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!




Flip Update: Living Room

Tonight we met with the realtor who will be listing our flip house and she was blown away! It literally made my day. She actually even said to me, “Joanna Gaines couldn’t have done this better herself”. I was floored. I don’t think she could have given a more flattering comment. Her marketing specialist will be taking pictures next Wednesday and the house will hit the market the following Wednesday and we will have an open house that same weekend.

 To say I’m excited is an understatement. Hearing an outsider (someone not a family member or friend whose obligated to say they like it) say that they really love all the work you’ve done is so humbling and exciting all at once. It sure makes all the long hours and late nights worth it. 

Tonight’s post is about the living room transformation.

  This room didn’t need a whole lot in regard to renovations. It got a new ceiling fan and a fresh coat of paint (wall color is Sherwin Williams Olympus White and trim color is Sherwin Williams Snowbound) and it was pretty much ready to go. The original hardwood flooring was in such good shape that it didn’t even need refinishing.

The biggest transformation in here happened once we brought furniture in and I got to decorate the space. Now remember, EVERY single piece in this room is for sale to anyone who wants it. Whether that be a potential buyer, realtor, or even YOU who are reading this post. So if you see something you’re interested in contact me and I can let you know the price(s). 

Without further ado, here are the after pictures:

Isn’t that entry way table darling?! It was custom made by Carolina Chic Home Decor from reclaimed wood taken from a one room school house located in Lexington, NC. Isn’t that so cool! It looks so very perfect in this living room.

    That little gem of a picture frame hanging behind the couch was a find at an antique shop in Shallotte, NC. It was love at first sight the moment I laid my eyes on it. I knew immediately what I wanted to use it for.   

That trunk…isn’t it so dreamy? Believe it or not, that was a yard sale find. Total score!

This little end table was a thrifted yard sale find too. It underwent an overhaul by yours truly, and now it’s beautiful! It works perfect for this space. 
I had so much fun designing this space and picking out the furniture and decor for this room. I wanted it neutral enough that it would appeal to lots of people, but I wanted to add enough color and pattern to make it feel cozy and homey (I’m aware that’s not a real word 😉). I’m very satisfied with the end result. Ultimately I hope that the financial and time expense of staging helps with the sale of our home. We shall see.

So, the real question is…what do you guys think of the living room?