Why Ya Gotta Be So Mean? (and a Wine Cork Bulletin Board)

You know how in high school there was always a group of mean kids?  The ones that picked on people for no reason in particular, other than just being hateful?  It could be over the smallest things:  the way someone wore their hair that day, or that they didn’t have the coolest shoes on, or just the fact that the person was too tall, short, skinny or fat.

Making others feel bad made them feel good. Well, I hate to say that …  some people just never grow out of that bullying phase.

You all know them, the boss that gets a kick out of belittling her staff, or that friend that makes nasty remarks to someone and then says “just kidding” when you know she’s not.

Well when you’re a blogger, occasionally you get someone who feels the need to knock you down a notch and be horrible to you because they are hiding behind a computer screen.

Now would these people have the guts to say these nasty things in person? Most of them probably not.

The projects bloggers post are ones we spend hours, weeks, and sometimes months killing ourselves on. To then have someone come on our site and leave horrible, insulting comments about these projects can really just suck. Would they like me coming into their homes and telling them their newly redone kitchen is “ugly and a circus clown could have picked better colors”?

We are all someone’s wife, daughter, sibling, or mother. Would they want someone speaking to their family members the way they speak to us?

Now I’m sure you are saying that we are putting ourselves out there to be judged, and you would be right. Do I expect everyone to think every one of my projects are as awesome as I do? No way. Everyone has a different opinion and likes different things. Do I get all bent out of shape when someone says “Oh I love that table, but I think I would have liked it better a different color”? Of course not.

I read tons of blogs and not all of their projects float my boat, but I simply don’t comment and go on my merry way. I don’t ever feel the need to leave a comment that will hurt their feelings or disrespect them.

Now I’m not saying I get nasty comments on a regular basis … luckily I have awesome readers like YOU that pump me up by telling me super sweet things and keep coming back everyday to visit me.

But every now and then I get the comment like the one down below:

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 8.50.33 PM

For a point of reference, this is the project he was commenting on:

Turquoise Dining Set

Now why Rick feels the need to take time out of his oh-so-busy day to leave me a novel about how horrible he thinks my table is beyond me. There are tons of people out there that are “wood lovers”, and that is totally fine.  I love a lot of refinished pieces too, but my site is totally not for them.

So move on then.

There are thousands of sites out there that do nothing but refinish wood projects. He simply could have hit one simple button and been on to something else. Instead, he chose to say degrading things and try to make me feel bad.

If Rick knew me at all, he would know that the last thing I am is lazy.  I spent weeks sanding down and refinishing the top of that table, then painting the bottom and the chairs; I then distressed all of the pieces, and used a layer of dark and then clear wax, and then buffed the entire piece by hand.

One thing Rick is right about is that I do like it, and I damn happy that I get to live with it.  I have had more offers to buy that dining set than any other piece I have finished.

So, Rick, if it makes you feel like a big man to insult people … than go right ahead.  My biggest annoyance with your comment now, is that I made any effort to respond to it.

[close rant]

Moving on to to a happier vibe … while I was at Haven, the unnamed child helped me with this next project.

I picked-up this frame at Michael’s in their clearance section.


I spray painted it a high gloss black, and then topped it with a spray clear coat.

A few weeks ago, I went to a yard sale where I found a ginormous box … full of wine corks!

The lady said it was 23 years worth of wine that she and her husband had drank. Although for all I know, it was 3 months worth of wine drinking, but either way I had a lot of corks that I was pretty happy about.

Topher cut out a piece of wood for the back. Then the kiddo started hot gluing wine corks all the way around the perimeter, and she just kept moving further inward until the entire surface was covered.

Super easy!

(PS. please don’t tell Rick about the painted wooden chair…)

DIY Winecork Bulletin Board

DIY Wine Cork Bulletin Board


  1. Clair says

    Well, I would have this to say to Rick: My grandmother died in 1997. She had a dining set similar in style to the one above. And you know what? Out of three kids, their spouses, 6 grandkids and their families, not one person saw the potential in it. In 1997, there wasn’t the movement to restore and recreate new pieces into something wonderful, like you see today. It either fit into your home as is, or it didn’t. Refinishing can be a daunting task, especially with a heavily carved piece. And if the finished product doesn’t fit with the fresh, upbeat style that you see for your home, why bother? Nobody did with my grandmother’s dining set, sadly. Even the local thrift store didn’t want it, because they didn’t expect it would sell. So that beautiful to-be-worshipped wood is now more than a decade into decomposition at the local dump. Sad, but true. Peole used to throw away pieces like this. Now, many of them are recreating them into something fresh and updated, rather than letting them rot in a dump.

