.....A Before & After Furniture Makeover Story
Refurbishing furniture can be very rewarding. I have refurbished furniture that sometimes needs very little prep to others needing a complete overhaul. When I find the pieces that are damaged and missing hardware, I always consider the amount of work involved before making a final decision to buy it. I've had enough experience now, from trial and error, that I can safely assume what I will be able to fix them. Most of the pieces I refinish are painted for a couple of reasons. If I re-stained an entire piece of furniture, it would mean hours and hours of sanding every nook and cranny. I also prefer the look of a painted piece. I have sometimes stained the top of the dresser and painted the body, especially recently, to give a little more interest to the piece.
Some of my favorite pieces to refinish are the ones that no one would ever want in their home when I purchase them, because they have the most dramatic results. :) I take them to my workshop (a.k.a my garage), to imagine their new and clean design, which is probably my favorite part of the whole process.
The Story of the Gray Patina Dresser
When I spotted this dresser on Craigslist two weeks ago, I loved the lines of the furniture, the size and the number of drawers. It also looked like it was in pretty good condition. Boy, was I wrong about that one!
It was listed for $60, which was a great price, especially since I knew it was solid wood. My hubby and I drove to the lake area, which is about 20-25 minutes for us from our home. I have to admit it does make me a little nervous arriving at someone's home that lives so far out in the boonies! But, all my correspondence with the woman was good and I felt comfortable again, once we arrived. I only tell you this to be cautious when buying items from individuals whom you haven't met and are picking up in a remote location. My advice would be to definitely take someone with you and or at the very least give someone the address and time you will meet, along with keeping a correspondence with someone on the phone when you arrive.
When I looked over the dresser, I realized it was pretty damaged with lots of dings and scratches. There were a chunks out of the wood and especially around some of the edges that needed to be filled and sanded to square it back up. The missing hardware on the dresser wasn't really a problem for me, since I normally update with new hardware anyway. So, I did what any bargain shopper does and asked if she would take $50 for it instead? She agreed and we loaded it up and headed out. We were driving down the narrow winding road and was blessed by spotting a few deer and their babies along the way. We stopped the car to watch the fawn run around for a while. They frolicked along in the grass and they didn't seem to care we were there observing. That was definitely a nice little treat of nature!
Here is a look at the before pics of the dresser that show some of the dings. You will notice from this first picture that the furniture had a high glossy varnish finish, which would need to be sanded down quite a bit to take off all the sheen in order to paint. If you don't do this step, the paint may not adhere to the surface of the dresser and will pull and drag off leaving an uneven surface and poor coverage. Chalk paint is known for its better adhesive quality but on a piece this glossy, it's always best to sand it down anyway.
Here is a look at the piece sanded down and some of the process of the repairs before we could start painting.
At this point in the process, I had been thinking I would paint the dresser a nice gray or white and stain the top of the dresser. However, my daughter, who had come outside to offer me a drink, suggested that instead of painting it all maybe I should just stain the drawers and paint the rest. Can I just say that I love my creative helper! I think she has great design sense and you will see from the results that she was spot on with her idea. I probably wouldn't have thought to do this stain and paint combination, partly because I was hot and tired from sanding and it was already a longer process than I had bargained for with all the damage repair. The damage repair calls for filling the cracks, dings, deeper scratches and corners with wood putty. The wood putty then needs to dry in order to sand, stain or paint it. It can be a tricky and tedious job! By staining the drawers instead of painting them, I would need to sand them down to the bare wood. Yep, more sanding! But I am so glad I took the extra time and steps to go with Emily's design vision.
I love the contrast of the deep wood stain and the gray paint. I painted the body of the dresser with the color Agreeable Gray by Shermin Williams and made it into chalk paint using my recipe. You can find the DIY Chalk Paint recipe on my blog home page here if you would like to try it.
What do you think of the stain and paint combination of the dresser? I placed new hardware on the drawers that I bought from Target. The hardware was an oil-rubbed bronze that complimented the dark walnut stain of the drawers.
Dressers are probably our best sellers at our booth space @ Daisies & Olives in Prairie Grove, AR. I try to keep them to more neutral color or design when I refurbish a piece so that it matches a wider variety of home decor. This gray and stain combination should match a lot and it is something that whoever buys it, will have something no one else will have in their home. It makes me happy to be able to take something outdated and damaged and turn it into a new piece that hopefully, someone will be able to use for generations to come.
Last week, I told you about my dining room chairs project. I really thought I would be done by now but nope, it's still on going. Maybe it will get done once school starts next week! (Insert heavy sigh and wishful thinking here) I'm not sure I'm ready for school to start! I've enjoyed spending so much time with my girl this summer. It went by really fast for us with lots and lots of fun and projects thrown into the mix. Of course, one thing I can't wait for is for my college boy and his precious girlfriend to return home tomorrow! Hope everyone who is starting back to school this fall has a wonderful year!
Until next time.......I will leave you with this quote,
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."