock our spirits. You can receive a hundred positive remarks but it’s that one that sticks in the mind. I had a similar happening myself only this week. Anyway, I love receiving your email each day and look forward to seeing the amazing transformations you perform. I am in the UK and just paint my own bits and pieces using Annie Sloane, just for myself and friends and family. Try to focus on the positive and remember there are more of us than them!!
Thanks Cheryl and you are SO right. I need to shake it off and get a thicker skin. Cheers and have fun painting away!
Do what you like to do and to ignore the haters. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Hi Suzanne – You are so right in what you say about re-vamping furniture etc – you/me/others that enjoy the re-vamping – bring this type of furniture ‘back to life’ and everything I have seen of yours is a beautiful ‘creation’ – not just ‘painted’. Some people do not not appreciate this, but then I think they must be blind!! It is better that furniture is loved again isn’t it – rather than just sitting ‘unloved’? That is my ‘motto’ anyway – we love what we do and most people that see it and own it – love what we do 🙂 Sooooo keep those beautiful painted ‘pieces’ coming 🙂
Oh……. and by the way – I know what it’s like to have someone actually run over your foot in the car – my husband’s ‘ex-wife’ ran over mine and broke it, but I sued her and got £15,000 – sooooo justice also prevails 😉 lol
Oh, wow! I am so sorry about your foot but glad you made some cash out of the ex! What a loon! The tire really missed my foot by inches so I count myself lucky. Best of luck with your painted pieces – I’m sure they’re great. Cheers!
Well said! It amazing how emboldened people become when hiding behind a computer monitor.
I adore your work and look forward to your post each day. I am looking for an easy starter piece and then, yes, I admit it – I am going to select one of your pieces for inspiration. I honestly don’t know why people get so upset about painting a piece of furniture that otherwise would be discarded or unloved. It can always be stripped again in the future, if another owner prefers the natural wood look. Keep up the good work and thanks for the inspiration and instruction!
Thanks Kim and best of luck with your project!
I’m sorry that you had such a day, but you came through it shining brightly. I once changed my lunch time and place because the employees’ break room was so full of negative vibes that I was dreading lunch and it was making me depressed and almost physically ill. I started going to a different break room that was a happier place and made new friends that are still friends to this day. Don’t let those kind of people get you down. I love your posts.
Thanks Janice! So glad you were able to escape the Debby Downers and have lunch with good people. It makes such a difference to the day.
Wow! What a day! Don’t worry about what negative Nellies say. They don’t really like anything. I love your work, it’s wonderful. I just started painting furniture myself. I bought a used Kimball L shaped desk for my husband’s office. It’s going from a really red cherry to black. I wasn’t sure at first, but it looks fabulous. It had some serious damage on the top and front. I didn’t really feel confident enough to try to repair it and I really hated the red color. As for the woman in the garage, running over your foot seems a strange reaction to a very popular brand of car. She has serious issues.
Oh, I bet that desk looks awesome in black! It will totally transform it from kind of stuffy to Pottery Barn. Cheers and yes that woman has serous issues if she’s out to get every Honda minivan out there lol!
If it helps, yours it my no. one favorite blog on painted furniture. You have real class.
Thanks so much, Betty – you are so kind!
Ellen Jane Pendley
I echo Cheryl’s and Denise’s sentiments, Suzanne. I feel compelled to apologize on behalf people who chose to be without grace; those who try to deny their carelessness by tossing out nonsensical insults. I hope I never, even inadvertently, act like these individuals. Cheers, Ardith
Thank you so much, Ardith and I am positive that you would never, ever act like them! Cheers!
I for one LOVE your work and only wish I had a place that I could paint. (and of course had your talent) ..I have stripped many a piece of furniture in my day and I also know when to strip and when to paint…I don’t think you have ruined furniture by painting it……wow a person will run over your foot because she doesn’t like your car……it takes all kinds. Have a GREAT evening.
i saw yesterday post, remind me of another, your work is beautiful, I painted some furniture to for myself, could not compare to yours thou. I am more of a quilter than a painter, and people have made comments to the same effect to my work. I know it can kind of stick a knife in my heart sometimes. Sometimes the before pictures look really good like they were just made, so I guess some think they are in better shape then they really are, I don’t know, but I have learned to take all comments with a grain of salt so to speak, when they say thinks about my quilts, I do hope you have a better day tomorrow, the parking lot incident, well I think that person who tried to run over your foot because she did not like your can,,,, Crazy.
Thanks, Kat and I’m sure your quilts are gorgeous!
