Rule #1: As much as possible, finish a project before you acquire a new one. I am a total furniture hoarder. I'm really trying to be better about it, but in the past I've been really bad about picking up stuff on Craigslist because it's free, or accepting things from friends I don't really need, or holding on to pieces because I think I can sell them. I do not suggest being like this, because it makes it a heck of a lot harder to get anything done. It's kind of like ordering a book on Amazon.com every time you read a good review, but never finishing the book you started months ago. You're never going to read those new books until you finish that one you started, so just stop buying them. OK, you caught me...I do that too.
Stop looking on Craigslist. Buy/order your materials. Make decisions. Dedicate time to your project. One way that you can help yourself to do this while preserving ideas or intentions for the future is by keeping a sketchbook. Maybe you have an idea of what kind of a media stand you want to get, but you really should spend time refinishing the dining room table first. Sketch the media stand, know what kind of dimensions you're thinking about, and revisit the idea after you've finished the table. Seriously. It's a lot easier to let an idea go when you know you have it recorded somewhere.
|My dining room as I prepared for Lucketts. Furniture everywhere.|
|I ended up taking apart my desk chair to do a really thorough job stripping paint off it before I refinished it. |
It took forrreevvverrrr.
Rule #4: Plan projects with the seasons. This week it's been in the 20s in DC. This is not spray painting weather or doing anything outside weather unless it involves a snowsuit. So it would be really stupid of me pick up something tomorrow that needs to be spray painted. Likewise, I better not intend to paint anything in my backyard in July when it's 95 degrees and 200% humidity outside. It will never dry. So when I think about acquiring projects, I have to think about when I'll reasonably be able to address them.
|My desk was much easier to sand outside because I could use my power sander, which would have generated too much dust to use indoors.|
|This little table looks great, but it took way too much time to dry in between coats, which meant that a small piece of furniture like this took days to complete.|
|Although I was going for a modern look on these tables, I used chalk paint because it dried quickly and was easiest to apply the pattern with. In the end, I achieved the look I was going for.|
Rule #7: Admit when you don't think you'll ever take on a project, and get rid of it. Last year I picked up a free chair on the side of a curb and planned to fix it up for the Lucketts Market. When I got it home, I realized it wasn't in awesome shape, but was determined to fix it up. Finally, I determined it wasn't worth my time or energy, and I gave it away. It feels good to know that project isn't still sitting on my plate, and it's not taking up room in my home either. I'll probably end up doing the same with this chair too, since the frame is rotted beyond my ability to repair it.