Whimsical Grandfather Clock


I’ve wanted a big clock for a few years.  A couple of months ago I finally saw a simple grandfather-ish clock painted bright blue at an antique store,  I was SO excited, but it was already sold.  I snooped around and could see that it wasn’t an old clock, just a new, inexpensive clock painted to look better.  Which got me thinking…

I knew Joss & Main sometimes sold a similar clock.  So when it popped up one day back in April I used a little store credit I had and bought it.  It’s not quite what I was looking for with these finishes but… after a couple of coats of glossy white paint…

And a little “whenever” whimsy after I painted the clock face with chalk board paint…

It’s exactly what I wanted.

(updated) Almost. A few months later something bugged me about that I HAD to change….

Years ago I would have been afraid to drastically change something brand new.  But now I’ve learned that it’s ok to create what you are looking for if you can’t find it.

What’s the largest item you’ve purchased only to immediately change it up?

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  1. I love your clock! The fact that you can change what it says is priceless, not that you would want to! What a creative way to change something that wasn’t quite right to make it you. :)

  2. Oh this is fantastic! The white makes it look sooo modern.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  3. Ok Miss Nester …thanks for the push!

  4. That’s ambitious and daring! I love the vicarious pleasure of watching you create the space you crave.

  5. It is beautiful!

  6. Ah, I love your clock and how clever with the “whenever.” I want! :D

  7. I am so excited for you. That clock and your redo is fabulous! I am looking for the same thing and have been for some time now. I have a grand-father clock my father made me many moons ago and would not dare touch that but I have been hoping to find a beat up one at a yard sale or flea and redo that. I know I will find it eventually. Again, yours is just so wonderful. Have a super great week. xo

    • oh to find one at a yard sale! you could try craigslist too but every time I found one they were at least the price I paid for a new one, if not more. actually, it would be easy to build if you didn’t mind just doing a boxy one! good luck!

  8. Wow! I love this! You are so bold and creative! Truly inspiring others to step out of the box a bit, too! :)

  9. Well, once again I am inspired! Don’t you ever get tired of always being so “imperfectly perfect’? lol, :) I love the idea of changing something brand new and I love the way the clock turned out.

  10. Gorgeous!! I saw one similar in its simplicity at IKEA recently and almost had the hubs on board…

    We bought a cabinet for our kitchen a couple months ago that I knew when I bought it, I didn’t like the color, but the dimensions were perfect for a very odd space it had to fill. We got it home and I immediately got to work painting it in a beautiful finish, I created by accident, that consider my version of “zinc.” Looks perfect now!

  11. PERFECTION!!!! (now… ‘just add storage’ and we’re REALLY talkin’)

  12. I LOVE this. You are so creative and I think that is the cutest clock ever. I thought it said “when” “never” over and over. Ha. “Whenever” works too:) Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. I LOVE it. I am in the same boat – I will change new things to make them what I want. When I bought my house it was full of 1914 vintage charm, except the kitchen that had been flipped with low-end big box cabinets that did not work in the house at all. I painted my brand new wood cabinets. I nearly peed my pants while I did it and got lots of judgement from other people. But it is my house and I have never, ever, ever regretted it. I love my kitchen now – even if I got there by “defacing” my brand new kitchen :)

  14. Im just so inspired by you and your blog! you keep producing fresh and unique projects,thank you!

  15. I think if it lived at my house I might write “Clean up”. That way, when my 5 year old asked what time it was (about 15 times a day!) I could say, “Look at the clock. Oh- it’s time to clean up!” Love your Nester stamp on the clock!

  16. This is my all time favorite thing you’ve presented. I LOVE IT! (the caps are cheery excitement, not tyrannical screaming : )

  17. I love this!! Way to be bold and go with your gut! I’ve never done something like this but now it doesn’t seem so scary! I love your blog and how you encourage simplicity and embrace imperfections as beauty!

  18. Love it! I would never have thought to do that to a clock like that. thank you for the inspiration…

  19. Kristina Zack says

    I thought it said “never when”, which I found delightfully reminiscent of JM Barrie, or AA Milne or something. I am totally going to copy that clock face idea! Oh, the possibilities. . .

  20. I have a feeling you just started the newest trend…

    Love it!

  21. Ooooo, I L O V E this project. I would have hesitated, but lately I’ve felt freed to simply do.

  22. Love it!! Soooo very fun!
    I’m stepping in the direction of feeling free to change something brand new and make it me. And you’re the inspiration!!

  23. I think the clock looks great painted white! I’m not a fan of chalkboard ‘everything’, so I would have left the original clock face. If I ‘were’ to write on the face, I would say ‘Tempus fugit’ (Time flies).

  24. Love it, especially the clock face. I bought four chairs for my dininag area table from overstock.com because I loved the shape and the rush seats. They were the wrong color but the shape was just right, as was the price and of course the $2.95 shipping cost. I immediately painted them and the look just as I imagined. I too had never done such a thing but I am glad I took the risk.

