Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Painted Furniture - Fun & Classy!

Are you bored with those tired old pieces of furniture sitting around your house?  Is the finish wearing out, or is it just out of style?  Or maybe you found a piece at a yard sale or antique store that could use some good old TLC.  Here are some ways you can rejuvenate and stylize those old pieces of furniture to make them fit better in your home.

Steps to Paint Wooden Furniture

In order to start this project, remove all of the knobs from the piece of furniture and take out all of the drawers.   Sand the furniture lightly using a power sander (if available).   This will ensure the paint coats will look smooth and professional.  Wipe the furniture with a damp cloth then allow to air dry before applying any paint.
Prime the furniture using a paint specifically for priming wood.  If the wood has knots, be sure to use an oil-based primer specifically designed to seal knots, or the resins will bleed through your finished coat.  It is always a good idea to use a miniature foam roller when painting furniture because that will minimize the appearance of brush strokes.   Paint all of the wooden parts of the furniture the base color that you plan to use.   It will probably require two coats of paint.
Once all coats of paint are completely dry you can then distress the edges with a power sander, if desired.   This will give the furniture a rustic, country look.   You can do a small or large amount of distressing, depending on your taste.
Wipe the furniture with a damp cloth.  Apply the decorative coats of paint. (See below for details on each specific piece of furniture's decorative design.)

After the decorative coats have dried completely you can apply a clear coat of paint, if desired.  The clear coat adds a bit of shine and protects the furniture from minor scratches.  If applying clear coat, make sure the furniture is free of dust and dirt.  Also, use a new foam roller to apply the clear coat so that no small particles from an old roller get sealed into your furniture.
For a new look buy new hardware (knobs) for the piece of furniture.  This will provide an instant update.  Attach the new knobs and insert the drawers.  Now your furniture is complete and looks great!


If you have an armoire that is in perfectly good condition but looks out of date like the one pictured below, you should try to give it a face lift!  Notice the "BEFORE" and "AFTER" pictures.  (It is not the exact armoire that was refinished, but the type of wood, stain color, and knobs were the same.)

                                                    BEFORE                                                 AFTER
In order to recreate this design, find circular objects around your house (bowls, cups, etc.) of various sizes.  Trace the circles onto your furniture using a pencil.  Using a yardstick draw stripes of various sizes (you could also do this using painters tape).  Select two paint colors that are very similar to one another.  Paint the circle and the stripes the various colors using a small, high quality brush so that the brush strokes are not too prominent.  Finish by applying a clear coat (see description above).  Attach new knobs and Voila...!

Night Stand 1

In order to recreate this design, find circular objects around your house (bowls, cups, etc.) of various sizes. Trace a larger circle onto your furniture using a pencil.  Then trace a smaller circle inside of the larger circle.  Repeat this with as many circles as desired.  Select three or four paint colors to use for the circles. Paint the circle the various colors using a small, high quality brush so that the brush strokes are not too prominent. Finish by applying a clear coat (see description above). Attach new knobs and the new look is complete.

Night Stand 2

In order to recreate this design, follow the directions under "Armoire" above.  This nightstand is used in a toy room.  The base color is lime green and the dots are blue, pink, and orange.  These colors are used throughout the toy room, so the nightstand fits right in.  Depending on the room the furniture will go in, you might be able to get away with some fun colors as used in this design!

Sewing Table

This was my great grandmother's sewing table.  While I am no longer using it to store notions, it is a great piece of furniture for other odds and ends.  In order to recreate this look, follow the "Steps to Paint Wooden Furniture," above.  It is painted white and then heavily distressed.