Paint away! Your projects are beautiful. Don’t listen to negative people – do what you love. Those who do not like painted furniture have a choice – they don’t have to look at your blog if it bothers them so much.
chris aka monkey
and tell ’em to bite your bippy ha ha love you xx
Oh Missy Monkey, you always make me laugh. sk on elderberry
OMG Chris, I do love you!
I agree with you. Some people think that anything that is old is an antique, even going back to the end of the 19th century. Perhaps they should look up the definition of “antique furniture”. I respect your work and your posts.
Thanks so much, Jo!
It’s true. Some people are jerks and have no respect for another person’s feelings, whether the volley is delivered via a mean-spirited blog comment or nearly hitting someone in a parking lot. It’s clear that you love the search for items and love refurbishing them to a newfound splendor. Hang on to that, Suzanne. There are plenty of us who appreciate your talent and the effort you put into your work. Never forget that.
Thanks so much!
Usually people who are negative and are quick to criticize don’t EVER like anything! No one can EVER please them so why try? Surround yourself with those who love you, cherish you and appreciate your wonderful talent. You bring beauty to our world and we love what you do! Your talent is inspiring! Two thumbs up!
Thanks, Vicki! I really appreciate it!
I had recently painted an end table that was from the 40’s and posted it on facebook for sale. I live in Oklahoma and apparently you guys back East get more $$$ for your peices – lucky devils, you, because out here, i have people trying to bid me down for LESS than $50 (meanies!)…so yes, i’m jealous!!! lol Anywho…for my little end table, i was asking $50 & thought that was a fair price to pay since i had painted it white and distressed it in places, filled in pit holes, took added doors that were on there before (aftermarket doors.lol) It looked so cute from what it originally looked like before. So, with that being said, i posted it and a lady had asked me if i would take $20 for it because it looked “ratty and needed to be redone.” WOW…blew me away, needless to say, that sparked a huge debate by my friends who saw the comment on the post. The next day, i recieved a message from her (went to school w/ the girl and she knows that i enjoy refurb’ing things like this); she had never heard of “shabby chic” and researched it and appologized to me. I thought that was very nice, because her comment really hurt my feelings. It just goes to show that people need to take into consideration what they say before posting and hitting “send”. I’m glad that i had all my friends backing me up on this one, but she was sincere in her apology and that goes along ways with me. As far as you lovely peices go, i always get excited when i get the “Painted Drawer” email from you! Your ideas are wonderful…keep sharing! – signed: The Thrify Okie Gal! lol
Thanks, Stephanie and I’m so glad she apologized. Makes you realize that her opinion really had zero value if she hadn’t even heard of shabby chic before! Not too into home decor, lol! I bet your table was super sweet and glad that others saw it as such. Cheers!
There is a saying of “The cure for ignorance is to question” so I ask – when you go to a page called “The PAINTED Drawer” what do you expect to find? Seems like a no-brainer to me – I enjoy seeing your work so please carry on!
Thanks so much and you are so right!
cassie @ primitive & proper
ih my goodness- that lady in the parking lot!!!! wtf?!?!?
Cassie, my college English teacher once shared an antidote: he and is young son were in a grocery store – his young son pointed to a woman and said: ‘dad look at that lady’ to which my teacher replied: ‘son, we don’t know if she is a lady until we observe the way she behaves’. I’ve never forgotten that analogy, and I suggest the person in the parking lot was no ‘lady’! 😉
LOL no she was definitely not a lady! She was a crazy! Cheers!
I know, right? I had the nerve to park my Honda minivan next to her car. Unbelievable. Thank God she missed my foot because I am really enjoying my fall morning jogs! Cheers!
To whom it may concern; I like rounded lines on furniture better than angular-Some pieces are better with padding and upholstery and some are better without. some are beautiful with paint and some are better with a stained finish. Some are great just sanded and left natural. I do like natural products better than manmade in my furniture I like blues and greens and browns and light or pastels accented with different shades of white better than bright reds or oranges or glaring mies of color. What you like is your business and what I like is my business and since you don’t pay my bills, you don’t have the right to tell me that what I like is less than what you like. If you don’t care for my choices, go some where else to spew your nonsense. BY THE WAY- i LOVE YOUR BLOG AND YOUR PAINTED FURNITURE.
Thanks you so much! You said it perfectly!
