Living with Color. Or Not.

May 7, 2020

I LOVE color. Vibrant, rich color. Color that makes my heart sing and makes me want to raise my arms and twirl around in a circle.

I just have a hard time living with it.  Vibrant color, that is.  The interior walls of my house are either a super light yellow, a warm shade of tan, or a light slate gray, depending upon which room you are in.

So when it was time for me to give a golden oak trundle bed a make-over, and since it was for one of our guest rooms (where I wouldn’t have to see it every day), I decided to “do color.” Bright colors and bold and fun colors.

The first thing I do when I am going to paint a piece of furniture is take a photo of it and bring that photo into Photoshop. I grab a Photoshop brush and paint the piece. It helps me visualize what I have in mind.

Blurry picture of my husband holding one of the bed frame sides, so I can take a picture of it. The “paint” was added in Photoshop.

My goal was to create a Mary Engelbreit look. I liked this well enough so I got to work. Once I started painting though, I didn’t like the green and replaced that with yellow.

I’m not sure how many hours it took to paint the entire bed frame. I painted the large pieces with a 2″ paintbrush but did all of the smaller work with a 1″ artist brush. So it took a while. With the COVID-19 lock-down, I was tired of cooking anyway, so the kitchen table and the kitchen island became fair game for my project.

When I was finished with all of the paint, it just didn’t feel “done” to me.  I wanted to keep it crisp and clean. I really did. But I was having a hard not grabbing my sandpaper and distressing it. And antique stain? Yeah… maybe.

I texted photos to my daughter and a few friends, asking their opinion. Leave it as it is or distress it? I was hoping they could convince me to leave it alone.

Bright and cheerful

Slightly Distressed

They all said the distressed version looked more like me. Yeah. That was it. That’s why I couldn’t leave the bright, crisp, clean version alone.

So I went back to work. I distressed the piece with sandpaper and then decided to antique it as well. The stain settled nicely into the grooves in the wood, giving this piece a warm, worn, and used look.


We bought this trundle bed at a yard sale 2 years ago, so our memories weren’t too clear on how it came apart… or rather how to put it back together.  But we got it done!

The walls in this room are a pale yellow, although they don’t look like it in this photo. The flooring will be replaced within the next few months. 

I’m a fan of Fusion Mineral Paint (FMP) and that’s what I used on this project. 

While in quarantine, I might as well get some of my projects done.  Here’s my trash-to-treasure pile:

The question now is what to tackle next. And I think I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll just start out knowing the piece will be distressed. It will save me a lot of time and mental anguish.

You May Also Like…

Funny Phrases

Funny Phrases

Something went wrong and the first words out of my mouth were "Oh, Crumb!" My 19-year-old grandson, Tyler, was present...

What a Mouse Made Me Do

What a Mouse Made Me Do

I love to give new life, and perhaps even a different purpose, to vintage items. The thing is, though, that it's way...

Clothes for Porg

Clothes for Porg

Porgs are flat-muzzled birds, covered in brown feathers, with the exception of the orange around their eyes and the...


  1. shadowwings4god

    Karen, I have to agree with all your friends and family, the distressed look is definitely “you”!! I love the project and at one time I had a project pile started as well. Only problem was I was not sure I would ever have time to work on it, so got rid of the pile. 🙁 Had some old shutters I wanted to make into a coffee cup rack and hung in the kitchen. Well, being in a mobile home I knew the walls wouldn’t be able to handle the heavy shutters, plus wasn’t sure how or where to hang them, so out they went!! Darn, was such a good idea too! LOL
    The point is I really enjoy seeing all your projects and the process that goes into them as well as the finished project! Keep on doing them, more power to you! Hugs, Vicki

    • Karen

      Thanks, Vicki! Your shutter idea is wonderful! I’m sorry you had to give your treasure pile away. Maybe finding some smaller treasures to work on might work.

  2. Dels PSP EmporiumSwLoris Musick

    Your bed is lovely! I like it distressed! Thank you for sharing your project with us!

    • Karen

      Thanks, DeLoris! Yes, I couldn’t leave it without distressing it. I just couldn’t!

  3. Steph

    It looks great! Very nice for a guest room. I see you added some little extra touches – very Mary E.

  4. Margaret Lovejoy

    That is a fabulous job you’ve done.

    • Karen

      Thanks so much, Margaret!

Submit a Comment