  25. How fun is this?! Love your sense of whimsy with the “Whenevers.” :-)

  26. Nester,

    You did such a fantastic job. That clock is simply adorable! You should be proud!

    Bugs & Sunshine

  27. Wow! That looks elegant and fun all at the same time…great idea. I love that you did the face with chalkboard paint and can change the saying. The piece that I painted white this week was not new but so old that I was tired of it. The paint made it “new to me” again and I think I will enjoy it more because I did just go on and put a coat of paint on it.

  28. I’m in love with it. YOU are amazing, friend. xo

  29. Okay, I love the clock but…. my eye is catching on that curtain next to it! Where is that curtain hanging? I want to know more about it!

  30. Amanda G. says

    So clever!
    My biggest roadblock when it comes to making something work in a room is changing it when it is brand-new. I have no problem painting over a $3 painting or cutting the legs off a $20 thrifted table. It’s when I plunck a large amount of coin down on something that I second guess myself so much that I end up doing nothing and the item hides in the basement.

    • I 100% agree, this was huge for me, not only did I change something brand new, I PURCHASED it knowing I was going to hate it the way it was. Mercy, I’ve entered into new territory! I love that you all get that!

  31. Rhonda Brooks says

    Inspiring!! That’s what you are :) You never disappoint!

  32. LOVE IT! I think it is a great way to get exactly what you want, and a little change never hurts…

  33. Loveeeeeeeee it! Love the whenevers! You are so inspiring!

  34. I thought the clockface read “never when” at first. Ominous, haha! What a liberating idea: altering something that’s new… It’s scandalous… Shocking… And JUST what I needed to read. “Don’t alter new things” is a perfect rule to be broken.

  35. That clock looks amazing! I too am scared to change up brand new items but am opening up to the idea after seeing your gorgeous clock!

  36. Never in a million years would I have thought to do that…but I LOVE it! So clever & fun! Now you’ve inspired my creative juices and ideas are a flowin’.

  37. I could not believe it when I saw your makeover as I have a grandfather clock that needs one! My dad made it and its still in its ‘raw’ state. You’ve done a great job.

  38. oh my goodness! I LOVE it! Like I’m so in love with it I’m looking around my house for a clock face to paint and write on:)

  39. I am actually really glad you made a post about your clock. I first noticed it on your blog when you were getting ready for the photo shoot, pinned it for inspiration, and was hoping you would write a post on it. I have always loved the curvy looking Swedish floor clocks, but could never afford the real thing since they are thousands of dollars. I had finally found one at an antique store right before the time I pinned yours for inspiration. It was not really antique and actually made of cheap wood/laminate, but I really loved the shape. So I went for it since the price was right, and I knew I could transform it to look like an antique Swedish clock. I finished transforming it a couple of weeks ago and I love it! My husband didn’t like the original finish either and almost thought we shouldn’t get it. Now he loves the transformed product too. I painted it a soft white wash gray with glazing and highlighted with a cream color. So there you have it-my transformation on a new thing that also happens to be a curvy floor clock.

  40. These kind of clocks are actually called mora clock and come from sweden (google it!!!) and are usually painted white or light grey or beige… just FYI. ;) Greetings from Norway

  41. Love the clock.
    The chalk board paint is a great idea!

    i haven’t purchased anything too large lately to re-do. I did see a foot tall chalk board on clearance. it was a color I didn’t like. And, the top had a bible verse with a sort of picture frame backing. The verse wasn’t very meaningful to me. (And, I had other plans for a place for verses and thoughts for the day.) So, I repainted it and printed out a pretty picture and inserted it.

    It actually turned out even BETTER than I could have planned.
    With i had a before pic :)

    If gave me the courage (and a kind of “permission”) to do other projects.
    If that makes any sense…

    ~ Dana

  42. Love it!!! Sooo pretty!!

  43. The clock looks fabulous…you inspired me to give my old clock some new life. Thanks so much!

  44. I pinned this a while back and just now looked at it again. I have a tall, dated, ugly clock I inherited that I couldn’t even sell at a garage sale! I knew there was a reason I needed to keep it. I love the whimsy of the face-I’ve got courage and “permission” to paint the clock face! I hope mine turns out well, though it doesn’t have the great lines of yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. Gorgeous makeover – you’ve done a lovely job and I have this linked to my DIY clocks post too today, for inspiration!

  46. I have been searching for a clock like this to redo. Can you tell me if you happen to know the maker of the clock? Thanks, Lori

  47. This clock is awesome. I love that you were bold enough to modify it so it worked better for you. Love the “haircut”.

  48. So cute great in that room very beautiful love it!

  49. What was the name of the original clock/do you still have a link for it or the maker??

  50. uhm, you sure thats not a Mora clock? which is a VERY expensive, timeless piece.

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