Stripped and Bare

Jul 17, 2017 | Business Topics | 2 comments

Have you ever seen chairs or sofas that look like this?



This look is called “deconstructed” and it’s really gorgeous when it’s executed properly on upholstered furniture. The goal is to show the beauty of the framework and showcase how a piece is constructed. Typically, the sides and back of a piece of furniture are left open to allow you to see these gorgeous details.

While I don’t have any deconstructed furniture myself, a dresser I finished recently might just fit the bill. As you know, dressers don’t have any upholstery on them, so I use the term “deconstructed” loosely.

So here’s where the piece started:

This little black dresser, with its upside down legs, had three coats of paint on it when I first bought it from Laura of Feathering The Nest Home.  It was purchased “accidentally” because I initially went to visit her to buy this piece:

It required more work than I was ready to handle, so I took home her black dresser and the trestle table instead.

Work began by stripping the paint off of the top.  It was painted in black latex followed by a layer of gray and a final layer of white (which I’m assuming was primer).  It took two rounds of stripping and cleaning to get the top back to raw wood.

I spent another two or three hours sanding away the layers of paint on the body.  The result was this:

I couldn’t get every bit of paint off, but it was pretty much down to the raw wood, so if I wanted to Milk Paint over it, I was good to go.

I posted a photo of the dresser at this stage on Instagram and I couldn’t get over the number of people who said I should leave it the way it was.  It was enough to make me stop and really consider what I had created.  I was literally getting ready to paint it in Mora with a chippy texture, but should I hold off?

Would people really buy it this way?  I didn’t get all of the paint off and you could still see some of the layers in spots.

I texted Brenda of Painted Table Designs and asked her what she thought.  She absolutely loved it, as did my buddy Annie of Simply Chic Furniture in California.

So if two wildly talented designers and furniture painters like me think I should leave it alone, then maybe I had a winner on my hands?

Even though I couldn’t quite see the beauty in the dresser, I gave it a simple finish with some buttery soft Furniture Wax by Miss Mustard Seed and called it a day.  Despite the fact I didn’t see what others saw, I trusted their opinions.

The more I sit and think about this piece, the more I like it.  Oddly enough, that’s because I’m realizing that I AM like it.

You see, I’m in a place right now where I’m being stripped down to the bare bones and it feels really uncomfortable.  God is challenging me in my weakest places.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those parts of your life that you try to keep in the dark, all covered up and tucked away so no one will know.  From studying the Bible, I know that God is always working for the good of His children.  Be that as it may, it still doesn’t feel good.  While He’s working, I’m feeling exposed and vulnerable, like all of my layers that I’ve worked hard to put on are being stripped away…just like my dresser.

I’ve always had a rollercoaster relationship with working out, eating healthy and my weight in general.  There have been times when I was in ridiculously good shape. 

I ate healthy and exercised on a regular basis.

And then there are other times, like the present, when managing exercise and my diet are just too much to handle.  I wind up putting on weight and get myself into such a rut that I don’t even want to bother climbing out.

As of late, it’s gotten to the point where I avoid hanging out with friends if it involves any sort of physical activity, like ultimate frisbee or volleyball (which I played in high school and college).  I won’t go to the beach and forget about bathing suits.  If I feel like crying, I’ll go watch a Jane Austin movie.

Much like a my deconstructed dresser, there’s no hiding what’s underneath once it’s exposed.

But who says that state can’t be beautiful?  If you look at this dresser, there’s gorgeous wood under there.  It’s natural and perfect.  While you can still see bits of the layers that were on top, it’s kind of in a suspended state of “work in progress”.

Aren’t we all works in progress?  I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t arrived.  When you feel like you’re at your rawest point and the most vulnerable, is that beautiful in and of itself?  When there’s nothing left to hide behind and all is laid bare, are you still lovely?

I’ve learned that the answer is absolutely and unequivocally “yes”, despite how I may feel on the inside or look on the outside.

I am loved just the way I am.

Skinny, plump, in shape, out of shape, size 8 or size 14…it doesn’t matter.  I’m completely and utterly acceptable and lovely no matter what state I’m in.

I’m loved unconditionally by the Lord whether I have my act together or not.

My husband is my biggest cheerleader on my best days and my worst.

My family has loved me from day one and that’s never going to change.

And being loved in that state is the best feeling in the world.

(This dresser is for sale at Painted Table Designs in Elverson, PA – $174)

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I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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