The Two Most Important Tools Needed for Your Next Project

I painted this chair yesterday.

I found this chair 9 months ago for $35 at a Salvation Army.  I had big plans to make it all cute but then life got in the way and the idea of taking it apart to paint and or recover was too daunting so I let it sit in our bedroom. I didn’t know what I wanted the chair to look like when it was done, and I didn’t care to try to figure it out.  Yes, I know that someone likes it the way it is, I liked it too but I wanted something different– and ha ha, it’s  my chair and I can destroy it however I see fit.

Well, I did something this weekend that changed my attitude towards this chair.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. But, When I got home, I looked around my house to see who my first victim could be.  And I found this poor neglected chair. I immediately popped out the bottom cushion.  And after scratching my head and posting this photo on twitter I got the help I needed for the back cushion…

Oh the QUEENS of furniture came to my rescue.   There were others as well but I could only snapshot 4 in a row.  Basically, they all said the same thing, that back part is a BEAR to get out.  And since I wasn’t recovering the chair, just painting it, I decided to leave the back in and paint the chair just like that. I was in the mode of getting this chair done, NOTHING was going to stop me.

Lucky for me, the goal was not perfection.  The goal was pure imperfection.  It’s so much easier to paint something imperfectly.  I slapped a few coats of the first white paint I found {stop the world, call the paint police, I used eggshell wall paint}.  I was too impatient to wait for it to dry so then I grabbed my trusty sanding sponge block thing whateverthosethingsarecalled and went to town.  The more I sanded off, the better it looked.

I’m so happy with the results.  Why didn’t I do this months ago?  It took an HOUR?!  One measely HOUR.  What was holding me back?

Motivation and Inspiration were holding me back.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, and I wasn’t excited about doing it.

The two most important things when you are doing a project are motivation and inspiration.  Because when you are motivated and inspired, you will find a way to make it happen.  You get creative, you have what it takes, you believe in yourself, it’s worth the trouble.  You could have all the {insert appropriate tools that Home Depot says you need for any particular project} ready to go, but without motivation and it’s more fun and creative sister, inspiration, you’ll never get the job done.  Don’t underestimate the power of motivation and inspiration.  And don’t forget to allow yourself to have the time to get inspired and motivated.

What has motivated and or inspired you to get a project done?

Can you guess what inspired me this weekend?


  1. How true! I have found that to be so time and time again. Deadlines help too.

  2. Okay, I hope you are going to tell us your secrets for avoiding getting paint on the fabric. I meticulously reupholstered a chair and wish I would have painted it before hand. Now what?

    • I used a small brush, left some wood close to the fabric unpainted, and I did get some paint on the fabric but had a wet rag close by to wash it off!

      Not perfect but done!

  3. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!! Great job,and it was only 1 hr? Wow….. I love your blog and I am new to blogging…any advice for me? My site isn’t as polished as others, but I’m trying!

    Take care,

  4. Oh, and thanks for the comment on my kitchen, I really appreciate it!!!


  5. I’ve got 4 I’ve been wanting to paint for over a year!! Ugh! Maybe you have inspired me to whip em out!

  6. love the chair… the color of the upholstery seems to go great in your room, or house, in general!! I am keeping my eyes out for a good “reject” chair at our salvation army…
    you’re lucky if yours didn’t stink!!! that’s always a concern for me.

  7. Ok….I’m inspired, and am FINALLY going after the beautiful unfinished chair in my living room!! I’ve wanted to paint it for months!! I’ll try to post before and after pics on my blog & credit YOU as my inspiration…THANKS!!

  8. Love it … the white is fresh against the upholstery and just makes the trim stand out … much improved.

  9. Lauren@SimplyLKJ says

    Looks fabulous. I have two in my dining room that I would love to make lighter (cherry wood) but do not want to reupholster…thanks for the inspiration.

    My girlfriends coming for Bunco are usually the motivator for me…they ALWAYS expect to find some cool new project I’ve completed! Right now I’m scrambling to get more than one done before I host in August!!

  10. YOU inspire me and company coming motivates me!

  11. I have one of those chairs sitting in my living room! I stare at it everyday, and every night I try to envision what I am going to do with it. After looking at your blog I think I need to go think just a little more, but will vow to do something with it soon – OK within the next MONTH! LOVE, LOVE, love you blog – thank you! :)

  12. I have two pieces currently waiting for a makeover, but I am lacking inspiration and motivation. Not sure what I want to do, so therefore I do nothing. Your chair looks awesome. Glad you found your inspriation to get it done.

  13. Inspiration abounds for me–mostly because I read your blog! Motivation? That’s a little harder to come by. Sometimes I need motivation in the form of a good swift kick in the pants!

  14. I love the way that chair turned out! And your post has motivated me to get some projects done…recently I too have been frozen by “not-exactly-sure-how-I-want-it-to-be-itis” and I need to forget that & just DO something!
    Thanks Nester!

  15. absolutely love. love. love. the new look for the chair! there’s nothing i love more than white chippy/distressed paint! great job! still loving your blog too!

  16. I have to say, the before picture made me think…WHY? I wouldn’t have taken a second look at that chair if I came upon it at Goodwill. I’d have walked right by, but you have such a keen eye. It looks so beautiful. It fits perfectly with the easy, light, comfortable elegance of your home. A job SO well done.

  17. hey nester. i enjoy your blog and this is a great idea for me to start off. can you tell me the sanding sponge thing you used? i’m a newbie in this. a picture of it would be really helpful!

  18. Lynley Ciorobea says

    Nester, I’m obsessed with your blog! Quick question – when you paint furniture like this, do you sand the wood first or just go right on top of whatever is there?? Thanks for your time!

  19. Lisa Nelson says

    YOU inspire me! I LOVE your posts and your ideas. I have a WHOLE BEDROOM SUITE waiting for this motivation and inspiration…..I can’t wait to get started but it always seems like something else gets in the way….usually it’s my fear that I will mess it up… was my grandparents’ guest room furniture so it’s very old. Not particularly expensive but it was for them. I’m going to get started THIS weekend. Thanks for the inspriation!

  20. Ahhhhh! This is so true! Inspiration and motivation. I’ve gotten things done when I’ve had both. This was a great post:) thanks for the reminder. Maybe I can tackle some long overdue projects by concentrating on this.

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