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DON’T DO IT. 

Only I’m to the point of no return and must only wish I’d had a fantastic and wise blogger like myself to warn me thus. Those smug HGTVers show you how– in only half an hour no less!–you can transform your laughable stock of crapola non-furniture into stylish pieces perfectly suited to your new LAIR OF GLAMOUR. Little did I know the sweat, chemical induced wheezing, and monster mosquito bites involved in this process. Methinks HGTV left some parts out.

…By the way, George just tried to jump up onto the coffee table, misjudged, and face-planted. It was glorious. 

Okay, first of all, the problem all started with this bedding:

via West Elm

via West Elm

Can you say, “hello my love.” Absolutely, irreversibly had stronger feelings for that duvet than I’ve had for anything in a long time. Granted, the cost for that duvet and one sham (plus shipping) was the practically the equivalent of my car and medical insurance combined, but provided my parents never find out I ever made this purchase (that’s a hint to keep your trap shut) I believe I will live to enjoy this particular indulgence without an ounce of regret. Except for one thing.

My bed. I have a lovely, wooden paneled daybed. It is lovelier in that it was given to me, free of charge, from a sorority sister. Although in general I find twin beds to be woefully depressing (hello four years of dorm life, I may never escape you), this one has served me well the past couple of years. The added bonus, I found, was that the above duvet in the twin size is marginally more affordable than it’s larger, more voluminous sisters. Score. Yet, when I spread that organic cotton confection of yumminess across my bed, I came to a horrible realization: my bed and its new trimmings all blended into a mass of the same creamy color to provoke the overwhelming effect of “blah”. So what did I do? Immediately ran out to Home Depot and purchased $40 worth of paint stripper and tools, natch.

48 hours later I have my bed (mostly) stripped of paint. Most of it is deliciously simple, like HGTV would have you believe. You pour hazardous chemicals all over your dismantled bed and walk away. You return with an evil gleam in your eye and a metal spatula and just strip that wood of all its dignity, doggone it. The paint comes off in thick, gummy strips and you feel kinda like you’re peeling off long, stringy layers of skin (I imagine). That part is fun. What is not fun are the millions of miniscule pieces of stubbornness that cling to the wood for dear life. That, they don’t tell you about, so allow me:

You hack at these little bits with your spatula, your stripping brush, your latex-gloved fingernails to no avail. Your sexy painter’s mask slides off your nose and hey–that stuff actually smells deliciously citrusy, how bad can it be (cue chemical induced asthma attack in three, two, one).  Your roomie’s borrowed lab goggles keep fogging up as if they’re a gauge for your frustration, but hey those swiped Chem goggles are keeping you from going blind should an errant dollop of citrusy evil fly up, so whatev. Sweat drips like salty, runny snot off the tip of your nose charmingly off your nose, I assure you. When you finally give up for the day because FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE WHAT’S THAT BURNING SENSATION ON YOUR SKIN, you must lift the heavy puzzle pieces of your bed off the concrete slab outside, walk them around to the front door of your apartment, may or may not slam a corner of one into someone’s car (purely hypothetical), lug them up the stairs, try with all your might to avoid smearing toxic chemicals across your roommate’s dog or leather couch, and finally drop them exhaustedly on the cramped balcony where you probably should have done your work in the first place. Your little biceps will tremble in outrage from all the unexpected use. You’ll then drop your jeans on the bathroom floor and mentally note you must throw them away later because of the chemical holes that have burned through. You are now down to one pair of jeans but are too tired to care. Somewhere in the midst of washing away toxic erosive goo and bloodied mosquito bites you will realize that even after tomorrow, when you may or may not have every inch of that stubborn paint removed, you still have wood that needs to be sanded, either painted or stained, and then sealed and put back together. Your ego will take a hit because you will doubt you have the ability to see a project from start to finish and suddenly you are a failure at life. And you will either cry or get yourself a massive glass of milk and sit down to blog about it. Your choice.

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