Do you love a good furniture makeover?
I would love to say this furniture makeover is a cinderella story. But these two are much more like the ugly step sisters. I got these lovelies online for free. When I went to pick them up, I almost left them behind. I thought I was getting actual wood, but nope, these puppies are a whole lot of particle board and nasty. As a matter of fact, the moulded drawer fronts turned out to be plastic!
DIY Furniture Makeover
But I’m stubborn, and I figured if they didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I would just give them to Value Village, or leave them out with a “free” sign.
The reason that I chose these for my DIY furniture makeover was because I was looking for something that I could use for a testing bed for my very first furniture glazing project. I need new night tables for the spare bedroom, so if they work out they get to live there , until I replace them with something better. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to try out a totally new technique on some really fabulous furniture, This way they have nowhere to go but up, right?
Here are my reasons for picking these:
They were free
They are a matching set
They will fit in the space
They have some good deep relief on them for glazing
If I wreck them, no big deal
As you can see in the photo above, the existing finish is chipping and flaking off. And I think the only actual wood is the section around the top and the bottom. I hate that it’s so obvious that the piece is added around the square pressboard. I’m going to fix this a bit 🙂
Ok, off we go! The first thing is to give them a good wash, I use lysol wipes, it cuts through grease, and grime. My favourite go to cleaning product. I buy them by the 3 pack.
First sanding. I used my random orbital sander and my oscillating tool which worked fabulously in all of the grooves and edges. The factory finish was peeling off, and required sanding on the top and sides. Luckily the drawers had no damage or wear on them, because they are PLASTIC!! Hmmm, maybe there is an advantage to plastic drawers 🙂
After the sanding comes the primer!! For this project I. went with spray primer Much better. If you are coating a surface that has lots of curves and depth, spray primer is your friend. Here’s a tip for you: when you are using spray paint, DO NOT keep the nozzle depressed. SHORT BURSTS. Short passes. Otherwise you will get drips. Take your time, it doesn’t take long to dry, don’t feel like you have to do the whole thing in one shot.
A Little Tip
If you are working on a pair of end tables or anything that there are two of. Do them one at a time. Why? Because you will make any mistakes on the first one, and by the time you do the second one. you will have worked out all of the kinks. There’s no point in doing them both at once, and having to repair the mistakes you make twice. Especially if this is your first time trying something new. I did my first end table all the way through and then did the second one better 🙂
A Little Fix
Remember how you could see that the trim had been added on around the top? I fixed this. I used bondo 🙂 If you have never used bondo to fix furniture, then you should. Sooooo much better than wood filler! I just tapered the top square area, which was raised down to the next level, so that you can’t see the seam anymore. Better! Also, I changed my wood filler to Elmer’s, it’s so much better! So, I just added bondo and then used a putty knife to angle it off, and sanded it down. Here is the difference. But truthfully, it probably would have been fine just to leave it as it was it just looks a bit less low end now 🙂 Plus it’s good bondo practice!!
I used 2 versions of silver paint for this. I painted the sides and top with Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents Sterling Silver by roller, and then smoothed it with a brush. It shows lines when you brush it, but I really like the look. I used Rustoluem universal metallic spray paint in Metallic Titanium Silver on the drawer fronts. I did them completely in spray paint. It took a few coats, to make sure none of the primer bled through, which is why I didn’t use it exclusively, because it goes on very thin and looked a bit streaky on flat areas. But this silver is really beautiful and has an amazing sparkle to it
This is the first furniture glazing project I have ever done, I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Glaze in Smoked, which honestly I probably shouldn’t have used over spray paint, but it was the only glaze I could find the day I was ready to glaze, so I went with it. I’m not selling these pieces, so it’s all learning 🙂 I applied the glaze with a cheap chip brush, and then gave it a bit of time before wiping, about 10 minutes. Then I just wiped away the excess with shop towels I didn’t use a damp towel, because it was taking off too much. The cool thing about glaze is that if you wipe too much off, you can just grab your brush and put more back on. In future I would use and oil based glaze over spray paint. Or more likely, for easier clean-up, I would use a water based glaze over water based paint. I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last glazing project, so I will keep learning as I go. Despite my uncertainty, the piece turned out the way I wanted it to. I sealed everything with top coat, so it’s not going anywhere 🙂
Thankfully, the handles were actual metal! Brass I think. I soaked them overnight in a solution of vinegar and water. Then I used an SOS pad to scrub them. I also used a bit of Twinkle, if you have never used twinkle to clean your brass or silver. You are probably working way too hard at cleaning it. After putting the painted handles back on, I decided to do something different. I just found these too clunky. I opted to replace them with crystal knobs Though I’m a bit back and forth on the handles. Here are both versions, although the crystal knobs don’t photograph well. Check out the close-up for a better representation.
The reason that I wanted to glaze these pieces to begin with was because I really love the depth that glazing can add to the right piece of furniture. See what I mean? Maybe it’s my fine arts background, but It feels like sculpture to me.
These little silver night tables, were the ones that I used when I renovated Greg’s condo, before we moved to this house. They don’t add much Wow factor. So the ugly step sisters are a definate upgrade for the space. Don’t feel sad about the little night tables, they are already in the process of getting a make-over!! Nothing in this house is safe from my creative machinations… muwahahaha
It looks a little bit like a black and white photo, doesn’t it? That is the issue with my whole house. It’s all grey and white. It’s a really nice house but boring and a bit sterile looking. So, I’m adding this wallpaper to brighten up the room a bit. I have previously used this wallpaper in my master bedroom, and I LOVE it. Not only do I love the design. But it’s very thick heavy duty paper. So, I bought the same brand again. It arrived in about 2 days with Amazon Prime. Love, love, love!
And so that ends the story of the ugly step-sister’s night tables, or end tables or night stands, or nite stands or whatever you call them! The moral of this ugly furniture makeover story is that you can make something decent out of even the ugliest piece of furniture. And it just so happens that I have a few more ugly ducklings in my garage awaiting their pretty furniture makeover swan song.
PS – I will add lots of pretty pictures when I have put up the wallpaper. Hopefully soon!! And then the room won’t look like a black and white photo.
You should do an ugly furniture makeover too!!
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