It was almost amazing. So close. I’d cleaned up hubby’s treasured old radio cabinet, painted it the perfect color, added gold leaf highlights (because what isn’t amazing about gold leaf?), Rub ‘n Buf’d the hardware, replaced the yucky fabric that covered the speaker with fancy brass grating, and waxed and polished this sweet piece to perfection.
Then came the top of the cabinet.
The veneer was so badly damaged that I decided to remove it. I thought of simply painting the wood beneath to match the rest of the cabinet, or maybe I’d do something real fancy like gluing down paint sticks in some complicated pattern.
But alas, Mr. OTN vetoed my suggestions in favor of a traditional wood grain finish.
So we ended up purchasing a beautiful new piece of self stick veneer. Mahogany with lots of swirly movement. Ohhhh…this little radio cabinet was going to be so wonderful when she was finished.
One day, when hubby was at work and I grew impatient to get ‘er done, I decided to tackle the job myself. I read the instructions carefully, cut a piece a little larger than the top of the radio cabinet, and positioned it just so before peeling off the backing one bit at a time, while pressing it in place.
It was perfect!
I honestly thought about how amazing Mr. OTN was going to think I was when he came home and saw what I’d done.
But I had to hurry if I was going to finish trimming, staining, and sealing it before he walked in the door.
The tricky part of laying veneer is the trimming, but that didn’t phase me. I have a very steady hand and my self-confidence told me I had this nailed.
The first cut down the right side was immaculate. The second cut, across the front of the cabinet was also a job well done. Then came side three and . . . OOPS!
My Exacto knife slipped! I didn’t see the full damage until I lifted away the unwanted piece of veneer and . . . well . . . you can imagine my reaction at seeing a long strip of the cabinet’s ravaged top exposed.
“It’s okay,” I told myself “I can fix this.”
So I went on to the fourth and final cut across the back of the cabinet. What. A. Mess. The cut on this side was even worse than the one before.
I may have panicked a little at the damage I’d done. Then I tried to fix it. I tried cutting a tiny strip of veneer to lay down in the exposed area. It looked terrible. I tried wood filler. Stain on wood filler only highlighted the mess.
This is where I may have begun to cry. And after crying I may have spent a little time berating myself for the mess I’d made. And after berating myself I may have called the hubs at work and told him what a mess of a person he’d married, and how I’d ruined everything, and how he’d have to put off retirement because I’d destroyed this terribly expensive piece of veneer!
Mr. OTN . . . the one who loves me more than anyone else in all the world, told me it was okay. He told me that it was no big deal, and that I was amazing, and talented, and wonderful. Then he told me that we’d buy another “stinkin’ piece of veneer” and try again.
SIGH . . . As always, I felt better after talking to my sweet hubby about my disappointment. Not amazing but almost. Mr. OTN though, he is amazing!
And speaking of amazing (how do you like that segue?), do y’all know KariAnne Wood of Thislewood Farms? She has just written her first book, So Close to Amazing, in which she tells her own story and also celebrates the amazing in all of us. I am incredibly privileged to be on her book launch team, even though I must say that I think she may have only chosen me because of the fool I made of myself when I saw her at a blogger’s conference. I lost all decorum in my excitement over seeing her in person and ranted and raved over her amazing red lipstick!
Click on the book cover to pre-order!
KariAnne is my absolute favorite blogger and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to promote her book. It is “a book for anyone who has ever mismatched her shoes or trimmed her own bangs when a professional might have been a better choice or added too much soap to the washer and watched it overflow”. It will make you laugh and cry and feel all good about yourself on the inside. I guarantee it! You can click on the picture above to pre-order.
Okay, so back to my almost amazing radio cabinet restoration. What I later learned, after talking to a man at a local woodshop, is that cutting veneer is a very delicate process, and the need for a sharp blade extremely important. So important in fact that he recommends using a new blade for every single cut. Okay. I’m gonna do it. One day. For now I’ll just use this pretty crocheted coverlet that used to belong to my sweet mama and remember what she always used say to me when I was a little girl:
When I get ‘er done I will definitely be back with a tutorial highlighting all the do’s and don’ts because I want YOU to be more than almost amazing.
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Thanks for sharing your “fun” mishaps. You always make me smile! 🙂
You are most welcome Shelly. It is fun to smile with you 🙂
Yep, I’ve done the same thing……tackled a project, blown it, confessed to my husband, and then waited for him to do it correctly. What are you using the cabinet for now? Are there shelves inside or a radio. Turned out very nice if I do say.
