No Cares Given

People often confide in me that they would love to redo their furniture, but they feel too guilty because it was given to them by their in-laws, or it was passed down from their grandmother or something along those lines.  My typical response is “Who cares!?” (This is why I would be a terrible therapist.)

Who cares if your in-laws have ‘opinions’ or your grandmother’s item was ‘valuable?’ That shouldn’t be the deciding factor on what goes and stays in your home. An item is only as valuable as its value to you. Put that on a t-shirt and wear it to your family reunion.

But seriously, I know it can be tricky to navigate that type of situation.  All of this could be easily avoided if your family members would stop being so generous and just gave you terribly run-down and rickety old furniture that desperately needed a makeover anyway.  That’s what Susan started with when she was asked to redo this heirloom dresser for a client. The before picture doesn’t show the half of the damage that this thing had suffered.  But now …

Wood and Coastal Blue Chest Before


Wood and Coastal Blue Chest

Stunning. Gorgeous. That wood grain, the gold hardware, ugh! I can’t take it, it’s so lovely. She’d better watch out, Grandma’s going to want this back.

See the whole story on her blog Saw Nail and Paint.

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Merry Merry Christmas to you from me! I hope your holiday season has been filled with joy and delight and happy feelings.

I feel the need to give you, dear reader, a huge thank you for being here and hanging out with me and supporting Better After.  Every kind email and sweet comment you send my way truly makes my whole day, and makes chugging on with this blog (heading into it’s sixth year!) worth it.

I couldn’t do it without you being so generous to share your projects and talents with me, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Keep those submissions coming! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for 2015!

I will be taking the rest off the week off, and will see you soon for a yearly wrap up of my favorite Better Afters of 2014.

And now, an adorable pallet makeover from my gal Julie at Redhead Can Decorate.




Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays my friend!

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Once upon a wardrobe.

The old wardrobe sat quietly to the side, trying to hide her tears.  The church yard sale was almost over, and she hadn’t been sold.  Of course she hadn’t.  Who would want to drag her home? She was nothing but tattered junk.  Old and worn through, no good to anybody anymore.  Her beauty had long since faded, sure, but she had foolishly hoped she could still be useful. Her hopes sank further as she heard the snickering of teenage boys preparing to toss her in the dump pile.

But what’s this? They weren’t headed to the dump pile; they hoisted her up and placed her in the back of an SUV!  Somebody had bought her? Why, this was too good to be true.

She arrived at her new home and stared face-to-face at her new owner, but she still refused to believe it.

Tami seemed like a nice lady, but she couldn’t possibly repair all the damage that had been done over the years.  And why would she want to try? But still, the old wardrobe seemed to whisper, “Don’t give up on me!”

And Tami listened.


brown chifferobe before


wood - chifferobe - wardrobe - makeover |

Through the blood, sweat, tears, curses, ridicule, and hours of labor, Tami listened. She coaxed out the beauty that was within her all along.

So don’t forget to remember that story whenever you have one of those days where you feel like a pile of junk too. You’re not! You have more worth and beauty that you know! I said so, and I know about these things.

See more to the story at Curb Alert.

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Woodn’t you?

There’s something to be said about a quality refinishing job.  That something is: “Wooooo!”  (There’s probably a more eloquent something, but that’s the best I’ve got so far.  Feel free to chime in).

Better After reader Hilary had high hopes for this $30 Craigslist dresser, even though the previous owner thought it was a lost cause thanks to its multiple oil stains and scratches galore. Plus it had thin veneer top, and if you’ve ever messed around with those, you know they are next to impossible to repair.  But what the heck.  Why not try to salvage that beautiful solid wood first?

She veeeeery carefully sanded off the previous finish and stain, then did two coats of stain and many coats of poly to achieve this rejuvenated look.  New knobs from World Market to top it off, and she’s in business!  (The business of NOT selling it, that is.  This one’s a keeper!)



gorgeous refinishing job on a $30 craigslist dresser | |

gorgeous refinishing job on a $30 craigslist dresser | |

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