How many times do you think “I really want to (paint woodwork or brick, change a faucet, change a light fixture, paint ugly laminate countertops, put up wainscoting, use a power saw, etc.) in my home, but I could never do it. I wish I was that brave. Maybe someday.” I can relate to this fear. Really, I can.
With each project I tackle, there’s always a little fear lingering in the room with me. Fear usually hangs out in the corner, smoking a stinky cigar and saying discouraging things to me like “You’re going to ruin your house, ya know.”, or “Your project is going to look (silly, awful, amateurish) and nobody will ever want to buy your house from you.” You know…sweet things like that.
Honestly though, Fear is wrong 99% of the time. And even when it turns out that Fear had a pretty good point and something does look a little stupid or “off”, I can always fix it, and learn valuable lessons along the way.
Can I tell you how many times I’ve painted a room and hated the color? I could do an hour long Power Point presentation on the modern history of paint colors in my home. Those who have been reading my blog a while know this to be true. For instance see where my bedroom started 2 years ago: It had its good points but it was waaay too dark…for me) and by continuing to experiment with ideas, it’s now someplace I LOVE.
And yes, spending hours painting a room only to end up hating the color is incredibly frustrating. The good thing? It is soooo easy to remedy. A $20 can of paint and an afternoon is all it takes to get closer to finding a color you’ll truly love. And isn’t that better than spending years with a color you despise…or at least really, really dislike?
Need another example? Remember when I changed my bathroom faucets and warned you to reconnect the hot and cold hoses to the right valves? Um yeah…turns out I failed to do that on one of the sinks. After shaking my fists in the air and letting out a big “Gaah!”, I spent 5 minutes with a wrench and fixed the problem – and now I have lovely faucets that make me smile each time I see them.
And my most recent example?: my beautifully framed bathroom mirror. I love the concept. I love how it looks in pictures (or from a distance), but my cuts on the small trim pieces were a little off and the wood grain on the frame was bothering me. So did I tell myself “I’m a huge DIY failure and I should never attempt another project”? No. I learned from my mistakes and spent a little time fixing them. I took of the small (poorly cut) trim pieces, and made better cuts on a new ($3) piece of trim. I also got out my handy palm sander, gave the mirror frame a good sanding, and then skimmed the surface with a layer of spackle…followed by another light sanding by hand.
Note: Reflection grayed out to hide top secret bathroom projects underway.
The result? A more “professional” finish, and the satisfaction of knowing I did a job well all by my little self. And if I ever frame out a mirror like that again, I know to buy a smoother wood and/or sand/patch before painting.
The point is, do NOT let your fear of making a mistake keep you from creating a home you love. Do your research, plan ahead, but be kind to yourself if the results are less than perfect. Just pull up those big girl pants (or big boy pants if you’re a boy who’s reading this) and keep trying until you have that room you’ve been dreaming of. With a little trial, error and persistence you will get there.
What project have you been procrastinating because you’re too nervous to try?