Monday, March 18, 2013

Spray Painting Tired Wood Furniture

Hello! I thought the best  way to start off my blog would be to write about my very first big project.

When my husband and I were looking for furniture to fill our house with, other than our brand new king bed and my old bedside table I brought with me, we went to thrift stores. We got this piece from the thrift store on the air force base, and it was twenty dollars. Randy, my husband, had to really convince me to let it come home with us. I don't have a completely before picture of it, but lets just say it looked like it was made from the wood paneling on an old station wagon - ugly and orange. I eventually saw the potential, and I made Randy promise that he would do whatever I asked to make this coffee table bearable to look at.
Man at work
Basil and I sleeping on the job 

                                                                                                                                                                     First thing to do was sand it down. Its solid wood, which is one of the only reasons it came home with us, so I knew it would just be a matter of sanding it down and painting it a color I like. I graciously allowed Randy to do the majority of the grunt work. We used about 80 grit sandpaper to sand the whole thing down.

Now that it was sanded, we had no idea what to do. So, we went to wal mart! We figured we needed paint... that much was clear. Randy suggested that some sort of primer might be smart, so that is what we went looking for. This was before we were sophisticated enough to use loose paint, brushes, or paint rollers, so we found a spray paint color we really liked, and a spray paint primer in white.

Randy touching up all the little bare spots

We applied the primer on a Friday and let it dry completely overnight, and then on Saturday we  applied the actual paint. When spray painting furniture, if you want it to look decent, you need to stand back. Don't follow Randy's example in the picture. He's just touching up some spots. Spray at least twelve to 18 inches away from the piece. If you apply it any closer it drips and causes uneven spots, and its just a big mess. So stand back when you do it. Closer is not always better. Just like in the movie theater.
 We ended up using Krylon Dual paint and primer in white, and Rust-oleum satin finish in Spruce Green. We applied about 3 light coats of the primer, and 4-5 very light coats of the green paint. When doing this, you want to wear one of those little masks, because breathing the paint in makes your throat burn for days. I learned the hard way, ouch. 

Between coats of primer, I lightly sanded the piece, once each coat was dry, with a sanding sponge of about 180 grit. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down before applying another coat. You want the primer to be as smooth as possible so your finished project turns out pretty.

 The whole project cost about 50 dollars, including the 20 dollars that the table cost from the thrift store. We didn't previously own any supplies, so we bought a bunch of sand paper, spray paint, and white cloths for future projects. 

I absolutely love it. I really could not have picked something I loved better brand new from a store. Later on we decided to go over it with a clear satin finish. (It was a krylon clear protective satin finish spray.) But, I don't think it was really necessary. We just wanted it to have extra protection for when my husband forgets to put his drink on the glass top part of the table. Basil our puppy loves the table. He makes a point to crawl through it whenever he can, leaving little puppy prints on the bottom portion of it.

In the end, this was the project that gave me confidence to realize I can make our living space a home we love to be in, even without buying brand new furniture. It is the start of this crazy journey through teaching myself to spruce up furniture, be a wife, a dog owner, student, and to cook all at the same time. I hope this gives some of you the confidence you need to just go for it. If you have that one piece of furniture with so much potential, but that is so outdated and drab right now, just do it. We had no idea what we were doing on this project, and it turned out better than I hoped, and it was pretty easy. 
Till next time, thank you for reading. 


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