Saturday, January 28, 2012

{Bungalow Bee} DIY: Refinishing Furniture

 As my due date quickly approaches my need to nest vastly increases! Thus, my husband and I have taken on many projects to prepare for the arrival of my little baby girl. First up was refinishing the dresser that was given to us by my aunt and uncle. The dresser that was given to us wasn't necessarily an unattractive piece of furniture, but the color just didn't go with the rest of our decor. Thus, we had to refinish it... and by we, I of course mean my husband, since I cannot work with the fumes that come with paint and oil-based primers. But both men and women alike can easily do this. The steps to refinishing a wood dresser are so very easy, all you need is a little time.

You will need:
Wood dresser/piece of wood furniture
100 grit sandpaper
Oil-based primer
Flat latex paint in the color of your choice
Water-based polycrylic protective finish in a clear gloss
Decorative hardware- if you plan on changing out the knobs or handles.

Start with finding a dresser at a thrift store, garage sale, or perhaps you have an existing dresser you want to refinish. My personal preference when determining a good piece of furniture to refinish is looking at the lines of the piece. I typically like clean and sleek lines that appear nice and modern. That is unless I want to do something more shabby chic.

Step 1: Take out all drawers and set on a painting cloth or newspaper, etc. Remove all knobs, handles from drawers. If the knobs or handles do not come off, tape them off with painters tape (that is only if you want to reuse the knobs or handles, if not, give them away).

Step 2: Determine what kind of surface with which you are working. Is it actually wood? Is it varnished wood or is it unfinished, etc? If you aren't working with real wood, these steps will not work. If the surface is shiny/glossy or varnished, you will need to give it a light sand using 100 grit sandpaper. If it is unfinished or has a flat paint you can skip the sanding process.

Step 3: Wipe the wood clean with a damp cloth. Let dry.

Step 4: Apply one coat of an oil-based primer to ensure that the paint sticks and no stains come through and ruin your finished product. Make sure you use a good quality brush. You don't want to have long hairs stuck in your paint from a cheap brush nor do you want to use a roller as they are known to leave little bubbles. This coat of primer doesn't have to have a perfectly even application, but just as long as the entire piece is covered then it is ready for step five.

Step 5: Using a good quality paint brush, apply two coats of a flat latex paint. Be sure to use long brush strokes going in the same direction. This will help the surface appear smoother and any visible strokes will appear more like wood grain lines as opposed to choppy brush strokes. Make sure that your first coat is completely dry before applying the second to help create a smoother finish.

Step 6: After the paint is completely dry. Apply two coats of a water-based polycrylic finish. The exact brand we used was Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Gloss. You will notice that the finish goes on kind of milky, but don't worry it dries completely clear. Again, make sure the first coat is dry before applying the second.

Finally, after at least 48 hours when it is completely dry, add your decorative hardware and put your drawers back into the dresser. Now you can place your beautifully refinished piece of furniture in your home and enjoy! Just think...with a little bit of work you can take an inexpensive piece of furniture and make it look like you spent a fortune at the store.

Happy Decorating!

1 comment:

  1. Very Nicely put and I'd like to add that the job can be fairly easy if using the right products to reduce the sanding time. We refinish Front Doors here in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas. Please visit our site and watch video of our process. We complete a single door within 3 hours.