Refurbishing Furniture

Living on Saltwater - Furniture Painting - Before & After

I’m not quite sure where my love of refurbished furniture started. Maybe it’s due to my frugalness and my desire for a coordinating furnished room during my poor college days. As the saying goes ‘they don’t make it like they use to.’ It’s hard to find new solid wood furniture, these days, that won’t break the bank. Most of the pieces in retail stores, in my price range, have MDF components and other composite products. In my opinion, these materials are not made to last. As a result, I have resolved to acquiring old pieces or building my own furniture.

Over the years the painting methodology I’ve used has evolved. In 2010 I started out using a high gloss paint on this rolling cabinet I made with my dad. I wanted a modern-ish piece with a high sheen finish.

Living on Saltwater  - Painted Black Cabinet - Furniture Refurbishment

I then did some more research, pinned several tutorials to Pinterest, and tackled the dresser from my crib set. It is a Basset solid wood piece with dovetailed drawers. However, the dresser color was an ugly cherry stained finish (I am not a fan of wood stains with underlying red notes) and the drawer pulls were a brass color. I refinished the dresser using stain blocking primer, paint, and a high gloss water-based polyurethane. This method requires sanding between each coat, to ensure a smooth finish. I ended up applying 2 coats of each layer (2 coats primer, 2 coats of paint, and 2 coats of poly). Whew! It took a long time, especially since I lived in an apartment and had to drag the dresser out onto my balcony every time I wanted to work on it. But I have to say, it turned out great!

Living on Saltwater - Furniture Painting - Before & After

After refurbishing a couple of pieces with the prime/paint/poly method, I stumbled upon chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint) on Pinterest. This type of paint does not require stained wood to be primed before application. It also is finished with a wax, instead of polyurethane. There are several brands of Chalk Paint and it is sold only at ‘stockist’s’ store. I have only worked with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but there are a couple of other brands. It is available in a limited number of colors, but the brand encourages mixing colors and creativity. Chalk Paint is more expensive than typical latex paint, but I have found that I use less, it eliminates the need to buy primer, and allows me to complete a project in a shorter amount of time, due to the decreased number of steps. The paint is also odorless and can be used inside. I recently took a class on Chalk Paint Techniques at a local “stockiest,” in the Triangle. It was hosted by Two Old Birds, which is also a antique shop. I will share this experience in another post soon! In the mean time I am working on refurbishing this dresser.

Living on Saltwater -  Furniture Redos

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