I’m on this furniture makeover kick lately.
Well not just lately. I’ve always loved painting things and giving them new life. I’ve joked with my family that if they sat still long enough I’d probably slap a coat of paint on them!
Over the last month I’ve painted a dresser and turned it into a pet feeding station, converted another dresser into a TV stand and took an old entertainment center and made it our homeschool cabinet (stay tuned for that post!)
As I was painting and sanding my latest project I thought I’d share some tips for taking old furniture and giving it a new purpose!
#1- Know what you’re looking for– I knew I wanted to make a beautiful TV stand for our gigantic tv (marriage is all about compromise people… this TV makes my super hubby very happy). I had an idea of the structure I wanted to have and knew it’d have to be a nice big piece of furniture. I knew I wanted spaces to house video game consoles, games and accessories. When you decide you want to customize something for your home it’s important to know what you want your end result to be. It is no fun to get something home only to find that it is totally not what you want.
#2- Be Thrifty– This isn’t a must but it is something I try to do! This dresser was only $50 so I didn’t mind putting time and money into it to make it what I want. Go into a project knowing the update is going to cost a bit so plan a budget accordingly. Also on the off-chance that a power tool goes awry and the piece is ruined, or you decided you don’t have time to finish it and it gets tossed you won’t have destroyed something that cost you big bucks.
#3- Consider your paint- I love chalk paint. It is awesome because you don’t have to primer, the finish is beautiful and it creates a great distressed look if that’s what you want. However, if you’re repainting a dining table or something else that needs a glossy or super smooth surface I wouldn’t pick chalk paint. It’s important you consider what the use of your furniture will be, how durable you need the finish to be, what kind of sheen you want… consider all your options before buying paint.
#4- Disassemble carefully – Now when you’re ready to jump right into a project it’s tempting to get out the hammer and power tools and get shit done. It’s a good idea to take a look at how it’s put together and how it’s best going to come apart. I nearly destroyed the drawer fronts for this project by prying out the sides and cracking the front (thankfully there’s wood glue!) After the first attempt I decided I really needed to figure out how they went together so I could better get them apart. You want to make sure that you really don’t need anything that might get broken in the removal process.
#5 Reuse what you can- The bottom shelf of this tv stand is made from the bottoms of the drawers I didn’t use. I popped them out and nailed them down and they fit beautifully. In my pet feeding station the drawer support was broken so I used the one I had removed from the middle drawer. Often times there is no need to cut something new because the parts you have are already the perfect size. So before you start measuring for something new look to see what you already have.
#6 Be realistic about how long it will take– If you’ve got a place to work and plenty of time disregard this advice… however if you are trying to complete refinishing a cabinet to house your homeschool stuff it’s a good idea to do it more than a couple of days before you’re starting school for the year… ahem… Depending on where you’re working and what the project is, how long you have to work at any given time, and how much “‘makeover” you’re doing you’ll need plenty of time. Make sure you plan ahead!
#7 Start with smaller projects- If you’re just starting with painting and re-purposing furniture start with something little. That way you can get the hang of the paint you’re using, make some mistakes and try different techniques.
The biggest tip is to just have fun and be creative! The reason I love making over furniture is because you end up with a piece in your home that is one of a kind and designed just for you, by you!! I love the reaction my TV stand gets from people, and the functionality of my pet feeding station. These pieces were fun to create and add beauty and functionality like nothing I could have bought!
Have you ever made over a piece of furniture? I’d love to hear what you created!
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