My mind has wandered off on numerous occasions with all the fabulous furniture repurposing ideas that exist out there. I’ve traveled to amazingly cluttered and stocked thrift shops in our area in search of the perfect Before and After furniture piece, but to date, all I’ve managed to refinish is an old piano bench. (It’s really cute, but.. it’s hardly post-worthy!)
It was one of the cooler and only things I’ve done, but holy crap it took awhile! Sanding down the old lacquered finish (I ended up saying whatever, this is good enough) and then detaching the lid and hinges to paint it properly was about as ‘doing it the right way’ as I got. I’m talking it took me 2-3 days to finish. But, I love it, and it looks really cute by our front door with my fake daisies! Oh yes. Anyway, I don’t hold a candle to what Pinterest offers.
Anything you do will take some elbow grease and a few tools, but the end result will be amazing, and it will be done with your own hard work! Nothing more gratifying than that!
If you’d like to get some other ideas, check out one of my favorite sites, Better After. She features DIY Before and After projects of all kinds! From entire kitchens to dresser re-dos. Regardless, her posts are hilarious and guaranteed to either get your creative juices flowing or to make you feel extremely jealous and inferior to some of these people’s abilities. (I experienced a bit of both, along with being entirely overwhelmed.)
I learned that I had to just STAY FOCUSED and remember why I was wandering around a cruddy thrift shop to begin with. And then my piano bench happened. My next stop was Home Depot for the perfect paint color (meaning I just picked a bright and cheery one) and well, that was that. Someone doing it the right way would probably have gotten all the necessary tools together beforehand and actually planned out the project, instead of deciding last minute that they were going to create a 3 day project, like I did. Because then I ended up scraping stuff together after the furniture buying, sanding and painting began. I had no plan, and now I know a little better! Seems like spur of the moment projects are so much more exciting though, no?
Some helpful tools to have handy would include:
- screwdrivers of multiple sizes (both flathead and phillips, you never know what sort of screws will be in your new/old furniture piece!)
- sand paper, both fine and coarser grits. Use the coarser grit to sand down the outer coats of paint and lacquer, and the finer grit to do the final finishes to make it nice and smooth.
- Face/Mouth/Nose mask. Sanding can get pretty gross, and unless you want to inhale dust from lacquer and paint and who knows what from the 1950s, I recommend getting one of those cheapy masks. It’ll just be better all around.
- drop cloths, because we all know we end up being way messier than we expected initially. Between sanding, taking apart, disassembling, and painting, a drop cloth will be necessary! (or an old sheet, blanket, towel, etc)
- Paint tools; paint brushes, maybe a roller, paint tray and liner, a handheld paint holder, paint can opener, stirrer. Some paper towels or rags to wipe up your mistakes (not that you’ll make any..) The good thing is, most of these things are reusable if you take care of them, so this is just a one-time investment.
- Paint. Go wild here! What’s the worst that could happen? Your $20 used furniture investment needs to get sanded down and repainted again? It’s only time, hah!
And then.. share pictures! Take pictures of the process. Before, during, after. Take pictures of yourself enduring your new, miserable adventure. Take pictures of yourself crying because you’re wondering why you started such an irresponsible and advanced project. Take pictures of yourself opening a bottle of wine to cope with your sort of half way done piece, and then.. take pictures of the final, end result and post them with reckless abandon all over the internet. SUCK IT, PINTEREST! I CAN DO IT, TOO!