Refinish Furniture: Taking Old Furniture from Drab to Fab
Do you have the imaginative eye? Got a creative flare to refinish an old piece of furniture? Custom furniture can be pretty costly, but you can create a similar look for a fraction with some guidance with this How To.
Start with a sturdy piece of wooden furniture to refinish (partical board is a whole different realm) that has a pretty smooth surface.
You will need:
- Sanding block
- 120 and 220 grit sandpaper
- Wood Putty
- Paint in your selected color and finish
- Primer, such as Kilz
- Assortment of Brushes
- Stir Stick - Drop Cloth
- Stencils, if desired
Refinish Furniture - Preparation: Place the project piece in an open area that you have the flexibility to work in and on top of the drop cloth. Dust the piece thoroughly and remove any dirt if needed. Use the wood putty to fill in any nicks or dents that may be present (these will be sanded, once dry). Remove all of the hardware (knobs, hinges, etc) and tape off any glass. Remove all drawers to paint them separately.
Refinish Furniture - Sanding: Sand the entire project piece with your sanding block and coarser of the two papers, the 120 grit. Make sure to work with the grain and complete the piece and any drawers as best as you can. Remember, not every bit of the paint or finish has to be erased completely, as you are simply attempting to prepare the furniture for new paint to adhere to the finish. Once complete, go over the entirety again with the finer of the two sandpapers, the 220 grit. After finishing, brush all of the dust away and run a rag over the surfaces.
Refinish Furniture - Priming: After mixing your primer thoroughly, work with the grain to apply the primer to the piece one section at a time. Make sure to allow plenty of time for drying. Once dry, use your 220 grit sand paper to lightly sand over the primed finish.
Refinish Furniture - Painting: Using the same technique, apply your paint in even strokes to the piece. Once dry, repeat your light sanding with the 220 grit paper between coats and take this opportunity to apply any stencil designs you might want. If you want a distressed look, focus your sanding over the areas that would receive lots of wear, usually the corners and edges of the piece. When you are finished, reinstall your hardware and knobs and return drawers to their openings.
* Consider saving tons of effort and time by using an electric sander; models usually start at about $50 and are always handy to have around the house.
** You might also consider getting a piece of glass (smoked, black or clear) cut to the custom specifications and measurements of your refinished furniture to top the piece - this is especially helpful with commonly used items, like dressers and sideboards.
Enjoy your accomplishment! You've refinished furniture like a pro and will be able to enjoy the piece for a long and beautiful future.
Have you ever had the opportunity to refinish furniture? If you've refinished furniture and have photos to share, feel free to post them in the comments so we can all enjoy!
Ashley Cox is a Realtor® with Dallas City Center Realtors and strives to provide excellent service and assistance to Buyers and Sellers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. If you are in the market to buy or sell and need the assistance, guidance and support of a professional, call (972) 978-3109 today.
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