When a Purchase Stinks

7.27.2012

Most of the time when I order something on line it is exactly as I thought it would be, but sometimes things aren't. This is the case of a bench I ordered from Joss & Main a few  months ago. I usually love the things I order from that site. The good thing is the bench didn't cost me anything since I had a credit with them to use. If I had paid for it I would have been quite upset.

Ever since I moved a large bench from the end of our bed, because a certain man could not stop running into it in the middle of the night, I have been on the hunt for a shorter length one in a vintage style. This one looks fine now, but looks can be deceiving.

This is the sorry paint job on the bench when it arrived. The paint job wasn't the only problem though. The main thing was the stench! I thought oh, no, what to do? Their sales are final so I was stuck, even though they probably would have done something if I had complained.

Only thing I knew to do was to paint this piece to cover the smell and to make the sorry paint job better. Yes, I paint in my breakfast room or wherever the piece is if it is heavy. Not sure what chemicals were used on this piece to make the bubbles and wear in the paint, but I think that is the cause of the stench. This piece is not even real wood either. A quality piece also would not have the screws showing. This piece came in pieces and had to be assembled. I got out my chalk paints in Country Grey and French Linen and got to work.

This is the way the color looked before I started. 

This is after using a coat of French Linen and some Country Grey here and there and then a combo of light and dark waxes.

All those worn places and cracks are from the original finish. I just went over them with my paints and made it all darker.

Even after painting and waxing it it still stunk! Mr. Savvy moved it out of the room before we went to bed because he could not stand the smell. The next day I sat it out in the sun to see if that would help.

The smell finally has worn away, but a bunch of fresh lavender surely doesn't hurt. I purchased the lavender from Maria at Dreamy Whites and the two lavender filled sachets are new from my sponsor, Sutton Place Designs.



If you are a regular shopper of Joss & Main and see this Henri bench come up for sale, do not purchase it. It certainly is not worth the regular price of $179 before their discount.

I do love this style bench in our room though now that the smell and paint job is better.

Have you been disappointed in an on line purchase?
Do share.

Joining the following:
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If you would like to join Joss & Main for great deals normally you can join here.
I have purchased a lot of great items from them just not this time.

74 comments:

  1. J & M offers lovely things, but they can be a pricey. I keep checking them for a bench also for my bedroom and a small rug for the side of the bed. I seem to always hesitate. My worst online purchase was through Ebay, thinking I was getting Hull Brown Drip dinner plates. What I received were Target brand brown plates with a lighter tan border. I kept them, but feisty comments were flying back and forth. xo

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  2. I am glad you were able to use the bench and to eliminate the odor. I have ordered some things before that have had a "smell" and it is very frustrating. Since I have allergies, I am very sensitive to certain odors...I really like Sisal rugs but the jute smell just drives me crazy!! Maybe Joss and Main will see your post and give you another credit!

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  3. Good to know! I love Joss & Main and have always been pleased with my purchases, but I'll pass on the stinky bench. At least it looks cute! :-)

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  4. Great bench, Kim! You do love to paint.

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  5. Oh, that is sooo frustrating! I have purchased a few things via ebay/etsy and I get so annoyed when they don't disclose they are coming from a smoker's home...ewwww!!! And, my daughter is highly allergic.

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  6. Glad you got the smell out cause it does look good!

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  7. I ordered a bookcase from One Kings Lane, also "no returns". It was damaged in the box when I opened it and the color was not the off-white I was expecting, but a yellowy-white that I didn't really care for. I emailed their customer service right away and they were more than happy to take it back and give me a full refund, despite their "no return" policy. The manager emailed me with an apology and wanted to make sure I was happy and would be back. I will!

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  8. I actually like the screw showing...makes it more rustic. But for $179 I would just build one myself. I does look good at the end of the bed and with the new paint job! and it was free to you! so a happy ending endeed.

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  9. Sorry about the bench Kim, But you used your talented eye for color with the chalk paint and it turned out lovely.It looks beautiful at the end of the bed.Your room is beautiful.

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  10. I have also had problems with 2 purchases from J&M. I am far more careful now. Too bad the paint is so bubbled and stinky - it does look good though - Your room is gorgeous!

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  11. Sorry the bench was not what you had in mind. It did turn out nice though with a little paint and extra effort!!!! It looks fabulous at the foot of your bed :o)
    I recently bought a sconce from Joss & Main and was very dissapointed too! It is so ugly and the paint finish is poor just like on your bench. Oh well....
    ~Des

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  12. That's a lot of work for something that's suppose to be ready to go. Nice save though.

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  13. Love that lovely bedroom. My colors.

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  14. Wow, that is surprising, Kim. Unbelievable, too, for that price. Glad you got rid of the stench.