    By the way, I painted a dresser an amazing turquoise color with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint this past spring. My tree-hugging, Wood Is To Be Worshipped neightbor and friend sat on a lawn chair in my garage and watched me do it. Did she agree with me for painting it? Nope. Was she a snarky, rude little snit about it? Of course not. But she recognized something that you fail to see. It’s MY dresser, I’ll paint it if I want to, it’s an old, solid piece with nice lines with a lousy finish that’s getting a new life. And that was that. As it should be.

    • Darlene says

      You go Clair!! Well said. Another thing Rick doesn’t realize is that “we” i.e. Restoration Redoux’ followers who primarily redo furniture by painting on wood (as opposed to what else furniture might be made of??) do not all want the darkness that wood, even the most beautiful wood, brings.

      The above dining room set, that obviously took hours to redo, highlights the wood. But it’s fun, the leopard print chairs add a unique touch, the turquoise pops the whole set, the muted rug, which picks up the turquoise in just the right amount, flows perfectly with the furniture and sets off the table and chairs like an elegant frame sets off a piece of art. And the finishing touch? The table setting of glossy red and white dishes and rustic red centerpiece. What comes to my mind is whimsy, lighthearted and happy farmhouse chic. Yes, we noticed all the details Rick missed completely. Oh, and he might want to stay out of my basement/garage. It’s full of tables, shelves, sleds, chairs, cabinets….all waiting for the paintbrush to transform cast aside, unwanted and forgotten WOOD pieces. Many things were just dumped and would have ended up exactly where Claire describes the bitter resting place of her grandmother’s beloved dining set.

      May I suggest Rick visit the MacKenzie Childs house in Aurora? He’ll likely run out screaming but it’s an experience no one will ever forget if they are furniture painters and like a little color in their life. It would also help if you are really, really rich. As for class, there is an inn down the road that is furnished completely with these amazing painted wood pieces and it doesn’t get any better than this.

      As for lazy? Are you kidding? Saving a secondhand piece means hauling that piece home, removing hardware, cleaning it up, sanding, gluing, screwing, repairs of all kinds, planning, priming, painting, waxing, rubbing etc. etc. We’re lazy? If we were we’d have left that old piece just where we found it.

      And for you dear Shanna, your blog posts have often left me giggling or oohing and ahhing. To each his own and we all love the fact you bravely share your creativity with us through this blog. But Aristotle said it best: To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

      And that’s just not you!


      • says

        Darlene, can I say how much I just love you? Because I do. Reading your comment/awesomeness made my heart swell and if you are ever near Wichita KS I would love to take you out for a beer. Love your guts!

    • Deb says

      I totally agree with you, Clair! My mother just recently passed and there was a buffet that she had from when she got married in the 40s. Most didn’t want it because it was stained a dark color, was quite large and heavy and “it just didn’t fit into their décor”. I hated to see it be left in the house when it sold, and thank goodness my oldest sister decided that it would fit perfectly in her home. She’s so happy with it and I feel so good to know that something that was treasured by mom is still “alive”! If I’d been able to have fit it into my home, it definitely would have been sanded, painted and displayed in a new light. Why people can’t see the beautiful in things and would rather make rude comments is beyond me. It’s a piece of furniture, not a human life. They need to get over it. Kudos to you and to Ms. Restoration Redoux for jobs well done!!!

    • says

      You. Are. Awesome Clair! I totally agree with what you said. My grandmother died in 1996 and it was the same way. So many things of hers that I would kill to have now went to the dump because it was take it as it is, or dump it back then. I do have one piece of hers I kept in storage that I have painted. If I wouldn’t have painted it, I wouldn’t have it in my home because to me it was ugly before. I love having something of hers to remember her by and now it matches my decor. I can appreciate unpainted pieces and even have some in my own home but to be hateful to someone because they don’t agree with you is sad. Why he was on a painted furniture site when he hates painted furniture was beyond me anyway. Thank you for your sweet support! Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    Clair couldn’t have commented better. Some purists out there just can’t see that we upcyclers are trying to save history and embrace it in a way that suits us. Saving the earth in whatever fashion is far better than depleting it with new crap!