Haha PJ! I have plenty of failures, but sometimes they are even better when we go in and fix things. This is a working radio and record player. That is why it is so precious to Mr. OTN. Once he cleans up the insides and replaces some tubes we hope to do some dancing on the screened porch to his mom’s 72’s! Do you know what a 72 is? You may not be old enough 😉
I’ve had 45’s, 33’s, and 78’s…..never have heard of 72’s and will need to look those up. Actually, I’m about a month younger than you I think. Dancing on the porch sounds like a lot of fun.
By the way, how is Mr OTN’s mom doing? Happy 4th!
Well you see just how forgetful my ageing brain has become? 72’s! Haha! 78’s is what I meant to say. The month younger that you are is a huge benefit in keeping things straight. 😉
As for my mother-in-law, she is doing better than most 98-year-olds for sure. Pretty amazing!
I’d have cried too! I hate it when I mess up a DIY project (I do it often!) Your hubby sounds like a very good man. I’m going to check out that book. Thank you for the recommendation. XO
My life can be quite a mess Jen! Thank God He fixes us, right? You are going to love KariAnne’s book and her blog is quite entertaining too. Check it out!
Beverly N Ozburn says
When I saw your before image I thought you had lost it! The piece really turned out delightful, though. Makes me wish I had the one that my parents had years ago.
I had the same issue with a dresser that I had been gifted. When I got her she was ‘antiqued’ a ‘lovely’ olive green color. My children needed a project for a woodworking class they took in high school and the dresser was stripped and refinished. We used it a while and then it got relegated to storage for a while. After sitting in a storage barn for a few years, she needed some attention. So, I removed the top layer and went to work. I didn’t even think about replacing the veneer! I’m pleased with the painted result, though, and still smile every time I walk by my Aunt Mae dresser. 🙂 http://outoftheblue-beverly.blogspot.com/2013/09/aunt-maes-dresser.html
Hahaha! That is so funny that you thought my first picture was the “almost amazing” piece I was so proud of! I did wonder before posting if I should draw people in with a prettier first image.
I read your article about your Aunt Mae’s dresser and I love what you did with her! I wish my hubby would let me do something similar to the top of his radio cabinet, but then . . . it is HIS radio cabinet after all, therefore limiting my creativity. Gotta love him 🙂
Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment on my blog Beverly. I do hope you’ll come again. <3
Susan Shipe says
That Mr. OTN!!! What a guy.
What a guy indeed! But then you have one much like him don’t you? 😉 😉 😉
Sounds like you have a very understanding hubby. The makeover is amazing….beautiful.
I have a very understanding hubby Carrie, and it is a good thing I do because I can at times be quite hard on myself. Recovering perfectionist 🙁 Thank you so much for the compliment on my radio cabinet. One day I’ll finish the top and it will really be amazing 🙂
Oh my goodness! There you are with Karianne herself!! I love her blog!!! She is so funny and talented and never ceases to amaze me and laugh out loud funny when I read her adventures!! I should of known you liked her as well! If her book is anything like her blog it will be on my wish list ! Yes the red lipstick and the messy bun!!! Oh and your radio will work out just hand it over to the hubby,they can do anything! right? Doilies are my best friends:)
Haha! You made me chuckle this morning Melinda. Yes, there I was with KariAnne and I could hardly contain myself. She is just as sweet in person as she is on her blog, even sweet enough to call her husband on the cell phone and tell him he had to come meet me. And he did! I have a future post where I’ll share more about that though.
You are so right that hubbies can do anything . . . or at least they think they can. I encourage that thought process for my own hubs because it means I get the help I need <3
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment my friend and blessings to you <3
The cabinet is beautiful, close to amazing. Sometimes cutting things can be tricky.
Awww, thank you for the compliment sweet friend. It can be tricky, which is why I haven’t yet made a second attempt at it. One day soon I will get up the nerve to do it!
You’re gonna have to come take a look at the new butcher block countertops I stained and poly’ in our kitchen.
Maybe the new buyers will think they are repurposed or salvaged!
I’m sure you did a great job! Can’t wait to see 🙂
Sharon H says
I think you are both amazing and so good for each other. Girl, you had me holding my breath the whole time I was reading that veneer cutting….gutsy is your middle name for sure!
Love that picture of you and Miz karianne together….she is something else….and I have no idea why she invited me to be on her book launch team, but I’m loving it! Don’t get to spend as much time on there as I would like, however. That book is awesome, isn’t it? I’ve encouraged her for a couple of years now to write a book….she finally listened “to me”, hahaha, me and probably forty-eleven others! And she is so genuine. Talk about an amazing hubby…..
