Monday, April 19, 2010

End Table Makeover--Before and After (and some furniture painting tips)

We got this little table when we bought the house. The previous owners had some great items that we asked if we could keep. Like the push mower, vintage bowls, an old vacuum cleaner that Aaron kept as a sculptural piece, a still working hi-fi and this little cutie, among other things. We liked the legs and the modern looking handles.
But it had an unfortunate paint job and was in need of some work.
So we got to it. (almost a year later) The boys helped me sand it.
James, "sanding is pretty hard Mom, and it's kind of boring."
Don't I know it, James. Prep work is the part of painting everyone hates.
I decided to go with turquoise for the legs and the front of the drawers. The body of the table and the top would be brown.
I experimented with colors for the inside of the handles.
First this rusty red color.

Then we tried orange. Neither of them worked.

In the end, we went with the same brown we used on the body.

And I really like the way it turned out.
Painting furniture is one of my favorite projects because the end result is so dramatic and you begin to see results right away. True, the prep work is a pain, but most furniture is just a lot of straight lines so it isn't so much once you get to painting.

A helpful hint if you are inspired to go out and paint some of your furniture: get sample cans.
Lowes and Home Depot will mix you any color you want in a handy dandy little pint size. It's called a sample can. It costs about $4 and is usually plenty for a piece of furniture with some left over for touch ups. This saves you from paying the big bucks for more paint than you can use, or in our case, a can of orange that you won't use. (although Aaron will use that orange in a painting later, I'm sure)
Another tip: always use a few layers if polyurethane on the top of your painted tables, book shelves etc. Ask for one that does not yellow. Paint takes a really, really long time to dry. If you leave it to dry on its own, in a week you'll still be pulling paint up if you set a book down on that "dry" table top. Instead, brush on a few coats of the polyurethane and it will be rock solid by the next day.

I have painted a lot of furniture. I buy a lot of beat up furniture for cheap and then have to spruce it up. Paint always does the trick. It is magic. Really. I dare you to try it. Start small. A little table. A chair. Soon you'll be painting everything in site.

So...any takers on furniture painting? What piece would you like to paint? I have a couple more pieces in mind, but I really need to paint the trim in most of our house first.
And that, my friends, is just about as much fun as sanding.
See you tomorrow,


Christ in the Chaos said...

I've been waiting for this post! I need to paint some shutters that I will use as our headboard. You've totally inspired me.
I'm such a wood person that it is so hard for me to think about color. I wish you lived closer. Maybe I could take some pics and get your advice.

simply brookes: said...

Greta, I just love the mid century side table. Great job repainting it. Also love your wood floor and the bit of your sofa I saw the photo. Full photo next? Would love to see it...

Keep up the great work.

Tammy Callis said...

You'll be happy to know that I finally painted the girls dresser this weekend!

Four Flights said...

Okay you love Aqua huh? :) So do I! have aqua accents splashed all over my kitchen. I still need to paint the kids rocking chairs we found at the flea market about 6 months ago. They were supposed to be Christmas presents, then birthday presents. Can you give kids Memorial Day presents?

stefani said...

Oh my goodness! I love your table!
Our home currently has something I like to call "garage sale style"... in other words most of it ought to be sold in one and then we should start anew. We're woefully lacking in the style department. :-(

I think that's because I can never fully settle on a style to love and live with everyday. Part of me would love a retro ranch (think Gene Autry) style, after all, we live in a Texas ranch house.

On the other hand, I'm completely smitten with all things mid century modern. The furniture, the art, the colors, all of it. I've been gawking (online) at this home, which belongs to a man that my husband is doing some film work for.

Now you might suppose we could maybe pull off a combination of those two things, but I have a lot of cottage style tendencies too... jelly jars, quilts, white wash.

Probably what I need is just to have a little cottage on some acreage and then a mid century mod house in midtown too. Right? Right!