  3. Maaike says

    I guess his mama never taught him that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”….. Don’t let a dick, I mean a rick, ruin your day. :)

  4. JenniT says

    Sadly, though unfortunately true, our social media and the “unconnectedness” that our computer screens allow us has created a new level of nastiness and bulling. I’m not sure why people feel the need to be so –not just unkind, but just downright RUDE and MEAN. Believe it or not, it is possible to just think that opinion in your head. And, just like TV, and you don’t like what’s on, you can switch to something else. The possibilities are endless. I think the table and chairs are beautiful, and they retain the vintage feel with an updated flair-kind of like a people makeover it’s “you” (in this case a table and chairs) only better!!! I’m glad you called out Mr.Volpe in your post. More people SHOULD be called out for their bad behavior!!! You do good (and beautiful) work, and most of us certainly appreciate that!

    • says

      I think you are correct Jenni. It is a lot easier to be mean to people while hiding behind a computer screen than doing it to their face. If he would have just said “I would have preferred this unpainted” I would have had no problem with that. I don’t expect everyone to think everything I do is incredible. I just don’t get the need to be hateful. Thank you for your sweet words! Have a greet weekend!

  5. says

    Well. I don’t know where to start but I do feel compelled to make a comment about Ol’ Ricky. Let’s see. Stay the hell off web sites/blogs/anywhere else that offend you and your holier than thou attitude. Blogs are not for sermons trying to convince people that YOURS is the ONLY way to think. Agree or disagree – NICELY. Otherwise, none of us civilized people need nor want to hear from you.

    Great job on the dining room furniture. I saw it when you first did it and loved it.

    Carry on! You are doing a GREAT job!!!!!
    P.S. I’m not sorry I took my time to tell that jerk what I think.

  6. says

    The funny thing is, this dining set is probably my very favorite makeover of yours. I think it’s stunning (and I don’t habitually throw around that word). I think most people would agree that there are some pieces that are best left unpainted and some pieces that are only saved by BEING painted, like Clair commented above. But if I own the piece, I get to make that decision, and a big mean troll can just scroll right past and keep the insults to him/herself.

    Like you, Shanna, if I see someone blog about her hard work and it’s not really my style, I keep that to myself. I’m glad we don’t all like the same things — how boring would that be?!

    And good job, Unnamed Child, on the cork board! 😀 xo

  7. says

    Rick the “d!ck” should stay off of blogs. Little does he know there has never been set rules as what we should do with old, wooden, rustic or metal furniture. The value is what the buyer is willing to pay for it and some pieces are priceless to the owner and not an option to be sold. Buh bye Ricky

  8. Beth says

    DO NOT let that whatever make you feel bad. He obviously has serious issues. We have got to stop acknowledging this behavior, it seems to make them bolder. Last night my husband and laughed so hard at this precious video of a Dr giving this adorable little boy shots and was making the boy laugh . You would not believe the snarky comments! Remember , these people must not have a life. I rarely comment unless it touches me in a special way , these people must troll to find places to tear others down. Your project is beautiful ! Forget about that whatever.

    • says

      Thank you Beth! I read tons of blogs and don’t always love the projects but have never found the need to even give my opinion let alone insult someone. If you hate painted furniture why are you on a painted furniture website. I don’t get some people. Thank you so much for your sweet words!

  9. Jolie C. says

    Does Rick realize that we find most of our pieces that we “upcycle” at the dump, on the side of the road, at Goodwill or a thrift store because no one else wants them! We are saving them from the landfill and giving them a new life. I appreciate a beautiful piece and have both painted and unpainted pieces in my home and retail space. I personally would rather take an antique or family heirloom piece and re-work it to make it relevant to what people want today. And maybe someday someone will decide they want to strip them and refinish the wood again and they can because it’s not in the landfill. What good is grandma’s dining table if it’s rotting away in storage? Make it your own, use it, love it for another generation. Your table and chairs are gorgeous! A project to be proud of!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the support Jolie! I agree, I have pieces of my grandmothers in my house now that I would never have taken if I wouldn’t have painted them. I now have pieces that I love and have a little piece of her here too. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. says

    Your piece is gorgeous, keep doing what you are doing, you are fabulous and talented and NO ONE should tell you otherwise. Glad you called him out on it, why is it when we paint over wood it seems to get people so fumed, they are not the ones living with it. grrr. I have painted over many of my grandmothers pieces, if I wasn’t able to paint over them I wouldn’t have taken them. At the same time I get to have a little piece of my grandmother in our house which makes me happy :)

    • says

      Thank you for your sweet words Kristin! I totally agree! I have pieces of my grandmothers also that I would have never kept had I not redone them. I am just a girl that likes a little color in her home. The guy acts like I painted over something that belongs in the Smithsonian or something. I have come across three more of these at yard sales since I did my own piece so they can’t be that uncommon. I actually bought one of them and it’s sitting in my garage waiting to be painted. I wonder which color would tick this guy off the most. I will have to think about that. Have a great weekend Kristin!