I had to scratch my head about the 72’s you mentioned…..was having difficulty with that one, considering I’m waay older than you are….lol, I kept thinking….72’s? Glad to know I’m still doing okay!
Look forward to seeing the amazing veneer top one of these days to go along with the amazing cabinet! Blessings to you my friend.
You are such a sweetheart Sharon and I appreciate you greatly. I also think you are the most amazing of all! I have no question that THAT is why KariAnne wanted you to be on her book launch team. Any chance you can get to the party at Thistlewood? I’d love to finally get to hang out with you 🙂
I’m sure you will one day see the reveal of the radio cabinet with a brand new top. For now, I’m on to another project and building courage to tackle her again!
Blessings back at ya’ dear friend <3
Mandy Hughes says
Amazing, Patricia! I love how antique treasures can be made new and serve new purposes. Great job! I shared on pinterest 🙂
I do love making old things new! Haha! Hence the name. Thank you so much for the compliment and the share 🙂
Theresa Boedeker says
Your cabinet came out so cute. As for the veneer and the first piece not turning out, well that sounds just like my home projects. Try, try , and try again.
Oh my goodness Theresa. I’ve had more do-overs than I care to say. Most of the time its in painting a piece and changing the color over and over until I find one I like! Unfortunately I do the same thing with whole walls in my house! I recently repainted all my downstairs rooms and I’m completely happy so needless to say I won’t be trying a new color in a long time.
Thanks for liking my cabinet 🙂
Parsimonious Décor Darling says
What a fun read! And btw, it looks AMAZING already! The gold accents are beautiful with the subtle cream color!
Well, thank you! I do like the look adding a little gold leaf gave the cabinet and I’m happy to live with the crocheted topper for awhile.
It’s so hard to make these kind of mistakes after all the work that goes into a project! But it definitely looks beautiful with the crocheted coverlet on top!
Thank you for the compliment Rose. I’m quite happy to live with it just the way it is for awhile. Maybe quite awhile. It can be hard to go back to a project that gets just far enough to look okay without anyone knowing the difference. LOL!
Jann Olson says
Patti, the cabinet is looking gorgeous! MR OTN is a keeper for sure. Congrats to you and Kerry Anne. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
Thank you for the compliment on my cabinet Jann. I know it will be even better whenever I get around to finishing it. LOL! Isn’t it great that KerryAnne’s story is coming out in a book? I’ve always admired her authenticity and her decorating style, even though it is very different than my own. Thanks for the well wishes for my daughter too. You are the best!
not a trophy wife says
Love this Patti! And, I caught a glimpse of your disclosure (of all things) and it’s perfect and funny!
Haha! Thank you Laura 🙂
Jen @ Noting Grace says
This transformation is amazing! I love how you loved this piece back to life!
Almost amazing can be pretty amazing can’t it? I prefer the imperfections in a piece myself. Thank you Jen.
Wendy Walker says
I’m working on a table right now of mishaps LOL so I resonate with this. I do love how your cabinet turned out! It’s beautiful! So glad to have met you through this journey with KariAnne. I hope you have a great week!
Thank you for coming by my blog to see my Almost Amazing project. I’m happy to share KariAnne’s journey with you too! Are you close enough to come to her party next month. I hope so. I’m looking forward to meeting the amazing team 🙂 Blessings Wendy.
Thank you for coming by my blog to see my Almost Amazing project. I’m happy to share KariAnne’s journey with you too! Are you close enough to come to her party next month? I hope so. I’m looking forward to meeting the amazing team 🙂 Blessings Wendy.
Oh, I’m sorry about the top of your cabinet, but I did enjoy hearing the story. And the cabinet is beautiful! AND if it would’ve turned out amazingly perfect the first time, you wouldn’t have had this story to share with us…. 😉
How fun for you to meet Karianne and the picture of you two is amazing and adorable!
So fun to join in on the link party with you!
Hasn’t this journey with KariAnne been fun? And I agree with you that if my cabinet had turned out perfect I wouldn’t have a story. I LOVE a good story! Thank you for stopping by Deborah. HUGS!
Lisa Taylor says
Can you imagine how many volumes we could fill up with all the funny DIY mishaps we all have? Love the picture of you and KariAnne.
Maybe we should write a book Lisa. Chicken Soup for the Messed up Soul! Thank you for coming by and for the compliment on mine and KariAnne’s picture. KariAnne gave a lesson on taking amazing selfies for that photo shoot. Always from above 😉