It's a well known phenomena about garages turning into graveyards for good intentions of home improvement projects and evicting the previous car tenants. The phenomena occurred in North Carolina because the garage was ours and we could easily make it stinky with paint fumes while also having space to park two cars in the driveway yet.
In San Francisco, we pay a pretty penny to park our lone car in the garage. Lots of other people park their cars there too. They don't appreciate people stinking up the garage because they're paying a pretty penny too. And there's no do overs if you spill a can of stain on the common garage floor. You just part with more pretty pennies to have it power washed. So . . . we had to be creative and come up with an alternative space for the mini home improvement projects we tackled. We needed to widen the legs on our dining room table, paint a small beat up bookshelf to use as a bar and paint a dining bench to match the dining room table.
After buying the bare necessities for the transformations (having to hump them back to the apartment and having zero storage space), I rummaged through the recycling bin. I'm not a full blown dumpster diver, but we've scored some pretty great items from the bin (most recently a desk chair and plastic shelving). I was after a moving or appliance box to serve as a work floor and came back victorious. I rearranged the deck, put down my protective flooring and dusted off my ole home improvement skills.
new table from Pier 1 to accommodate the new bench we got from Amazon. All of the adjustments were designed to make a transformer version of a dining room that seamlessly turned into a console table as the need arose.
Does painting furniture work out for you? Did you acquire the skill or were you born a furniture painter?