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  15. Thanks for the info. Always good to learn things both good and bad. You are right the size just isnt there. We bought a great one from Pottery Barn a few years ago that goes all the way across the foot of the bed. It has a woven seat and 8 legs. It would look great at the end of your bed, but I dont know if they have it anymore. At least you made the best of it!

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  16. I hate that things like that happen. Even though you used a credit to purchase the bench they still need to know how you feel. It might help to prevent it from happening again. I think you made lemonade with those lemons. Nice job. It is the perfect size for the end of the bed. Have a great week. Sheila

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  17. Well, the bench certainly looks great in there now. The whole bedroom looks great! I really love it. Probably a dumb question...but I love how your bed it sitting so high. Is it the mattresses or some type of risers?

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  18. Kim,
    You did a great job saving that piece.But I don't know if I would keep it.You never know what chemicals are leaching out of it.It could be hazardous to your health.I would let them know this.
    xx
    Anne

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  19. I know how much you probably hated to write that post about a company that you normally love, Kim. I am glad you did though because it can save someone else the time and aggravation of buying a piece that isn't worth the money.

    I have had pretty good luck buying online. There are a couple of clothing stores though where I felt the material was a bit chintzy (and I don't mean floral covered) but most times I, like you, am not disappointed. xo Diana

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  20. thatsa shame this purchased was a bummer, you really did save the day though, it looks great, I don't buy much online,

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  21. That price is a joke. I'm glad you got it for free. Regarding the smell, we bought a beautiful executive desk from Craigslist. They were obviously smokers, but the price was next to nothing and the desk was fantastic. Surely most of the smell was coming from the actual house, right? We brought home the desk and after a couple of days, I could hardly stand being in the same room with it! After trying vinegar, lemon oil, and stashing sachets of coffee in the drawers, I found washing every.single.inch with Murphy's Wood Soap finally removed the stink.

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  22. I bought a terrarium from Joss and Main, and the top part was warped. I planted it full of greenery, but since there were gaps between the top and bottom, all of the plants constantly dried out. They eventually died, and now the terrarium is in the storage area of my basement. A true terrarium is supposed to be moist all the time - that is when they are air tight. And the really sad part is that it was $100.

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  23. I love the piece now, but nothing worse that a stinky new purchase. I purchased a car once and when I had is detailed it came back smelling like smoke, not what you expect when you have something cleaned.

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  24. Well you made it look great! I don't buy things online that I can't return, usually. That just throws a signal up to me that the quality is not there and they expect a lot of returns.

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  25. Sorry about the bench, but it does look good now that you've worked your magic. I haven't bought anything from J & M yet, precisely because I'm frightened by "final sales." I bought an antique quilt on ebay years ago that stunk to high heaven. I tried to gently hand wash it, and the colors ran and ruined the whole thing. Total waste of money : (

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  26. Your heather made me think of my online purchase.. I ordered some and it came all dried up and falling apart everytime I touched it. Save on crafts was not a save on that time.

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  27. That stinks (no pun intended) when you buy something you can't return and are unhappy with it! Glad that you were able to get it fixed to your liking. It is a cute bench, afterall. I once ordered a sign that after it came in, I never used it. It looked cheap and I definitely overpaid for it! It was a final sale too. It was an impulse purchase, so I'm VERY careful not to do those anymore (unless I can return it easily). Online purchases are not easy to return even if they are allowed.

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  28. I wonder why it had that bad smell. It looks great with your new paint job, but I'm thinking they were going for worn and weathered with the original paint job. It looks great at the foot of your bed and I'm glad the smell went away.

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  29. Your bedroom is beautiful. I can't believe that bench retails for $179. Is it lined with gold or something? You made it look so much better - weird how it had a bad stench. I purchased a chenille bedspread on Ebay and when I got it, the spread was stiff and scratchy. I don't know what the owner had done to it. I threw it out, it was truly disgusting even though the photo looked good.

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  30. Oh how disappointing! At least, you were able to fix it. Can't think of a time I bought something online that I was disappointed in but I did end up with a dresser that smelled horribly of cigarette smoke. Yuck, I had to paint the whole thing inside and out to get rid of the smell.. Your bedroom looks great and the bench is nice now that you've repainted it.

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  31. I can't believe they would send it to you in that condition! Why don't you call customer service and tell them, someone isn't doing their job and maybe they would want to know, however it did turn out great with your perfect touch. I love it at the bottom of your bed!

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  32. I havn't bought anything from them. This is a cute style bench, too bad it had so many problems. Hugs, Marty

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  33. I am thinking the horrible paint job was to make it look really old? then what they gave it a stench to make it look like it came out of a barn! $179...ridiculous, glad you got it working! I just got a toaster oven from Amazon that looks like it was dropped from a plane...I am trying to get my money back...Geez, we'll see!

