How to Restore Old Furniture

6 May

Hello There!

I’ve started my bedroom makeover that I’ve always dreamed of having. Since we are on a tight budget things are going to happen slowly but surely! Yesterday I took our side tables out and gave them a little touch up to get started. Restoring old furniture has become one of my favorite things to do to really make a difference in a room on a tight budget. Instead of spending a fortune buying new furniture to replace what you have, why not give it a little makeover instead and save some money?

I took these two side tables given to us from my mother-in-law and decided to make them pop a little more!

My goal for this room is to slowly transition everything into a black, gray, and white color scheme and have pops of yellow throughout. These two side tables completely blend in except for the fact that my two lamps are making a statement! They each also have a little wear and tear on them.

You can see here that the handles are a little scratched up as well as a few other places. So I cleaned out the side tables and took them outside for a little sanding. Please note – you probably shouldn’t go through your husbands side table to clean it out without asking him. Luckily, all I found was video game things and change 😛 Gotta love my hubby!

There are two ways you can sand furniture. You can hand sand it with a sand block or use a palm sander. I chose a palm sander because it’s faster but for the intricate parts of table like the drawer you are going to need a sand block. Since this side table had only been painted once there wasn’t layers upon layers to sand so a quick light sand is all you need. When something is painted previously with a gloss or there are obvious layers of paint then you are going to want to use a heavier sheet of sand paper or heavier sand block in order to make the process of sanding easier on you.

As you can see I didn’t take off the entire layer of paint. That’s not necessary – it’s just important to get off the top gloss and give the paint somewhere to hold onto when you paint it. If you decide not to sand and just paint as it is then the first time you scratch the paint or nick it a little it’s going to peel a good chunk off of your furniture. Paint needs something to hold on to in order to really stick.

Here comes the fun part – the first layer of paint! Your first layer is never going to look good. Especially when you are painting over a dark surface but it’s okay! Give it a nice little layer and let it dry for a couple of hours. If you are impatient like I am, find something to do to keep busy until it dries – in my case I painted the second shelf and the drawers!

You don’t always have to paint the entire drawer. I wanted to paint the inside because I plan on putting shelf liner in it to make it pop when you open the drawer, so I wanted to make sure the rest of the inside of the drawer looked pretty too!

Once you have let everything dry you can go back and do the second coat of painting. A hard lesson that I have figured out is to let the second coat dry over night. If you are like me – you will want to put it all together and put it back where it was to see the finished project and be proud of yourself for accomplishing it! Don’t.. The paint will feel dry but it’s still wet underneath. If you put the drawers back in and let it sit the paint will try to dry and end up sticking to whatever it’s touching. Which means you won’t be able to open the drawer and if you do – you might be damaging the paint job you just worked so hard at finishing.

Once its dried over night it’s ready to be used! I’m really excited about the white transformation! My next step to finishing these babies up is to by shelf/drawer liner to put in the drawers and the back panel of the cubby. I’m looking for a yellow pattern that will go along with the lamps but I’m having trouble finding exactly what I’m looking for so I’ll keep searching and wait until I find what I’m looking for!

It definitely gives it the POP of white that I was looking for 🙂

When you are a person like I am, that changes their mind about what they want, what they like, and their favorite color – you really should be thinking about the most budget friendly options. I change my mind so much that it’s probably best to keep all the furniture I have and just keep repainting it until I’m happy with the outcome!

The next thing I am going to attempt for this room is a handmade headboard! I’ll be searching Pinterest for brilliant ideas and budget friendly tips 😛

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

What are some tips and tricks that you use while restoring old furniture?

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4 Responses to “How to Restore Old Furniture”

  1. Organized Living Essentials May 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Enjoyed reading your instructions for painting the bedside tables another colour. The step-by-step images were really good too! I have two similar tables that were given by a family member and now I know how to convert them into something more up to date. What kind of paint did you use and did you paint with a roller or a paint brush?

    • underestimatedmom May 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

      Oh good questions! I didn’t even think about mentioning those! I used ultra light semi-gloss paint from Lowe’s – just a basic brand will do, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. This particular kind was for indoor use only. I use paintbrushes or spray paint depending on my mood. It would be much faster to use a paint roller but I enjoy painting so a brush is more of a comfort thing for me! My favorite paintbrushes are medium to thin thickness and width that are angled so you can get in corners really well. I like thin bristles and my favorite kinds are black with a white tip or all white/cream bristles. I don’t know why but they seem to stay in the brush and be a little stronger so you don’t have to worry about them breaking and getting stuck on whatever you are painting!

      Good luck with your project and let me know how it goes!

  2. carol@ white painted furniture August 1, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    I have been through our above words and got some great ideas regarding painting furniture. You done great job with above piece. I would love to bookmark your site to share with my other friends who are always interested in painting furniture. Anyway, thanks for sharing this.

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