(The title of this post is for my dear friend Emily, who greets me with a Tila Tequila-ish “hey girl heyyyyyy” now and then.)

I’ve been feeling the DIY urge pretty strongly lately, but at the moment I don’t have much to apply it to. February is a very, very slow month for me on Etsy, historically, so our budget has been pretty tight; thus, projects like building a DVD rack for the alcove or re-renovating the master bathroom have been put temporarily on hold. For the moment, I’m limited to projects that are either cheap or free.

Fortunately, I do tend to hoard a lot of crap. A lot. Most of it consists of “treasures” I pick up from thrift stores or Craigslist, items I insist are full of charm and usefulness just yearning to be free as soon as someone with a good eye and the proper gumption rescues them and shows them love. In these cases, “love” almost invariably comes in the form of spray paint. And since I compulsively paint things, I have a ton of half-empty cans sitting around (OK, I just counted; currently there are 16).

Last year I picked up these vintage telephone tables on Craigslist:

See the maroon one on the left and the barely-there black one on the right? I’m going to beg you–beg, now–to ignore how filthy everything is out there, and the hideous Astro Turf that passes for our porch carpet. It’s actually required by our condo complex, so we are not allowed to remove it, no matter how much I fantastize about going out there and ripping it up with my bare hands and jumping on its soggy green corpse and shredding it into a hundred pieces and burning them and arrrrrrghhhhhhhhh. The filth, however, is not required by the condo complex; it’s just a natural byproduct of Missouri winter, and our not setting foot out there from November to April. This week, however, has come with a series of seriously unseasonable weather, peaking at around 60 degrees today–the perfect weather to do some painting.

I had intended to paint these as soon as I got them, and use them as plant stands, but unfortunately, they reeked of smoke at first. Apparently painting over smoke odors can make them seep into the new paint and become a permanent “feature” of your stuff. So I tossed them out on the porch to “air out for a while,” which became “forget I ever planned to do anything with them and just ignore them for a year or so.” Today, savoring the sunshine, I went out with a bottle of Fantastik and a rag, cleaned those suckers up, and got to painting. I considered using white, but it seemed a bit dull and hard to keep clean; green would blend too much, and any other color wouldn’t fit into the scheme. Lurking in the back of my spray paint basket, I found an almost-full can of Ace chrome paint. I can’t even remember what I bought it for, but it had a purpose now: blinging (did I really just use that word?) my rusty, chipped old tables.

So I busted out the trusty ol’ drop cloth, shook up my paint, scared away the cat, and did this:

This paint is really nice and thick; that’s after one thin coat, and it only took three (two right-side-up and one upside-down). It even filled in a lot of the chipped spots. They’re beautiful now–nice and shiny, and they catch the sun and throw highlights all over the porch ceiling. The Ace paint dries in about an hour (I gave it three, to be safe) so by the time the sun was going down, they were back in their rightful places:

Ahh, much better. See how they catch the light now? This part of our house has been largely neglected over the years, and it needs some help. One of these days we’ll get it arranged in a prettier way. In the meantime, at least it’s got some shiny new friends.

Tall, somewhat-awkward twentysomething design addict exhibits magpie-like hoarding tendencies and an uncanny ability to say precisely the wrong thing in uncomfortable situations. Enjoys laziness, food, animals that aren’t food, rearranging furniture while husband is out of the house/sleeping, attempting to garden for about 6 weeks at the beginning of every summer, purchasing own weight in design magazines, revamping Goodwill clothes/furniture, the French word for “grapefruit,” appallingly bad movies, indie music, CB2, spelling n’ grammar, books where people fall in love and then something terrible happens and it looks like they won’t ever see each other again but then wait! everything turns out okay, Pepsi One, watching other people play interesting video games, Scrabble, midnight baking, fall, canceled television shows (see: Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies), DIY blogs, Harry Potter, rainy days in the summer, trenchcoats, every color except Pepto-Bismol pink, vintage chairs, Wikipedia-hopping.

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