    Carol

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  34. I know that is disappointing especially how you have liked J&M so much in the past. I hate "all sales final" deals. You did your magic though and made it more beautiful than before!

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  35. Wow, that was one expensive bench! It looks cute and I'm glad to hear the smell is gone. It happens to all of us... but never fun when it does. I have never ordered from them...

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  36. I hate that sick feeling in your stomach when you realize something you bought isn't what it was supposed to be. You made the bench look 1000 times better, but I think I would have tried to return it just on the principle of it. It may not have cost you money out of pocket, but it cost you a credit you could have used on something else. Ah well, at least you made something beautiful out of a disaster. And it does look great at the end of your bed! And lavender- yum!

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  37. you made it look much better and glad ya got the stink out..

    I would have sent it right back.. I have no patience especially for that kind of money spent.

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  38. I'm very hesitant to buy on line for that same reason. I'm one of those that need to smell and touchy feel. Where was it made? Prob not USA.

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  39. Kim, you did a fabulous job fixing that bench. It's a shame it came painted so badly because it is a cute bench. I realize you got it with a credit, but $179 seems like a really high price even if the paint had been perfect. Your bedroom is beautiful. Love all your posts. Have a great weekend!
    -Kathi

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  40. Keep looking Kim. I bet you will find the real antique sawbuck bench eventually with a real old paint job and one that came out of a barn smelling like hay. It's around somewhere. I am sure of it. :) Your boudoir is so pretty! Have a great weekend. xo

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  41. Thanks for the heads up on this item. My best buy from there were 2 beautiful glass vases. Beyond my expectations.

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  42. For 179.00 that should be made out of real wood.
    I am glad you finally got the smell to go away.
    Love the new paint.
    Katie

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  43. Sorry that happened and glad you were able to make it work,however I would let J&M know about it. I had a similar experience with some area rugs that I purchased...horrible chemical oder even before it was unwrapped! Thankfully they sent a call ticket for FedEx and accepted a return. So in order for them to offer quality merchandise and maintain good customer rapport they need your feedback!

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  44. Well it looks good now. It could be a new trend though.... instead of blame the dog, blame the bench!

    ~Bliss~

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  45. Can Mr.Savvy move to the other side of the bed?Problem solved!HEHEHE

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  46. This is why IKEA purchases are getting more popular since they do not use finishes with BPA. New car smell, very bad for our endocrine system. Carpets, foam cushions, electronics, flame-retardant mattresses (IKEA mattresses use organic flame retardant solutions)...the list goes on and on. I would have contacted J&S, most definitely, but you liked the bench, remedied it, and yeah, sometimes you have to pick your battles.

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  47. Can Mr.Savvy move to the other side of the bed?Problem solved!HEHEHE

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  48. Please folks if you want something built like that built let my husband know. He would have built it and shipped it with complete instructions for assembly for a whole lot less. Usually he builds houses but in this economy not so much.
    Suzan
    Ladybug Cottage

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  49. It was an aggrevation for you, but the syle is a perfect foil for your headboard.
    Love the finished look!

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  50. How disappointing. I would have done the same thing, though...in for a penny, in for a pound (or for free in this case).

    I don't know what's worse about online purchases - buying from people who don't disclose they're smokers, or people who *drench* their stuff in Febreeze or whatever.

    I've never ordered from J&M - I'll keep this in mind if I ever do in the future.

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  51. Since you asked -- yes I have had some bad experiences as well as good ones lately. The worst is One Kings Lane. Here is a link to a post on my blog that I wrote recently about several interactions with different companies lately.. http://scribblersopinions.blogspot.com/2012/07/customer-service.html

    Your bench looks nice now that you have repainted it.

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  52. I can't believe that is smelled! that is the worst! Thanks for the heads up and you did a great job with something that was not so great!
    Nancy

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  53. I can't believe how perfect it is now in your room. I did get somethihng once that STUNK, I think it was the packaging. It wass a set of dishes and even after going in the dishwasher it didn't go away. Just took some time. They are fine now and the packaging went into the trash FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  54. Glad you persevered and made it work, because it looks fabulous in your room!! blessings ~ tanna

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  55. that is sad:( especially when you have been a faithful customer.
    I guess that happens sometimes in life but it is good you are a creative soul and repainted it. The stink is what would be hard to deal with.

    When you get time I would like to know where you got the pillow on your bed...it is so pretty.
    happy friday
    xo

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  56. How so disappointing....but it certainly looks beautiful now....Was the stench from the paint or the wood?...I am so sorry that happened to you...I hope that Joss and Main are listening!!!

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  57. That's too bad, glad you didn't pay for it, especially after all of the work you put into trying to fix it! It looks lovely in your room now that you've worked your magic on it.

