Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Put on a fresh coat!

During the month of January, it is easy to get cabin fever...the holidays are over and the weather...well not so much fun! However, being inside has its advantages when you consider remaking a piece of furniture as I did here with this vintage dresser. It is an old sturdy dresser that I found one had great lines and hardware, but needed a face lift. It is perfect for storing all my linens and tableclothes, and since it is solidly constructed, it was a real find! To re-create a piece of furniture, here's what you need:

  1. Cover the floors to protect them from your work.
  2. Sandpaper: fine grade (150-180 grit). If you have a power sander, this takes out a lot of the sanding work time.
  3. Primer: an environmentally friendly option (available at most stores if you ask) and one that seals the existing finish so it doesn't "bleed" through to your new paint.
  4. Quality paintbrushes: this makes all the difference. Invest in a good paint brush for a superior finish.
  5. Paint: You can really get creative here by using a color that adds a pop or one that is more demure as I did with this dresser. There are many discussions and ideas online to spark your creativity--simply search "ideas for painting furniture" or look in decorating magazines. Again, most stores have environmentally friendly paints, and they can match it to a swatch of fabric, paint chip, or wallpaper. Milk paints are another environmentally friendly option that are available online as well.
  6. Rags or tack cloths: these are slightly sticky wipes that can be found in paint stores and are great for removing dust from the sanding so you don't get little bumps in your finish.

To get started:

  1. Remove the hardware from the piece and set it aside in a small container so you don't lose any of the pieces. I reused the hardware on this dresser by painting it in an accent color and then wiped off the excess to create a distressed look to the hardware as shown here.
  2. Sand the entire piece to remove the sheen or shine of the old finish--you are working to create a surface for the next paint to adhere to so you want to make sure you remove most of the old finish. You don't need to go down to the wood since you are painting and not staining the piece. Wipe the sand grit off the piece using a tack cloth or damp rag.
  3. Apply the primer to the entire piece and allow to dry according to the paint instructions.
  4. Once the piece is primed and dry, you are ready for your top coat of paint. I usually use two coats of paint to get an even finish. Allow to dry completely before reattaching the hardware and moving into place.

Voila! You have a new piece by adding a fresh coat! Send in your pictures, and let me see what you have recreated!