Suzanne, don’t let the negativity of the few get you down. There are many of us who LOVE your work, and appreciate what you bring to the blog world. Your work is beautiful. I personally enjoy reading your posts and have learned a lot over the years. You shouldn’t have to explain your “gifts” to those who don’t appreciate them! I do! So keep doing what you do, girl.
Thanks so much, Wendy!
Your website has been such a help to me and you have been so generous with your knowledge. Why a person who doesn’t like painted furniture would spread such negativity on your website is beyond me. Really? Not nice and not fair. I suspect the Negative Nancies and the lady who nearly ran over your foot are somehow related……….
Ha! Maybe they are one and the same?! Thanks so much!
I enjoy your blog and the lovely work you do refinishing pieces! Keep up your good work and don’t let anyone’s negativity get to you.
Just have to wonder if those who post such negative comments gave any thoughts to the name of your blog. It is kind of clear that you enjoy using paint. You show us what you have chosen as a project – not all of the possible pieces you looked at to get to that project piece – but we have to assume you reject many possible projects for reasons including that they should not be painted. My father believes that wood should not be painted – well that just doesn’t always work. Some wood is absolutely beautiful if left alone – others not so much. I spoke to an antiques dealer recently who told me that people just aren’t buying the antiques they once did and I think that is part of a cycle. And I also question whether there will be many antiques that come out of this time period for future generations to enjoy. Quality is not a hallmark of current production and I think upcycling will be the only way to use this stuff in the future. If you/we can take some of the well made but in very poor condition pieces of the past and help them be current for today and tomorrow it is all for the best. Now how’s that for all my random thoughts. Keep doing what you are doing – those who don’t appreciate it need to find something else to follow.
Thanks, Chris and you make a great point. The pieces from the 80’s or 90’s are not worth the effort to save. I am saving really old pieces that have been discarded as junk because of their condition, which is always super bad. If its good and the wood is gorgeous then I wouldn’t touch it (like my Hungarian chest I found). I find that by painting them I am making them relevant again and giving them new life. I happen to love a mixture of both natural and painted and believe most people do. Thanks so much and appreciate it!
It is ridiculous that anyone would complain about painting furniture on a blog called the Painted Draw. What do they expect to see? What you do is wonderful and it is very “green” as you save old pieces that might otherwise end up in a landfill!
Keep on doing the magic, it is beautiful!!!
Thanks, Janet! I know, right? The Painted Drawer…go figure!
Bobbie @ Hue New Painted Furniture
And a remarkable artist you are! Paint on, my friend, you do exceptional work and I look forward to reading your blog to see what your latest artistic spirit has done! I am in a group on Facebook, it is a chalk painting group (I am actually in several) and I crack up laughing every time someone says, “Don’t paint it!” Really, it’s a chalk paint group! People crack me up! I just keep on painting.
Marie at The Interior Frugalista
Oh my gosh Suzanne, I so enjoyed this post on so many levels. Keep On Keep’n On because your success shows that you have loads of talent and people want your stuff! As for the lady who almost ran over your foot – I can’t believe her response! Karma will come back to bite her in the @$$
Oh, you are so right about karma! Thanks, Marie!
Thank You Very Much. I have wanted to spill this for so many years I can’t even count. You did it perfect. And I can feel the feathers ruffling from here.
Good for you to stand up for all of us. (me being the coward that I am) Keep on keepin on my friend. The only negative people I know or have ever encountered, have become this way, was from sheer jealousy.
See if any one of them could submit the kind of spectacular work you do. Not one of them. No, Not One Of Them could stand up to the test. Bless your heart. Keep inspiring us.
SK on Elderberry
Thank you so much, SK!
I agree with everyone who said don’t worry about the negative comments. You do beautiful work and you are an inspiration to the rest of us. We only see the before and after pictures, You see all of the flaws and blemishes when you find a piece and start working on it. Like you say many of these items are throw aways and you give them new life. You are a very talented artist.
Thanks so much, Debra!
People do get uppity when they don’t have to look someone in the eyes. I see this a lot on other sites as well. Not everything we do will appeal to everyone, but why people feel the need to be know-it-alls is beyond me. Sometimes people blurt out things before engaging their brain, but when they are typing their criticism, they’ve certainly had time to think. Mean girls abound! LOL. Love what you do and even if a piece isn’t my “style”, I can certainly appreciate the thought, creativity, and hard work that goes into it. That alone is worth a gold star. Keep on, keeping on. You’re rocking it. 🙂
Thank you so much, DeMarie!
