Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Makeover your old furniture (in four easy steps!)

So I found this hulking big dresser on the sidewalk a few months back. A little Italian grandpa saw me trying to push it along the road (with little success) and kindly got out a nifty wheelie gadget from his garden to help me trundle it home.

At there it's sat in the corner of the bedroom for months; looking a bit forlorn, very yellow and rather out of place, as I pondered what was to be done with it. The thought of sanding the whole thing down (boring) or even worse having to weld some sort of paint stripper (dangerous if you are as clumsy as me) was hugely off putting. I just want to paint: paint is fun! Then joy, I discovered that a primer paint was all that was needed to prep its sheeny exterior.

So what follows is the quick, lazy girls guide to getting this job done. It's ridiculously easy. If I can do it then truly anyone can. I'm already eyeing up every piece of furniture I own for a revamp!

Here's what you'll need...

1.PRIMER PAINT: One can of Zinsser 123 primer paint (this stuff helps your paint to adhere to the surface of your furniture: essential if you painting on pretty much anything but clean sanded-down wood).
2. BASE COAT PAINT Benjamin Moore low luster acrylic paint in Anchor Gray. This is the colour you want to peep through your top coat, when you distress it down. You can choose any colour of course. I toyed with hot pink and deep Burgundy. But then decided to play safe with gray.
3. TOP COAT PAINT  Benjamin Moore low luster acrylic paint in Decorators white. Again this can be any colour. But I thought this white (white a hint of grey would be perfect).
4. SUPER TUFF CLOTH. For cleaning of dirt from your furniture before you start (and between coats) to create a smooth squeaky clean surface for your paint.
5. MASKING TAPE. For covering up bits you don't want to get painty.
6. ROLLER (for speedy application of base coats) & PAINT BRUSHES (for getting a lovely effect on your final coat and getting to tricky to reach spots).
7) CANDLE. To stop your final coat sticking in certain places (not pictured).
8) SANDPAPER. To give your piece a shabby, distressed feel.

PS all this cost me around $80

STEP ONE: After a quick wiping down the dresser with a Tuff cloth (to get rid of any dirt and dust) I taped over the glass front, unscrewed knobs and handles and did a quick two coats of the primer paint. Leaving 2 hours dry time between coats.

STEP TWO: Next up the Anchor Gray went all over. After four hours drying its time to get your candle out for some artful pre-distressing. Simply rub your candle over the edges of your furniture (parts of the piece that would naturally become bashed up and worn over time: corners, edges of drawers, legs etc.)

The areas you cover will not adhere to your next coat of paint and allow the gray undercoat to show through. So the more you wax the more distressed it'll look. Its up to you. I was a little bit sheepish with the wax as I wanted the effect to be super-subtle.

STEP THREE:Now your are ready for your final coat (in this case Decorators White). If you're painting over a very dark color you'll probably need two coats. Once it's totally dry (four hours later) you can simply rub over the edges with some sand paper.

STEP FOUR: Erm there isn't really one. It's that easy. You're done. Just pop the handles back on, and feel smug. One super chic revamped piece of furniture for well under $100.

You might want to treat yourself to some new handles and knobs (liking these ones) and give the dresser some zappy innards with a bit of leftover wallpaper to make it 100% fabulous and finished.


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