Furniture Refinishing


The Backstory:

I’d guess that anyone who loves starting a new book can relate to what I’m feeling right now. When I flip to ‘Chapter One’ of a new book, I always feel a mix of anticipation, eagerness, novelty, curiosity – and even some apprehension [i.e, am I actually going to have time to finish this one?]. Well, all those feelings and emotions I get when starting a new book? That’s me. Right now. Feeling just the same. A little anxious and a bit uncertain, but hopeful and motivated about the sheer newness of all of ‘this’. Keep reading, I promise to get to what ‘this’ is. 

To sum it up, I saw this on my IG feed the other day and thought, Oh my gosh – that is so me right now.

Okay, what’s this ‘something new? Well first, I should preface everything by being honest and transparent [which, I recently learned are two different things – look it up]: even the idea of sharing something online about myself is completely out of my comfort zone and not something I’ve ever been too keen on doing. Here’s the extent of my social media engagement: I’m on Pinterest, yes, but is that really sharing details about yourself? For years I’ve been ‘off’ Facebook. My personal IG account consists of exactly nine posts of beaches, six of which I’m pretty sure are the same beach.

My Current Social Media Life Summed Up in 9 Squares: The Coast

But here I am: typing out my thoughts, taking selfies, and putting everything I’m doing with this new undertaking of mine out there in the universe. Something I’m willing to do to make this new chapter successful, but a comfort zone no longer really exists for me right now. I know this takes some getting used to, but taking pictures and videos of myself just seems so dang awkward [ugh, can you tell?!] How do people do this 50+ times a day, I’m wondering?

Look Closely: Sneak Peek at What’s Coming Up!

Here’s the thing: If a friend had predicted a year ago that I’d be refinishing furniture as a business venture this fall [yes, that’s the ‘something new’!], I would have responded, ‘No way, you’re nuts.’ If they had told me I would start a blog about doing it too, well, I would have told them that they must have completely lost their minds.

Then again, if someone had even slightly speculated that this was what we could have expected for 2020, well, I probably would have replied exactly the same way!

So, when I made the tough decision to leave my job as a phys ed teacher this school year, writing a blog and starting a side hustle wasn’t the first thing to come to mind to fill my time. Meeting the needs of my two children during their remote learning week and finding other ways to be ‘productive’ while under the restrictive need for a flexible, work environment [meaning drop- everything-if-the-kids-need-me kind of environment], well, yes – that was at the top of my list. 

My New Tagline and Life Mantra

Phew – ok. Enough shared for now. Right? Seriously, are we to Chapter 2 yet?

Welcome to my new blog and side hustle: Coastal Grain Designs, a furniture-refinishing business endeavor. I’m so glad you’re [still] here.

I’m aiming to take you along on this journey of mine, one vintage-piece-of-furniture-in-need-of-an-updated-look at a time. Bringing fresh looks to worn, though loved, pieces of furniture is something I’ve been doing in my own home for years. Blogging about it? Well, that’s a different story. But here we go!

Disclaimer: I’m no expert. Not even remotely close to one.

Yet, I have always found working with my hands to create something new so rewarding. Some might say I’ve inherited this trait. I grew up with the smells of sawdust and Howard’s Restor-A-Finish. My dad is a talented woodworker and carpenter and my mom is the ultimate ‘treasure finder’ in antique malls, second-hand shops, and flea markets. One of my earliest memories is playing outside at the home my dad built in Cape May Courthouse, NJ while my mom stripped layers and layers of paint from an old captain’s trunk in our backyard. 

I Wish My Mom Still Had This. It Would Be a Great Staging Piece! (Me, Circa ’92)

So basically I was born to do this, right? I’m passionate about finding old wooden treasures and updating them in an entirely unique way, especially in a style that’s reminiscent of the beach, even if your miles away from one. In my opinion, no matter where you call home, having something around you that reminds you of saltwater and sunshine is simply good for the soul. 

Thanks for sticking with this ridiculously long post, especially if you actually made it all the way to the end without jumping ahead like I normally do in long blogs. But now you know the whole backstory. I hope you’ll ride this wave of change with me, the plot in the story of Coastal Grain is sure to thicken through my trials, errors, victories, and everything in between. Stay tuned to see what I’m working on now in my next post!

Be well,

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