Every once in a while we all need to share what’s on our hearts!!! Like you I take trash and make it ready to be loved again. If you can help a negative person change it up a bit, you are making them ready to be loved again too, so what I’m saying is don’t feel bad about it. You did it in a most loving, kind way. And keep doing what you do, turning trash into beautiful pieces!! Always wishing you the best!!
Thank you, Liz!!!
Your work is beautiful. I never comment but I do love reading your blogs. I was at a Costco with my grandson when he was a toddler and an older couple drove thru the parking just missing us. I went up to his car and asked him if he was trying to hit us and he shook his head yes. Keep painting…
Doesn’t it make you mad?! So glad you and your grandson were ok. I really am still pretty shocked at this woman but so glad that it was a chance encounter and I don’t have to ever see her again!
I’m with everyone else. I love your work AND blog. Not sure why a person who dislikes painted furniture would be following you 🙂 I also find(rescue) old sad pieces that are discarded or unwanted. I actually think of them smiling and happy when I’m done with them. You’ve been a great influence on me. Thanks. Mimi
Thanks, Mimi – it does make me wonder why someone would follow my blog if they dislike painted furniture. It really just makes no sense unless they enjoy getting angry every day when they receive my post! Oh, well. Cheers!
I love what you do to furniture. I just wish I had your talent. If people don’t like painted furniture (which has been around for ages) don’t belong to this page! By the way I have both in my home.
Thanks, Susan. I actually have both in my home as well. I can’t imagine having only one type as it would be so boring. Cheers!
You couldn’t have described this more perfectly! Bravo and thank you!
Thanks so much!
I not have two words in reply to his post, however a simple two word comment does no justice to your SEO juice, so to simply put it …. AMEN SISTER !
Love it! Thanks!!!
Love this post and love what you do!!! You really transform items and make them treasured pieces again!
Well I want to chime in on all this fracas as well. As Susan Clark mentioned in her post…painted furniture has been around forever and in the most elegant of homes too! I stumbled across your site quite by accident and was drawn to the elegant way in which you painted your pieces. I rarely if ever sign up to receive emails but I couldn’t register my name quickly enough in order to receive your regular postings. For anyone interested in this sort of decorating…it is a treat to wait for your weekly “buys” I so look forward to each and every post.
The person who was so mean-spirited is obviously very one dimensional with regards to decorating.
Please keep up the good work and know that there are many of us “out here” who adore your site. You are a very talented woman who is kind enough to share your skills with anyone who is interested.
Thank you so much, Susan. It is so much appreciated!
As long as you are selling furniture that you’ve “painted” and people are subscribing to your blog…Don’t listen to the people who would be negative to what you do. I have not always agreed that the item should have been painted but I always think the finished piece is awesome. Do what you love and people will love what you do.
I just read your post and all the responses. What stood out to me is that you have a great deal of respect and LOVE from all of us and we want you to carry on with your awesome work!! Cyn
That is exactly what stood out to me as well. It is more than touching. It is amazing!
I bought an old, beat up vanity stool at auction not long ago. It had a wood base with a frayed, heavily stained fabric seat. The wood framed was in decent shape but had deep scratches in it. I painted the frame instead of trying to fill and sand them all. I removed the seat cover and found that the base of the seat was just rotting cardboard. I cut a new one out of wood, rebuilt the seat and covered it with a lovely French fabric. I thought it looked fabulous and I posted it on my blog.
The very first post was a woman who said “I liked it better before.”
OMG, Patra – I feel your pain. SO annoying! Thanks so much and we just need to carry on 🙂
My son says “If you don’t have haters, then you’re doing something wrong”. But before I posted ‘his’ expression as a reply here, I Googled it and learned it’s not his original expression. While Googling it, I found some really inspirational expressions….My favorite was “I don’t have haters, I have fans in denial”! Ha! You are a talented, classy lady who is greatly loved and appreciated!
Thanks Robin! I absolutely love the word Haters and wish we had it growing up. It is such a great way to describe some people in just one word! My girl’s say, “Haters back off!” I need to say that as well!
I love your work!! Always amazed how you can transform an old piece of furniture into an outstanding piece of art!
Thanks so much!
I love beautiful wood, old furniture, and your work. Paint away, talented lady! 🙂
Thank you, Dina!
My, are people brave sitting behind a computer screen! People have no filter anymore, say anything to anyone before thinking about no matter what it is! I don’t know what happened to if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all!!
To me you are an artist and inspiration and there is nothing that I can say that hasn’t been said already…keep painting because that’ s what you do!
Thanks, Kelly. You are so right about hiding behind a screen. I’ve noticed it on Facebook and even reading the comments in the paper. It must somehow give them a sense of power. Thanks so much and I will pick that brush up and keep going!
Suzanne, you’re so right!! Nobody wanted the pieces of furniture as they were, so you’re giving them new life and now everyone wants these pieces!! Keep up the good work!! 🙂
Your work is amazing!!!! I know it is difficult putting yourself out there because people don’t even think twice about posting negative comments, but rest assured – your painted pieces are truly beautiful. It is quite obvious that you pour your heart and soul into each and every item you transform, so keep on doing it your way and to hell with the haters!!!!
Thanks, Liz! As my girl’s say, “haters back off!” Love it!
Suzanne, I grew up with a mom and a BFF’s mom who refinished furniture – in northern VA. This whole painting thing is foreign to them. They do great work. Because of them, I have a huge soft spot for tiger and bird’s eye maple and mahogany.
That being said (and you said it for me), there are a lot of unloved, uncared-for furniture pieces out there that might be destined for a landfill or fireplace without people like you. I do it for a hobby for my own things, and I absolutely love the results. Isn’t that what matters?
You’re a business person. You sell stuff that people want to buy. It’s commerce, and it’s how you make a living. Every profession has a few bad seeds out there. I’m in sales. You know what they say about that profession. My clients happen to respect me and look to me to provide solutions for their problems. And so do you.
The truth NEVER, EVER needs a defense. So my advice to you is to grow a little tougher skin and blow those people off. They don’t know you, and they don’t know your clientele. They don’t know the shape of the pieces you acquire, and very few photos ever capture the conditions of said pieces accurately.
There’s a thrift shop in northern VA that I would be happy to refer to you. If I lived there instead of Denver, I’d be rummaging that store every few days. Write me if you’re interested!
Thanks for your videos! Love them. 🙂
Hi Betsey, I live in Northern VA and would love to hear about that thrift shop! Would you mind letting me know where it is? Thank you so much.
Kim, it’s the Clock Tower on Annandale Road, right off Rt. 50. It’s crowded and the property looks a little sketchy, but they have better than average thrift furniture at an extremely thrifty price. I always find stuff I want there! But it can’t come home on a plane, doggone it. My mom heard they get stuff leftover from a local auction place-every week. Happy hunting! I’m really jealous!
Hi Betsey – thanks SO much for the great tip! I need to check it out soon. Love a new hunting ground lol!
We may run into each other there lol! Can’t wait to give it a try 🙂
Hi Betsey – just replied to you regarding the store in VA and thanks again. I believe you are correct that it is commerce and the basic supply and demand. I totally need to grow a thicker skin and have realized that this past year. I need to step back and not take it personally. It’s a learning curve – this putting yourself out there for others to see. Cheers and if you are in town look me up and we can go thrifting together 🙂
Sometimes I think stuff like this hits us harder because we’re stressed, pressured and exhausted. You’re a good egg, and you put a lot of time, effort and love to educate those of us who are neophytes. Because of you I was introduced to GF and I’ve watched all of your videos at least once. Your value is defined only by you and those of us who tell you you’re awesome!
I’m heading home for TG so, if you opt to do Black Friday shopping at the clock tower, I can handle that! It’s right up the street from my folks. I seriously have not seen such a treasure trove every time I go! Let me know
For what it’s worth, your work is absolutely beautiful and has been a great source of inspiration to me and others! Don’t let some negative comments affect you…they obviously are jealous, have absolutely no taste, unhappy with their own work, etc. etc. Just keep doing what you’re doing and continue to share your treasures with us. 🙂
I LOVE your furniture Suzanne and I look forward to your posts. Just hit the delete key and remember you have lots of fans out there including me!!!!
Thank you, Debi!
Cynthia - Clockwork Interiors
The phrase, “I don’t like your car” had me laughing so hard!! Sorry you almost got your foot run over. Since possibly you need a laugh … I’ll share with you a note I left on a car in my much younger years … I had the cutest little VW cabriolet convertible — I was 8 months pregnant, and someone parked so close to me I had to get in the passenger side and climb over to the driver seat — I was so mad I left a note saying, “If you don’t know how to park or drive, may I suggest you ride the bus to work?!” p.s. I’m much sweeter now …. and drive an uglier car! 😀
Everyone these days has to put their 2 vents these days. If she doesn’t like your blog or what you do in your blog then why does she read it! You do beautiful work! Just remember that! There are obviously a lot of people that feel the same way about painted furniture. Paint breaths new life into old beat up pieces.