  11. says

    Grrrrr!!! What people fail to realize is this is your prerogative to do with what you want with furniture. You live with it, with a family and give it NEW life and new memories. I just know some people are adamant about painting wood..but personally feel if you don’t care for it, it is yours to do with whatever the heck you want. RICK…BITE ME!

    • says

      LOL! Yeah, I just don’t get some people Debbie. I understand someone stating an opinion but the nastiness is just unnecessary. Sometimes people just suck. Have a great weekend Debbie!

  12. says

    I am glad you addressed this issue! I havent had a commenter like this …. yet but I expect I will. I do the no frills, inexpensive stuff as simply and cheaply as possible so I am definitely not like Martha Stewart. There is just no reason for that. Even if he wanted to leave a comment it could have just been ‘sorry I am a leave wood natural kind of guy’ – and not revert to the nastiness. Good for you for stepping up for yourself.

    And I have so many corks I need to do something… and no it’s not 23 years worth (or three weeks either lol)


    • says

      I totally agree with your comment Stacy. If he would have just stated his opinion I would have been fine with that but why the rudeness? I will never understand some people. Have a great weekend!

  13. katie says

    I picked up a walnut buffet from someone off of kijiji and refinished it to my style, I had many friends comment about how much they loved it….but there was one negative Nancy who said, “you ruined it by painting it, you shouldn’t paint over a solid wood piece like that”. Telling someone what their taste in décor should be is like telling them what music they should listen to, what books to read or what religious beliefs they should have….it’s futile.
    I love what you do with your pieces! They are bright, uplifting and inspiring. You are very talented at what you do….never stop.

  14. Diane R says

    Rick is a loser!! I would buy your dining set in a heartbeat and I am sure many people would agree with me!

  15. says

    Rick should get off his “un-lazy” behind and start his own blog called Reasons Why Not to Paint Wooden Furniture and see how many followers he gets, not to mention snarky comments.

    Your table is striking!! And I have been waiting for you to post on how to do one of these cork board bulletin boards since you made the aqua/ orange one. Love it and now I know how, thank you, Shanna!

  16. Susan Scott says

    I love your piece. It took a lot of time and tallent to see the beauty that was hidden there. If you like it that is what is important. Some people need to get a life! I love the. Orkney board Nd plan on showing it to my daughter. Thank you for standing up for yourself and for showing us the potential in up cycled funiture! Keep up the GOOD WORK!

  17. Annie says

    Please don’t lose perspective……
    what Rich says reveals a lot about Rick…..
    it has nothing to do with you or what you have done to furniture……we need to pray for people who feel the need to put others down……praying!
    Great job!

    • says

      Thank you so much Annie! I think people forget how difficult it is to spend hours and hours on a project and put yourself out there for the world to see, only to be insulted. You’re right it does say a lot about that person. Have a great weekend Annie!

  18. says

    My sister hates painted wood and paisley. Both of which I love. I tease her every time I paint wood 😉 I don’t understand the bashing either. Sigh.

    • says

      I totally understand everyone having their own opinions, that’s what makes the world interesting. Being mean about it just shows what kind of an individual you they are. You’re right Donna..Sigh.

  19. says

    People gets in others people business, like if they were asked for. The same happened to me when I painted my dinning room chairs, blue. You should see their faces, and some comments were very out of line. Others were very sweet and kind. But I learned not to take it personally and to measure were is coming from. But at the same time, understand how you feel. Keep the good work, and forget nasty people and their comments. BTW, love your cork board, great for a bar or kitchen.

    • says

      Thank you so much Fabulosa! I get that not everyone is going to like everything I do, I totally get that. I think there is a difference in stating your opinion and being rude though.

  20. Heida says

    I completely agree with Clair and Annie, well said ladies! Such disrespect of your hard work,you go girl!

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