Restoring old furniture.

Almost all the furniture I own came to me as castoffs by friends, as in Please Take Away This Ugly Piece of Crap!!!

Recenty I looked around at my ugly bedroom set (from the 80s, need I say more?) and dreamed of a Martha Stewart bedroom I always wanted....dark, old furniture, crisp walls, clean and fresh. My walls were a sandy coloured textured paint (sand) and we never gave it a second coat, so you could see the roller marks. I have a closet that runs the length of the bedroom, enclosed by HEAVY mirrored doors that I have to shove opn or closed with my shoulders. Needless to say, everything gets shoved in there or left out because it is a pain to use that closet.

I decided to stop dreaming and create my bedroom....for as little as I could. And I also decided to recycle the furniture I had, rather than look for a used set of exactly what I wanted for almost nothing (reality check!).

So I started sanding the furniture, I use a Dewalt orbital sander and wear the sandpaper down to nothing rather than keep changing it. In this image you see the before at the top (I had painted the front of the furniture a burgundy colour years ago). See that ugly scroll pattern? I wanted to get rid of it, so I filled it with woodfiller and scraped it in. The drawer on the bottom shows what it looks like when it is sanded.

The next part is priming the wood (or pressed wood in this case). I used both a spray primer and a regular latex primer (left over from the walls). The spray was easier, had to be done outdoors, but more costly ($6-$8 each). One spraycan can do about a small nightstand and 3 drawers. It dries much faster than primer brushed on!

Then you begin painting. I used the method mentioned by The Frugal Girl on her blog. Lots of thin layers of paint. Unfortunately it happened to be very rainy and humid that week, so it took forever to dry between coats. But on a sunny day it went much faster!

Here is the nightstand ready to be painted. It was an ugly fake wood look before. I sanded it right down to the wood (only real wood was on the top) but as time went on and so many pieces, I only sanded off the shiny part of the veneer. I can't see as it made a difference in the final product, but I was gung ho at first :-)

Here is the finished product:

The handles: I bought some Krylon spraypaint in Chrome colour. I wanted that darker nickel look. It turned out perfect.

I took all the old handles, which were a fake-tarnished metal look, and spread them on a piece of cardboard and just sprayed them. I was amazed at how quickly the old handles sprang to life! I would highly recommend spray painting anything in your home that you are tired of the colour.

Note the switchplate, I decided to spraypaint all these too and they turned out great.

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