    Kat

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  58. Wow, nice save with your paint job! Talk about making Lemonade out of Lemons!
    Reading through your findings as well as the stories at the link Scribbler provided--very eye opening!
    Hey Kim--I could have built that bench for about $20 (no assembly, no screws showing). If you give it that great paint finish, we could be in business! ; )
    Catherine

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  59. That's just terrible..I have order from Victoria Trading company forever and have always been satisfied with my things that I received..But recently I haven't a clue what happen to them...I ordered a Tea Pot with cup and saucer. It started with them not telling me that it had became out of stock...then they confused the order. I had order some Teapot cookie cutter as well they send me a heart salt holder...??? I was so upset cause I had a Tea Party scheduled... Then they sent my Tea cup & saucer and it had a huge chip in the bottom of the plate...I asked for a new one that I never got..then months later the tea pot arrived and it looked like some one glued the print on and it was off and it had a small chip in the front and they all came from Japan..Very very disappointed indeed. So I know the feeling...I wanted to order some other things and I hesitate now...The bench is adorable sorry you had so much problems with it..Happy Friday with love Janice @ spoonwither.blogspot.com Have a great weekend...

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  60. A great save for this bench!

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  61. I am sorry this bench came in such a condition, but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE what you have done with it! It almost looks like the color of old wood... it looks beautiful at the foot of your bed. You certainly have the touch when it comes to painting!

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  62. Hi Kimmie! I'm sorry about the trouble with your bench but you've made it look cute! I bought a little table once at a garage sale and it was sitting out on the driveway and didn't notice until I took it home that it reeked with cigarette smoke. I never could get that smell out! I tossed it! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  63. Argh! I would be dissappointed in a piece that smelled that bad, and not knowing what was used to make it that way! Glad you were able to salvage your bench with your own creativity. It really looks nice now, and beautiful with your bed.

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  64. I can totally relate to that horrible smell! I had gotten a tray at HomeGoods and when I got it home realized that it had that terrible chemical/paint ordor. I left it outside overnight, but ended up just returning it. Now my Mom laughs at me because before I buy anything now I smell it. :)

    The bench does look great in your room, though. Glad you were able to salvage it!

    Have a great weekend!

    Angela

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  65. Man that "stinks" that you had to go through all that...I'm sorry I just had to say that! Love the bench and it looks beautiful in your gorgeous bedroom.

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  66. That is the exact style I am on the hit for Kim! I was looking high and low when I was out your way and nothing. Sorry it was so smelly but thanx for the heads up. Love the makeover you gave it!

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  67. I had a similar experience with Decorator's Showcase. On the computer the green paint LOOKED like a soft, seafoam green-the exact color I wanted. When the cabinet arrived, it was an ugly, dark pea soup green. I was very disappointed. I ended up having to repaint it in Zinzer (to cover up the dark pea soup colored paint)and then the paint color I originally wanted. Not only was the expense unwarented, I had wanted to have it done and installed in the bathroom by the time a house guest arrived. Instead they arrived and I had a half painted linen chest in my living room that they had to walk around. I won't be ordering from such places again. Lesson learned!
    Small House / Big Sky Donna
    http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com

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  68. How disappointing Kim! But, you turned a "lemon" into lemonade for sure and it looks tons better. :-) Thanks for sharing it at Inspiration Friday this week!
    Vanessa

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  69. Hi Kim, I think a better question would be who HASN'T been disappointed with an on line purchase! I love the convenience of shopping on line, but the returns are a real pain in the you know what!

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  70. At least you were able to cover it up! What a pain though to have to do that with a new purchase. I have a small navy bookshelf in my son's room that I bought from Pottery Barn kids. The paint smell was so strong when I got it that I had to put it out on my deck each day to sit in the sun and fresh air. Eventually the smell went away but I was ready to return it at one point!
    -Shelley

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  71. I can't stand if something smells. Seriously. The bench looks so cute....especially with the lavender! Glad you fixed it!

    blessings,
    karianne

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  72. Kim,

    Looks great! But doesn't it irritate you that you paid good money for that and not only did it stink so did the paint job?

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Elizabeth

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  73. Wow, Kim. Are you kidding me? $179. How sad that you had to put so much time and trouble into a piece to make it pretty and usable. That is just wrong. but in the end, you created a beautiful piece, I must say. Even the crackles and bubbles turned out looking pretty. It is the perfect size at the foot of the bed. Love this room. xxoo, barb

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  74. How disappointing for you Kim. At least you were able to transform her and get rid of the smell, but really, one should never have to do that with a new piece.

    I'd love it if you'd consider sharing this over at my Shabbilicious Friday Link party - http://shabbyartboutique.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/shabbilicious-friday-link-party-july_27.html

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