A DIYer’s Guide to Updating Old Furniture

I picked up this little chest of drawers from a fella I met through Craigslist. Well, I technically met this dresser on Craigslist, knew I needed it in my life, and then met its owner when I picked it up. I purchased it for $50.00. Not too bad…more than I wanted to pay, but that was as low as he would go. 

Yesterday was it’s “rehab” day. I had refinished a different dresser on Saturday and was planning to make this one match it, since they were both going to be going in our bedroom. Here’s a picture of the first one I finished.  

 
Since I had just completed that one, I had leftover supplies to use on this one. Here is a before picture of my little chest of drawers.  

 Lots of potential, but currently unattractive… 
Here’s a step by step guide on how I transformed it—

1- Remove all the knobs and pulls. I used a drill to remove these, but you could use a simple screwdriver too, it would just take longer.

2- This next step is essential to refinishing any piece of furniture…sand it really well. This dresser had so much varnish on it that it needed a lot of sanding to get down to the wood. Even with using an electric sander my arms were sore the next morning. 

3-After sanding, thoroughly wipe off the furniture to remove all the dust the sanding created.

4-Apply your first coat of paint. I brushed this one in Sherwin Williams Dover White, although in the past I’ve rolled paint on and also used a paint sprayer too. So really it’s up to you on how you want to paint it. This next picture is kinda halfway through painting the first coat of paint on.

  
5- Let the first coat dry, and then paint a second coat of paint on. Let it dry again.

6- Here’s where you get to be creative and it gets fun. In the past I’ve often just sanded some paint off in certain areas to give a chippy, distressed look, but I wanted to try something different with this set of furniture. I purchased Valspar’s antiquing glaze, pictured below, and applied it with an old, hard bristled brush. The glaze is workable for 15 minutes, so I let it set for a bit and then rubbed it off with an old t-shirt. If I finished a spot and then decided it needed more I would just reapply and then wipe it off again.

7- Once that dries, make sure to seal it with something. If you forget this step, your beautiful paint job will be more likely to mess up once you start using it. I used Minwax’s spray Polycrylic Protective Finish, but there’s kinds you can brush on too. I sprayed two coats of this on and let it sit for about an hour.

  
    8- Put your knobs and pulls back on. Sometimes I will paint the knobs/pulls and sometimes I will replace them with different ones, but I simply reused most of the ones from this dresser because they had a lot of personality already. I did replace the top two knobs because they were pretty plain and boring. I had imagined using glass knobs, but then I looked around in my “spare knobs” container in the basement and discovered two from a previous job that I had leftover. They matched pretty great, so that ended up saving me some money!
The final product is something I’m pretty proud of! I think it has a weathered and worn, almost driftwood look to it. It’s not perfect, and that’s something that I like about it. It makes my heart happy!

   
   
Now I just need to fill it up and put it in its new home where I can admire it everyday! 

Thanks for reading! If you try these tips, let me know how your project turns out!! I’d love to know!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you… follow me on Pinterest. I just set it up to where it is linked to my blog.  The board is called Hartman Interiors. The pictures there are all direct links to this blog!

XOXO,

Megan

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