I grew up wanting to make a 100 on every assignment, to rate as Superior on piano at Junior Festival, to be first chair on French horn, and to place first in every U.I.L. academic contest that I entered. By the Lord's grace, many of those desires came to fruition, rewarding my perfectionist tendencies.
In the years since I finished my formal education and wrapped up my participation in music competitions, I entered adult life with all its responsibilities. And I quickly learned that there's not enough time for perfection. Instead, some tasks just need to be completed.
But perfectionist tendencies die hard, as I was reminded when I took on a recent painting project.
With the intention of saving money, I set out to paint a headboard, a desk, and a filing cabinet, using white Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. My experience with painting is quite limited: I put a coat of varnish on a chair in high school and have helped paint a couple of walls for friends. And yet, I thought I'd do a perfect job on this project.
On July 4, I put a coat of paint on the headboard and the desk. The headboard was already white, so the goal was only to give it a fresh coat of paint. It dried nicely. But as the paint on the desk dried, it buckled and crackled in a few places. The next day, I called the store where I had purchased the paint and was informed that in a few cases, "Annie" doesn't like whatever coating is on a piece of furniture, and so "she" won't stick to it. I was instructed to lightly sand the desk and to put a top coat on before re-applying the paint.
As I noted in a previous post, the month of July flew by because I was gone most weekends on trips. And so I didn't get back to the project until last weekend. I followed the store clerk's instructions, only to have it crackle even more with the second coat. The filing cabinet, which I put a top coat on before even attempting to paint, also didn't want to accept the paint. It crackled as well, but not as badly as the desk. I spoke to the clerk at the paint store again, and she advised sanding down the desk and completely starting over.
At that point, my perfectionist tendencies waved the white flag. I have no place at my apartment to completely sand down a desk, nor do I have the tools or know-how required for such a task. I'm sure there are plenty of YouTube videos that could be watched. But I will choose to spend my time differently.
And so I will give myself grace to know that the goal of having a white desk and a white filing cabinet have been met, at least for the most part. But if you stop by, you may notice that each piece has quite a few "design elements," which make the furniture extra special.
Desk and cabinet before moving:
Desk and cabinet after moving: