I know I share a lot of painted furniture projects. There was a time when I was a "paint snob." If it is wood, no paint.
But I have learned in my resell business that paint is often the best way to "enhance" a piece and give it new life.
We all have "that piece." The one mom gave us or maybe we bought at a thrift store or garage sale because we needed a dresser or side table. A maple dresser from the 60s or one of those fake wood "cherry" tables from the 80s. We still need it for the storage or even to fill a space and buying new just isn't an option.
As I have said before, life is too short to live with ugly furniture and even the ugliest piece can benefit from a little "makeover"
Updating an old dresser or bedside table isn't difficult. Yes, Pinterest is filled with precious stenciled and glazed projects...and we all envy. But simple is easy and the impact can be huge. I have shared hundreds over the years and every week I complete at least 2-3 pieces that often do not get shared...either I forget to take pictures or they sell so fast I think "why bother."
So today, again, I'm going to share a few simple little projects and how to get the best results.
Mini makeovers that can make a huge impact in any room!
This campaign dresser had seen it's better days....
As you can see, it had been seriously abused. But even the ugliest piece has potential....
Not the best "after" picture, but I didn't think to take a picture before I took it into 410 Vintage so I snapped one with my phone...but you get the idea. (If you haven't been to 410, GO!)
It sold the day I took it in! These "upcycled" dressers are perfect for a bedroom or even a tv and storage cabinet in the living room.
You might have noticed one piece of the hardware was missing. I happened to have one of the pulls from this project so I used the same method to retrofit it. You don't have to do anything that complicated...most home improvement stores have tons of hardware options. All the hardware was solid brass so I cleaned it up with some Brasso, steel wool and elbow grease. The point...the hardware doesn't have to be all matchy-matchy.
This little bedside table had seen it's better days!
A simple little makeover...paint and new hardware....new life....
This is a typical hard rock maple dresser you can find for next to nothing at thrift stores and garage sales...
Usually sturdy as the day they were built, but seriously ugly and dated!
They obviously can benefit from a little love and attention...nothing fancy just a little paint and hardware update....
An inexpensive little "fake wood" side table......
I liked the brass hardware on this one so I just cleaned it up!
Sooooo...what do all these projects have in common.
KSTP...Kilz (or any good primer!), sand with 220 grit paper, wipe down with a tack cloth and paint.
The two dressers were painted with latex paint using a 4" foam roller and paint brush. I used spray paint on the two little side tables.
So, here are a few TIPS for getting the best results when painting furniture.
1) Always clean the piece of any dirt or debris. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth and make sure you get all the "ick" off! If the piece is super grungy, you might want to clean it with ammonia or wipe it down with mineral spirits! (If it has a lot of flaking paint, you can sand it down a bit or better yet, strip it using this process...just make sure the existing paint or finish is stable!)
2) Make repairs. DO NOT waste your time making it pretty if it needs repairs. And remember, glue and clamps are your friend!!!! If you don't know how to repair something, google it or email me. MOST furniture repairs aren't that difficult...but if you do it wrong (or not at all) you will be wasting your time making it pretty!
3) Primer....always a must if you are going to paint with spray paint or latex or oil paint. I swear by the oil-based Kilz. If you want your paint to stick and not chip or peel, prime. For smaller projects I use spray Kilz. For larger projects I roll on Kilz with a 4" foam roller. Even if your paint says "all in one paint and primer"...use primer.
4) Sand smooth after the primer has thoroughly dried. A 220 grit paper should do the trick...FEEL the surface...if you can feel it, the paint won't hide it.
5) Use tack cloth. Most tutorials will tell you to wipe the piece with a damp cloth. That won't cut it! Tack cloth will pick up the finest grains of dust and debris you can't see until you paint the piece! Use it!
6) If you are going to brush on latex or oil, use a quality brush AND TAKE CARE OF IT! I have brushes I have owned for years because I am religious about cleaning them thoroughly after use. And don't even think about using those cheap disposable brushes (chip brushes). They are great for many things, but not for getting a smooth paint finish on furniture!!!!
7) ALWAYS use an additive....Floetrol for latex, Penetrol for oil based paints.
8) Use quality paint. Especially spray paint. I know it is cheaper at discount stores but pay the extra few dollars and buy a quality spray paint at your home improvement store. Cheaper will NOT be better if it doesn't hold up to wear and tear! I do 2-3 light coats (spray or brush) rather than trying to get solid coverage with one coat...trust me when I say, there is NO paint on earth that will get good coverage with just one coat!
9) Cure time is important. Seriously, I know they style their pieces on those HGTV shows within hours of painting a piece of furniture. Just don't! Just because the paint feels dry to the touch DOES NOT mean it has cured. Latex...a few days...oil...a week. Give your paint time to cure or it is going to peel or chip if you try to use it right away! Put the piece in place and chill!
10) Spray vs. Brush/roller. For me, it all depends. I have learned that large flat areas are tough to get an even coat of paint on with spray paint...and of course there is the expense factor for large pieces. A dresser can take 2-3 cans of spray paint. So it really depends of the piece. Sometimes I will spray the drawer fronts of a dresser and roll the top and sides.
11) Keep a little spare paint for chips and dings...if you use latex or oil, just put a few tablespoons in a little container and stick it in the back of the drawer...just in case! If you are using spray paint, keep a can with a little paint. Manufacturer's change paint colors and you might not be able to find that awesome color in the future. Keep spare paint in the house...not the garage or storage shed!
Regardless of whether you spray or roll/brush, you have to follow the first rules of KSTP....Kilz (primer), sand smooth, then tack....then paint!
If you follow these simple guidelines, you can update a dated piece with just a little time and effort.
Again, life is too short to live with ugly furniture...